Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 7 (7 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Dawkins' Atheism Is OK, But So Is Theism

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 4 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 12/1/09

Become a Fan
  (21 fans)

The very quest of science bespeaks a search for the intelligible. But for centuries in western philosophy, intelligibility has been attributed to the Word. Thus the human desire to know discussed by Aristotle can be understood as providing a basis for reasoning our way to the existence of God, as Lonergan shows in the book "Insight: A Study of Human Understanding" (1992).

If Dawkins and other scientists today would prefer to carry out their investigations without making explicit that their very work presupposes some kind of intelligibility, they are of course free to proceed to do that. But that is a deliberate non-explanation. But is that non-explanation corrosive of the life of the mind, as Dawkins says that the supposed non-explanations of religion are?

In any event, Charles Darwin himself was a Christian. Granted, he may have found his own insight about evolution by natural selection corrosive to his religious faith, as other Christians have found his insights to be corrosive to their religious faith. But what exactly about their religious faith was being corroded?

So far as I know, the only things that Darwin's insight about evolution by natural selection might corrode would be the literal interpretation of the biblical accounts of creation in the book of Genesis. But I would say good riddance to the literal interpretation of those accounts of creation.

However, I would point out that religious faith should involve far more than those accounts of creation. Religious faith involves trusting in God.

But if atheists want to say that they do not trust in God, I have no problem with their saying that. However, it is hard to live without trusting anyone or anything. So what is the atheist's motto going to be -- "Trust no one and nothing"?

In the title of his book Fetzer suggests that we should render unto Darwin what is his due. I have no problem with doing that. But let us also trust in God, the transcendent divine ground of being -- that without which there would have been no evolution.

I can understand that American biologists do not like to be attacked by Protestant fundamentalists. As I've indicated, I think that Protestant fundamentalists should stop making such attacks. But Dawkins' militant atheism strikes me as the wrong way to go about fighting those attacks. I would urge American biologists to read Fetzer's book and to call it to the attention of Protestant fundamentalists.

Yes, evolutionary theory should be defended from the attacks of Protestant fundamentalists, as Fetzer has done. But the target should be their attacks on evolutionary theory -- the target should not be religious belief in God.

Dawkins and his fellow atheists surely cannot think that they are going to abolish religious belief in God in favor of their atheism. That strikes me as an unrealistic goal. But what would be a realistic goal, or perhaps goals?

It strikes me that American atheists should join other concerned Americans to support the efforts of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. But Dawkins is not an American. However, even he might recognize the wisdom of directing militant atheism to support militancy to support the well-known American doctrine about the separation of church and state.

For example, expressions of religiosity should be kept out of the public square. The public square should be non-religious or secular in spirit. The principle of the separation of church and state should be used by American biologists to argue against the introduction of so-called intelligent design theory into public education as a supposed alternative to evolutionary theory.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Tell Dawkins atheism is OK, but so is theism

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

www.d.umn.edu/~tfarrell

Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Was the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello Murdered in the U.S. 25 Years Ago? (BOOK REVIEW)

Who Was Walter Ong, and Why Is His Thought Important Today?

More Americans Should Live Heroic Lives of Virtue (Review Essay)

Martha Nussbaum on Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Book Review)

Hillary Clinton Urges Us to Stand Up to Extremists in the U.S.

Matthew Fox's Critique of the Roman Catholic Church

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
"If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot b... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:16:25 AM
Hmm...apparently you have described only two choic... by lwarman on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 3:17:37 AM