I’ve decided to take a bit of a detour and go off-road today. Enjoy the ride.
“Mock them! Ridicule them! In public! Ridicule (people of faith) with contempt” – Richard Dawkins
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” – Richard Dawkins
“There is almost certainly no God” – Richard Dawkins
“A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.” – Richard Dawkins
Confused yet? Apparently so is Dawkins.
Dr. Richard Dawkins is the helmsman and outspoken spokesman for the New Atheist movement in the West. I emphasize ‘in the West’ for reasons I’ll discuss below. The New Atheists’ goal is to enlighten the ignorant and stupid masses to the reality that there is no God. Everything is just a mindless process of evolution (natural selection). His main tactic is to mock and ridicule people of faith. Note: BTW, The word ‘process’ posits intelligibility and order.
That said, Dawkins has left himself a convenient escape hatch by stating that “there is probably no God” frequently in recent years. Dr. Dawkins knows full-well that by claiming that there is no God, he would be claiming to be omniscient (knowing everything) and therefore, God. In doing so, he would be claiming his own nonexistence. In addition, he would be stating a negative proof like claiming there are square circles. As you can see, he’s backed away from his earlier position.
Disclosure: I have atheist friends. Most of whom (admittedly) lean toward agnosticism. They are intellectually honest, extremely kind and not hostile. Otherwise, I would not choose to be friends with them. We may disagree, but I have respect for their views. I believe Dawkins represents a virulent and hostile strain of confused atheism, which is really a mix of agnosticism and skepticism. The atheists I know do not share Dawkins’ philosophy anymore that I share the philosophy of Westboro Baptist Church or Militant Islam.
The New Atheism’s foundation is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution’ (On the Origin of Species and Favoured Races 1859). Fair enough. My degree is in Anthropology. Human Evolution was a component of my studies (I found Evolution to be inconclusive at best – definitely not conclusive enough to base my worldview on it. There are to many qualifications, dead-end roads and much circular reasoning in the field. Much of it has been injected with creative license and smacks of intellectual dishonesty. However, I find plenty of evidence for adaptation, but not Evolution).
Dawkins is a scientist of the highest order with multiple degrees. I must admit that I can’t possibly reach his level scientific knowledge without investing 30 years of my life into the study of science. However, Dawkins’ science is not the issue here, it’s his philosophy and worldview.
He tends to make philosophical truth claims using science. This is like weighing a chicken with a yardstick. Can natural science measure meta-physical? Can one measure or weigh consciousness or a human emotion like love?
Atheism is not new and has been around since, (in Dawkins’ view), man climbed down from the trees, began walking upright, inventing things like the internet, space travel, philosophy, theism and atheism. Every few years, some marketing genius attempts to repackage it and sell it. It ends up misrepresenting true atheism and muddies the waters for those seeking truth. There are several notable atheists who reject Dawkins‘ portrayal of atheism. Martin Robbins simplifies with the statement;
“The tragedy of Richard Dawkins – a man who knows the definition of everything and the meaning of nothing.”
The Straw Man logical fallacy:
Again, I don’t have issue with atheists. It is the misrepresentation of their position. Have you ever experienced someone completely misrepresenting your beliefs in order to attack them or use them to their advantage? We all have. Its called a ‘Straw Man‘ and is an informal logical fallacy.
The wrong mission field:
Dawkins’ efforts are focused on converting the Christianized culture of the West to New Atheism. However, I believe the West ‘gets it’. The Theory of Evolution is gospel at 99% of the high-schools and universities in Western Europe and North America. Militant Atheism is unnecessary in the West.
Dawkins for President (of Iran)!
I encourage him to engage Islamic culture with New Atheism in places like Iran or Afghanistan. Dawkins stated his war cry against people of faith at the 2012 Reason Rally by calling all Atheists to “Mock them! Ridicule them! In public…, encouraging attendees to ‘ridicule (people of faith) with contempt”. Isn’t this kind of intolerance and irrationality that Dawkins suggests religion wields over mankind? Then why is he wielding it over religion?
I encourage Dr. Dawkins to fly to Tehran and begin ‘mocking and ridiculing’ Muslims and their Prophet in the streets.
Of course Dawkins won’t be so bold. Because he knows it would be a one-way trip that would cost him his life. If Christ went to the cross for his passion, why can’t Dawkins risk his own life for his? It’s simple, Dawkins values his life more than the beliefs he proselytizes.
Dead men can’t be interviewed on BBC, write books or enjoy fame. They are dead. BTW, the secular worldview cannot stand against the shear force of the Islamic worldview.
Note: There is a huge difference between one of the 9/11 high-jackers and an Amish farmer. To lump every person of faith into one category is intellectually dishonest. It would be like me taking the license to say that there is no difference between Dawkins and Stalin. It’s foolishness.
Go for it, Ricky!
It’s easy and risk-free to lob agitative philosophical grenades (albeit logically contradictory) inside the walls of freedom built upon a Judeo-Christian ethical foundation. I challenge Dawkins to step out of the freedom and safety of the West and go to Tehran or Kabul and start mocking and ridiculing a few Mullahs. I’m willing to wager that Dawkins would have some measurable results to consider from a hospital bed, the gallows or in the face of a blade.
Here’s the truth:
Dawkins isn’t an atheist in true sense of Atheism. He is an anti-theist or non-theist hiding in the skirt folds of lady liberty in order to make a name for himself by deliberately confusing science with philosophy (and making a ton of money in the process).
Would Dawkins voyage to parts of the world knowing that he would become a martyr for his beliefs? Of course not. It’s not dangerous to remain safely home under the protection of walls of freedom. He can have contempt and ‘militant’ intolerance toward those who constructed the walls that avail and enable him to voice contempt and intolerance in relative safety. Remember, his contempt is aimed toward the worldview that fosters his freedom and safety in the first place.
To thine own self be true:
Is Dawkins smart, yes. Is he a bit of a wuss? Sure. Is he a ‘hardcore’ militant atheist? Not event close. You see Atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche was at least true to his philosophy and honestly expounded the logical out-workings of Atheistic philosophy. Nietzsche rightly predicted that the 20th century would be the bloodies era in the history of mankind (see Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler).
I Should Believe in Santa Claus!
By Dawkins logic, I should believe in Santa Claus. I’ve known many people to convert to Christianity, Judaism, etc. However, I’ve never known an adult convert to believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. The logical fallacy used against people who believe in God typically attempts to lump a transcendent creator in with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. The position assumes anyone who believes in God is completely ignorant and stupid. And they might as well believe in Santa Claus. They arrive at this using a logical fallacy (non sequitur).
- You are wearing red shoes, your favorite color must be red.
- You believe in God, you must believe in Santa Claus.
- I’ve never met Richard Dawkins, therefore Richard Dawkins must not exist.
The Rules of Logic do not cease to exist at the doorstep of your worldview anymore than gravity ceases to exist when you jump into the air. Furthermore, I enjoy robust discussion and reasoning with people of all worldviews and belief systems. Muddying the waters and calling for contempt and intolerance is counter-productive to serious discussion and debate.
The question for Dawkins and everyone else is; If I provided you with concrete evidence that God exists and you believed it, would you obey his commands?
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Cor 2:14
Whether or not you ‘believe’ something is true does not change reality.