Dawkins Needs Objectivism
Posted by Jerry on October 25, 2006
Richard Dawkins is woefully weak in his defense of atheism. He gave a brief interview on BBC explaining his views and his book. Having watched that interview, I strongly criticized Dawkins’ “atheism” as being fundamentally contradictory, weak, and subjectivist. Here are my critical comments that I posted over at Brett Keller’s blog:
I didn’t like Dawkin’s interview at all. For a scientist who supposedly should think in a logical manner, his atheism is fundamentally contradictory. He concedes that he must leave room for the possibility (however small) that there might be a god, and yet, he claims to be committed to the “truth,” and that the religious believers are believing a lie. God’s existence has to be either true or false–there are no two ways about the existence of an entity. One either exists or one does not.
Thus, if Dawkins is claiming a committment to the truth–and if truth is a conscious identification of reality, then he should be bold enough to actually say that the truth is that there is no god! It appears to me that Dawkins is trying to have his cake and eat it too.
Dawkins’ position is fundamentally contradictory because insofar as his position is explicit “atheism,” he cannot logically also concede that there is a possibility for the existence of God.
There is a term that we have for Dawkin’s position–it’s called agnosticism. I suspect, because Dawkins wishes to have his cake and eat it too, he prefers to use the term atheism–which explicitly differentiates itself from agnosticism by declaring that there is no God–in order to couch his arguments in a more compelling manner. However, he is unfortunately mired in empiricism.
To simply say, I am an atheist because I don’t believe in god(s) is merely to make a very subjective statement about one’s own beliefs without making any reference to objective reality, i.e., whether or not an entity such as God really exists out there.
Atheism is not merely an absence of god-belief, but an assertive credo stating that there isn’t any god to believe in. Atheism is the recognition that there is/are no god(s). It is not merely a belief that there is no god, but a true recognition of that fact. A belief could be mistaken, or proven wrong at some future point. A true recognition of a fact by a conceptual consciousness is a recognition of reality as is.
The only logical derivative from Dawkins’ definition of atheism would be for him to stick to speaking about his *subjective* and empirical reasons for not believing that a God probably exists. In the end, he must concede that he has made no relevant and definitive statement applicable to objective reality, and that faith is a permissble faculty through which one can possibly know of the existence of god.