Monday, January 16, 2006

The Confounded Atheist?

Richard Dawkins diatribe continued on Channel 4: Root of All Evil?
Man, this guy is angry! I wont lump all atheists together (though he wants to brand all religion equally facile). I suspect many might be convinced by him but it left me wondering why he was so angry and why his arguments were so weak....

Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith

So tonight Dawkins turns on religion as a virus transmitted to children to cut off their critical thinking and indoctrinate them. Ian McEwan adds that this cuts off a sense of wonder. Granted Dawkins can draw some really bad examples of religion, but I fail to see how Christianity must stop critical thought and investigation. After all, the first scientists were theologians... and all schools must once have been faith schools.

To his credit Dawkins does get two things right,

1. He sees that liberal Christianity is absurb. It thinks those of us to take the Bible seriously show contempt for reason, but liberals do that and show contempt for faith. He's right to say liberalism makes no sense - though I maintain that reasonable thinking is quite at home in a Biblical worldview. Thinking God's thoughts after him is not an infantile pursuit.

2. He sees that the Cross is very offensive. Barking mad. Why doesn't God just forgive us. I recall Polly Toynbee saying the same last month. He didn't have to mention the cross at all, but he couldn't escape it. He hates it. He refuses to accept it. That, Professor, is the offense of the cross. And it is always the proud who cannot accept it. And Dawkins-evolution is pride-personified: Embryos lack value because they're unevolved, children lack critical thought... and we're so much better than those who went before us.

Dawkins concludes that Atheism is life-affirming. Consider the chance, he says, that we exist. We're priviledged. His is a strange kind of providence. Perhaps Christians have failed to apply the heavenly-mind to the here and now, but it was only last week at our Staff Conference that we were insisting that all of life is important... I stand back in awesome wonder at the power of one who made this wondrous universe. There is one who stands behind it - the same one who came and died on that offensive primitive Cross. The Cross that is God's Power and Wisdom, something that sadly seems beyond the grasp of Richard Dawkins... maybe he'll grow into it.

Dawkins - The Lazy Atheist?
Polly Toynbee: Repugnant Christianity?