The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Purpose Driven Thing: Day 2

I'm already annoyed. Right out of the gate on Day 2, one of the chapter-opening quotes Warren uses is Einstein's, "God does not play dice with the universe." Warren is, of course, using it to make a point about how God has a purpose for you and that nothing is left to chance. He never lets on that he has any idea how ironic it is, then, that Einstein spoke/wrote those words to cast doubt on the then-new idea of quantum mechanics. It's a quote from a scientist talking about another branch of science that he doesn't understand and is, ultimately, wrong about. "God" does indeed play dice.

Then Warren states that you're not an accident, that God made you, and that you're full of super special specialness. Feel good yet?
...He deliberately chose your race, the color of your skin, your hair, and every other feature"
Somewhere, in a quiet room at the Royal London Hospital, Joseph Merrick's middle finger is slowly raising up in a silent gesture to Rick Warren. All the children with pediatric AIDS join hands and sing a song that lets Rick Warren know that he can take his pseudo-wannabe-feel-good tripe and feed it to his butthole.

Just in case you thought you had a choice at all, we get, "Every day was recorded in your book (by God before you were born)" So the concept of free will is out the two-story, stained glass window.

It is at this point that millions of starving Sudanese families carrying their dead and soon-to-be dead children across the desert lower their eyes and wish with all their straining hearts that privileged, rich Rick Warren could realize how stupid and self-centered he sounds.

Rick says: "God decided how you'd be born." You know, I used to work at group homes for a long time. I have a friend who lives in one of those houses still who has cerebral palsy and a mental handicap. When his mother was pregnant with him, she lived in a northern Canadian city and, while in labor to deliver her then-healthy baby, the fetal monitor malfunctioned. The medical staff didn't know that the baby was in distress. Once he was born, they realized what had happened and that he had been without oxygen for much too long to be safe. He was airlifted to a larger hospital with his mother to follow as soon as she was physically able in several days.

What Rick Warren is saying is that his "god" did this to my friend. "God" did this for some purpose. If your deity does something like that, then screw it. You're on your own, Saddleback.

I love this part:
(God has)...settled on us as the focus of his love...God designed this planet's environment just so we could live in it...we are the focus and the most valuable of all his creation.
Would you like your Conservative talking points with or without the hot sauce, sir? For crying out loud, this is the dumbest thing I've heard in a while. We humans can only live on a fraction of the Earth's surface because most of it is undrinkable salt water. In fact, here's a great display of Warren's ignorance:
The more physicists, biologists and other scientists learn about the universe, the better we understand how it is uniquely suited for our existence, custom-made with the exact specifications that made human life possible. This whole video is good, but the first two minutes is the pertinent section for Warren's "argument":

Rick Warren gets himself a horse, buys a cart, then proceeds to throw the cart right out in front. If he's going to talk about physics and biology, he might want to get some sort of very basic education in these subjects to avoid sounding like an ignorant ass next time. I guess the audience he's playing to really doesn't have science education as its prime directive.

It also strikes me as so juvenile that grown humans need this sort of head-pat to make themselves feel good in the year 2010. "We're the most special of all! God made you a special snowflake of happiness that can never be duplicated in either special uniqueness or amazing specialnessitude!" Jesus, go back to Romper Room.

Warren cites Dr. Michael Denton as saying that the world/universe is too special and must have been created. Denton wrote a book called, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, so Warren loves the guy. So does the Answers in Genesis. However, a careful reading and review shows that there's not much there that indicates any kind of "crisis" whatsoever. Bit of a mountain/molehill situation.

Rick says:
If there was no God, we would all be accidents. The result of astronomical random chance in the universe, and you could stop reading this book (edit note: please, can I?) because life would have no purpose, or meaning, or significance. There would be no right or wrong or no hope beyond your brief years here on Earth.
Dostoevsky, much? Jeez, Warren certainly isn't earning his Boy Scout Badge for research, is he? Ok, no, we wouldn't all be "accidents" because some of us would be planned by our parents. Random chance certainly plays a large role in the development of the universe and, indeed, life on our planet. I'd love to stop reading this crappy book. Obviously there would still be right and wrong, you moron. We are social animals and, in order to function in our social groups, we can't allow individuals to murder, steal, rape, etc... because our group structure would fall apart. We have evolved a moral code that includes aversion to these behaviors specifically for our individual and group survival.

Seriously, is that so hard?

Rick says:
We discover our purpose, "...only when we make God the reference point of our lives."
Riiiigggght. So I can still have God's purpose and stone my disobedient son to death (Deut. 21:18-21)? I can return from battle and burn my daughter alive as a sacrifice and God'll be totally cool with that, right (Judges, 11:29-40)? Right? Ri-goddamn-diculous.

Warren then recites a lame poem that sounds like it was written by a sixth-grader...and not an "A" student sixth-grader, either. He then moves in to his "point to ponder" which is: I am not an accident. Whoa. Deep. Then he has his "verse to remember" which is: I am your creator. You were in my care even before you were born." Isiah 44:2 Uh, does that include all the folks who weren't born in a Christian country? What about all the Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists and such? Maybe they'll convert to Christianity at some point - are they watched over in the womb? What about me? I was born into a religious family (although not overly so) but fell away and am now a thorough atheist. Does Warren's God hate me or love me or neither or both?

Alright, to end for today, Warren's "question to consider" is: Knowing that God uniquely created me, what ares of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept? I've got areas that I need to improve on, for sure. What I'm not relying on is some fictional man in the sky to show me the way.

This chapter was annoying and ignorant to a very high degree. It was akin to listening to some blathering idiot talk about subjects they know nothing about.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

I'm out.

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3 Barbaric Yawps:

At 19/2/10 9:34 pm, Anonymous CybrgnX said...

So far your report on the book is a rehashing, & not very original, of the same old xtian BS. I have been hearing this same tripe since I was old enough realize what the church was pushing.
It would have been nice to have him say anything original.

At 22/2/10 6:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, you got me hooked. I'm looking forward to each of your installments more so than a daytime soap opera. Besides, by "reading" vicariously rather than buying my own book I'm not giving his church any of my $$.

At 2/1/11 12:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and chaplain, and when I read this I cringe. This would be cruel of God to let's see live in a house with abusive parents, a father who rapes his daughter. I do not believe my savior would plan this.

God gave us the gift of life through sexual intercourse. This is how human life and all life is created, without sex there is no life. Sorry I'm not one to believe in test tubes either.


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