The Dawkins Proof – For the existence of God

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One of the first questions any philosophy has to answer is, “What is real?”
Richard Dawkins defines atheism by his answer to this question. In his book The God Delusion he says that an atheist is someone who believes there is “nothing beyond the natural, physical world”.

If the physical world is truly all that exists then it has to be possible to account for everything in terms of the interaction of the material particles that make up the physical universe. Dawkins doesn’t appreciate the problems of doing this. It is not possible to account for the existence of general principles in terms of material particles.

Take moral laws as an example: If atheism is true, and only matter exists then human moral behaviour – including formulating moral systems and making moral judgements – is just the result of matter obeying the laws of physics. Our morals are ultimately the result of forces of attraction and repulsion between the sub-atomic particles that make up the cells of our bodies. If your morals differ from mine it makes no sense to say that one view is ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’. There are no standards outside us by which we can judge between competing moral systems to decide which is best. There are no standards inside us either – just matter in motion obeying the laws of physics.

This is not to say that atheists have no morals. Atheists do have morals. The problem is that if atheism is true then moral standards are meaningless.

Some people will say that moral standards have whatever meaning we choose to give them – but that is precisely the problem. If someone gives them a different meaning or no meaning then no one can say that that is wrong. If atheism is true then there cannot be such a thing as a standard that a person has a duty to obey. And yet Dawkins behaves very much as if such standards do exist. He behaves as if atheism is not true.

Because it views reality as composed of material particles atheism is unable to account for the existence of general principles. This affects not only the area of morality but also science and reason. The Dawkins Proof explains these problems of atheism clearly in non-technical terms. It also examines and answers Dawkins’ main arguments against theism in his book The God Delusion.

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One of the first questions any philosophy has to answer is, “What is real?”
Richard Dawkins defines atheism by his answer to this question. In his book The God Delusion he says that an atheist is someone who believes there is “nothing beyond the natural, physical world”.

If the physical world is truly all that exists then it has to be possible to account for everything in terms of the interaction of the material particles that make up the physical universe. Dawkins doesn’t appreciate the problems of doing this. It is not possible to account for the existence of general principles in terms of material particles.

Take moral laws as an example: If atheism is true, and only matter exists then human moral behaviour – including formulating moral systems and making moral judgements – is just the result of matter obeying the laws of physics. Our morals are ultimately the result of forces of attraction and repulsion between the sub-atomic particles that make up the cells of our bodies. If your morals differ from mine it makes no sense to say that one view is ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’. There are no standards outside us by which we can judge between competing moral systems to decide which is best. There are no standards inside us either – just matter in motion obeying the laws of physics.

This is not to say that atheists have no morals. Atheists do have morals. The problem is that if atheism is true then moral standards are meaningless.

Some people will say that moral standards have whatever meaning we choose to give them – but that is precisely the problem. If someone gives them a different meaning or no meaning then no one can say that that is wrong. If atheism is true then there cannot be such a thing as a standard that a person has a duty to obey. And yet Dawkins behaves very much as if such standards do exist. He behaves as if atheism is not true.

Because it views reality as composed of material particles atheism is unable to account for the existence of general principles. This affects not only the area of morality but also science and reason. The Dawkins Proof explains these problems of atheism clearly in non-technical terms. It also examines and answers Dawkins’ main arguments against theism in his book The God Delusion.

Extra informatie

Aantal pagina's

128

Auteur

Richard Barns

Taal

Engels

Uitgever

Thedawkinsproof