The Extremism of Richard Dawkins

The Extremism of Richard Dawkins

The extremism of Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is one of the most popular Atheist books on the market.  Sadly though, it was monumentally disappointing!  I honestly thought this book would challenge my faith, make me think, and give me food for thought, but it had the opposite effect.  I found myself smacking my forehead and asking, “Did he really just say that?”  “Is that really his best argument?”

 Dawkins claims were shallow and shoddy – more of an emotional rant than anything intellectual.  Every chapter caused me to grow more and more frustrated as I continued to wait for the good arguments to begin, but alas, they never did.  He only undermined his own already weak position several times over.  I suppose that’s why many atheists disowned this book and distanced themselves from Dawkins after it was released. 

It seems painfully obvious that most of the people who adhere to Richard Dawkins are high school and college students, and those who have an agenda against God or the Church.

These people know little to nothing about God, Christianity, or the Bible. Unfortunately, Dawkins’ himself also knows little to nothing about these things.

One of my biggest problems with Mr. Dawkins is the blatantly obvious bias that he brings to the table and his flagrantly dishonest presentation of the facts.  Most times, he does not even get the Christian arguments correct before he attacks them.  He tries to tear down that which wasn’t even accurate in the first place. 

Dawkins’ Errors!

This post will briefly discuss one example from The God Delusion that annoyed me and shows how shallow and dishonest his arguments are.  

In his chapter on morality, Dawkins uses the example of a man who shot an abortion doctor back in 1994, and then uses this one man as his whipping boy for several pages to prove that all religion is bad.  Hmmm.  How can one person equal a whole religion?

Regarding this, Dawkins states; “Yet, they and their friends of the Army of God made it their business to set fire to abortion clinics, and they have made no secret of their desire to kill doctors.”  Then he names the ONE example of such a thing happening – almost 20 years ago – from an obscure little cult.  Worse, he will then beat this one, single, solitary example for too many pages and make the conclusion that all people who follow religion act this way.  His conclusions are completely irrational. 

Notice Mr. Dawkins doesn’t (and probably can’t) name any more examples, which is why he inflates this one and beats it do death.  When numerous examples abound, he uses them.  So, where are all the evil Christians killing abortion doctors?  Where are all these cases? 

Secondly, he conveniently forgets the millions of other normal Christians who also believe that this sick man (and his small group cult) is a perversion of the Christian faith.  Christians would not only be horrified at such a tragedy, but they would react the same way as Dawkins did, with horror.  So, here is Richard Dawkins’ low-level reasoning in a nutshell:  One bad man = all of Christianity.

After enumerating some extremists like Osama Bin Laden in his chapter, Richard states that, “The take-home message is that we should blame religion itself, not religious extremism – as though that were some kind of terrible perversion of real, decent religion.”

And, this is the heart of the problem.  It is a few extremists Mr. Dawkins!  All one has to do is look at the teachings of Jesus to see that the examples you use are people who fail to live up to the model He presented.  (Also, See my post, Does Religion Cause War?).

One wonders how quoting perhaps 10 or 15 people in a chapter out of 2 billion isn’t itself being extreme?  One wonders how a few individuals doing bad things justifies blaming all religion everywhere?  Only Richard Dawkins and his New Atheist buddies can be that out of touch, that extreme, and that uncredible.

If all religious was poisonous as Richard believes, and if religious violence was the norm, then a case could be made that religion was bad.  If the shootings of abortion doctors happened frequently, you can bet your bottom dollar Dawkins would let us all hear about it.  But they don’t, which is why he obsessively hammers on this one case. 

For every one case Dawkins brings up, he leaves out millions of good people.  Using Osama Bin Laden, who everyone considers an extremist does not bolster his case.  Nor does Bin Laden represent all or even most of Islam.  Therefore, it is the individuals who are extreme, not the whole religion. I could see if the majority of people were barbaric and flying planes into buildings, but the majority of religious people are like you and me, good people who care for others. (See my post, Does Religion Cause War?).

This is why Richard Dawkins can’t be taken seriously.  Most sane people in the world know that Osama Bin Laden was an extreme case, as was the abortion doctor episode, and yet, Dawkins actually has the gall to attempt to make them the norm.  This is why most people consider Dawkins an extremist or a fundamentalist.

Richard Dawkins does succeed in proving two things.  First, that there are some people who do not live up to the teachings of their professed faith.  And second, he demonstrates his blatant bias and desire to prove religion wrong at any cost – even the cost of sounding sill and losing any credibility he might have had!

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a thirty-eight year old speaker and retreat leader. He has spoken to adults and teens for the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has been aired on both TV and radio in different states. Bryan also runs the R.O.C.K. (Revival Of Catholic Kids) Ministry Team that puts on all-day retreats for teens. He is going for his Masters in theology and working on writing numerous books and tracts.
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