Saturday, July 28, 2007

Richard Dawkins

I realized after my last post that I have been thinking about Richard Dawkins a lot. If you haven't heard of him, you can read some quotes by him here.

As a Christian and a convinced member of the design science camp, you would expect that I would be feeling something negative toward these views. I admit that I don't think I could be close friends with someone that seems to breathe hatred towards me on account of my most cherished beliefs. However, in some ways we are far more alike than would be obvious at first glance.

Here is a man who is agreed with me on a very fundamental point: there is such a thing as truth! He is totally convinced that I am wrong, that my world view is absolutely askew. I am totally convinced that he is wrong, that his world view is completely off base from the root. We disagree on everything except for this: there really is some objective truth, a reality which explains existence.

It is actually refreshing to see someone who has firmly established in his mind that there is a true explanation for existence, and is willing to say so. I think the truth gets clouded and damaged when people try to be "tolerant" and "open-minded". I want to slap some people and say, "DAMN IT! WAKE UP! You can't believe everything, you fool!" I can absolutely guarantee you that Richard Dawkins is not open-minded, and I applaud him for it. I have spent a great many years forming my beliefs and thoughts, and I am not about to easily give over to every stupid whim of an idea that floats along. Open-mindedness usually means you hold no opinion dear and so you have not questioned things deeply enough on your own to hold your own thoughts. Richard Dawkins holds his own thoughts and so do I. We will probably never come to any agreement whatsoever, because I am completely and utterly convinced that he is WRONG. I flagrantly and proudly and abundantly proclaim that he is wrong, just as he does to me.

I'm not saying I "believe" he is wrong - that is a terribly wrong use of that word. I am saying that he IS wrong. Belief does not mean, I kind of weakly hope that my vague thoughts about the nature of reality are true, but I'm not sure. Belief means, I am thoroughly convinced that my view of the world is true. I have thought about this, read many books, reflected on many ideas, and fought and worked to understand TRUTH. You are going to have to work very very hard if you are going to convince me otherwise, and I guarantee you that you are not going to be able to persuade me on fundamental points. I believe what I believe, and I believe it very strongly and very deeply. I believe it, not because it is comforting or helpful or because I was raised that way. I hate these reasons for "believing" something. I believe it because I am greatly seeking truth. TRUTH.

There is actually truth. There is a real explanation for existence. No one is going to get anywhere in their life work if they have not become convinced on this particular point, and strangely, on this point, Richard Dawkins and I are on the same page. There is truth.

I think that is all I want to say with this post: doesn't anyone really believe in anything any more? We seem to live to only keep from offending one another, and this is a really weak basis for living. Offend me! I will love you for it. We may disagree, but that doesn't mean I don't respect you for having the courage to actually think deeply enough about the world to have something you can disagree with me about. I think we can be civil and strongly be convinced of what we do actually think the world is made of.

1 comment:

Jon Cordas said...

Dawkins is as dogmatic, bigoted and judgemental as the Christians he opposses. His is a contrast of "reason" versus "belief". He may be as ideologically entrenched as a fundamentalist Creationist, but he has "reasons" for his convictions. Too many Christians don't consider or challenge the irrationality that is part of all religions. It is this laziness and lack of intellectual curiousity and rigor that irks many athiests. I don't see Dawkins as a "seeker of truth" as most Christians are not seekers of truth. Both sides are smug in their assumptions and both sides could find genuine common ground in a serious and profound search for Truth.