Intelligent Atheism

Why Richard Dawkins is Doing it Wrong

Richard Dawkins, popular author of books on topics of evolution, biology and religion, such as The God Delusion, is probably today’s best known promotor of atheism. Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, a phycisist, travel the world promoting a ‘scientific worldview’ as filmmaker Werner Herzog calls it.

But rather than focusing on why (religious) dogma is wrong I believe the focus should be why science is right. I take this from a book by Ricardo Semler that mentions a truck salesman’s failing efforts to sell more trucks. The salesman was burning all his efforts explaining why customer’s previous brand of trucks was a bad choice, summing all flaws and defects. When the salesman started to focus on why his own product was good, sales soared.

Ridiculing dogma

The right way to defeat dogma is to show alternative explanations can be true, but without necessarily attacking the dogmatic believer, which would emotionally upset them. On the other hand… it may be better to ridicule what religious people do believe:

  • If you don’t believe in evolution, you believe that God created all fossils to fool man.
  • If you believe God created the Earth 6,000 years ago, then you believe God painted the cave paintings of Lascaux and Chauvet and many others just to fool us.
  • If you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, then you believe that Norway’s fjords were put there by God, rather than the result of glaciers pressing down during the last ice age.
  • If you believe God created the Earth, you believe that God put the tectonic plates of Europe and America in motion, just for the fun of it.
  • If you believe God created the universe, you believe that God put all the stars and galaxies in place moving at predetermined velocities, just for the fun of it.
  • If you believe God created the universe, you believe that God programmed stars to become supernova’s and to have them explode at certain dates in the future, for no reason whatsoever.
  • If you believe Jezus could walk on water, you believe the laws of physics don’t apply to everyone.
  • If you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, you believe that Champollion forged all the Egyptian hieroglyphs relating to events before that time.
  • If you believe in God, you believe that something can come from nothing.

Besides, did you know that there are over 4 billion people living in East Asia who do not believe in god(s)? They are Confucianists, Taoists, Daoists, Buddhists and others. As Confucius said to his student: “Why bother thinking about an afterlife if you don’t even know how life works?”

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Intelligent Atheism by Mathijs Koenraadt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.