“The God Delusion makes me ashamed to be an atheist” said Michael Ruse, a philosopher of biology at Florida State University.
As Ruse once pointed out, “Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing.”(Ruse 2010: int) I believe Dawkins, a brilliant Zoologist, failed again in his recent guest-voice post at The Washington Post: Dawkins: Don’t need God to be good … or generous.
Contending for a conclusion: “atheists and freethinkers are full human beings whose generous impulses are at least as sincere as those of the religious”, Dawkins expounded:
One reason for our[freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists – whatever name non-believers go under] unpopularity is the widespread belief that you need God in order to be good. Going along with that misconception is further belief that atheists are less generous than religious people, less philanthropic, less likely to donate to charity. Even if that were the case it would, of course, have no bearing on the truth of religious beliefs.(Dawkins 2012: post)
When theist and atheist philosophers argues that with the death of God, comes the death of objective moral values and duties, they mean that God’s existence, not belief in God, is the ontological ground for objective morality. Since if God does not exist, good and evil is illusory. Theists, atheists and freethinkers are good not because of their belief or lack of belief in God, but because of the existence of God.
It seems that Dawkins himself believes in this widespread belief that you need God in order to be good, since he wrote if there is no designer then “at bottom,[there is] no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”(Dawkins 1995: 85). He explained:
“This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”(Dawkins 1995: 112)
In The God Delusion, Dawkins explained “[i]t is pretty hard to defend absolutist morals on grounds other than religious ones.”(Dawkins 2006: 232) It seems Ruse was accurate in asserting that “People forget that it is possible to be intensely religious in the entire absence of theological belief.” (Ruse 2003: 335). I am beginning to believe that Dawkins is intensely religious. Well, I could be very wrong.
Washington Post Logo Vector – Creative Commons License
Dawkins, Richard (1995). “God’s Utility Function”, in Scientific American, November 1995
___________________ (2006) The God Delusion. London: Bantam Press
Ruse, Michael (2003)Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose? Harvard University Press.
_____________ (2010) Interviewed: Centre for Public Christianity