To continue with ‘Isn’t it enough to see a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it?’ (40).
Lennox’s complaint is “Dawkins is guilty of committing the error of proposing false alternatives by suggesting that it is either fairies of nothing. Fairies at the bottom of the garden may well be a delusion, but what about a gardener, to say nothing about an owner? The possibility of their existence cannot be so summarily dismissed – in fact, most gardens have both” (40).
First, Lennox should be taking Adams to task for the quote, not Dawkins. It is, after all, his quote that Dawkins has borrowed. But I guess Dawkins is an easier target than the popular Adams. When Dawkins says there’s no logical reason to believe there’s a god people say he’s disrespecting their beliefs and not acting with humility, but when Adams says god disappeared in a puff of logic, people think it’s witty. Go figure.
Second, I’m not sure why Lennox believes there’s a false alternative here for Dawkins never says it’s fairies or nothing. No dragon in the garden would probably fly just as well. Unless it was a dragonfly… And to say that Dawkins would doubt the existence of the gardener or owner is Lennox putting words into Dawkins’ mouth. But if the garden is a thinly disguised metaphor for something else Dawkins might complain, except that then it would just be a metaphor so not really worth hammering on about at all. Much like page 40 of this book.
Finally, the claim that only science can deliver truth. Well, that’s a topic for a post with more time to devote to it. But if anyone has some idea of how to explain the couple of points of confusion I’ve got in the above, it’s be most appreciated. Especially the false alternatives… most perplexing.