1. Write the main thesis/argument for each article and then give as many of the main supporting arguments for each.Dawkins:
Dawkin's main argument is that God never existed, because the theory of evolution means that God did not do anything.
One of his supporting arguments is that Evolution is the greatest thing that the universe has ever accomplished, and that the Universe created life through evolution. He also says that having a superhuman intelligence like God would be impossible, because an intelligence is so complex that it had to emerge over time instead of being the thing that created the world, intelligence developed over thousands of years.
Armstrong: Armstrong argues that God is just a symbol for something that can not be described, and can only be recognized through rituals and living a moral life.
She says that God was never meant to mean an actual figure, and in the beginnings of religion, God was just supposed to act as a symbol for an Ultimate Reality that humans had no way of describing, but over time God became more than a symbol, and became a true identity in some religions. She also says that religion was not created to provide a definitive explanation of the world, but to help people creatively solve solutions in daily life and find an inner peace amidst a crazy world.
2. Give at least one example of what made you "think"
One of the points that made me think was when Karen Armstrong said that religion was not created to give a definitive explanation of the universe. This makes sense to me, but throughout the class part of our definition of religion is that it provides an explanation for why things are the way they are, and answers questions that humans can not logically answer.
Another thing that made me think was when Dawkins talks about how life does not correspond to the laws of physics, but uses them to it's advantage. I thought that was interesting because I have never really thought about how scientists do not usually consider people in Physics and most sciences. We are trying to understand everything around us, but other than in Psychology and Biology, we never really try to understand ourselves and how we relate to scientific concepts.
3. What is the "knowledge" presented by each of the authors?
In her article, Armstrong suggests that God is known through synthetic proposition, meaning that the symbol of God is used to simplify and abstract meaning that humans can not see or comprehend. She also uses language as a way of knowing by breaking down the meaning of the word "God" and analyzing whether or not it is a symbol or a literal meaning. Also, Dawkins uses a value judgement by stating "Evolution is the universe's greatest work."Although it is more relative to him and his opinions, he still knows it.