The Faith of Richard Dawkins


I find it intersting that Richard Dawkins includes this quote on his website:

“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

It’s little surprise, given his rabidly egotistic dogmatism that he is quoting himself. The very font of wisdom, I’m sure. He thinks so anyhow. He’s a bit over-the-top, even for an atheist.

I can’t help feeiling the quote is ironic. You see, Richard Dawkins is a man of faith. He believes in Darwinism. He believes that man came about from evolution and that God and religion in general are superstitions. The problem is that evolution cannot be proven empyrically. No one can go back and prove it happened. No one sees it happening now. It may well be a myth. Darwin himself admitted that if the missing links could not be found that his theory was suspect. Dawkins believes in the face of a startling lack of evidence. He believes that the evidence will be found. It may yet be found, but he believes now without it. That is faith.

If Dawkins were a Christian, he’d be a Catholic, for not only is he a man of faith, he is also a man of tradition. He refuses to consider theories such as punctuated equilibrium, popularly dubbed “punk eek.” He believes in conventional, traditional Darwinism, in which speciation occurs by gradual natural selection. Like the Catholics, tradition is more of the authority for him than the fundamentals of the faith. He even has a bible of sorts, The Origin of the Species, though he tends to throw in apocryphal works by himself as being just as authoritative. Yet it is faith. 

I suppose the greatest cop-out is pretending that one kind of faith [faith in theoretical Darwinism posing as empyrical science] is less superstitious than another [faith in God].

-Sirius Knott

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Neil says:

    Dawkin’s philosophy and logic are the Christian equivalent of Joel Osteen’s “sound doctrine,” in that both are imbalanced and weak. He creates his own definition of faith, which is his prerogative, I suppose – but it is not the kind of faith we see in the Bible.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Jack says:

    Jesus!

    I came on to this website because I was researching renaissance festival inaccuracies for jokes in a screenplay. I had no idea it was a close minded religious blog. Fundamentalist (and close minded) christians these days may not realize it, but they are trying to stop the natural order of things: Evolution, progress, change, whatever you want to call it. Times are changing through natural selection. Natural selection is very simple, really. What works will prevail, what fails will die.

    Look at Democracy and Aristocracy. Aristocracy, like religion, worked very well for thousands of years to create order in the chaos of the world. Once the world was civilized, democracy (which had existed as an idea for thousands of years already) prevailed. Democracy works because it gives more power to the masses, who are now *nearly* capable of understanding and using that power wisely. Democracy would not have worked during the renaissance because the public was not educated and to easily manipulated to make their own choices. Granted, some rulers back then may have abused their power, and that is why today Democracy outweighs the cons.

    The bible worked similarly to bring order to the world. Many people today still need that helping hand to trust in. However, there is no need to force religion onto children, telling them they can’t leave because they were “born” into it. These are the things that stop our world from progressing.

    Groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church (http://www.godhatesfags.com/ [a truly disheartening website, it took me a minute to make sure it wasn’t a joke]) may be an extreme example, but it shows the problems with many religions today. The bible needs to grow up.

    The bible is meant to be interpreted. Living proof is the many different kinds christianity that exist today, each based around the same book but believing different things. And yes, mormons and Catholics are christians too. They follow Christ so they are christ+ians.

    If the bible can’t make room for evolution, it will die. Your critique of the line “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” Is:

    “I can’t help feeiling the quote is ironic. You see, Richard Dawkins is a man of faith. He believes in Darwinism. He believes that man came about from evolution and that God and religion in general are superstitions. The problem is that evolution cannot be proven empyrically. No one can go back and prove it happened. No one sees it happening now. It may well be a myth. Darwin himself admitted that if the missing links could not be found that his theory was suspect. Dawkins believes in the face of a startling lack of evidence. He believes that the evidence will be found. It may yet be found, but he believes now without it. That is faith.”

    Yes, we are all people of faith. If we only believed what we know to be true the world would go nowhere. You are also forgetting a fundamental part of science: Science does cannot prove, only disprove past theories.

    Yes there is some proof for the bible, as there is for every religion, or as they are now known, “myth.” Case in point: There is evidence there may have actually been a trojan horse. Does that mean that there really was an Achilles? No, but I have faith that he may have been a real warrior. Was he hung over a magic fire as a child to make him invincible in all but his heel? I have very little if no faith that that is true.

    So creation. Evolution states one thing, the bible states another. Again, the bible is meant to be interpreted, and this is the one part that is rarely interpreted to my knowledge.

    But here’s the thing, there is an enormous amount of evidence to support evolution. Much of it is very complex, so I can see where a person who is not advanced in biology and geology can get confused as to how it proves anything. That is because it doesn’t. It only shows that there WERE dinosaurs, and dinosaurs WERE NOT alive at the same time as humans. (As well as countless other things that WERE NOT alive at the same time as each other for millions of years) If this disproves the literal interpretation of the creation story, so be it.

    It needs to be reinterpreted. I have yet to meet a christian who still thinks the world is flat.

    Maybe evolution isn’t really solid in every little place, but it is the most solid thing we can rely on today. At least there is evidence. ALOT of evidence.

    The evidence for Adam and Eve is absolutely nonexistent, I challenge you to show me some. I’m not denying the possible existence of a God, but my point is simple:

    United we stand, separated we will be conquered. We have to stop these pointless arguments and little war between opinions. If we don’t find middle ground, one of us will fall, and that will be religion. I don’t know this for a fact, but seeing the patterns of the past, it is unlikely it will survive in a changing world if it doesn’t accept that change. The world does need faith, even if it isn’t for everyone.

    Frankly, I don’t know where this rant is going, I just felt like saying it. I’m done with this website and it’s silly nonsense. If you are a level headed, open minded person you will publish this comment, and I will leave thinking a little better of your faith. If not, I will begin leaning towards the “I was right about those idiotic christians.”

    I am very interested to hear your opinion on my opinion. I have tried to be as understanding towards your beliefs as I can, and I hope you can have the same respect for me.

    BTW, I suppose I might mention that I am 16 and though I am rather odd, I have feelings and am going through an intense period of heartbreak right now. Just like you, I am a human, not an internet troll. I certainly hope I have not come off as one.

    1. Hi Jack,

      I haven’t been online for a while. I’m glad that you aren’t a troll, but since there are trolls who would love to fill this site with hateful screed, all comments are moderated. I’ll do my best to briefly answer your comments.

      This site is no more close-minded than an evolutionist site or an atheist site. We promote a certain view and I hope that we do so with integrity. I obviously disagree with you that natural selection [something creationists and evolutionists agreee occurs, btw] has anything to do with humanity. When humans are involved, we’re automatically dealing with artificial selection instead.

      I’m not sure who your history teacher is, but your take on aristocracy and democracy is a marginal theory promoted by Marxists. Democracy was invented more or less by the Greeks and existed both in practice and in theory since its conception. It did not become viable until it was grounded in borrowed Christian ideals, as it exists in America.

      The Bible is much more than a moral codebook meant to establish order. More than a quarter of Scripture is prophecy, much of it fulfilled. Fulfilled prophecy, typically spanning centuries between utterance and fulfillment, is a supernatural authentification of its being the very Word of God. Have you read it?

      It stands to reason that if the Bible is true, we ought to teach our children that it is such. This is not forcing releigion upon a child. I don’t know of anyone who tells their children they can’t leave because they were born into it. In fact, many parents are heartbroken that their children and grandchildren have left the church to their own damnation. But it is their choice, as it is everyone’s.

      Groups such as Westboro Baptist Church make the choice to twist Scripture to suit their own prejudices and agendas, also to their own damnation. Yet their hypocrisy does not negate the Bible’s truth. All of the burnt-edged, runny-middled, egg-shell-riddled omelets in the world do not invalidate the recipe for the perfect omelet – they simple show us why we need to follow the Cookbook’s directions. It is not the Bible that needs to grow up, but folks need to follow it instead of trying to get it to say what they want it to say.

      The Bible is meant to be understood. It is not a book that can be privately interpreted to suit our opinions. It is true that there are many different denominations, but the truly Christian sects differ only in nonessential elements. We agree on far more than we disagree. Of course, not all that glitters is gold and not all who claim to be Christian are.

      I willl agree with you that Catholics are Christians, but Mormons are a cult claiming to be Christian but denying key essential doctrines. I’m sorry but there is a certain minimum criteria for athentic Christianity, as much as there is for authentic Islam, Jainism, etc. They claim to follow Christ but deny who he was, so they follow a Christ of their own making not the Chist of the Bible and of history.

      The Bible doesn’t need to make room for evolution any more than it needs to make room for any other error. You have it right that sciencecan only disprove past theories. The problem is that it is wed to pure naturalism. So all it can do is to give us all-natural solutions that may or may not be true and are most certainly false where God actually did something. Unfortunately since by these all-natural rules,science cannot even consider the supernatural, it is incapabale of telling us when we ought to prefer the natural over the supernatural where it concerns the unobservable, nonrepeatable past. In those cases, it must rely on reliable documentary and eyewitness evidence. Pure naturalism begs the question as to whether supernatural revelation [the Bible] or supernatural agency [via a Creator] are even possible.

      That you would say that there is “some” proof for the Bible and that it is only comparable to evience for other religions tells me that you have not yet seriously studied the Bible’s proofs.If you applied your historical skepticism to evolutionary proofs I wonder how well it would hold up?

      The thing you’ve missed is that nature, evidence, facts have to be interpreted as well. Rocks don’t come with handy labels telling us when they were formed and what processes occured in said formation. We have to interpret the evidence we see. We generally interpret the evidence according to our presuppositions. For example, an evolutionist will never interpret the evidence in a manner inconsistent with evolutionary theory any more than a Biblical Christian will interpret the evidence in a manner contrary to Biblical revelation. For example, when an evolutionist sees design in nature, he must say that it is apparent design, that it only looks designed [the position of Richard Dawkins, btw], lest he deny the presupposition of pure naturalism.

      There is much evidence used to support evolution, but this is the very same evidence Creationists interpret to support Creation and a worldwide flood. We have exactly the same rocks, universe, animals, fossils, stars, universe, etc – the same evidence. We simply interpret it differently.

      For example, you noted that the evidence only shows that there were dinosaurs, but then you incorrectly stated that it also shows that it also shows that dinosaurs were not alive at the same time as humans. What the fossil record actually shows is that humans and dinosaurs were not buried together. The time scale is an interpretation. The fact that humans and dinos were not buried and fossilized together could also be interpreted to mean that they lived in different ecosystems; for example, would you expect to find a kangaroo and an elephant buried together? What about a polar bear and a deep sea angler?

      The Bible doesn’t teach that the world is flat. It uses figures of speech like any other writing. Creationists do not say that the Bible needs to be interpreted woodenly literal.

      I encourage you to explore the proofs of the Bible with an open mind. I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction if you’re truly interested.

      -Tony

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