The falsity of atheistic belief, expressed by Prof. Richard Dawkins


The falsity of atheistic belief, expressed by Prof. Richard Dawkins (Note Prof. Peter Atkins often repeats similar and bogus ‘lazy’ accusations”

Dawkins: in reply to a quote from hos own book, “The God Delusion”
Book p126 says “One of the truly bad effects of religion, is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding”

Dawkins reply[00:18:00]

“Science uses evidence to discover the truth about the universe. It’s been getting better at it over the centuries, in the teeth of opposition from religion, although it has t be admitted that of course science grew out of a religions tradition. Religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding.I think that when you consider the beauty of the world, and you wonder how it came to be what it is, you’re naturally overwhelmed with a feeling of awe, a feeling of admiration and you almost feel a desire to worship something. I feel this, I recognise that other scientists such as as Carl Sagan feel this, Einstein felt it. We all of us us share a kind of religious reverence for the beauties of the universe, for the complexity of life, for the sheer magnitude of the cosmos, the sheer magnitude of geological time.And it’s tempting to translate that feeling of awe and worship into a desire to worship some particular thing, a person, an agent. You want to attribute it to a maker, to a creator.What science has now achieved, is an emancipation from that impulse to attribute these things to a creator, and it’s a MAJOR emancipation, because humans an almost overwhelming desire to think that they’ve explained something by attributing it to a maker. We’re so used to explaining things in our own world, like these television cameras, like the lights, like everything we make, the clothes we wear, the chairs we sit on, everything we see around us is a manufactured object, and so it’s so tempting to believe that living things or that the stars or mountains or rivers have all been made by something. It was a supreme achievement of the humam intellect, to realise that there is a better explanation for these things. That these things can come about by purely natural causes.

When science began, the aim to achieve it was there was there, but we didn’t know enough. Nowadays at the end of the 20th Century, beginning of the 21st century, we still don’t know everything, but we’ve achieved an enormous amount in the way of understanding, we now understand essentially how life came into being. We KNOW that we are all cousins of all animals and plants. We know that we’re descended from a  common ancestor what might have been something like bacteria, we know the process by which that came about. We don’t know the details but we understand essentially how it came about. There are still gaps in our understanding, we don’t understand how the cosmos came into existence in the first place, but we’re working on that. The scientific enterprise is an active seeking, an active seeking out of gaps in our knowledge, seeking of ignorance so we can work to plug that ignorance, but religion teaches us to be satisfied with not really understanding.

Every one of these difficult questions that comes up, science says ‘right, lets roll up our sleeves and work on it”, religion says “oh God did it. We don’t need to work on it, God did it.” It’s as simple as that. We have no thrusting force  pushing us on to try to understand. Religion stultifies the impulse to understand because religion provides a facile easy apparent explanation and it prevents the further work on the problem.”

I will comment on this in due time.

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3 Responses to “The falsity of atheistic belief, expressed by Prof. Richard Dawkins”


  1. 1 felix January 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I never know where to start countering these kind of arguments – to me it is like arguing with a racist. On meeting people like Dawkins, I am quickly told what they seem to know what I think and believe and it is miles from the truth.
    “religion….teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding”
    I mean…where does one start?? It is nonsense.

    • 2 lwtc247 January 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      I agree with much of what you say.

      In the video above, I do think the format was slighty unkind/unfavourable to Dawkins. Lennox gave a great performance.

      I have seen many many hours of Dawkins. I like to study him (and what he says) because as the high priest of atheism, he commands a large congregations who take what he says as Gospel. So by studying the neo-Testament Book of Dawkins, I have a chance of making the money donating (book purchasing/conference/debate attending) flock purge themselves of the anti-God virus which people like Dawkins has implanted into peoples brains. Hence, I really do try to be fair to Dawkins (as much as I can) as I really want to remember the points he makes and listen to the counter-arguments like those from the admirable Prof John Lennox.

      Thing is, every nearly time someone like Lennox (1 on 1 here) gives a good solid punch to Dawkin’s contentions, Dawkins almost invariably fails to climb-up any near to the level of the point put to him, and engages in straw-men and snide side-swipes. Dawkins is infuriating in that sense because you kind of expect him (and indeed, want him) to really tackle the point head on, but he doesn’t.

      Many times, a debator against Dawkins picks up on what he said/wrote and debates it in a way close to my stream of thought, but all too often, Dawkins pulls a kind of ‘I didn’t mean that’ stunt or simply says stuff like ‘no, that’s not what I meant’, when actually it probably was damn well what he meant. He’s highly and scholastically literate (so we are assured) so surely his words accurately reflect his thoughts, alas, quite often not. As an observer of Dawkins, I notice he has the character of shifting sands, at times calling Hitler a Christian, and other times not or painting all religion as the worst thing since ‘xyz’, and then at other times going softly-softly on it.

      The thought that he’s like the schoolboy that cheated on his exams and then is asked to give an oral presentation on the test and simply cannot comes to mind. Stephen Hawking is just as bad. I was utterly embarrassed to watch this – Making it ‘accessible’ to the massed isn’t at all a valid excuse.

      And when Dawkins talks about the multiverse – for which there cannot possibly be one single shred of physical evidence by virtue of the definition of the term Universe (encapsulation) and yet insists God must be physically detectable using 5 senses and the human rationality just makes my guys churn with his incredibly double standard.

      And when there is science that (apparently) shows there was a beginning to everything, [the Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe Theorm , or BGV Theorm] which has (so far) pretty much proved there was a beginning, thereby destroy the utter fairytales of multiverse or cyclical universe, what does Dawkins do? Completely and totally ignore it. I mean come on! he calls for debate and expects every single nook and cranny of theism to be scrutinized yet we utterly fails to pay back.

      In my opinion, things like this are why Dawkins seemingly refuses to debate someone like William Laine Craig directly (the Mexico thing didn’t really count) because Dawkins feels the philosopher trained in logic can easily uncover,unpick and defeat his fallacy’s and multiple straw men (perhaps this is why Dawkins strongly attacked Keith Ward’s appointment as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford). When dealing with a ‘religionist’, someone likely not to be trained in sharp logic, he feels he’s got a good chance of swaying the audience because he can corner them down on an issue of their faith that cannot be tested by physical science.

      He’s quite a bitter man too, in fact many of the atheists are. They seem very slow or reluctant to shake the hands of their theological opponents in debates.

      Prof Peter Atkins too, sidesteps a lot of issues but did seem to give a reasonable attempt at a reasoned debate here with John Lennox here.

      • 3 lwtc247 January 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        “Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete”
        Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin.
        January 11, 2003
        http://arxiv.org/pdf/grqc/0110012.pdf
        Abstract:
        Many inflating spacetimes are likely to violate the weak energy condition, a key assumption of
        singularity theorems. Here we offer a simple kinematical argument, requiring no energy condition,
        that a cosmological model which is inflating – or just expanding sufficiently fast – must be incomplete
        in null and timelike past directions. Specifically, we obtain a bound on the integral of the Hubble
        parameter over a past-directed timelike or null geodesic. Thus inflationary models require physics
        other than inflation to describe the past boundary of the inflating region of spacetime.
        .
        .
        .
        “Did the universe have a beginning?”
        Audrey Mithani, Alexander Vilenkin
        20 Apr 2012
        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.4658v1.pdf
        Abstract:
        Many inflating spacetimes are likely to violate the weak energy condition, a key assumption of
        singularity theorems. Here we offer a simple kinematical argument, requiring no energy condition,
        that a cosmological model which is inflating – or just expanding sufficiently fast – must be incomplete
        in null and timelike past directions. Specifically, we obtain a bound on the integral of the Hubble
        parameter over a past-directed timelike or null geodesic. Thus inflationary models require physics
        other than inflation to describe the past boundary of the inflating region of spacetime.


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