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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Richard Dawkins: The Failed Philosopher

There was a time when Atheists earned the term “free thinker”. It was a time when Atheists used their rationality and logic to try to solve philosophic problems that are created when one believes in God, but it is no longer that time. Atheists now have a single religious leader who tells them what to think. Richard Dawkins is the most quoted atheist of our time. Atheists seem to look up to him as a wise leader and expect him to answer these questions for them. Their trust could be put in the hands have a much more qualified man than Dawkins. Dawkins, while he may be a gifted biologist, fails as a philosopher. His own made up definitions of philosophic positions, such as Pantheism, are completely wrong. But Atheists follow his divine words with such gumption, they could never admit when he is wrong. When I state that Richard Dawkins is a failed philosopher to Atheists, they usually say “He never claimed to be a philosopher”, and one time an Atheist even added, “That must be the wisdom shining through”. Whether or not Dawkins has claimed to be a philosopher, he is ultimatley acting as one when he discusses philisophical positions and/or philisophic problems. Now, I want to correct all who believe the lies and bull spewed by Dawkins when it comes to philisophic matters. philosopher

Pantheism

Dawkins has described pantheism as “sexed up Atheism”. Dawkins says that pantheism is simply atheism, because they don’t believe in a God. He says they use the term God to refer to nature. If you were to walk up to any pantheist or philosophy professor and gave them this definition, they would laugh at you. It is simply wrong.

While pantheists do use the term God to refer to nature, there is more to it. Pantheists do believe in the divine. They do believe in God, even though they do not believe in the common Judeo-Christian concept of God. Pantheism comes from the Greek words for “all” and “God” and it literally means “God is all“. If Dawkins could even take the time to understand the name, he would realize just how wrong he is. They believe that the universe is one with an all-encompassing, immanent God.

Atheists have even gone as far as making up a new term to try to prove their Lord and Master, Dawkins, right. This new term is “Scientific Pantheism”. A scientific pantheist is exactly what Dawkins describes Pantheism as: sexed up Atheism. They do not believe in a God, rather they refer to nature and the universe as a whole using the term “God”. Scietific Panthiesm is just one way in which modern day atheists are trying to highjack a philisophic position that has absolutely nothing to do with Atheism.

It is this very wrong definition of God that makes Richard Dawkins believe that certain people are atheists, though a good understanding pantheism proves otherwise. One example is Albert Einstein. Einstein is quoted in saying, “I believe in Spinoza’s God”. And for that reason Dawkins have not only claimed Einstein was a Pantheist, but also an Atheist. But if Dawkins had taken the time to look at a couple of things, he would never have made this mistake. The first is this: What did Spinoza really believe? The second is: How much did Einstein really know about Spinoza’s God? Max Jammer, a close friend and colleague of Einstein, wrote in his book (Einstein and God) that Einstein actually knew very little about Spinoza’s God. In fact, Einstein, says Jammer, stuck to Spinoza’s writings on ethics Though, if Einstein had learned more about Spinoza’s God, he would know that Spinoza did believe in the divine. In fact Spinoza wrote, “It is utterly false to suppose that it is my intention to equate god and nature” in a letter.

Deism

Another philosophic term that Dawkins gets wrong is Deism. Dawkins referred to Deism as “watered down Theism”. While it may seem like so to Dawkins, that is entirely wrong. Theists believe in a personal God based solely on one religious text or another. Deists use logic in order to infer from the universe that a God does exist, but that God does not reveal himself to humans. The reason Deists do not believe in a personal God is not because they are a watered down version of theism, but because they use their reasoning and logic to try to understand God. Deists have come to the conclusion, through logic and reasoning, that God has not revealed himself to mankind through any forms of special revelation because there is no reliable evidence to make such a claim.

He fails to grasp the basic beliefs of Deists when he uses like “I do not believe in a personal God” to prove Einstein was an Atheists. Deists do not believe in a personal God, either. To claim someone is an Atheist simply because he does not believe in a Personal God is, quite frankly, stupid.

Agnosticism

In discussing agnosticism and how agnostics look at the question of God’s existence Richard Dawkins says “The alternative which I favor is to renounce all euphemisms and grasp the nettle of the word atheism itself.” Here Dawkins is clearly stating that Agnostics should consider themselves Atheists. Why? Agnosticism has absolutely nothing in common with Atheism. Agnostics believe that God might or might not exist, while Atheists believe God does not exist.

Dawkins has a [wrong] answer to this, as well. Dawkins says that Atheism is the gospel of “I don’t know”. That is completely wrong, yet Dawkins’ religious followers grab on to that too. Historically Atheism has aways been the “gospel of there is no God” yet, with one man saying different an entire community of Atheists jump on the band wagon.

Conclusion

It is clear that those Atheists that follow Richard Dawkins religiously are no better than organized religion. These atheists are dogmatic, fundamentalist and lack the use of logic, much like Dawkins himself. If Dawkins wants to continue to philosophize, he should learn more about what he is talking about. He cannot change the definitions of words simply because it suits his agenda.

11 comments:

  1. Nice post and blog you have here. I have nothing against atheists or atheism as I have a couple of good friends who are atheists. But I have a problem with the militant atheists who usually converted from conservative Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to atheism and use Richard Dawkings as some kind of quotable messiah to attack all forms of beliefs in a deity(s). They have become just like the religious fundamentalists with this behaviour.

    As deist/Unitarians, may we use our logic and reason to help mediate such extreme beliefs.

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  2. Thanks for that article.
    I wrote an article on so-called "scientific pantheism" on my blog http://duellingdeist.blogspot.com/
    The article is called "Scientific Pantheism- Contradiction in terms, and a form of PanDeism in actuality".
    http://duellingdeist.blogspot.com/2010/02/scientific-pantheism-contradiction-in.html

    Keep up the thought provoking artciles

    p.s. I don't think Dawkins ever said that atheism is the gospel of 'I don't know"{maybe I'm wrong}. But I know Bill Maher said he preached the gospel of "I don't know" both in his movie 'religulous" and on his show and in interviews,etc, and unti8l recently Maher refused to call himself an atheist, but rather an agnostic, an apatheist, and a ratioanlist, abnd held deistic views even up till several years ago. Now he's c alling himself an atheist though as of earlier this year.

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  3. Just tweeted this (or twittered, twitted, whatever's the right verb).... don't entirely agree as I think Dawkins has much of value to teach us, but simply not about what theological philosophies mean. His attacks on actual specific theistic arguments are about right, though he's simply repeating or rewording what has been better framed before him.

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  4. I'm definitely not a Dawkins worshiper ( He has made quite a few mistakes in his book ), however, what I'm trying to say is that just because you can't agree with his views, does not mean that he is wrong. Perhaps, you're just not seeing it right.

    There is definitely no concrete evidence supporting god's existence.

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    Replies
    1. What do you want him to do, come down and say "hello"? We use logic to make inferences about the first cause. Dawkins is an arrogant twit making a bunch of money off shepherding.

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    2. You assume a "first cause" thus begging the question, not very logical.

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  5. What exactly is phiosophy as distinct from philosophy ?

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  6. This article is stupid and i'm am agnostic. i do believe in the possability of a god but i personally feel that if there is, this god is not omnicient or omnipotent. Whoever wrote this article also should use spell check to fix simple errors such as misspelling scientific. Atheists do not worship him as a leader they quote him just as anyone would quote influential people. Why was this long article made just to rag on Richard Dawkins?

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  7. "Historically Atheism has aways been the “gospel of there is no God”"

    A reference would be nice. Because I've got one proving you wrong right here:
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=atheist

    Atheism was and always will come with the denotation of its root prefix ('a-', meaning 'without; lacking') and word ('theos', meaning God). Only recently (relatively) has it also started to mean the affirmation that there is no god/are no gods. Note that even denial of gods is dissimilar to this.

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    Replies
    1. Also, it's "Einstein and Religion" not "Einstein and God". Since you pride yourself in correct knowledge, you shouldn't be sloppy in your articles.

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  8. I stopped reading when you called Dawkins a religious leader, I can't take you seriously after that

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