Thursday, January 14, 2016
Atheist Richard Dawkins' Problem With God
Well known atheist Richard Dawkins visited Google's offices in Kirkland, WA last week to promote his new book.
During a promotional video, a reader asked, "What is the best argument in favor of God and the best argument against evolution you have ever heard?"
His answer, coupled with previous comments he made about Christianity, may suggest his problem with God is a bit different than he thinks.
It is Dawkins who has said, "We are all atheists about most gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."
He has also said, "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."
While at Google's offices in Kirkland last week, he responded regarding the best argument he has heard in favor of God and the best argument he has heard against evolution.
Dawkins prefaced his answer by making it clear that he is not "in any sense admitting that there is a good argument" and insisted that "there is no decent argument for the existence of deities."
He added the best argument he has heard "concerns a deistic God, who had something to do with fine tuning the universe."
"It's still a very, very bad argument," he said, because "it leaves unexplained where the fine tuner came from."
As for evolution, he said there is simply no argument at all that he can consider.
Evangelical geneticist Francis Collins says that several years ago Dawkins told him in a conversation the most troubling argument for nonbelievers he has heard concerns the fine-tuning of the universe.
Collins, who was director of the National Institutes of Health, says, "If they (constants in the universe) were set at a value that was just a tiny bit different, one part in a billion, the whole thing wouldn't work anymore."
"To get our universe, with all its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability," Collins adds.
Clearly it takes more faith to believe what Dawkins and his fellow atheists claim to believe---Big Bang or evolution over billions of years from a single cell--- than to accept Creationism with the growing scientific affirmations.
Ironically, Dawkins' argument against religion is precisely what he believes and practices regarding his atheistic belief in evolution.
And there is much about their belief they "can't explain."
Dawkins has said in his writings, "Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time."
Darwin's theory of evolution has become institutionalized in public education and over time is no longer considered a theory by those who believe it.
And this amid growing scientific problems with Darwin's theory.
However, it was a comment that Dawkins made a while back that has gone viral around the world, and may suggest his problem with God is a bit different than he thinks.
Maybe it was an unguarded or weak moment, or maybe he had not thought through the intellectual consequences of what he said, however, in a rare moment of candor Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to world terror, whereas the followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities he regularly laments on college campuses.
He said: "There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse."
This from a man who has compared Christianity to sexual abuse of children.
While he shared this several years ago, it has currently, because of his influence on college and university campuses both here and in Europe, taken on a life of its own.
And is creating much discussion about God.
Is Dawkins changing his mind? Probably not, but who knows what is happening in his heart?
For a generation Dawkins has given young atheists a thin veneer of intellectual cachet and offered a justification for the belief that atheism was somehow grounded in science.
Among this generation his words are now unraveling.
Perhaps C.S. Lewis is the most well known and influential atheist who accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
But there are many others including Francis Collins whom I quoted above.
Here's a short list:
C. S. Lewis was an Oxford educator and accomplished writer who became an atheist as a young man. Influenced by arguments made by Christian thinkers, Lewis, "...came into Christianity kicking and screaming." The reasoning for his beliefs have been articulated in many books, the most popular of which is titled "Mere Christianity".
Lee Strobel was for many years a hard-nosed journalist and atheist. As Strobel set out to confirm justification for his atheism, he unexpectedly found that the evidence he encountered led him instead to the Christian faith.
Josh McDowell set out to disprove the Christian faith as a college student only to arrive, after many months of study, at the conclusion that Jesus Christ must have been who he claimed to be.
Francis S. Collins M.D. Ph.D. is a physician-geneticist, famous for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, and his leadership of the Human Genome Project. An atheist at the completion of graduate school, Collins later became a believer as a result of philosophical and scientific considerations. His conversion and reasons for belief are detailed in his very readable book, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief".
Dr. Ralph O. Muncaster was an atheist with a skeptical nature and sharp critical thinking skills. While doing research to dispute the Bible, Dr. Muncaster was surprised to find evidence that supports the Bible's claims. As a result, Dr. Muncaster now helps those with skeptical minds as they seek the Evidence of God
Howard Storm was a college art professor and militant atheist until an incredibly vivid and powerful near-death-experience resulted in a radical change of life. A change that compelled him to leave a successful career in academics, and enter into Christian ministry.
Dr. Hugh Ross was the youngest person ever to serve as director of observations for Vancouver's Royal Astronomical Society. After testing the scientific and historical data, Dr. Ross became convinced that the Bible is truly the Word of God.
Professor Antony Flew is a British philosopher, known for decades as one of the world's most outspoken and prominent atheists. Professor Flew expressed his views in 2007 with the release of his book (There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind). Professor Flew's conversion was based primarily on the growing body of scientific evidence that points to the existence of a supreme creator.
Allan R. Sandage is a famous scientist who had won numerous esteemed scientific awards. At age 50 he became a Christian. "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." - Alan Sandage
Frank Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics. When Tipler began his career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, he was an atheist. Tipler has since converted to Christianity and has authored the book, "The Physics Of Christianity".
Dr. Bernard Nathanson is a physician who has changed from being an influential pro-choice activist, to an influential pro-life activist, producing pro-life documentaries (The Silent Scream & Eclipse of Reason) and books (Aborting America & The Hand of God). In addition to changing his stance on abortion, he converted from a self described "Jewish Atheist" to the Christian faith.
Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist, author, satirist, media personality, soldier, and spy. As a professed agnostic for most of his life, Muggeridge became a Christian, and in 1969 published several well-received books on the Christian faith (Jesus Rediscovered, The Man Who Lives, & A Third Testament).
Alister McGrath is a Christian theologian with a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics, and a former atheist who converted to Christianity while at Oxford University.
In "Mere Christianity," Lewis wrote, "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."
And he said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
Memo to Dr. Dawkins: "We're praying for you."