Not at all. But I didn't think you'd resort to ad hominem quite so early in the discussion. Pacifism and religious exclusivism are not incompatible, either logically or practically.
My statement was aimed at religion as a whole not any particular individual.
If it could be called ad hominem it’s probably closest to a tu quoque ad hominem argument, which as you know is a valid argument. You suggested that the statement made by Dawkins to the effect that the religious do not disbelieve in other peoples gods was incorrect. I merely pointed out that the historical evidence contradicts your assertion, while I agree that believing in one god and being a pacifist is possible, believing in one true god and not disbelieving the existence of other gods is, I believe, impossible.
There are many levels on which I can offer you reasons as to why. First of all, Greek and Roman "gods" were not transcendent but themselves dependents and seated within the natural order. They were amplified humanity, not the "origin of all things". So philosophically, Zeus still begs the question of who made him, if not mankind.
That’s interesting, Zeus wasn’t a god because he needed a creator, can that argument be applied to Buddah, Allah or even your own god?
Then there's the historical (questions of historical veracity), the existential (questions of human need), the antropological (questions of human nature) ... all of which underscore the truth of God. There's alot I could go into, if I didn't feel that your request for reasons was given more as a dare.
It wasn’t a dare Stephen I was simply trying to ascertain whether you believed your god was the one true god and that all other gods were false.
Atheism (and Evolution for that matter) may be just as imposed as religion may be ... just as indoctrinational, just as militant. However, you want catch me using those kinds of complaints against it, because as you well know, none of that has much bearing on the question of whether any of it is true or not.
Atheism is offered religion is imposed, the truth of either is secondary it is the method of infection that is important. That’s why I was so emphatic in my earlier statement that religion could be deemed a virus of the mind, because infection isn’t normally by choice whereas atheism can be accepted or denied in the same way a vaccine can be accepted or denied.
You may say that Dawkins views of evolution are evidentiary (though the evidence itself is questionable), but not his anti-religious philosophy.
No, I’d say both were offered with evidence and that the validity of the evidence offered can of course be questioned, tested and amended (unlike religious doctrine).
One piece of evidence offered by Dawkins is the means by which people acquire their religious beliefs; in fact it’s the foundation upon which the virus of the mind suggestion is built.
How do you explain that the vast majority of people who hold religious beliefs just happen to hold the same beliefs as their parents? That religions are geographic in nature and that even today with modern communication and the availability of information it’s unlikely that a person will ‘discover’ the one true religion (yours presumably) and change their religious beliefs?
Evolution in and of itself does not preclude the need for a divine maker. As Chesterton once said; there is little difference between a slow miracle and a fast one.
Evolution doesn’t preclude the need for little green men either, that doesn’t mean it has to include them just because some people like watching the X files.
Chesterton’s quote with regard to evolution is so far out it’s not even wrong, his smoke and mirror use of the word miracle is designed to lead you to the wrong conclusion. Perhaps I can explain the flaw in his logic.
People, based on their expectations of the event actually happening, classify miracles, this classification it’s based on the level of incredulity regarding the event taking place. There are small miracles for instance, like having a bad fall and not breaking a bone, these are events that are unlikely and fortuitous but still fairly commonplace and so are judged minor miracles.
Next you have medium miracles, these are events that are reasonably rare and fairly incredible, hitting a hole in one at golf could fall into this category, you could reasonably expect to do it once, perhaps twice in your golfing career but it doesn’t happen every day.
The final type of miracles are the events you wouldn’t expect to happen at all, something really incredible, these are true miracles, things like an apple instantaneously appearing out of thin air.
Now supposing I showed you an apple that I’d grown on one of my apple trees and explained all the steps that apple had needed to literally come to fruition, would you class that as a miracle and if so what level? You could argue that the apple was a miracle in and of itself, a fantastic example of the cornucopia offered by nature but would you call it a true miracle?
Chesterton suggests that the miraculous nature of an apple grown on a tree slowly is exactly the same as an apple that appears spontaneously out of thin air. While both apples in and of themselves are fairly miraculous I wouldn’t say that the way they came about was equally miraculous, would you?