In April 1999, fifteen students were tragically shot in a high school near Denver, Colorado by two crazy gunmen who then killed themselves. One of the students was Rachel Scott, a young girl who was a Christian. She was apparently asked by one of the gunmen if she believed in God, to which she replied, “Yes”. She was then shot dead. Was she courageous or was she deluded? Many people would say she was courageous, joining thousands of others who through the centuries have been willing to even give their lives for their faith in God. Other people would say that he was deluded. That includes Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins is the author of a best-selling book published in 2006 called The God Delusion. He is a British biologist who lectures at Oxford University. He is also a popular science writer and a high profile atheist. As of November 2007, the English version of The God Delusion had sold over 1.5 million copies and had been translated to 31 languages. It was been on the non-fiction best-seller list since its publication. In this book, Dawkins proposes that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in a god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. Dawkins is encouraging atheists to ‘come out of the closet’ and to embrace their atheism. He declares that it’s the 21st century where science and technology rule, so let’s get rid of old fashioned religion.
So what do we do with all of this? Well, let’s remember that attack on faith is nothing new. In fact, Christianity has been under attack for 2000 years. Yet, it has survived and it is still growing. However, the spiritual battle is heating up. There is a new aggression and greater animosity. Dawkins intention for his book is clear - “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.”
Despite Dawkins passionate attack, I don’t think there is much for believers to be worried about. If these are the best arguments against belief in God, then let’s have a look at them. After all, all beliefs are to be discussed and even debated. Let’s focus on the central issue of whether God is a delusion or not. None of us are in a position or have the ability to present ‘absolute proof’ about whether God does or doesn’t exist. By nature, God is a spirit being and he can’t be measured through material means or via the scientific method. However, there is quite a bit of evidence that we can look at when considering the question.
We'll look at this during this week's blog posts ...