As I understand it, Richard Dawkins tells us that, like all of us, in the early part of his life he was, as he had evolved, a dualist. It was later that he had to consciously learn, "to be an intellectual monist". Ask him questions like: Where did this idea of gods, or God, come from? Or, how is it that we think and imagine the way that we do? How come we really believe that we are spiritual beings who will survive death and will eventually meet God? His answer is likely to be: "All that we think we are is the result of, "an emergent property of complex matter." line 13, p.181 In other words, if you think there is a god who is a supernatural being independent of matter, you are deluded. Dawkins's main challenge to theists is: If there is a god separate from complex matter, just give us the evidence. Just telling people that all we need is to have faith is just not good enough."

My reading of Richard Dawkins is as follows: Philosophically speaking, he is a matter-of-fact kind of monist. That is, for him there is no such thing as body, mind and spirit, there is only body. What we call mind and/or spirit is dependent on matter. Nothing exists beyond the death of the body. I am tempted to ask: What is the evidence that this is so? So we are left with the old philosophical question: Which comes first, body? Or mind? Meanwhile, spirit is not even an issue. Sad, isn't it?"

Meanwhile, as a unitheist, I have no problem accepting that there is a unitheistic-kind of monism, which in effect says that what I call GOD/G0D--that which is good, orderly and desirable, in, through and around all things --and "complex matter" (Dawkins's term)--are ONE and the same. In the beginning, raw matter came from the infinity of time and space--the no-thing of which you speak, Bill--and became complex matter with an animal-like, but not fully conscious, mind. This mind, is now processing, rapidly, into consciousness and awareness, or spirituality.

The place of pneumatology is to study and analyze the nature and function of awareness and our place within the infinity of space/time. Using process thinking I believe it is possible for us to synthesize body/mind/spirit, monistically, thus solving the problem of how we, including all races, classes and creeds, can relate to the ecology, including the multitude of planets beyond mother earth, and how we can be truly rational, human and humane beings in moral, ethical, spiritual and loving service to one another.

Edited by Revlgking (10/31/10 04:55 AM)
Edit Reason: Always a good idea!
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org