Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Atheist's Gaffe

Richard Dawkins is one of today’s most vociferous and militant atheists. With books like The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker he has tried to use his pen like a wrecking ball to knock out the foundations for faith in any “higher power”—whether it be Zeus, Allah or God. Dawkins is infamous for saying, “Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.” No wonder then that Dawkins is touted as one of the ringleaders of the so-called “neo-atheism,” which is a more outspoken and belligerent brand of unbelief than what we’ve previously seen from the ivory towers of academia.    

However, in 2012 Dawkins proved the shallowness of his atheism with an embarrassing blunder. Dawkins was debating the Rev. Giles Fraser, former canon chancellor of St. Paul's Cathedral in England, on BBC Radio 4 when the evolutionary biologist was challenged by his opponent to name the full title of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life).  Keep in mind that Darwin’s book is something like the atheist’s Bible because it explains the naturalist worldview and gives the skeptic’s metanarrative for the universe.

Dawkins stammered and stuttered, “On the Origin of Species…Uh…With, oh, God, On the Origin of Species. Um . . . There is a sub-title with respect to the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.” It was truly a humiliating moment for "the high pope of Darwinism.” Dawkins tried to quickly deflect by saying, “There are very few people who believe in the theory of evolution could get that question correct.”

As you can imagine, the media had a field day with the tongue-tied Dawkins. One op-ed piece said the mess-up “was a golden minute of radio. But as well as being hilarious, it was hugely symbolic.” Another journalist for Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that “the atheist army is led by an embarrassingly feeble general. The arrogance and intolerance of the atheists, exemplified by Prof Dawkins, is their Achilles' heel.”[1]

I think that Dr. Ravi Zacharias had the best quip of all when he commented, “The ultimate proof of the sovereignty and the omnipotence of God is that it even takes an atheist who doesn’t believe in God, to call upon God, to remind him of the title of the book that helped him deny God.”[2]

The Bible declares that “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God’” (Ps. 14:1). Furthermore, Paul explains in Romans 1:19-20, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Whether the scientist looks down into the microscope or up into the telescope he cannot escape the intelligent design of wise Creator. The complexity of the genetic code (Ps. 139) and the precision of the universe’s laws and constants (Ps. 19) scream out to us that God’s fingerprints are everywhere on the creation. Without the predictability and regularity of an ordered cosmos the scientist cannot even do science. If we take the atheist at face value then we shouldn’t believe anything they say since they are nothing more than the result of a random process of evolution. With that being said, how can we trust their thinking process if they are nothing more than a cosmic accident?

So why does the atheist deny God? For the answer to that I will submit to you the insights of C.S. Lewis who said:

“One reason why many people find Creative Evolution so attractive is that it gives one much of the emotional comfort of believing in God and none of the less pleasant consequences. When you are feeling fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest. If, on the other hand, you want to do something rather shabby, the Life-Force, being only a blind force, with no morals and no mind, will never interfere with you like that troublesome God we learned about when we were children. The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the Life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?”[3]

So there you have it. Man denies the existence God not because of lack of evidence, but because he really doesn’t want there to be a God to hold him morally accountable. Dawkins and others of his ilk might say otherwise, but when you get to the heart of atheism its nothing more than a smoke-screen for personal autonomy. We want our own way and will invent fairy tales to erase God from the picture. As G.K. Chesterton remarked, “The atheist cannot find God, for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.”  

[1]  MICHAEL GRYBOSKI, “Richard Dawkins Forgets Full Title of Darwin's Book in Debate,” The Christian Post, 15 February 2012 <http://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-dawkins-forgets-full-title-of-darwins-book-in-debate-69563/> .

[2] For Zacharias comment watch this video <http://serial5.ru/watch/BZ4DAXmW8I8/ravi-zacharias-richard-dawkins-gaffe-2012.html> 

[3] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco: Harper One, 1952) 26-27. 

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