Monday, October 19, 2009

Dawkins on Faith

“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. Faith is not allowed to justify itself by argument.”
Richard Dawkins, “A Devil’s Chaplain,” 117

Maybe we should ask Dawkins what evidence he has for this definition of faith. What defence can he mount for such an ignorant statement? Does he know of anyone but other atheists who would say something so stupid? Does he have any evidence at all? Does he cite any authorities on faith?

Of course if a Christian cites an authority, our evidence is called a fallacy because it comes FROM an authority. There is not a single group of people on the planet who have so carefully guarded their beliefs from scrutiny as have atheists.

As it turns out, Richard Dawkins is simply presenting his own twisted, and bigoted ideas on faith. Millions of atheists read this crud and that is the impression of Christian faith with which atheists live.


SmartLX said...

William Lane Craig was asked if he would believe in the Resurrection if he went back in a time machine and watched it fail to happen. He said he would, due to the "self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit." In other words his perceived personal connection to the divine trumps any verifiable contradictory evidence that might surface, let alone any which exists now. There is no evidence you could possibly present which would change his mind.

Kurt Wise is a scientist Dawkins uses to demonstrate his definition of faith. He has said, "...if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate."

Not all the faithful simply ignore evidence to maintain their beliefs. Some argue against it. However they all have the option to ignore the evidence, and even great minds like Wise and top apologists like Craig declare that they would exercise that option if they had to.

Therefore, evidence is ultimately irrelevant to believers as soon as it speaks against them, and Dawkins gets his idea of faith directly from them.

Makarios said...

Are you saying that if all the leading scientists agree that all the evidence proves X, that means that X is true?

SmartLX said...

Hardly, although that usually makes X very likely.

I'm saying that there are prominent people of faith who match Dawkins' definition of faith perfectly.

SmartLX said...

Besides, that's not what Wise said. He wouldn't just ignore a consensus among other scientists, he would hold firm if the evidence indicated to him personally that the world is billions of years old. He would ignore his own faculties to hold on to his faith.

Makarios said...

I've read that quote by Craig. Had he time to think a bit more he would have been forced to say that the evidence upon which he is depending (the felt / experienced presence of the risen Christ) would not exist IF Jesus had not risen from the dead.

For both of them, the experience of the indwelling of God's Spirit trumps any and all other evidence.
This is not ignoring one's faculties but placing a higher worth to one facuty over another. Is this wise? Mmm, I don't think so. However I can't promise that I wouldn't do the same thing. Jesus is as real to me as is my wife and family. It would take an awful lot to get me to toss that aside. In fact, His presence is so real, I'm willing to have you and others think that I'm a lunatic. And that's no small thing. Having others like me has always been a big deal to me.

SmartLX said...

You're not a lunatic simply for being wrong, if you're wrong that is. Lewis' Trilemma is too harsh on those who are misled.

It's just that if someone told you they felt the indwelling of Rama's spirit, or Ahura Mazda's spirit, and you thought they were sincere, you would immediately assume that they had misinterpreted the products of their own minds as the presence of false gods.

If people think the same of you, how do you know they're wrong about you and right about the devout Zoroastrian?

Makarios said...

Are you suggesting that the historical evidence for Rama is as solid as that of Jesus?

SmartLX said...

If you want to make that comparison, the historical evidence for Rama is as solid as that of God himself, the existence of the great Hindu leaders like Adi Shankara is doubted no more than that of Jesus and evidence of miracles is level across the board.

Even if we knew your god existed, what you feel as His spirit might still not be. If you came up against someone who felt the same way but had a conflicting message from God, one of you would still be wrong.