Richard Dawkins is arguably the most prominent atheist that is alive today. Growing up in a Christian home, he became very interested in the natural sciences from a young age. After learning about Darwin’s theory of evolution, he soon converted to an atheistic worldview. Dawkins deserves some credit as a biologist. However, I can give him absolutely no credit as a philosopher.
I opened the book that Dawkins released back in 2006 entitled The God Delusion. This book has raised so much awareness toward atheism, and it is ultimately the reason Dawkins gained the amount of fame that he did. I figured, if this piece of work was as cracked up as everyone makes it out to be, I ought to check it out. I opened up to a random page and the first piece of text I read was this: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” Wow. This leads me to think two things. First this book was written to attack Christians. Second, Dawkins has in incredibly ignorant view of the Christian religion.
Dawkins takes a scientism worldview. He believes that if it cannot be explained scientifically, then we have no basis to say that it exists. So, from what I have read of him, his reasoning goes like this. For many years we have thought that the great complexity of life had to have been the result of a creator. Since we now have evolution, we do not need a creator anymore, for we start with something simple and progressively get more complex. Since life can be explained without a designer, then we should never assume that the details that we see in our universe are the result of a creator, but of scientific properties, even though they can’t be explained by these properties yet. On this basis, we have no reason to believe in a God, but rather certain scientific properties can reduce the “probabilities” and other factors in our universe, just like it did with biological life. Also, if God did exist, he would have to be much more complex than His creation, so therefore, He can’t exist, because He can’t be reduced to something simple.
There are some big problems with these arguments. First of all, it is not science like he claims that it is. As a supporter of evolutionary theory, I can easily say that life can be explained using certain scientific properties. However, to extrapolate that out and claim that, because of evolution, we can explain every detail without the need of a designer is a PHILOSOPHICAL view, not a scientific one. You cannot test any of that scientifically, you have to look beyond. You can’t even bring the topic of God into question without leaving the scientific realm and diving into philosophy, it’s just not possible.
Every scientific property is automatic, but just because there is an automatic mechanism there (gravity, thermodynamics, evolution, etc.) does not mean that the designer of these mechanisms is superfluous. I can explain how a watch works in very great detail, but that does not mean that I exclude the designer who made this watch work. Also, Dawkins does make a point that God would have to be more complex than his creation. This is true, however it is irrelevant. God is outside of time and the laws of our universe. He cannot be measured by these properties, and since He is supernatural, there is no reason why He cannot be an infinite regression. The ultimate problem with Dawkins is he views everything with a scientific worldview, and that leaves people with empty answers.
Richard Dawkins, though he has contributed much to the field of biology, has done nothing in the field of philosophy except confuse the minds of people.