Even Atheists Can Get Some Things Right
Richard Dawkins has often been willing to buck the system and to speak truth on some of the pressing culture war issues of our day.
It is hard to be wrong all the time. Some folks might get close, but because we live in God’s world and are made in his image, the closer we seek to be to reality, the closer we will be to God’s truth. If an atheist for example says we should treat people with dignity and respect, he is saying something that is quite true.
The trouble is, on his own worldview he really has no basis whatsoever for making such a claim. It is only because God exists and has made us in his image that we have a solid foundation for seeking to treat others as we want to be treated.
But an atheist can say other true things. He can tell us that 2+2=4. That is true and I can agree with him on it. Obviously on other matters we disagree fundamentally. On the God question we are poles apart. Those who do not humble themselves before their maker will soon enough face God as their judge. That is a scary place to be in.
Of course one clear case in point would be uber-atheist Richard Dawkins. His 2006 book The God Delusion may have been a best seller, but it was such a bad book that even some fellow atheists were embarrassed by it. But such was his irrational misotheism that he was happy to offer this long-winded rant to the public. I did a two-part review of it here and here.
So one would not expect folks like me to find much common ground with folks like him. But sometimes there is, and when he says stuff that is true and helpful, I am happy to run with it. In fact I am happy to quote it and give credit where it is due.
That was the case for example in my 2011 book Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality. I have a chapter in that book on whether homosexuality is genetically based. In it I quoted a number of experts, even homosexuals, to make the no case. And I quoted Dawkins as well. As I wrote on pages 65-66:
But homosexual activists continue to insist that homosexuality is genetically based, and nothing can be done about it. Science, again, begs to differ. One person who should know is Oxford’s Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene. Dawkins argues that “the body of genetic determinism needs to be laid to rest.” Says Dawkins, “Whether you hate homosexuals or whether you love them, whether you want to lock them up or ‘cure’ them, your reasons had better have nothing to do with genes. Rather admit to prejudiced emotion than speciously drag genes in where they do not belong.”