Darwin’s Faith: The Religion of the New Atheism


New Atheists, like Richard Dawkins, deny that they have faith, but it is all in the way they define faith. Even so, they do have faith. Their faith is in the human intellect and capacity to reason, and this is their religion.

Perspective

Depositphotos Photography ID: 59162885 Copyright: irstone

The New Atheists today scoff at people of faith. Richard Dawkins has even urged his followers to mock people of faith. The same people bristle at the suggestion that they, themselves, have faith.

Yet they do have faith, and they are apparently too blind to see it. As intelligent as they are in the field of science and their philosophical naturalism, they are ignorant of the true meaning of faith and not self-aware enough to know that they have it.

In fact, the faith they have might even be characterized as the kind of faith Dawkins urges people to mock. Let me explain.


To begin with, I need to identify how Dawkins has defined faith. In a debate with John Lennox, and in other contexts, Dawkins defines faith as belief without evidence or even belief “in the teeth of the evidence”. Dawkins limits faith…

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4 Comments on “Darwin’s Faith: The Religion of the New Atheism”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Atheism is not a philosophical position, nor is it a religion, nor is it a belief system.
    Atheism describes what someone is not, it does not describe what they are.

    “Yet they do have faith, and they are apparently too blind to see it.”

    If that is fair to say, then it is also fair to say the same thing about believers:

    “Believers have logic, they just are too blind to see it.” – Do you see how condescending that is? Not to mention how it fails to get a message across because it is nothing more than a passive aggressive insult.

    If someone has a valid point, they do not need to rely on insults or putting down the people on the opposing side. Debates are for attacking ARGUMENTS, not the people who hold them.
    Ad hominems have no place in philosophical discussion.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Yes! You see my point. I have just put the shoe on the other foot.

      Like


    • A few more thoughts. First of all, I don’t mean to be condescending. What I have done is take the arguments that Richard Dawkins made in his debate with John Lennox and turned them on their head. I can see your point, which is why I have turned them around, and I am glad that you can see what I see.

      Atheism is the foundation of a philosophical system that views the world from the viewpoint of naturalism. Science doesn’t (and can’t) tell us whether God exists or doesn’t exist. Science is limited to the study of the natural world. If God exists, God is necessarily not part of the natural world so we should not expect to find God in it (anymore than we should expect to find a painter in a painting). But, atheism is a conclusion that God does not exist – it is a philosophical conclusion.

      As for ad hominems, I am not attacking anyone but the argument Dawkins argument makes. Charles Darwin was actually a pretty humble and honest guy. I don’t think he would make the arguments Dawkins makes. He was honest about his own weaknesses and the weaknesses of the theory of evolution.

      The bottom line is that Dawkins accuses all people of faith as having “blind faith” (his words). He is clearly wrong to categorize the nature of faith for all people who claim to have it. And, the truth is that everyone has faith in something – even if it is faith in the belief that there is nothing beyond this natural world. Faith is evidence-based for most people, and there is nothing in the nature of faith that demands that it be blind. I have no doubt that some people do have a kind of blind faith in God, but that can be as true for the person who hangs on Dawkins’ words without any independent research or thought.

      If I have offended you, that wasn’t my intention. .

      Like


  2. Amanda, after sleeping on it, I believe you are absolutely right. I should not have gone the direction I did. I have rewritten the whole piece, but it looks like you will have to go to the original piece to see the changes.

    Like


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