The Man Delusion
Copy Right June 2014
The book you hold in your hand is written from a unique perspective.
I am an Independent Scholar examining the source of conflict between a well-meaning Scientific Community who feel they are defending the progress of Civilization and Pseudo Scientists who are attempting to defend what they see as the Basis of Spirituality from Materialism and Moral Nihilism.
There is a debate going on between Science and Religion that goes back to the beginning of Civilization.
So it will be impossible to examine the nature of this debate without looking deeply into this perceived Culture War from an historical viewpoint.
It is almost impossible to look at this debate from an unbiased starting point.
If you are an Atheist, then you most likely align with the Political Ideology of the left.
There are many reasons for this beginning with the historical facts.
The Left has a history of supporting Civil Rights as being an idea often defending minorities from oppression.
Historically Religion does not have a good track record with Scientific Progress or standing up for the rights of minorities.
From Galileo to Rosa Parks Church Authorities have justified the suppression of Scientific Knowledge and Oppression of minorities.
The problem does go deeper since racism was prevalent on both sides.
Religion often used the Bible for a defense of Racism and Sexism and even slavery. While the politically elite invented social programs initially to help the whites. To complicate matters Martin Luther King was a Christian. And eventually social programs were re-purposed to address social injustice and justify social engineering.
As Religion evolved into what it is today it has begun to again show its true colors as a Politically motivated grasp for Theocratic Power.
In response to the Religious Right and 9/11 Atheists have come out of the closet to fight for their own Civil Rights.
And so Atheists mostly align themselves with the Left.
When Prayer was taken out of schools a movement known as Creation Science wanted to throw doubt on the veracity of the Theory of Evolution.
But Creation Science was outright defeated in the Supreme Court.
But the battle did not end there.
The Discovery Institute was founded in 1990 as a non-profit educational foundation and think tank to promote the Pseudo Scientific idea of Intelligent Design.
There are many political and societal issues that the Intelligent Design Debate tries to address and ultimately fails precisely because every issues addressed is political.
So in this book I try to explain what it really means to be an Atheist and what we mean by the term Natural World.
I also try to Separate Moral Philosophy from Metaphysics to show why Philosophy itself is important.
To do this I Emphasize the importance of Epistemology and how beliefs and bias undermine our ability to seek knowledge.
The first problem that must be addressed in Epistemology is Knowledge as a Social Construct.
All Conceptual Knowledge relies on Constructs.
So in The Man Delusion I have to address all of man’s delusions and the root of these delusions is the idea of absolute knowledge.
I am writing this book specifically to address the delusional nature of the Ego Mind.
The Ego Mind loves conflict and enigmas.
Unsolvable problems and Political Drama is the Ego Mind’s bread and butter.
To the Ego Mind Inner Peace and Unconditional Love are seen as a threat.
And so Enlightenment and Ego battle it out as a battle between Ideologies and Idealism.
The Ego Mind ignores the fact that the root of all Ideology is Idealism as an inconvenient truth.
As an Atheist I come to the table without a belief system. And as a Philosopher I challenge the Pseudo Metaphysics of Theology.
But unlike Dawkins who only sees questions like God as a Scientific Hypothesis I also see God as a Metaphysical Question that must be completely separated from Theology in ordered to be addressed seriously.
I also see The Soul as a Metaphysical Question that needs to address the relation between mind and matter.
And I take exception to both Theologians and The New Atheists only addressing The Soul as a Moral question from the perspective of Cost Benefit Analysis.
It is Pascal’s Wager all over again.
Freewill is also a Metaphysical Question because it is directly related to Consciousness.
And so I write this book from the unique perspective of an Atheist that is both Philosophical and Spiritual.
I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not an Atheist in the sense that I rejected man made religion. To this day I still see all religion as man-made.
So I would like to begin this book by defining the word Artificial.
1. Made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural. “her skin glowed in the artificial light"
(Of a situation or concept) not existing naturally; contrived or false. “The artificial division of people into age groups"
Synonyms: synthetic, fake, imitation, mock, ersatz, faux, substitute, replica, reproduction
2. (of a person or a person's behavior) insincere or affected. "an artificial smile"
Synonyms: insincere, feigned, false, unnatural, contrived, put-on, exaggerated, forced, labored, strained, hollow; informal pretend, phony, bogus
"An artificial smile"
To me all the above definitions applied to religion as I experienced it.
So before I go into the debate on what the sciences can and cannot answer I think it is necessary to bring clarity to what artificial means as opposed to natural in Metaphysics, Philosophy, and Religion etc.…
What I am attempting to address here are the motivations and intentions of those involved in creating societies most accepted paradigms as well as the source of knowledge or wisdom imparted.
I am talking about the culture context and political history behind the most accepted religions that most people claim to get their morality from.
I have been working many more years on this book then I want to admit. 2 years at the very least.
But this book has been a work in progress for much longer than that.
The reason you are reading this preface I hope is to find out what my motivations are for writing this book.
Over the years my motivations for writing this book have shifted.
I began working on a project about the importance of Philosophy in 2010. I had just recently picked up the book The God Delusion which was published in 2006.
I cannot give you the exact date that this book caught my interest but it did not directly affect the project I was working on. I did not realize at the time that the debates in public policies were coming to a head through starting with the year I was born.
In 1970 The Creation Science Research Center was set up by Henry M. Morris, along with Nell and Kelly Segraves, at the Christian Heritage College
And just the year prior to that another organization was forming. The Union of Concerned Scientist was founded in by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire.
Appalled at how the U.S. government was misusing science, the UCS founders drafted a statement calling for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems.
So let us begin with some events leading up to 1970 because I want to establish that the culture war between the Liberal Left and the Religious Right was just starting to really heat up by 1970 the year that I entered this plane of existence on Earth.
And I want to give my observations on what my perspective was of this clash of ideologies and how this shaped my perspective on the importance of philosophy to the progress of civilization.
My parents both grew up in the 50's. In their time everyone knew their place. Women were domesticated and were not good for anything beyond making babies and cleaning house. Black people stayed on their side of the street out of the schools with white children and the back of the bus. Gays were ostracized and persecuted and even beaten. As were women and children.
By the time I was 8 or 9 Feminism was a big movement as was the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights movement began to gain its first victory with Rosa Parks in 1955. In 1956 Martin Luther King was bombed and Alabama was fighting hard for Segregation. Wife abuse was rampant both sexual and violent. But nothing in the Bible contradicted this treatment of minorities.
In fact, the Bible never has a bad word to say about slavery though it does have a few things to say about marriage and obeying your husband.
Both wives and black people were treated as property since the 1800's and by the 1950's not much had changed.
For over a hundred years Christianity has opposed freedom and dignity for minorities every step of the way.
It is only as the 1950s come to a close does the Civil Rights Movement truly gain momentum.
In 1957 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower the U.S. federal government passes the first civil rights bill since 1875.
It is not until 1961 that Desegregation is truly allowed in response to the "Freedom Rides" organized by the Congress of Racial Equality, the Interstate Commerce Commission orders the desegregation of all buses, trains, and terminals.
In 1963, 7 years before I was born President John F. Kennedy appeared on national television to announce a new bill that will ban discrimination in all public places.
And Civil rights leaders meet with President John F. Kennedy to discuss planning for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
The Voting Rights Act was passed in August of 1965 and was considered to be the most successful piece of civil rights legislation ever adopted by Congress. It states that no person could be denied the right to vote on account of race or color. Making great strides in voters’ rights, the act abolished literacy tests and poll taxes imposed soon after the 15th Amendment of 1870 were ratified, granting blacks the vote.
This was the beginning of the Culture Wars that I would experience the backlashes of during the 70's growing up.
During the 70's many former protestors had become apathetic. But growing up in the 70's introduced me to my parent’s ideas and to the way of thinking of those who grew up in the 50's. And what would pave the way for the Moral Majority and Family Values.
Watching the Televangelists Scandals I realized what religion was all about, Political Power. And I anticipated the Republican Party being hijacked by the Religious Right. Here is an idea of the news stories going on in that time.
…” When Mario Cuomo stressed the words family and values in his speech to the 1984 Democratic convention, he used them in a warmly positive sense.
But this year, packaged in a single phrase, the terms are an assertion of moral traditionalism that carries an implicit charge: the other side seeks to undermine the institution of the family by taking a permissive line on (a) abortion rights, (b) homosexual rights and (c) the "character issue," code words for marital infidelity.
Sometimes pot smoking is included, but sex is most often the common denominator, and the pointing finger includes women who do not center their lives inside the home: the defeated candidate Pat Buchanan includes "radical feminist" in his angry denunciation of those who lack what he considers to be family values.
The use of family as an attributive noun in its modern sense can be traced back to the 18th century, as in Samuel Johnson's 1781 sales pitch for his dictionary: "This Lexicon . . . might become a concomitant to the Family Bible." In that decade, family man was coined, followed a generation later by family circle.
The word family is based on the Latin famulus , "servant"; in 1400, a man's servants included his wife, children and domestic help.”
New York Times ON LANGUAGE; Family Values
By William Safire
Published: September 6, 1992
And so it keeps going back to the 1800s.
Family Values actually translates to the values of slavery.
To understand this, you must understand what is the basis of our capitalist system and that is the value of and definition of property. And in the 1800’s this included women, children, and slaves.
There is a reason that women take the name of their husband and children take the name of their father. And that reason is the Bible and the values of the slave mentality that it encourages and supports.
When my mom brought me to church I found nothing taught there made sense or felt right.
By age 11 I was already reading about mythology and I began to connect the dots. And I was reading Philosophy books by the time I was 13.
The stories that were told to me like Noah's Ark seemed nonsensical and no more believable than the Greek Mythology I was currently reading.
In fact, the story of Eden seemed very familiar to what I read about in the Greek Myth of Pandora.
The more I studied mythology the more I found things in it that had things in common with religion like the virgin birth.
That is right you will find ideas like Virgin Birth and Savior Deities are actually common in Mythology.
These ideas are so common that the Churches had to provide a glib explanation for this. And so they claimed the devil must have planted stories in the past to mock the Bible.
Yet by the time of higher biblical criticism was being established the church switched tactics and tried to claim there were no similarities between ancient cultures mythology and their own.
I was told by everyone I knew that I was going to go to hell for not believing the Biblical stories were not somehow true.
I denied having a soul that could go to hell. In fact, I denied anything supernatural.
To me once you proved one supernatural phenomenon you proved them all. So I rejected the soul because it was supernatural.
But this went against my intuition and after several spiritual experiences I turned once again to philosophy. And I found that the only difference between the soul and the mind was that one was immortal. I also delved into what the word supernatural actually meant.
To many people the word Supernatural means not material or matter. By that definition sunlight would be supernatural.
I think it was about 1984 that I first declared myself an Atheist.
And by 1986 when I was only 16 I was reading both Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” and Richard Dawkins “The Blind Watch Maker”.
By this time, I had my heart set on studying Anthropology.
I found in my studies that besides Richard Dawkins Scientist had little or nothing to say about what philosophers have been asking for centuries. Such as how did we get here? Is there a God or some Ultimate Nature to Reality?
It was about that time that I took an interest in Quantum Physics starting with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and going from there.
From there I would move on to Theories of the Mind by Stephen Priest. And I would discover Daniel C Dennett with a birthday present from my mom. This was a book called The Mind's I Fantasies and Reflections On Self & Soul.
My interest in Consciousness and the nature of the Soul was sparked and wanted to look even deeper.
So the turning point was when I started reading The Dreaming Universe a little shortly after I read Theories of the Mind.
So I looked deeper and found there was another issue called dualism. Is the mind just a side effect of the brain?
Finally, in Buddhism I had to confront the question "Who am I?"
To say I am my name was absurd. I could have any other name and I would still be me.
I could change my name today and I would still be me no different than I am right now.
Believe it or not I had the same problem with saying I am my brain.
Many people say they are their body and if their body dies they cease to exist. But what they really mean is they are their brain. This is because as far as science is concerned thoughts occur in our brain.
The main point here is that all animals have brains. So we are animals because we are mammals. Because we have brains like other mammals we can assume that the only difference between human beings and other animals is the complexity of our thoughts.
From this we began to lay the foundation for biological determinism which is where the cultural wars begin.
Ironically those who oppose biological determinism as a forgone conclusion of Darwinism are those who have the religious belief in Freewill.
Notice I did not say a Theological basis for Freewill. Most people are not Theologians nor have they studied Theology.
I have studied Theology. And I can tell you that Theological arguments for Freewill are arguments of contrivance and convenience.
Although some Philosophers (Daniel C Dennett) argue for Freewill Compatibilism or that Freewill is compatible with Biological Determinism they do not acknowledge the roots of Compatibilism lie in the same roots as Determinism itself.
That is both Determinism and Compatibilism are both rooted in Theology.
The Bible both the Jewish and Christian versions make no mention of freewill.
But both texts make many references to Determinism both in regards to God’s Omnipotence and man’s Original Sinful Nature.
According to most holy books everything is done by God’s will and happens according to plan.
Now I will be the first to admit that this is no completely consistent in the Bible.
In the Garden of Eden Adam was given a choice to Obey or Disobey God. So that was how freewill was framed, simply the ability to disobey.
But even this was tied to temptation and desire. The whole story is based on man wanting to think for himself and to learn from knowledge.
The story is based on the saying that ignorance is bliss.
God was simply a symbol of Authority. And you should not seek knowledge outside authority. You should obey your master and you will be rewarded with Eden.
Adam was told by God that if he ate from the tree of knowledge he would surely die.
In the Bible God is often a liar.
The apple was not poisonous even in the parable.
Adam did not die from eating the apple.
God kicked Adam out of the garden for seeking knowledge and not obeying authority. God made Adam mortal. God invented death as well as pain and suffering.
But this was all part of his plan and Adam really didn’t have a choice in the first place.
I knew what this story was about when I first read it at age 11.
This wasn’t about God or the Universe or anything spiritual it was about keeping people in their place as unquestioning sheep.
So what is a Philosophical Atheist?
You will notice I often refer to the Atheists in the New Atheist Movement in a way that implies that I am not an Atheist.
So let me be clear.
I am an Atheist because I do not have a belief in a personal God.
I do not think that God is a Theological question about a personal creator but a Metaphysical Question about Awareness and The Nature of Reality itself.
So I lose nothing if there is not a personal God who just happens to think and feel like the major religions describe he does.
And I have even less to lose if the Universe is revealed to be more mysterious then the human mind can comprehend by using scientific experimental observation.
Although I am a human being and by definition a man and therefore caught up in the delusions of man, as a philosopher, I find the search for actual truth more intriguing then verifying my own biases.
There are many biases in these debates between Theologians and The New Atheists. Confirmation Bias being the most prevalent.
I find it strange and bothersome that human beings are so irrational.
I particularly am annoyed by human being’s tendency to project their own fears onto me to validate their own biased views.
A good example is when I bring up the nature of the possibility of reincarnation.
Many atheists condescendingly point out that the only possible reason I could possibly be entertaining such concepts is out of a fear of death.
Yet ironically my Christians friends seem to use the same argument.
How absurd can the human psyche get?
The reason I am digressing on this point is not to obfuscate matters but to clarify the problem of confirmation bias.
To me this is the core aspect of the delusional mind in man.
Since this debate is polarized between the Atheists and the Christians I will continue with my examples of armchair psychoanalyzing inherent in both the Atheists and Christians assumption on the source of my openness to reincarnation.
Both believe that it is my fear of death that leads me to entertain the possibility of reincarnation.
So let us examine this further.
They cannot both be right because it is obvious that both types of people are assuming something entirely different when they posit the fear of death.
And it is obvious to me that I can conclude that therefore neither party is facing their own fear of death.
Let me explain.
To the atheist death is death of the body and therefore the brain.
Since I am my brain there is nothing that can be called “me” which can survive the process known as death. The “I “that I call myself is utterly annihilated leaving no evidence of its/my existence.
Now isn’t obvious regardless what side you are on that the Christian cannot possibly mean by death what the Atheist means?
To the Christian the Atheist definition of death is untenable. This is because Christians believe in a soul that goes on to Heaven or Hell.
In conclusion it is obvious that I cannot have a fear of death postulated by both the Atheist and the Christian since both of their concepts of death necessarily contradict each other.
So what is more reasonable? That they are both right, or that they are both wrong?
Since they cannot both be right it is more likely that they are both wrong.
Now there is one more alternative that either the Atheist is right about me or the Christian is right.
But to assume either is to assume that the Atheist or Christian is right about death and the answer to death is self-evident.
In fact, this is what they both assume in their accusations against me and why they think their arguments are valid.
But if you read the conversation we all just had you would see that you are in fact both wrong about me.
In fact, if you had bothered to listen to anyone besides yourselves you would see that you were both wrong about me.
Perhaps you should both read up on confirmation bias. Both of you assumed that death is what you think it is based on your beliefs or lack of them. Then you both assumed that I had a fear of death based on the definition you had already accepted.
The Atheist knows that you are annihilated when you die so anyone that thinks differently must be wrong. The Christian knows that you go to Heaven or Hell based on what you believe so anyone who thinks differently is wrong.”
In Philosophy we must admit there are things we do not know with any certainty. The nature of consciousness after the death of the body is one of those things we do not know with any certainty.
The Atheist may object to me saying he knows that we are annihilated after death.
The Atheist may in fact claim that he doesn’t know what happens after death but that he is only drawing conclusions based on the evidence he has.
The Christian is on weaker ground here because he wants to argue based on evidence when that works and faith when the evidence doesn’t support him.
The Christian will say he does in fact know what happens after death because the Bible tells him so.
But when you ask him for evidence he can only use the Bible. How does he know the Bible is true? Because the Bible says the Bible is true and the Bible is the word of God. How does the Christian know the Bible is the word of God? He will say because the Bible says so.
Then he will try to end the argument with we know the Bible is true because God said the Bible is true.
But when I ask him how he knows that God says the Bible is true he will say because the Bible says so.
And yet Christians get mad when anyone accuses them of circular reasoning.
The truth is we as human beings base our reasoning on prior experiences with the world.
The Christian has real experiences that strengthen their faith based on what they already believe.
If their life is going bad and they try to be better people and act more out of love and compassion, then out of desires and pride then their life does become better.
More importantly they get better opportunities offered to them in life then they did previously. So to them this proves Christianity is true.
I could point out that when Jewish people who were being prideful and chasing desires that their life may have also become empty and all they had to do was act more out of compassion and love and they too would be offered better opportunities in life and just a better overall happier life.
I could also point out that Buddhist teaching is all about getting rid of ego/pride and desires and when they do their life gets better and offers better opportunities.
But then the Atheist could point out that this no more proves Christianity then it proves Buddhism since both benefit.
In fact, it is more likely since all these religions cannot be right then they must all be wrong.
And yet when the Atheist acts less out of pride and desires their life gets better too.
So it seems to me that if there is a God then it cannot be proven that he is the Christian God and that he only rewards Christians for being spiritual.
Atheist will say that perhaps what is at work here is not a God rewarding people at all but simply human nature.
That is other human beings respond better to love and compassion then they do to pride and greed in their fellow human beings.
An Atheist might say that these opportunities increase in your life because you are in fact becoming a better person and that attracts people to you that want to help lift you up.
I have to agree with the Atheist here. And if all we had to explain was why people treat people better who are more loving and less arrogant then there would be no need to continue this discussion.
But there is more to explain. One example would be synchronicity. That is why people sometimes are at the right place at the right time?
An Atheist would say coincidence.
But I am talking about a whole chain of coincidences. The Atheist would then say that this chain is seeing patterns where there is none. Or that a lot of coincidences in that chain were either unrelated or bound to happen.
Are all Atheists wrong in every case?
No but there are levels of synchronicity that would make even an Atheist squirm.
Then there is the hard problem of consciousness and dreaming.
Where you were before you woke up that morning if you can’t remember your dreams.
That is why can’t you remember your dreams if you obviously had been in REM sleep?
If you wake someone as soon as they go into REM, they will report dreaming. But if you wait until they have been out of REM for a period of time they may not remember anything at all.
So if you fall asleep for 8 hours and wake up 8 hours later and don’t remember dreaming where were you?
The Hard Problem of Consciousness goes deeper than what most people think and may even include death itself.
So what about my own biases and fears and desires?
Do I have a fear of death?
Is my interest in these questions purely philosophical?
To some degree I like every human being has a fear of death, if for no other reason than a genetic predisposition.
That is, it must be accepted that the fear of death is a survival trait.
But the question being asked here is not a biological one.
In fact, not only is the question about fear of death not being addressed as a component of biology, it is not being addressed in any logical sense of the word.
The question comes to the very nature of inquiry acceptable in our society.
That is do we have a soul that continues to exist after death?
If not, then the only reasonable way to inquire into the phenomena of death is to examine the natural process that assumes that I am my body.
That is the question as a scientific question sees death as a natural process of the body.
If science can indeed prove that I am my body, then the question stops here.
What about the alternative view that I am my soul?
Well then religion picks up right where science arrogantly left off and just as arrogantly I might add.
The assumption that Theology has answered the question of life after death is the only viable alternative to materialism is just as arrogant the Scientific assumption that there is no Hard Problem of Consciousness.
And the arrogance on both sides is what frames these debates.
That is if I am my soul, it does not follow necessarily that Theology is valid in any way. Not in relation to the soul, consciousness, or the nature of reality.
Theology has not indeed even proven that it is even relevant to Metaphysics.
It is the thesis of this book that the nature of The Universe is directly related to the nature of the mind and that nature of God cannot be revealed until the connection between the two questions is clarified.
Also it is part of my thesis that this clarification of the problem transcends both the Scientism of the natural sciences and the dogma of Theology.
It is my contention that Theology is built on the false premise that religion is revealed rather than manmade.
It is also my contention that science can only explore the nature of reality through the study of physics but in order to understand the basis of these studies a scientist would have to leave the comforts of the testable and the experimental.
So the question becomes how can we leave the comfortable and manmade religions of both Scientism and Theology?
We must accept that Theology is not the study of God let alone the nature of reality.
Theology is the study of God Concepts grounded in accepted religious dogma usually Christian or Jewish concepts based on an unacknowledged source of Babylonian and Canaanite mythology.
So how can we escape myth and bias to get at the fundamental nature of reality?
To do this we must examine with the help of scientific thinking and philosophical inquiry the questions we want to ask about the meaning of life that go beyond what has been verified in Newtonian Physics and explore more deeply the nature of the Metaphysics.
I must make clear now that I have nothing against scientific thinking, only against scientism and materialistic bias of naturalism. Naturalism can only cover the system of our planet Earth.
You can no more have a naturalistic explanation on a Cosmological level then you can apply naturalism to the Quantum level or reality.
So if we begin with Naturalism whether it is Religious Naturalism or Scientific Naturalism we are assuming that there is only one level of reality that is relevant to our scientific advances or spiritual development as human beings.
Let me now make clear that I do not advocate that there is anything to the Supernatural.
That being said I do not contest what Shamans call Non Ordinary Reality.
There are many levels to what we call reality. And our perceptions of reality are only limited to our awareness of Reality.
The Supernatural implies that there are two worlds outside of ours where Angels and Demons battle for the fate of the world and the power over our very souls. The creator of this mess is called God and lives outside of our Universe.
This God has all the absolute attributes of goodness and power we can imagine. And yet this God is a he and a person.
This person made a plan.
And this plan includes in some people’s mythology an incarnated deity that commits suicide to make this a better world.
Only this is not a better world and incarnating from a perfect deity into a human body is impossible by definition. Unless you are a theologian and this is your understanding of the Supernatural.
The difference between the Theological Concepts of the Supernatural and the Shaman’s understanding of Non Ordinary Reality is that Theology is based on Mythological Constructs taken from other people’s cultures and presented as truth.
The Shaman by contrast is only relating a direct experience of many levels of reality.
The Shaman’s experience is not dependent on the myths of his culture. And more to the point the Shaman’s experience is in no way dependent on myths from other people’s culture.
So in conclusion we can intuit that there are levels to Reality without including a Theist concept of a Supernatural God.
But the scientists admit that there is more than one level of reality.
The question is of relevance.
Science is just beginning to come to terms with the possibility of our Universe being part of a larger system called The Multiverse.
This adds even another level of reality above just as Quantum Physics added another reality below the Atomic level.
To assume that The Multiverse theory has no Metaphysical implications is the same folly for Cosmologist as Quantum Physicist claiming that there are no Metaphysical implications of their theory.
Very soon both Cosmologist and Quantum Physicist will have Cosmic Egg on their face.
To the Atheist Metaphysics is a no starter. There is simply no reasonable place to begin. So they see all the questions as nonsensical to start with. If religion is not a true view of reality and science explains everything why bother with Metaphysics?
The religious mind is typically a mind brainwashed from birth.
Although Richard Dawkins addresses the absurdity of a child being labeled as the religion of their parents in his book the God Delusion he ignores the problem that without child indoctrination religion as we know it would probably die out on its own.
I think he is aware of this and this is one reason why he advocates leaving a child alone and without labels with concern with religion.
This is also the real reason why the members of the religious community who speak out on this debate also are so offended by accusations of indoctrination of religion being a form of child abuse.
They must be aware that if children were not raised this way that they would most likely not grow up to be the religion of their parents and might in fact learn to think for themselves.
The truth is a child can be raised very religious and still become an atheist or so agnostic as to make no difference.
But the religious know that there is enough societal pressure to insure few agnostics and even fewer atheists ever leave the closet. This pressure can even lead an agnostic to embrace religion and repress any doubts they may have to the point of minimalizing the effect critical thinking has on their lives.
Certainly Theology is not compatible with any other Metaphysics except the Pseudo Metaphysics inherent to Theology itself.
I refer to Theological Metaphysics as Pseudo Metaphysics because the foundation is built entirely on Mythological Constructs.
Mythological Constructs being a Belief System which use unacknowledged Mythological Sources from other Cultures in order to present mythic stories as actual history.
The goal of creating Mythological Constructs is to hide the political agenda of the religion as a whole.
Since Atheism has become a movement that also minimalizes any interest in Metaphysics. This leads to a loss of interest in critical thinking necessary to pursue Metaphysics.
Without Critical thinking supplemented with intuition towards the spiritual most forms of Metaphysics are closed off.
This is because critical thinking is left to Materialist or Atheist while spiritual inquiries are left only to Christian Theology, so we are left with a very small spectrum of acceptable inquiry.
Dawkins also leaves open the question on whether an Atheist should raise their child Atheist. Not labeling your child Atheist does not imply a lack of indoctrination.
In fact, it is very revealing on the question on whether Atheism can be considered a religion when you ask the Atheist how they will raise their child.
I know a Catholic woman that cannot stand to discuss religion or spirituality or philosophy with a non-Catholic. Of course she has no interest with philosophy. But the point is she has a child and she goes to great lengths to protect her child from non-Catholic ideas.
She makes the case that the nonreligious are to laidback on issues of morality.
Why a 7-year-old should have any idea about the issues of abortion is beyond me.
But she wants to teach her daughter that life is sacred and that God is real.
She believes that without God her daughter would grow up to not understand right from wrong.
An Atheist believes quite the opposite.
The stories in the Bible tell of a Jealous Angry Tribal Deity.
The fact that this imaginary being has rules and some of these rules coincide with manmade laws on killing and stealing is irrelevant as it is an unnecessary explanation for morals.
Especially considering that historically religion has survived by doing those very things.
So could an Atheist really avoid indoctrinating their child in their brand of Atheism?
The reason I see the New Atheism as a branch of religion is because very few Atheist of today are aware Atheism is dependent on having Metaphysics.
Science itself was originally a branch of Metaphysics known as Natural Philosophy.
“Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis) was the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural sciences such as physics.
Forms of science historically developed out of philosophy or, more specifically, natural philosophy. At older universities, long-established Chairs of Natural Philosophy are nowadays occupied mainly by physics professors. Modern notions of science and scientists date only to the 19th century. The naturalist-theologian William Whewell was the one who coined the term "scientist". The Oxford English Dictionary dates the origin of the word to 1834. Before then, the word "science" simply meant knowledge and the label of scientist did not exist.
Some examples of the term's usage are Isaac Newton's 1687 scientific treatise is known as The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait's 1867 treatise called Treatise on Natural Philosophy which helped define much of modern physics.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Now it is clear that Science from the start was a branch of philosophy but unfortunately it is also clear that Theology was considered the norm in pursuing questions in Metaphysics.
This is probably one of the reasons that science as a discipline first distanced itself from Metaphysics and Philosophy in general.
“Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:
"What is there?"
"What is it like?"
A person who studies metaphysics is called a Metaphysicist or a metaphysician. The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility.
A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other.
Another central branch of metaphysics is cosmology, the study of the totality of all phenomena within the universe.
Prior to the modern history of science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as natural philosophy.
The term science itself meant "knowledge" of, originating from epistemology. The scientific method, however, transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment unlike the rest of philosophy. By the end of the 18th century, it had begun to be called "science" to distinguish it from philosophy.
Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.  Some philosophers of science, such as the neo-positivists, say that natural science rejects the study of metaphysics, while other philosophers of science strongly disagree.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So we must start with problems that Atheist and Theologians bring to the table.
The subject of this book is related to the debate between these Theologians and The New Atheist but I do want to go deeper than this debate.