Regarding the recent National Post article “Ditching God”
As a Christian and an observer of the current surge of atheism I find what is happening troubling but not surprising. Christians by and large have not lived exemplary lives, and thus they are lives to which others do not aspire.
I have been reading The God Delusion, writing about it, and engaging atheists in discussion. In almost every non-televised forum where atheists and Christians are engaged in discussion, you will find that most atheists are not very much like Richard Dawkins, which is why I find it curious that anyone would expect Dawkins to “make atheism more respectable.”
As far as I can tell, mocking, taunting, and name-calling are among the most widely criticized tactics of the religious establishment against which Dawkins rails. Employing those same tactics in response is surely no way to gain respect.
Dawkins claims to be reaching out to religious believers but clearly his song is one that is sung to those already in the choir. It is more of a “rah-rah we’re in the club” document than one that attempts a winsome defense or appeal to a life without religion.
None of this is to say that Dawkins does not make good points or ask questions that demand answers in his book; he does, but by his own admission his book is not accomplishing what he intended it to. In the preface to The God Delusion Dawkins says that “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down,” but in a recent interview he admits “I am not that optimistic that I am shaking people’s faith.”
Further evidence of a tactical modification is found in the declaration that he, Harris, and Hitchens are, “making it easier for those who are already skeptical to come out and admit the fact.”
Dawkins should not wonder why he is not shaking people’s faith, and why he is not reaching the “dyed-in-the-wool faith-heads” he claims to be targeting in his book. His points being as good as they are, most non-atheist readers will not read 375 pages of valid arguments if they are constantly interspersed with derision.
Christians failing to emulate Christ have driven many away from Christianity; atheists who fail to emulate Dawkins just might draw a few more to atheism.
Read "I Sold My Soul On eBay" author Hemant Mehtah’s take
on the same article
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