The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Tag Archives: Richard Dawkins

The Dawkins Letters

A Christian response to The God Delusion by David Robertson. The Dawkins Letters — challenging atheist myths is published by Christians Focus Publication and is available from all mainstream and Christian bookshops as well as Amazon.

English: Richard Dawkins on a Richard Dawkins ...

Richard Dawkins

Alert!! Richard Dawkins not sure

Richard Dawkins is saying that he can’t be sure there is not a God.  Okay, we knew that was

English: Atheist Bus Campaign creator Ariane S...

Dawkins with girl wearing his t-shirt.

true all along.  Is this a move in his heart or just a media stunt, only the God in heaven knows right now.

Here is the article.

Richard Dawkins is Just too Busy

Richard Dawkins at the 34th American Atheists ...

Richard Dawkins, world-traveling champion of atheism is just too busy to debate William Lane Craig.

I always said when invited to do debates that I would be happy to debate a bishop, a cardinal, a pope, an archbishop, indeed I have done those, but I don’t take on creationists and I don’t take on people whose only claim to fame is that they are professional debaters; they’ve got to have something more than that. I’m busy.

Atheists in America and Atheists in Sweden

There are many ex-Christians here on the internet relating their former Christian experiences.   But, as a Christian,  I’m sorry,  I see gaps/disconnects in their explanations of what they believed.   Even the very best one of them, Dr. Bart Ehrman, is illogical at times.

For instance I just read Ms Kirby:

Until 2003 I was a devout Christian. And I mean devout. I believed absolutely, and my faith was central to my life at that time.  Various clergy thought I had a calling to “the ministry”; one even suggested I might have a vocation to be a nun. Now I am an atheist: the kind of atheist who is predictably referred to by religious apologists as “outspoken” or “militant.”  So what happened?

What happened was four little words:  “How do I know?”

“I believe absolutely”  what does that mean?  “Various clergy thought I had a calling,”  but Ms. Kirby what did you think, what were your thoughts about calling?

“How do I know?”  Ah, and have I, the author of this blog, had struggles, morally and intellectually, absolutely.  BUT, to the ‘how do I know’ issues of can I truly know that what is recorded in the Bible question, I have time and again got the answers to my questions.  Did I search in a corner where no one else has access to the information/data that I have? No!  The data that I have available to me is available to everyone else out there if they want it.  And, maybe that is the real question, what data do you want?  Are you willing to take it at face value?

You see,  there is data that backs faith in Jesus–not sure about data behind other’s claims.  I laugh at those famous atheists, Hitchens (I don’t laugh at his current situation), Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and others, who speak of faith and define it as blind faith–that is, something like “faith in faith” because they don’t believe there is any data to back any claims.  But,  there is data–lots of it and thus,  if Christians want them/need them, there are many “reasons” to believe based on this data.

Ms. Kirby titles another article on her “exodus” from faith: “Breaking out from the Prison of Religion.”  Okay, that is very interesting.  Makes me wonder if she really ever related to the Jesus that I know.  The One that said(translated from original): “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  Or, that said: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

What was Jesus referring to?   If you put his statements in context it is clearer that we as human beings are “bound”–bound in many ways–mainly in our thinking.  Some of us don’t seek even our own good–much less the good of others, of our community.  No, we just want to do what we want to do and be left alone.  I can leave you alone but I have to say that is a sign and a symptom of what Jesus came to relieve us of.  The oppression of our own mental/spiritual state of narcissism that He referred to as sin.   Lots of people don’t like that word–I do because I have recognized that I have those characteristics.  I am narcissistic and selfish.  I need to be liberated from that.  Jesus has begun that process in me.  Am I there?  Absolutely not!!!!

So,  if your view is that you need to be liberated from prison,  you never were in touch with the real Jesus.   Jesus does not put people in prison–he liberates people from the prison of sin and religion.  Jesus words talk about liberation and freedom.  He is the real liberator Paula Kirby.

In Mark 7  He talks about what is clean.   He was throwing everything he could in the face of the Jewish religious heirarchy.  If you read John 8 and John 10, you see that it was the religion establishment that wanted to stone him on the spot.   So,  don’t give me anything close to saying that Jesus imprisoned you and you did not say that in your article–only that religion imprisons.  Well,  you are right.  I have to agree.  Religion does imprison but Jesus liberates.

Now,  before you get the wrong idea–I go to church–a great church.
All that a great church is,  is a community of people having some of the
greatest values in the world that you can have–in common.   Do some
churches represent religion?  Yes.  But if you find one like mine you
can be liberated from religion.  “Whom the son sets free is free indeed.”

There is only one true church–made up of the followers of Jesus.  But there are many “churches on the corner”, there are physical structures where people gather.  That does not make those gatherings a part of THE church.  THE church is not governed or characterized by physical structures or physical boundaries.

Take these notes:

According to the survey, 15 percent of church members they are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.

The younger the members, the more likely they are to be atheists or agnostics.

Bromander pointed out that there is no requirement that church members believe in Jesus or any particular religious figure.

This data is from a survey of the Church of Sweden.  But are these people part of THE church.  The 15% are not.

Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey.

Okay, that quote makes the point even more graphically.  15% of the church of Sweden are atheists.  Only 15% actually believe in Jesus Christ.   I hope the latter 15% are truly followers of Jesus but it is hard to know because they are with openly agnostic and atheist “members.”   Church membership does not make one a follower of Jesus obviously.   Knowing Jesus makes you a follower of Jesus.  Yes, knowing Jesus, knowing Jesus is sometime intimate.  It is not intellectual assent to his claims.  Knowing Jesus is something so intimate, that if you know Him, that’s not something that is going to ever be in the past tense.

So, yes faith in Jesus has an intellectual component but there is a faith component as well.   It is the faith component that brings you into a relationship with Him; that creates the intimacy such that once there, never could not knowing Him be a viable position.

God Strikes Back

Okay, Mr Dawkins got me going with this video.

He said: “they attack Darwin’s legacy, which they just don’t understand.” “They” in the context of Dawkin’s words are “Christians.” I agree, most Christians don’t understand Darwin’s legacy. I don’t understand Darwin’s legacy and I believe that the evolutionary theories are somewhat/partially true at a minimum. However, as mr Dawkins accuses Christians, so he, also fails to understand faith—and I would go further and say “in the least.” He does not care to understand faith.

However, some of Mr. Dawkins arguments aren’t even on the real issues. Faith is NOT, repeat NOT disproven nor dimished by advances in evolutionary theory. That is the straw man battle.   Advances in evolution theory say nothing about faith at all. What he needs to deal with is the theory of spontaneous generation. Why don’t we experiment with creating life from chemicals?  That would be a feat to crow about. But for evolutionists it may be a dead issue.   Proving mutations says nothing about creation or how we all got here in the first place.

Illustration of the Swan-necked bottle used in...

Swan-necked bottle used in Pasteur

Another totally falacious theory that Dawkins rides on is that faith is “blind faith.” That is, it has not evidence for foundation or support. That is a joke. Mr. Dawkins exists in 2010 and he is so ignorant of the faith legacy to say that?? So, it appears that pot is calling the kettle black or found guilty of what he is accusing people of faith of being.

And what about all the people who listen to Dawkins and just swallow it up, hook, line, and sinker. There is a great divide between those in non-faith communities and their heroes/leaders. There is also a great divide between those in the faith communities and their leaders. I think we all need to study and research the truth claims more than we do.

Richard Dawkins and Atheism–is there an alternative?

Richard Dawkins signing his book The Greatest ...

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Richard Dawkins think we have real threats in the world.   We do!!! But David Robertson surprises Dawkins with his counter here to the “sky is falling” mantra of Dawkins.  Take a look and see if you agree.

Is Richard Dawkins right?

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Is Richard Dawkins right?  Are the values that atheism brings best for the individual and for society?

After reading this article I had to quote the whole of it.  To me, this is an apologetic that should not go unnoticed by Christians and atheists also.  There is even something here to ponder for Muslims.

Ask yourself, do you agree with Ranald’s valuation of the human soul?  Where does the valuation that he speaks of come from?

Agreeing and Disagreeing with Dawkins

RanaldA chill swept through me as I read Charles Moore’s recent article on the Beijing games (1). Media images of hard, cruel-faced bodyguards accompanying the Olympic torch around the world now slotted into place. ‘As the choice of Berlin for the Olympic Games in 1936 marked Hitler’s success and international acceptance so the choice of Beijing for 2008 marks China’s’. In other words the global community is being treated to a massive con exercise. An emblem of peace masks a system of despotism.

The juxtaposition – Berlin and Beijing – is uncomfortable to say the least. And recent reports of secret nuclear submarine bases in south China, not to mention America’s unprecedented financial indebtedness to the Asian giant, make it the more so. It will be dismissed out of hand by some as ill-timed and uncharitable scare-mongering from an envious and declining West. But what struck me most about Moore’s comment is his historical and comparative analysis for, as well as being true, it provides a helpful introduction to what I want to say about Richard Dawkins.Olympic Torch ‘We have spent much time in recent years complaining about America’s abuse of power. Sometimes the criticism is justified, but we have hardly begun to consider the alternative and how appalling it would be. Whenever we attack America we do so in the knowledge that it has a visible system of self-correction that might listen to us. It has a constitutional structure which is built to accommodate differing views. China has nothing of the sort, and never has had.’

I emphasise the last four words deliberately: ‘and never has had’. At no point has China had anything remotely like the degree of social freedom and overall prosperity enjoyed for centuries in the West. In the more distant past its wealth and inventiveness surpassed anything comparable at the time. Similarly its social cohesion fostered by Confucian ethics was impressive. But none of these achievements ever existed alongside the enjoyment of individual freedom within the state. John Roberts, author of ‘The Triumph of the West’ (1984), expands on this. ‘At the deepest level it is in its Christian nature that the explanation of medieval society in shaping the future must lie…(for) at the heart of Christianity…lay always the concept of the supreme, infinite value of the individual soul. This was the taproot of respect for the individual in the here and now…(and) its importance can easily be sensed by considering the absence in other great cultures – Islam, Hindu India and China – of such an emphasis…In none of them was the safeguarding of individual rights to be given much attention until the coming of Western ideas’. And if this is true of what Roberts calls ‘the great cultures’, certainly it is more so of ‘the lesser cultures’, the indigenous and principally animistic societies of pre-Christian Europe, Africa, North and South America and the rest of Asia.

The relevance of all this for Dawkins is the attention it draws to Christianity’s uniqueness. Moore and Roberts seem to be in little doubt that one factor above all others distinguishes western civilization from cultures before and after. Through no inherent virtue of race or cultural heritage and with unreserved admissions of crimes and misdemeanours like the crusades and slavery committed en route, it still remains true that this civilization, uniquely in history, ordered its affairs according to the ‘supreme, infinite value of the human soul’. Whatever constitutional procedures, freedom of speech, relatively high standards of living etc it enjoyed, it enjoyed because of the Christian faith. That it became the envy and model of the world simply reinforces the fact that it was unknown elsewhere.

So, as was pointed out in Part I of this brief comment on ‘The God Delusion’, we readily accept Dawkins’ strictures about ‘religion’ in general. The Bible itself endorses them – that false religion lies at the root of human misery. But Christianity refuses to be aligned like this and interposes along with its other powerful evidences the empirical reality of ‘Christian heritage’ which refuses to let Dawkins off the hook. For if his assertions are correct it would seem to follow that atheism’s displacement of religion should usher in a more humane society. But the opposite is in fact the case for nothing in all history surpasses the brutality of the social systems most consistently modelled upon his own atheistic world-view – Nazism and Communism. He is of course unhappy with this juxtaposition and tries to avoid it, but his reasoning makes it hard to conclude otherwise.

“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…”(2)

‘No evil and no good’. It is the chilling logic of an atheistic worldview whether Chinese or British. And if the latter, because western, feels less threatening right now we should recall Berlin 1936.

(1) Daily Telegraph12/04/08
(2) The Blind Watchmaker


UK Poll reveals public doubts about Darwin’s theory of evolution and R. Dawkins is mad

The original survey results were reported in the London Telegraph here.  And Richard Dawkins website has a commentary on the results of course.

From the survey:

More than half of the public believe that the theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on Earth, and a “designer” must have lent a hand, the findings suggest.

And one in three believe that God created the world within the past 10,000 years.

The survey, by respected polling firm ComRes, will fuel the debate around evolution and creationism ahead of next week’s 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.

Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, said the findings feel that the results show “scientific ignorance among Britons.”

The suggestion that a designer’s input is needed reflects the “intelligent design” theory, promoted by American creationists as an alternative to Darwinian evolution.

Dawkins’ site makes this statement though in fact, Dawkins plainly admits to documentary producer Ben Stein, that there had to be intelligent input into the process to get to where we are today given biological complexity.

Dawkin’s site shows typical Dawkin’s response to these survey results.  But the site reveals, if true, some “radical” thinking on the part of the leadership in the Church of England.

While many fundamentalist Christians believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible’s account of the earth’s creation, the Church of England last year issued a statement conceding it had been over-defensive in dismissing Darwin’s ideas in the past.

The Church launched a website promoting the naturalist’s evolutionary views on which it said: “Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.”

I found the website of the Church of England, and, in fact,  the statements on the site were not so apologetic as the Dawkins site appears to claim.  For Malcolm Brown’s full article, click here.

There is much parsing of concepts and definition of terms before the cheerleaders of science and atheism such as Dawkins

Click here for the Dawkin’s site response to eh ComRes survey of Brits attitudes towards the theory of evolution.

From my own experience,  I love the scientific method but it is not fool proof.  There is a place for faith and intuition even in science.

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