Archive for the ‘Dawkins’ Category
Here’s a funny story from the Christian Post: “No God” Ads to Hit London Buses. I guess Dick and his friends at the British Humanist Association are raising money (or have already and continue to do so) in order to put advertisements on city buses. Says the article:
The slogan is the brainchild of the British Humanist Association (BHA), an atheist organization that seeks to promote a world without religion where people are “free to live good lives on the basis of reason, experience and shared human values.”Among the campaign’s supporters is well-known atheist activist Richard Dawkins, who promised to match BHA’s goal of raising $9,000 for the ads, according to BBC.
But the group has now raised $59,000 on its own.
“Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride – automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children,” Dawkins told BBC.
What are they putting on the ads? “There’s Probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” These people are not real atheists; they’re posers. They don’t even have the sack to say: “There is No God.” Wimps. Chickens. Cowards. If they were real atheists they would state up front what they really mean and they would not be ashamed of it. I have now totally lost all respect for Dick and I will henceforth not be purchasing any more of his books.
Notice that the article calls this the ‘brainchild’ of the BHA. So all those ‘Brites’ and this is the best they could come up with? There probably is no God? Seriously? That is absolute genius! Really, these people need to stop embarrassing themselves in public.
Here all this time I thought he was serious. He’s just joking around. On the other hand, one person did get something right:
“This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life,” said the Rev. Jenny Ellis, a Methodist spirituality and discipleship officer.
I don’t know what a spirituality and discipleship officer is, but I think she is right. If such a thing gets people to thinking about whether or not such a statement is true, then this is a good thing. I have a suspicion we’re all going to find out some day anyhow whether we like it or not. We should say thanks to all the fake-atheists for doing some evangelism for us in the meantime.
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Here’s a rather ironic story being reported by the Christian Post. Evidently, jolly old England is interested in doing away with so-called ‘Blasphemy Laws.’ The irony is that Downing Street has said that first the Church of England should be consulted. OK, but the irony doesn’t end there. Consider this paragraph:
On Tuesday, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, and the former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, expressed their support for the repeal of the blasphemy laws in a letter in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph.
The letter’s signatories also included His Dark Materialsauthor Philip Pullman, comedian Ricky Gervais and The God Delusionauthor and atheist Richard Dawkins.
The letter states, “The ancient common law of blasphemous libel purports to protect beliefs rather than people or communities. Most religious commentators are of the view that the Almighty does not need the ‘protection’ of such a law.
Did you see the irony? Two former higher-ups in the Anglican Church have banded together with noted atheists in agreement!!
I have a question: Shouldn’t the mere fact that such a step is supported by Richard Dawkins–who evidently doesn’t care for law anyhow since he has broken the blasphemy laws on about every other page of his most recent book–be a strong indication that this is not something that Christians in England should support?
Look, I don’t happen to have an opinion one way or another about whether people in another country should or should not do something. And, to be sure, I don’t know anything about their so-called ‘blasphemy laws.’ My main question has to do with people who are Christians banding together with people who are noted atheists and making decisions about God–really this isn’t about law as such; it’s about God. I’m surprised the Rt. Rev. Dawkins even has the nerve to admit there is a god who can be blasphemed.
Then there is this:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run. I find it supremely ironic that Richard Dawkins now counts among his friends Anglican Christians. I guess as long as people agree with him, it’s A-OK!
What a foothold the Enemy has in England!
I haven’t yet figured out this fella named Dinesh D’Souza. He seems to be all the rage nowadays among certain wings of churchianity. However, I came across this little essay he wrote and published at Townhall.com and I thought it was a rather interesting piece: Are Atheists the New Gays? Mr D’Souza spends the majority of the short essay mocking Richard Dawkins (which is fine as far as it goes) because of his campaign to style the atheists of the world as the ‘new gays’ (as if atheists have to go through all the terrible ordeals that homosexuals have to go through, like getting married, and suchlike. Imagine how tough it must be for a homosexual atheist to get married! Just kidding. Sort of.) Anyhow…Mr D’Souza writes:
Dawkins has also suggested that atheists, like gays, should come out of the closet. Well, what if they don’t want to? I doubt that Dawkins would support “outing” atheists. But can an atheist “rights” group be far behind? Hate crimes laws to protect atheists? Affirmative action for unbelievers? An Atheist Annual Parade, complete with dancers and floats? Atheist History Month?
Honestly, I think the whole atheist-gay analogy is quite absurd. It seems strange for Dawkins to urge atheists to come out of the closet in the style of the all-American boy standing up on the dining table of his public high school and confessing that he is a homosexual? Dawkins, being British, doesn’t seem to recognize that this would not win many popularity contests in America.
He also writes about Dawkins’ ongoing attempts to re-tool the whole atheist movement by giving atheists a new name: Brights. (I like the name the Bible gives them in Psalm 14:1.) Whatever. Does it really matter to most atheists what they are called? Does the change of the moniker really change the identity or belief? Will putting a positive spin on un-belief really change the general conception of atheists in this world? (Uh, no?) I suspect that some atheists would be content to be called Happy, Beer Drinkers, Liberals, or Red Sox Fans.
But here’s the part of the essay I like the best because it addresses some of those assumptions that people make that really irritate me. Mr D’Souza wrote:
Basically Dawkins is saying if you are religious, then science is your enemy. Either you choose God or you choose science. No wonder that so many Americans say they are opposed to evolution. They believe that evolution is atheism masquerading as science, and Dawkins confirms their suspicions. Indeed Dawkins takes the same position as the most ignorant fundamentalist: you can have Darwin or you can have the Bible but you can’t have both.
Oh, but here, ironically, I agree with Dawkins far more than D’Souza. Fact is, you cannot have both Darwin and the Bible. This is a serious issue and for as much as D’Souza seems to be bright, he has missed the mark here. I might suggest there is a difference between what he refers to as an ‘ignorant fundamentalist’ and a ‘by faith we believe that God made what is seen out of what is unseen evangelical Christian’ who accepts Genesis as an accurate reflection of history, and the foundational substance for evangelical theology. In this case, I agree with Dawkins and, in my opinion, D’Souza loses big time precisely because he seems willing to exclude faith (I could be reading him incorrectly.) He evidently misunderstands the troubling tension that exists between these two fundamentally discordant world-views. I haven’t read enough of D’Souza’s work to know if this is what he thinks, but if I take that last sentence at face value, he has lost me as an audience already because I reject out of hand that faith and reason stand opposed to one another as Darwin and the Bible do.
One cannot have both. I agree with Dawkins 100% on this because the entire premise of Darwinism is that it does not need God, god, a god, Zeus, Thor, Mars, or gods to work (unless, of course, natural selection or selfish genes are divine.) Why would the Darwinist concede to theistic evolution when it would defeat the entire premise to Darwinian evolution? I’ll go ahead and say it for the record: You can’t have both. To my knowledge, Darwin made no concessions or room for the ‘theistic’ in theistic evolution. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)
But I understand. There are certain people in the world of churchianity who are terrified to let Genesis stand on its own. They are horrified at the thought of being labeled unthinking rubes who rely on faith in order to believe in fairy-tales. They are terrified to admit to the unbelieving world that they have a simple faith and trust that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Here’s what it is: They are so consumed with the idea of silencing the Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ of the world that they have to resort to arguments that lack faith instead of promote it lest they be accused of being little more than those dunderhead, ignorant fundamentalists who actually believe what Scripture says. In their attempts, in other words, to undo the ‘brightness’ of the Brights, they fall into the same error as the Brights by dismissing faith as compatible with reason and relying soley on reason to accomplish their task. It’s not that we (Christians) need Darwin and the Bible to be compatible, that’s not the error because we know they are not, and trying to make them compatible (through things like theistic evolution) does not advance the cause of Christ. (And this is a matter of the Cause of Christ.)
The error he makes, rather, is in assuming there is no compatibility between Faith and Reason, as if they stand in opposition to one another! Nothing could be further from the truth. This is D’Souza’s error. He evidently thinks that those who believe in Genesis do so without Reason, that they rely too much on faith (as if!), and that faith and Reason are incompatible (this was also Stephen Jay Gould’s error in Rocks of Ages.) Christians are not unthinking people, nor are we un-Reasonable people. The very fact that we cling to a book (that contains letters (and numbers), words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books of varying style and genre) is evidence that we are thinking, Reasoning people. We do not serve a God who is unreasonable either. He tells us: Count the Cost of being a disciple. He says, “Come let us reason together” (Isaiah 1). Frankly, no reasonable person is going to become a disciple without counting the cost.
PT Forsyth wrote,
“If we have any sense of judgment we have much reason to fear. I cannot understand how any one with a sense of judgment can discard the atonement and live without terror. But, if we have the sense of the holy and the faith of judgment, the faith that Christ took God’s judgment on the world, we must be of good cheer. The world is judged for good and all in Christ. The last judgment is by. All our judgments are in its ascending wake” (The Justification of God, 221.)
Thus we come full circle. It is not the Christian who lives in opposition to reason, and it is not faith that stands opposed to reason, it is the atheist: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Who is opposed to reason but the one who rejects God?
To be sure, I’ll need to read some of D’Souza’s work before I know if this is really how he thinks about us ‘ignorant fundamentalists.’ But for the time being, isn’t it rather ironic that ‘ignorant fundamentalists’ and Richard Dawkins actually agree on something?
UPDATE: I just came across this: Militant Atheism Gives Rise to Christian Apologetics.
“[I]f people look at science, they will find faith and they will find reason; the two cannot be incompatible and they have one author, namely God,” said Midland theologian Norbert Dickman, who was scheduled to present what the Christian response should be to the rise of the atheist voice at an Illinois church on Tuesday.
A while back I made quick reference at this blog to an essay published by Scientific American written by Michael Shermer: Darwin on the Right. It’s an older essay (published September 18, 2006), but I think the points he made then still need to addressed by thinking people who refuse to just give up. The overall tone of the essay, brief as it is, is just that: Christians ought to just give up the fight because, according to Darwinists, there is such a preponderance of evidence for Darwinian evolution that it seems silly for anyone to argue against it. Shermer writes:
According to a 2005 Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of evangelical Christians believe that living beings have always existed in their present form, compared with 32 percent of Protestants and 31 percent of Catholics. Politically, 60 percent of Republicans are creationists, whereas only 11 percent accept evolution, compared with 29 percent of Democrats who are creationists and 44 percent who accept evolution. A 2005 Harris Poll found that 63 percent of liberals but only 37 percent of conservatives believe that humans and apes have a common ancestry. What these figures confirm for us is that there are religious and political reasons for rejecting evolution. Can one be a conservative Christian and a Darwinian? Yes. Here’s how.
Now, I realize these figures are severely outdated, and that Shermer’s essay is over a year old, but I doubt the figures have changed much. Shermer’s approach is kind of a ‘Awe, com’on you silly Christians (and Conservatives!) get with the program!’ He also seems to think that believing in evolution (or at least making it compatible with biblical Christianity) is a rather simple thing to do: “Just follow these six easy steps and, Presto! as if by magic the synthesis will be complete.” But is it really as easy as Shermer would suggest? I think not. I’d like to take his points one at a time which means that these posts may run a little longer and may, in fact, be broken up as I address each of his six points.
First, Shermer writes that ‘Evolution fits well with good theology.’ He writes:
Christians believe in an omniscient and omnipotent God. What difference does it make when God created the universe–10,000 years ago or 10,000,000,000 years ago? The glory of the creation commands reverence regardless of how many zeroes in the date. And what difference does it make how God created life–spoken word or natural forces? The grandeur of life’s complexity elicits awe regardless of what creative processes were employed. Christians (indeed, all faiths) should embrace modern science for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divine in a depth and detail unmatched by ancient texts.
Well, in fact it does matter a great deal–theologically speaking, and for a few reasons at least. First, because, as I have stated elsewhere, the premise of Darwinian evolution is that it does not require any god to be involved. (I sometimes think Richard Dawkins carries more dislike for theistic evolutionists than he does for Creationists.) The whole idea then that Christians should accept a system of belief that does not require God, even the God of Scripture, is absurd. Second, because the Scripture says that God Created the world by his Spoken Word! The Scripture does not say that God used ‘natural forces’ (whatever that means). Genesis 1 is ample testimony that God spoke the world and the universe into existence. Colossians 1 is further evidence. But there is also Hebrews 11:3: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (And, please, spare me the drivel about creationism being only a matter of faith because evolution is no less a matter of faith!)
Third, ‘modern science’ is not rejected! This is the straw-man that Darwinists continue to lob out at Christians. Christians do not reject science; we reject materialistic Darwinian evolution and those ideas and beliefs that reject the Word of God as true.
Fourth, it (evolution) is not good or even bad theology or even compatible with good theology because Darwinian evolution is not any sort of Continue Reading »
Darwinism is defunct, deadly, and dying.
Charles Darwin should share with Adolph Hitler the blame for the 11 million or more lives lost in the Holocaust, a provocative video documentary explains. And, the program says, the more than 45 million American lives lost to abortion also can be blamed on that famous founder of evolutionary theory.”
This is just a bit. Click the link for more.
Also, see this amazing, 17 page pdf: A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.
We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
The copy I have linked to was updated in February 2007. The document lists the current position the scientist holds, and their academic credentials.
Also see: Dissent From Darwin.
You will be amazed at how many scientists question the Darwinian theory of evolution thus countering the commonly held belief and propaganda that all scientists with credentials believe in bunk theories like Darwinism.
Also see: Doctors Doubting Darwin.
Then there’s: Survival of the Fakest.
What all of this shows, at least in part, is that Darwinism is not as commonly accepted among the ‘intellectual elite’ (R Dawkins words) as we have been led to believe. One would think that Darwinism is such a lock that there would be no dissent from any scientist ever, that there would only be consensus. I think these documents point us in the direction where we can confidently say: That is not true!
Happily, there are plenty of rational people in the scientific world who understand what the real issues are in this battle. Happily, those of us who know how to think, who enjoy mystery because it gives us a reason to continue searching, and delight in the power of God, can truly see what Darwinism is at its roots: Life without God.
Have a blessed day, and if you see a Darwinist, or hear from a teacher that Darwin had all the answers, print the seventeen pages or give them a link. Don’t fear those who have no answers and thus must invent theories to explain what their small minds cannot grasp. Believe in the God of Creation.
**UPDATE** Click Here for another’s take.
Here is the very truth:
“It all quite really comes down to the resurrection of Jesus. It has a fundamental incompatibility [with] the sophisticated scientist,” said Dawkins.
“It’s (resurrection of Christ argument) so petty, it’s so trivial, it’s so local, it’s so earth-bound, it’s so unworthy of the universe.”
In the end, Darwin’s Rottweiler stayed loyal and praised Darwin.
I think Dawkin’s is right. It does come down to the resurrection of Jesus. It is local. It is earth-bound. That is precisely why Jesus resurrected in the midst of history. This is what the apostle said in 1 Corinthians 15: If the Resurrection is not true, we are to be pitied more than all men. It is fundamentally incompatible with sophisticated science that’s why it is called a miracle. But the Bible says that death couldn’t keep a grip on Jesus: It was impossible for him to stay dead.
So, it is not petty. It is not trivial. The entire balance of world and universal history hangs on it. The Bible says that there were eyewitnesses to the Empty Tomb. But the funny thing is, as it turns out, I think Dawkins actually believesin Resurrection. Consider this quote from his book The God Delusion:
Douglas, I miss you. You are my cleverest, funniest, most open-minded, wittiest, tallest, and possibly only convert. I hope this book might have made you laugh–though not as much as you made me.” (The God Delusion, 117)
Now, ‘Douglas’, is Douglas Adams who, according to the dedication page, died in 2001! Six years ago! Notice how Dawkins speaks to Douglas in the present tense, ‘You are…’, not ‘You were…’ or ‘You have been…’, or ‘You might have been…’, but ‘You are…’. But Douglas died in 2001! I’m confused because I thought Dawkins said that The Resurrection, by which we can extrapolate a meaning of ‘any’ resurrection, is petty, trivial, and unworthy of the universe?! I wonder if Dawkins would think it petty and trivial if Douglas were actually alive to hear him say this on page 117?
Either that, or Richard has lost his mind and is talking to dead people! Is he actually praying to a dead man or speaking to a live man? Don’t spin it. Dawkins is speaking in the present tense. Maybe Dick has a heart after all. Maybe he really does, at some level, hope that Douglas can hear him: that Douglas is alive!
I wonder if Richard Dawkins really misses his friend so badly that he wishes he had some sort of hope of seeing him again? But I guess all Dick can hope for is that…well, I guess he can’t hope for anything because that too would be trivial, petty, and unworthy of the universe. Sadly, this is the reality that confronts every single atheist. They come face to face with mortality at some point. Every single person who lives will eventually die. Some with hope, others without. The pathos in those two sentences actually touched my heart. I cannot imagine living without hope. I cannot imagine facing death so alone, so hopeless, so…alone. But there you have it: The joy of atheism!
This statement is profoundly revealing and profoundly sad. Would that Dick had thought for a moment that the hope we have in Christ means that we shall one day be reunited with those we have lost. What a sad, little man even Richard Dawkins is in the face of unrelenting death–especially unrelenting death and no hope.
Turns out there were other similar episodes by Baylor University. Click Here.
It seems that even ‘historically Christian’ universities are not above fear. Seems that even Baylor University is getting in on the action against professor Bob Marks. In part:
“As many of you have heard, Marks, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been conducting research that ultimately may challenge the foundation of Darwinian theory. In layman’s terms, Marks is using highly sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques to determine if there are limits to what natural selection can do,” he wrote. “At Baylor, a Christian institution, this should be pretty unremarkable stuff. I’m assuming most of the faculty, students and alumni believe in God, so wouldn’t it also be safe to assume you have no problem with a professor trying to scientifically quantify the limits of a blind, undirected cause of the origin and subsequent history of life?
“But the dirty little secret is university administrators are much more fearful of the Darwinian Machine than they are of you,” he said. [Emphasis mine]
“Here’s what’s going on: Somebody within the scientific community let [Baylor dean Ben] Kelley know that Marks was running a website that was friendly to intelligent design. Such a thing is completely unacceptable in today’s university system – even at a Christian institution. Kelley was probably told to have the site shut down immediately or suffer the consequences,” Ruloff said.
It’s a conspiracy! (Not.)
There’s also the story of Guillermo Gonzalez who was denied tenure at Iowa State University:
Gonzalez, who will be out of his job at ISU after the 2007-2008 year if the decision is not changed, was rejected by officials despite his publication of 68 peer-reviewed scientific articles, nearly four times what his own department suggests as a standard for “excellence.”
It’s a conspiracy! The opposition to Darwinism is paranoid! There is no suppression in the scientific community! It’s all a vast right wing conspiracy and the dead Jerry Falwell is leading the charge!
OK. Enough of that. On to other matters. You might not know it, but over the weekend, I guess, Atheists from around the country (or globe) got together for a worship service, Crystal Clear Atheism. The preachers included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others. They delivered stirring messages from their bibles (The God Delusion, etc.) and they fellowshiped together.
Said the article:
By contrast, Harris’s speech was a more tempered critique of the atheist movement itself. While Harris said he believed science must ultimately destroy religion, he also discussed spirituality and mysticism and called for a greater understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena. He also cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together. [emphasis mine]
And why? Well, as Richard Dawkins:
But they are a proudly elitist and self-certain minority. When asked what the main difference between believers and atheists was, Dawkins had a quick answer: “Well, we’re bright.”
That certainly cinches it for me! So they are afraid of opposing views, they think they are ‘bright’, and they think that religion must be destroyed. Well, that makes for a great weekend doesn’t it? I really don’t know why I waste my time with this stuff. I guess I think it is funny that the things I’ve been saying keep proving to be true. Oh, sure, many people will deny that it is true and will spin it their way, but there it is. I’m reminded of something Jesus said one time. It’s a very simple phrase, but it packs a terrible punch to the confidence that atheists and evolutionists have in their ‘brilliance’:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
And Job said:
Then Job replied to the LORD : “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1-2)
My thoughts? Give it your best shot you atheists, you Darwinists, you evolutionists. Go ahead and do what you will. You will never conquer Jesus Christ. His people you may hurt, his people you may scar, his people you may exterminate. But you cannot, you will not, thwart the plans of the Lord. The earth is His, and the fullness thereof. Good luck with that little enterprise, Mr Harris!
“If it is of men, it will surely fail. But if it is from God you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”–another atheist who tried to wipe out Christianity and failed.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I said yesterday that one of the motivations for Richard Dawkins’ book was surely because he saw himself as a dying breed and needed some company in his misery. Well, I was partially correct.
“People who were ashamed to say there is no God now say, ‘Wow, there are others out there who think like me, and it feels damned good,’ ” said Margaret Downey, president of the Atheist Alliance International, whose membership has almost doubled in the past year to 5,200. It has a 500-person waiting list for its convention in Crystal City later this month.
(In America, Nonbelievers Frind Strength in Numbers, by Jacqueline L Salmon, Washington Post (online), September 15, 2007)
5,200! Impressive. Turns out even Atheists need the comfort of like minded folks to commiserate with. However…
Despite atheists’ increased vocalism and visibility, it seems that the rest of America isn’t buying in.
In a nationwide poll last year by University of Minnesota researchers, Americans rated atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” They also associated atheists with everything from criminal behavior to rampant materialism. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, more than half would not vote for an atheist for president.
I sincerely wish that all who are atheist would come out of the closet! I agree with Richard Dawkins: Come out! Be Proud! Claim your beliefs or lack thereof! Come out by name! There is no shame in being who you are! You see, I think if more atheists would come out by name, then all the less-educated-than-atheists Christians could spend more time praying for them by name.
Hey, I heard a joke one time: What do you get when you cross an Atheist with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for reason whatsoever. (Maybe I told that one before.)
I have been trying to continue the conversation at this blog between the Christian worldview which is necessarily formed by the Holy Scripture and the atheistic worldview which is necessarily shaped by evolution and the evolutionary worldview which is necessarily shaped by atheism. To that end, I post links and thoughts and ideas designed to not only provoke, but to continue this dialogue.
Well I have just today come across yet another essay dealing with evolution and atheism and this essay makes the link between the two explicit. Alan Jacobs, in his essay The Future of Atheism, writes:
So here’s where I’m headed with this thought experiment: if the evolutionary account of religious belief that many atheists are now promoting is correct, then atheists don’t have much of a future. Their own arguments, plus some elementary demographic data, show that their position cannot become dominant. The only real chance that atheism has to flourish is if it’s wrong. If the Christian anthropology, for instance, happens to be true, then we will expect people to rebel against God, to act in violation of his will. But we will also expect them not to want to admit that that’s what they’re doing. So they will try to argue that their actions, however sinful, however violent, intolerant, and cruel, are somehow in keeping with God’s will. But eventually the cognitive dissonance of that position is likely to become too much for them, at which point they might find—like that one-time Russian Orthodox seminarian Josef Stalin—that the easier path is simply to deny the existence of the God who otherwise would be their Judge.
So if Christianity is true (and a similar case could be made with regard to some other religions, though not all), then we might well expect atheism to flourish, at least in certain places and at certain times. But if the evolutionary argument against religious belief is true, then atheism is doomed.
You’ll have to read the entire essay to put all that in context, but the short of it is:
Now, an atheist saying this immediately has a new problem, especially if he or she thinks that religious belief produces violence and intolerance—which is what many atheists, most notably Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, have shouted from the world’s rooftops. Anyone who holds both these views is in an interesting position, to say the least. Do we say that if I am violent and intolerant toward others I am more likely to pass along my genes—perhaps because I kill or injure those who do not share my religious beliefs before they can reproduce? If we do say that, then the atheist who protests against violence and intolerance will have to argue that we should behave in ways that do not maximize the likelihood of passing along our genes.
But this is a bad situation for an atheist to be in, since he or she is likely to have trouble grounding that “should” in anything compelling, and in any case is—according to his or her own philosophy—fighting a losing battle. If religiously inspired violence and intolerance are evolutionarily adaptive, and the blind processes of natural selection are the only ones that determine reproductive survival in the long term, then people who argue against religion and its accompanying pathologies are certain to diminish in numbers and eventually become totally marginal—nothing more than the occasional maladaptive mutation. The selfish gene will ultimately, necessarily, win out over the altruistic one.
It’s an interesting essay to say the least and should give all who read it pause. I’m not inclined to think that atheism will ever totally vanish from the earth–at least not until Jesus returns and makes his point–but I am hopeful that the dialogue can continue and, perhaps, more atheists will eventually see the light of the glory of Christ and turn to Him for salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I think by now you realize that I am a big fan of creation. I delight in the beauty of it, the majesty of it, the purpose of it–things that evolution seems to rather ignore. This is illustrated in a story that Richard Dawkins tells in his book Climbing Mount Improbable:
I was driving through the English countryside with my daughter Juliet, then aged six, and she pointed out some flowers by the wayside. I asked here what she thought wildflowers were for. She gave a rather thoughtful answer. ‘Two things,’ she said. ‘To make the world pretty, and to help the bees make honey for us.’ I was touched by this and sorry I had to tell her that it wasn’t true. (256)
My little girl’s answer was not too different from the one that most adults, throughout history, would have given. It has long been widely believed that the brute creation is here for our benefit. (256)
What are flowers and bees, wasps and figs, elephants and bristlecone pines–what are all living things really for? What kind of an entity is it whose ‘benefit’ will be served by a living body or part of a living body?
The answer is DNA. (268)
Well, there you have it. The only purpose found in the ‘brute creation’ has nothing to do with honey, beauty, or even God. It’s all about DNA. I contrast this with words from the witty GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy:
His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encorethe bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffen, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance. (65-66)
I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller. (66)
As I begin a week of back to school, back to the cafeteria, back to my study, back to blogging, back to soccer, piano, scouting, and a host of other duties, I say Good Day to You. And I thank God for creating this world and all that is in it: even evolutionists and atheists.
…an evolutionist (THE GOD DELUSION) (All that is posted is an abstract, but it packs a punch. The full article will cost you.)
…a liberal theologian (John Shelby Spong) (A Short essay by Albert Mohler. Finally someone is standing up for what is right even while others are laying down.)
It’s probably worth the effort to make the clicks–especially the one about Spong.
This is from Richard Dawkins’ website. I’m posting it here free of charge. The blurb reads:
Would you like to help promote The God Delusion and the new website? There are website banners here, but for those who REALLY want to get out and hit the streets, we have created a flyer for you to print and hand out! It fits four to a page, so they are small enough to keep in your back pocket or stack at your local coffee shop or school event desk. Hand them out outside your local school or church!
Well, I for one think this is absolutely brilliant! Once again, we see the atheists are intent on evangelizing their communities (‘Hand them out outside your local school or church!’) Again, I think it is brilliant. I too can imagine a world without religion, because that would also mean a world without atheists. The truth is, eventually we will live in a religionless world:
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27, NIV)
Funny thing is, Jesus has already planned a world without religion: His world. So, let me be the first to say that I agree with Mr. Dawkins on this fine point because the only place where there will be no religion is the place where Jesus Christ alone is worshiped. That will come later–and, as far as I can tell, the sooner the better!
ps-anyone notice the light on that picture?
Here’s an interesting essay by Chuck Colson who suggests a rather interesting motive behind the recent diatribes of such folks as Richard Dawkin$, $am Harri$, and Chri$topher Hitchen$. Interestingly, on the first things that usually comes out of the mouths of atheists and agnostics as being a reason they reject God and Christianity is that we’re all too damn greedy. All we want is money and look–I have criticized those greedy folks like Joel Osteen and others. But Colson offers a rather interesting peek at what might be the motivation of such pop-atheists as I have mentioned above.
The Scripture does say: “The Love of money is the root of all evil.” Note: it’s the love of money, not money in particular; just that peculiar human affection for all things green and sparkly. It does kind of sting when the tables are turned. I hope some of my atheist friends who visit here will post some links to stories of how much some pop-Christians are making on their book sales so that I can rant against them too. I know, I know. Even atheists have children to feed. They have just as much right to make a buck or a pound or a euro as the rest of us do.
“What good will it do for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul.”
The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets.
Who do you think you are?” Crazy! Downright crazy! That’s what they said about Jesus. And there seems to be no indication that they were going to change their minds just because he challenged their assessment. He has been telling them ‘to make a right judgment’ but they were rather unwilling to listen. So they continued on in their insults. Jesus couldn’t possibly be telling the truth, they say, because for one he was a nasty Samaritan and for two he was possessed by the very father of those accusing him, the devil. But notice what Jesus does: He stays on task. He doesn’t change his message just because some malcontents accuse him demon-possession. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” This through them over the edge and convinced them of his maniacal personality. To their question, “Are you greater than our Father Abraham?” Jesus doesn’t provide an answer. Instead, Jesus points to Abraham as one who understood what they did not: “He rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” But not so these folks; they refused to believe in Jesus. They refused to act like the father (Abraham) they were claiming.
In preparation for writing this short meditation on these few verses, I listened to an 18 minute interview/debate between a man named Richard Dawkins and another man named David Quinn. (Follow this link http://religionandatheism.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/debate-richard-dawkins-vs-david-quinn/ if you wish to listen yourself.) I don’t know David Quinn, but, having read much of his writing, I do know Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is a rather brilliant writer. His ability with the pen is second to none. He wields his pen deftly and aims his quill as if it were an arrow on a bow. But for all his genius, for all his brilliance, for all his wit, he remains hopelessly atheistic and a tireless opponent of all things theistic, and specifically Christian (although he is also, likely, opposed to Jews and Muslims too). Here is a portion of the debate, which begins as an interview, between the radio host, Ryan Tubridy and Dawkins:
Tubridy: So Richard Dawkins here you go again, up to your old tricks. In your most recent book, The God Delusion. Let’s just talk about the word if you don’t mind, the word delusion, so put it into context. Why did you pick that word?
Dawkins: Well the word delusion means a falsehood which is widely believed, and I think that is true of religion. It is remarkably widely believed, it’s as though almost all of the population or a substantial proportion of the population believed that they had been abducted by aliens in flying saucers. You’d call that a delusion. I think God is a similar delusion.
Tubridy: And would it be fair to say you equate God with say, the imaginary friend, the bogeyman, or the fairies at the end of the garden?
Dawkins: Well I think He’s just as probable to exist, yes, and I do discuss all those things especially the imaginary friend which I think is an interesting psychological phenomenon in childhood and that may possibly have something to do with the appeal of religion.
Tubridy: So take us through that little bit about the imaginary friend factor.
Dawkins: Many young children have an imaginary friend. Christopher Robin had Binker. A little girl who wrote to me had a little purple man. And the girl with the little purple man actually saw him. She seemed to hallucinate him. He appeared with a little tinkling bell. And, he was very, very real to her although in a sense she knew he wasn’t real. I suspect that something like that is going on with people who claim to have heard God or seen God or hear the voice of God.
Tubridy: And we’re back to delusion again. Do you think that anyone who believes in God, anyone of any religion, is deluded? Is that the bottom line with your argument Richard?
Dawkins: Well there is a sophisticated form of religion which, well one form of it is Einstein’s which wasn’t really a religion at all. Einstein used the word God a great deal, but he didn’t mean a personal God. He didn’t mean a being who could listen to your prayers or forgive your sins. He just meant it as a kind of poetic way of describing the deep unknowns, the deep uncertainties at the root of the universe. Then there are deists who believe in a kind of God, a kind of personal God who set the universe going, a sort of physicist God, but then did no more and certainly doesn’t listen to your thoughts. He has no personal interest in humans at all. I don’t think that I would use a word like delusions for, certainly not for Einstein, no I don’t think I would for a deist either. I think I would reserve the word delusion for real theists who actually think they talk to God and think God talks to them.
Tubridy: You have a very interesting description in The God Delusion of the Old Testament God. Do you want to give us that description or will I give it to you back?
Dawkins: Have you got it in front of you?
Tubridy: Yes I have.
Dawkins: Well why don’t you read it out then.