Monday, 21 November 2016

Dawkins fan?

I spoke to a man recently who told me he was an atheist and a follower of Richard Dawkins.

He started to complain about all the evil in the world and how he had been unfairly treated many times in his life. I reminded him that Dawkins said that there is "no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference" (River out of Eden).

"Oh no!" he said, "Dawkins is wrong there. There definitely is good and evil, and heaven and hell."

Needless to say, I was pretty astonished at this. Here is a man who says he's an atheist yet he says he believes in heaven and hell! He had to keep this contradictory notions locked up in separate rooms in his mind because if they ever encountered each other one would kill the other. Not much of a Dawkins fan, is he?

But then, as I thought about this, I realised he is a follower of Dawkins after all. Dawkins doesn't believe in heaven and hell, but he does believe in things that are absolutely contradictory to his atheism. Remember, he is the one who said:
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. 
Yet, he is also the one who complains about the evils of religion and the wickedness of certain people. He said that "faith is one of the world's great evils" (here) and that the God of the Old Testament is "unjust" (The God Delusion).

He says that we are machines for propagating our DNA (Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, 'The Ultraviolet Garden', no. 4, 1991) and that we are as surely governed by the laws of physics as a computer, and said that punishing criminals is as foolish as punishing a car that has broken down (here), yet he is the one who gives credit and blame to people for what they have done. He said that he does hold people responsible for their actions, and if he didn't then "life would be intolerable" (quoted in Nancy Pearcey, Finding Truth, kindle edition, p. 157). Now how often has Dawkins belittled and ridiculed Christians and other theists for believing things just because of the comfort they derive from those beliefs, but he believes in something inconsistent with his worldview because if he didn't then life would be intolerable. If your worldview doesn't fit the way reality is, if you have to borrow from another worldview in order to live in the real world, then your worldview is false.

Dawkins' materialistic worldview cannot account for freedom, consciousness, personality, objective morality, or rationality, yet he acts as if (indeed, he knows that) these things are real. He is a mass of contradictions, so my friend, the Dawkins follower who believed in heaven and hell, was a Dawkins follower after all.

Only the Christian worldview accounts for and explains reality. To put it another way, it is the truth.