Atheist, Richard Dawkins, Has Walked Off a Philosophical Cliff (and the masses just keep blindly following).
Like the British atheist-turned-deist, philosophical giant, Antony Flew, I try and abide by the Socrates, described in Plato’s “Republic”: one who “goes where the argument/evidence leads.” Nowhere is this mindset more vital than in regard to all that is God.
The gospel writer, Luke, actually described this type of learning model. In Acts 17:11, writing about the Bereans, he writes that they “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” The Bereans were intellectuals who refused to believe something just because somebody (even Paul) said it was true. They refused to allow someone to impose unfounded, weakly supported convictions on them. They investigated the evidence and followed it to its logical end. As a result, Luke continued, “many of them believed.”
All of that said, the British biologist, Richard Dawkins, garnered worldwide attention in 2006 with his book, “The God Delusion.” Does he write from an authoritative position? On the subject of biology – yes. On the subjects of theology and philosophy (which would include epistemology, ontology & metaphysics) – no.
About Dawkins’ book, literary theorist, Terry Eagleton, writes, “Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.”
Yet…..people who are too lazy to honestly investigate what is true rather than what is trending on the web, continue to swallow Dawkins’ arguments whole. The masses continue to be content with the “low hanging fruit” rather than employ the “tree-climbing” hard work of scholarly, balanced research.
However, perhaps Dawkins’ latest statements will finally force an otherwise dull-minded public to stop and ask, “What did he say??” Recent tweets by Dawkins prompted The National’s Sholto Byrnes to write, “Richard Dawkins has gone so far, he’s lost even his atheist friends.” (To see what all the disgust is about, see link at bottom.)
As a final thought: When visiting with someone about God (“does He, or does He not, exist”, “how can a good God allow evil?”, etc.), consider this quote by 20th century British historian & philosopher, Frederick Copleston: “I do not think that it can be justifiably demanded of the human mind that it should be able to pin down God like a butterfly in a showcase.” (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9)
Not only do I agree with Copleston’s statement, but I personally wouldn’t want a God I can fully explain i.e. “pin down.” If I can explain God, He’s no more complex than I am. But, God, the Bible tells us, is transcendent – far beyond the mere human capacity of being “proven in a laboratory.” Yet – the life/death/resurrection of Christ notwithstanding – He’s lovingly and graciously left you and me a mountain of evidence for His existence. And. like Plato….like Flew….like the Bereans – I have chosen to “go where the evidence leads.” My hope is that you will, as well.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick