Fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt;
not one does what is right.
– Psalm 53
I’ve always thought atheists are the most arrogant people. Ever.
While agnosticism — uncertainty about the existence of God — is an understandable position to hold, atheism — the conviction that God doesn’t exist — is not only an intellectually arrogant position to hold, it is also logically indefensible.
Allow me to explain.
Agnostics don’t know if God exists or not. They are skeptical about whether God exists for any number of reasons, including the absence or lack of empirical evidence (or so they say) for God’s existence, and perhaps the most problematic of all — how does one explain the existence of evil, if a loving and omnipotent God exists?
Atheism, however, is indefensible on logical and empirical grounds. The atheist credo, “There is no God,” is what philosophers call a universal or Categorical Negative — an assertion that something (in this case, God) absolutely does not exist.
This is akin to saying “There is no such thing as a chartreuse rabbit” (a naturally chartreuse-colored rabbit). Imagine how this assertion can be verified or “proven” to be true.
Take a minute or two to think about it. I’ll wait . . . .
To prove that the statement “There is no chartreuse rabbit” or “Chartreuse rabbits don’t exist” would require you to look around and ascertain that you could not find a naturally chartreuse-colored rabbit — not just in the town or city where you live, not just in America, not just on Earth, but in all the millions and millions and millions of planets, stars, moons, and asteroids all across the Universe. For even though you and I had never seen one, nor has anyone in all of human history, how do we know chartreuse rabbits don’t exist somewhere in the unimaginably vast Universe? We can exclude the possibility that chartreuse rabbits don’t exist only if we had seen EVERYTHING in the Universe.
The same goes for the atheist’s Categorical Negative that “There is no God.” Just think how arrogant the atheist must be to presume to know EVERYTHING there is to know in the Universe, so that s/he actually presumes to know that God doesn’t exist!
Notwithstanding all his academic credentials, achievements, and popular acclaim, 72-year-old English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is just such an arrogant know-it-all. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in The Brothers Karamazov, wrote: “In a world without God, everything is permitted.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that Dawkins recently made the news with his astonishing proclamation that there’s nothing wrong with a little “mild pedophilia” — whatever “mild” pedophilia means.
Kirsten Andersen reports for LifeSiteNews, Sept. 12, 2013, that when he was 11 years old, Dawkins had been sexually molested by his art teacher who pulled the boy onto his lap, reached into his shorts, and fondled his genitals. When young Dawkins told his schoolmates, he learned he wasn’t alone – their teacher had abused other boys, too.
But 60 years later, Dawkins can’t bring himself to condemn the teacher’s actions, but instead strains to defend the creep. Dawkins told The Times magazine that abuse like he and his classmates suffered causes “no lasting harm,” and that “mild pedophilia” or “touching up” shouldn’t be judged as harshly as rape or other crimes.
Ever the moral relativist, Dawkins said: “I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today.”
Victims’ rights groups reacted with outrage to Dawkins’ comments. Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, said Dawkins’ remarks were “a terrible slight” to victims of childhood sexual abuse: “Mr. Dawkins seems to think that because a crime was committed a long time ago we should judge it in a different way. But we know that the victims of sexual abuse suffer the same effects, whether it was 50 years ago or yesterday.”
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood and himself a victim of abuse, said, “Abuse in all its forms has always been wrong. Evil is evil and we have to challenge it whenever and wherever it occurs.”
Dawkins’ reaction was to double down on his remarks via social media, taking to Twitter to argue that “’Mild touching up’ is bad. Raping 8-year-old wife to death is worse…Quantitative judgment vs. black/white.”
When users reacted with anger to the statement, he pressed on, writing, “Is anyone seriously denying that raping an 8-year-old to death is worse than putting a hand inside a child’s clothes? Are you that ABSOLUTE? Non-consensual sex is always bad. But raping an 8-year-old to death is quantitatively worse than ‘touching inappropriately. Shades of grey.”
This is not the first time Dawkins has said something controversial about pedophilia. In his book The God Delusion, he argued that raising children in the Catholic faith is more abusive than sexual molestation. Referring to the priestly abuse scandals then rocking the Church in Ireland, Dawkins wrote, “Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.”
What an arrogant, hateful, and confused man!
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.