Unbelievable? Chapter 8

A chat with Dawkins

This was to me the most boring chapter.

He writes he asked Dawkins, if we lived in a universe where rape was considered fine, would that mean rape is fine.

He says Dawkins response was that it is enough that we live in a universe where rape is not considered fine, a response which Justin finds inadequate. To turn this question on its head, if as Justin insists, we live in a world governed by god who is the lawgiver and it programmed such a law, what would we do? The argument that god is good by definition will not cut it. We have no way of knowing the nature of god, so the Christians have told us. They can’t have it both ways.

Justin takes issue with the following memes

  • Atheism as simply a lack of belief in god

He claims that atheism has been defined typically as the belief that there is no god. On the contrary I think many atheists have defined atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of god as contrasted to theism which is the belief that their is a god. This could be splitting hairs but they mean different things. Again contrary to his claim that this definition makes the atheist no different from an agnostic, many atheists would willingly admit they are agnostic with regards to belief in god, that is, we do not know whether or not a god(s) exists. It is no argument against atheism that there is disagreement on how it is defined.

  • god didn’t create humans, humans created god

As far as memes go, this is interesting. Maybe Nietzsche had a point, was god man’s first mistake.

Justin goes after the argument, unsuccessfully I must add, that our belief in the supernatural began in an ignorant age arguing that the source of a belief should is not sufficient to prove that its contents are also false. We however have occasion to believe that humans make wrong inferences all the time, and so it is with religious belief.

  • out of the thousands of religions only Christianity is true

Justin says this argument undercuts the grounds of atheism as well. I don’t see how. It is either one religion is true, all are true or all false. But atheism isn’t a religion. He continues to say Christians hold some common beliefs with other religions such as a creator god and that historical evidence supports the existence of Jesus. The Jesus question we already dispensed with in a previous chapter.

  • Hell

He says god is not sending anyone to hell. That you are consciously choosing with your own freewill to go to hell by rejecting god. Why did god create hell if she didn’t want anyone there anyway? And why not nudge us away from disbelief?

  • Religion is to blame for all the conflict in the world

is first of all a strawman. No one makes this claim ( I don’t know if the claim by Hitch that religions poison everything could apply?) but what I have heard is at least that religion is responsible for some of the conflicts in the world. And this is undisputed. To claim a body account between atheism and theism doesn’t advance the argument for theism. It only tells us human systems have their flaws.


an apology for atheism? Really

On this site we hardly write about public figures unless they are politicians and this is to ask them to stop being idiots politicians and for once act like statesmen and we refer them to the lives of such men as Solon, Lycurgus, Gandhi, Lincoln, Cato and Cicero. We have read a few of Dawkins’ books and they were good reads. We are not writing this in defense of Dawkins, on the contrary, we intend to correct a misrepresentation of atheism not by him of course.

apology a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly

Having dealt with matters definitions, an apology for atheism would be something written with the aim of defending atheism. In this post, Darwin’s non apology is an apologetic for atheism where the OP first gets the name of Dawkins wrong and brings Darwin into a question that has nothing to do with him and lastly drags atheism into the whole picture, as they say, from the backdoor.

We mentioned Dawkins because he wrote a tweet to which he later wrote an apology/ explanation on his site. We have read his apology and we think it is fine. In it, he clearly says to have or not have an abortion is to be made by those concerned. This is the position I think that most reasonable people would hold.

The OP to which we refer to writes, emphasis by us,

Without God, the highest achievement can only be one’s own temporal happiness. Without God, person-hood is endowed on a sliding scale according to a child’s growth toward (or an aging person’s growth away from) usefulness, a “a gradual, ‘fading in/fading’ out definition.” Without God, humanity has no value beyond what some men consider useful, so “the decision to abort can be a moral one.” Without God, there is no objective moral standard for good and evil, right and wrong, yet the moral law written on every fellow human heart created in God’s image compels even atheists to reason about “moral” choices, despite the reductio ad absurdum. That Law on our hearts can be suppressed for a lifetime, but ultimately convicts. Atheism is in every case a temporary state

As we have repeatedly noted, the theist has to demonstrate the following things;

  • what god is
  • whether god is
  • what are objective moral values
  • whether the gods love the pious because it is the pious, or whether the pious is pious only because it is loved by the gods

Having mentioned the above, what other duty has man apart from his happiness, temporal or a-temporal whatever the case maybe. If pro-choice is seen as endowing person-hood with a sliding scale of usefulness, its corollary must be that with god, the value or morality of a woman is dependent mainly on how many number of children she can push into the world regardless of whether they stand a chance in life or not, as long as they are born! I think this is a warped way of thinking.

To write,

without god, humanity has no value beyond what some men consider useful

is to create a strawman of the pro-choice stand. The statement also assumes only the godless abort which every right thinking person knows ain’t the case. The idiots, Islamic State, that are on a killing spree are doing it in the name of a god they believe supports their cause. To tell us that without god such and such is the case is really to be an idiot of the first degree. It is to act like one who is not aware of the things believers to do to each other every day to get ahead.

To the universe, I would hazard, whether there is life or not, would not make a lot of difference, in fact, in a sense, some places would be better without human beings. We have destroyed whole ecosystems, forced animals into extinction and continue to kill each other and the environment without a care for the future.

It is time we must change the statement to read

with god, everything is permitted!

For in most instances, believers have invoked the names of the deities they believe in as they commit crimes or its alter ego.

Dawkins apology has nothing to do with atheism. It says nothing about whether or not there is a reason to not believe in god. It talks about one issue and that is who makes the determination in the case of a pregnant mama. Is it some self righteous idiot who doesn’t know what it means to be pregnant or is it the couple concerned who understand what it means to terminate a pregnancy. This is the question we must ask. It has nothing to do with atheism. You can try to draw atheism into it, but it will not work.

This closing statement

Richard Dawkins’ pro-abortion statements make perfect sense on Atheism, which would make a genuine about-face apology quite unexpected anyway.

must be refuted for Dawkins did not make a statement about god belief or lack thereof. His apology which is in fact an apology, is about his strong held position on pro-choice. It is not pro-abortion. To call it so is a misrepresentation of others who hold onto the same position.

We here conclude that Dawkins did make an apology, this we agree, but it is apology for pro-choice and not atheism. Having said this, I invite anyone who thinks I got it all wrong and that Dawkins apology is in defense of atheism please show me the light, increase my unbelief.