Richard Dawkins’ Unselfish Gene

“[The Selfish Gene] is mainly intended to be interesting, but if you would extract a moral from it, read it as a warning. Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to.”(Dawkins 1976: 2-3)

The Selfish Gene is one of the books I would recommend to Christians who love pondering some of worthy reading challenges offered by other worldviews. Dawkins is at his best in this book.

Even though we, Christians, do not share his conviction, Dawkins contended awesomely what a natural human behavior  is, in a naturalist worldview. As a reformed Christian, I noticed that this is what I would call “radical depravity” in the doctrines of grace.  Despite the fact that I do not share Dawkins solution, I believe he correctly observed the nature of a natural man.


Dawkins, Richard(1976) The Selfish Gene. 30th Anniversary 2006 edition, published by the Oxford University Press, UK.


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