Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Like Dawkins

The thing is I like Richard Dawkins. I disagree with him vehemently, don't get me wrong. And I look forward to ripping him apart, in so far as I am able, as I dig my way through The God Delusion. But I have to tell you that in some ways Dawkins is a breath of fresh air. At least he believes something and what he believes in he is passionate about. People nowadays don't believe in anything passionately neither will they state anything about those beliefs forcefully for fear of offending someone. Enough of the political correctness already! Who cares if people are offended? If Dawkins is right and I am a fool for believing in God then I need to be offended, knocked upside the head rhetorically; perhaps it will bring me to my senses. And if Dawkins is wrong and playing the part of the fool (as I believe) then why shouldn't I unload verbal salvos upon him and his stupid arguments? Plain speech is a virtue!

With that in mind look for four things as I slowly plow through The God Delusion. First, look for me to take it slowly. I may read each chapter two or three times before moving on to the next. This will enable me to grasp his thoughts and subtleties well and give me time to distill my thoughts and responses and answer him well. I may be dull enough not to have oversome my childhood indoctrination into Christianity, but I have enough wits, I think, to participate and participate well, in polemical discussion. Second, look for me to be fair to Dawkins and treat him honestly and fairly whether he does the same with theists and/or Christians or not. Dawkins is not Satan. He is created in the image of God and in no more or less need of God's grace than any of us. Stupid, sinful, holier-than-thou attitudes toward people like Dawkins, which I fear are the norm in our shallow age, do nothing but fan the flames of their hatred of religion and give them justification for that hatred. Third, look for me to praise those ideas and attitudes of his with which I agree. Some posts in this line-up will be exactly that. And, last, look for me to treat him roughly, just as roughly as he treats others, when it comes to points of disagreement. Dawkins obviously likes it rough so rough is how we will have it.

Dawkins is far more educated than I am, is far more accomplished, and has much more experience. For that I respect him. He has also brought this debate down to the popular level as opposed to leaving it on the academic level and for that I am thankful. I am a big first amendment guy in case you haven't noticed and I think that hashing these things out in the popular, public sector is good for society. The fact that we can discuss these things on the level of the people and leave the discussion with our lives and liberty intact is a reflection on the goodness and rightness of the American ideal. People need to be interested in events and venues which cause them to think. I hope they will. That's why what Dawkins is doing cannot be seen as ultimately bad from a Christian perspective. If he challenges us and we rise to meet that challenge then what he has done is ultimately good--good for us and good for those who are given the opportunity to hear our defense of our faith. Truth will win the day. I believe that. Don't you?


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