Sunday, January 25, 2015

Arguing With Richard Dawkins

As many of you probably know, there are few things I enjoy more than debate. If you ever have a serious conversation with me, it usually will turn into a debate of some sort, or morph into a very serious topic as one the things I truly hate in life is what is known as "small talk". In my spare time, I often watch debates, and this week I watched a certain debate 3 times. I usually always watch a debate more than once so I can truly analyze what both participants or sides are saying, but this debate was different. I actually really just liked listening to both men, similarly to the way I suppose that Herod loved to listen to John the Baptist. The debate was between evolutionary biologist and atheist activist Ricard Dawkins and his eminence Cardinal George Pell. The topic of the debate was is religion a force for good in the world, and 76 percent of people voted against the idea that it was. If you are interested in watching the debate, it can be viewed here.

I would like to contend with a certain point that was mentioned by Richard Dawkins. He was asked the question of where did he get his values as an atheist. He responded that there were no objective moral values, and that one must make up his own values. This idea is prominent in the works of one of my favorite philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as in the works of Bertrand Russell and J.L. Mackie. Simply put, it is nihilism; the philosophy that there is no such thing as values and that each person can make up his own, but each value is subjective rather than objective.

In answering what Professor Dawkins said, his eminence Cardinal Pell responded that if that were true, then there was nothing wrong with either of the atrocities of the Gulag or the Holocaust, because ultimately there are no objective moral values, so there is no such thing as right and wrong. His eminence pushed the issue even further, by showing that these things are the consequences of believing in Social Darwinism, which Dawkins protested. Dawkins said that he thought these things were not related to atheism; however they are where the atheistic argument truly leads. If there is no God, life is absurd, without value, and subjective. This was the view of the existentialists Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Satre.

Here is the point I want to make as I oppose Richard Dawkins idea. The point is that the atheistic worldview is lacking in values, where the Christian world is not. Because God is uncreated, uncaused, all-powerful, and maker of all things, he is the only objective being that can give us our values. If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, which means that our values come from either ourselves or our culture. This is a problem for the Richard Dawkins of the world, because they cannot state truthfully that the Holocaust or the Gulag were objectively wrong. They can only choose to believe that they were wrong. And, some atheists like Satre said that neither the Gulag or Holocaust were wrong and defended his country of France for not opposing the Nazis. All of this is fine if we want to live in a world without morals. But, as Richard Dawkins does seem to want to live in a world with morals, then he must turn to God. There is no other way.

3 comments:

  1. The first problem with Dawkin's argument-his complete ignorance of the Light of Christ. There IS something innate in all mankind, semi-separate from our involvement with religion, that gives us a moral compass. Religion molds the Light of Christ and guides its development, it doesn't create it.

    The second problem, what if God and Jesus Christ are 2 distinct beings unified in purpose--the plan doesn't seem nearly as faulty as he described. Although, we'll take his argument for there being a Godhead and not a trinity. He does show a flaw in the idea of God and Christ being the same being.

    Third--We DON'T have a strong scientific understanding of why or how we got here. "Now there are some gaps"...uh buddy....try chasms.... Thermodynamics are NOT in favor of anything more than the simplest RNA forming. Without another force to direct the elements, this universe would not be as organized as it is.

    Fourth--"Darwinian evolution explains how we got here" (even though he despises it)....no, no it doesn't. Consciousness screws up his evolution theory about why we are here. Why do we feel a conscious need to better the planet after we've insured the survival of our immediate offspring? That's driven by something more than evolution. Darwinian evolution would genetically enhance us so we live long enough to have babies and we produce strong babies that can produce more babies. It doesn't explain this need to better the planet beyond the survival of our immediate offspring.

    Fifth--Stop dismissing questions that are common to human nature AROUND the globe, around time periods, around languages, around cultures, just because you don't have the foggiest response to them.

    Sixth--"I don't know God exists, I don't know God doesn't exist, My science is all sorts of screwed up...."why do people listen to this idiot? 15 minutes into this debate he's told us he doesn't know anything! He doesn't know if there's a God, He doesn't know if there isn't a God, and his science has holes the size of the Grand Canyon.

    Seventh--"I don't remember writing that I prefer being called an atheist because it's more abrasive than agnostic, but it wouldn't surprise me..." still don't know what you believe?...Pick a stance! We're not interested in semantics. The cardinal is asking you about whether or not you think there's a God.

    ReplyDelete


  2. Uh Big Bang...Magnetic monopoles....Horizon problems....we're back to scientific chasms again Dawkins....Something doesn't come from nothing. We separate two things that cancelled each other out and appear to have something from nothing...Even if that is what happened, what caused those two things to suddenly separate? (other than...oh...a God...or creative power...)

    GOD'S IMPROBABLE?! But the statistical impossibility of the molecules of life overcoming the statistical odds of organizing themselves is a non-issue?!?

    His dismissal of Aquinas could be applied to the majority of his theories as well...



    [oof...ya both just botched the Evolution question...we should have stuck with Darwin's belief...]

    Dawkins...the purpose you're looking for behind evolution is survival...ya almost had it! It's not conscious, but that is the driving force behind evolution...surely an evolutionary biologist can figure that out?! And this is your life work? Darwin stated everything you did and understood it too!

    Uhrm...Your "You can't really believe in transubstantiation and resurrection line" shows ignorance on your part Dawkins....bad play.

    Dawkins...you don't get to say resurrection is impossible because of thermodynamical statistics when you wanted to say it was possible during the creation...you're crossing yourself

    YOU'RE A RATIONALIST?!?! And you have this many holes in your science?!?!

    Uhm..."It's okay to tell the child the truth." "I don't know if hell is truth or not." "It's definitely wrong to tell a child that bad behavior earns a spot in hell" But if that's the truth...you've just double crossed yourself...



    Sigh...Not impressed with Dawkins....

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's hard to believe that people create their own morals when much of the world shares the same core values. All are born with the light of Christ.

    ReplyDelete