Richard Dawkins

By Chance Complex Versus Simple
Alien God Ancient Error
Declaration of War Hero-Worship
The Binding of Isaac Thomas Jefferson
Judge of the World Retention Rate
Absence of Belief Edgardo Mortara
The First Amendment Adolf Hitler
False Advertising Bigger is Better
Secondary Causes Thy Neighbor
Gospel of Judas Joseph Atwill

By Chance

Amongst the chorus of shrill, small voices of the 'New Atheism,' who could mistake the dainty, giggly tones of Richard Dawkins. This giddy little man is all over the internet. However, one might almost say that, if Dawkins did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, because he provides a remedy for a persistent and debilitating disease. What contrast could be more stark than to say, a.) the world arose by chance, and b.) an intelligent mind designed and built the world? Yet confusion keeps arising, who knows from where. Richard Dawkins has done wonderful work in explaining to people that evolution is atheism and atheism is evolution; hopefully there will be no further misunderstanding on this point.

Classical science: the science of Newton, Galileo, Boyle,— sought to demonstrate that things do not happen by chance but according to order. Modern science,— Darwinian evolution, the 'multi-verse,'— seeks to demonstrate that all things arose by chance, and that a different throw of the dice would have produced an altogether different outcome. If what Newton did was science, then this cannot be science; if what these people are doing is science, then a different term must be found for what Newton and his colleagues did.

What is chance? It is not any real thing in the world. It is a denial that two things are related. Accounting for everything by invoking its power,—as modern science does,—is to deny that explanation is available. And how do they know this world is not rational?

How does Dawkins address this difficulty? By 'rebranding:' chance is unpopular, so drop it. Why fixate on chance, even though this system runs on no other engine, when the real ace up their sleeve is an adverb? 'Gradually:' "The answer is that natural selection is a cumulative process, which breaks the problem of improbability up into small pieces." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 147).


  • [Madalyn] “And they always give these four definitions of existence. And always the first one violates the last one. Because the first one says that, from nothing nothing comes, and the world could not have been spontaneously generated. And then they go back and they say, however God spontaneously generated the universe and He created it from nothing.
  • [Walter] “Because He existed.
  • [Madalyn] “Yes, who was His mother?
  • [Walter] “Ah, now you're to the point that's interesting.
  • [Madalyn] “Who was His mother, and who gave him the energy, who gave Him all the molecules, the protons, the electrons, the neutrons, you see?”
  • (1968 Radio Debate between Walter Martin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, 1:15:09 - 1:15:47).

Complex versus Simple

Richard Dawkins wants it understood that positing a creator-god is self-defeating because any such would be more complex than the phenomena to be explained:

  • “Any designer capable of designing something really complex has to be even more complex himself.”
  • (Richard Dawkins, February 2002, "An Atheist's Call to Arms," 6:26).

Thus, he explains, they are "simply compounding the problem." But Christian theologians have historically posited that God is purely simple. In so doing they are following in the footsteps of Jewish theologians: ". . .but the Deity is not a compound object. . ." (Philo Judaeus, On the Change of Names, Chapter I); "And is not this reasonable? for it follows of necessity that the virtues of God must be pure and unmixed, since God is not a compound being, inasmuch as he is a single nature. . ." (Philo Judaeus, On the Change of Names, Chapter XXXIV).

This is considered an important point, "There cannot be any belief in the unity of God except by admitting that He is one simple substance, without any composition or plurality of elements: one from whatever side you view it, and by whatever test you examine it: not divisible into two parts in any way and by any cause, nor capable of any form of plurality either objectively or subjectively, as will be proved in this treatise." (Moses Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed, p. 84). It would be a mistake to assume Christian theologians would rather side with Dawkins in ascribing composite complexity to God: they do not: "When we speak of the simplicity of God, we use the term to describe the state or quality of being simple, the condition of being free from division into parts, and therefore from compositeness. It means that God is not composite and is not susceptible of division in any sense of the word." (Berkhof, Louis (2017-02-04). Systematic Theology (Kindle Locations 1269-1271). GLH Publishing.)

What they mean by this is that God is not assembled from 'off-the-shelf' parts, or indeed any parts at all; He is not a composite whole which comes to life through assembly. He cannot be riven into His constituent parts, because there are not any; thus He is 'simple.' In imagining his 'complex designer,' Dawkins is simply assuming God is a biological organism. One wonders if he also believes a designer who designs something big like an elephant must be big himself, or something small like an ant must be small. If so he should hold the thought: a designer who designs a universe which is intelligible, as is ours, must be intelligent, as this is the most parsimonious way to account for this quality.

It is this author's boast that he pays no attention to his critics; willed ignorance is his calling card. Though there is no theist who says, 'God, if He exists, is an immensely complicated biological organism,' Dawkins doggedly demonstrates the fallacy in this unheard argument:

"Seen clearly, intelligent design will turn out to be a redoubling of the problem. Once again this is because the designer himself (/herself/itself) immediately raises the bigger problem of his own origin." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 145-146).
"In any case, even though genuinely irreducible complexity would wreck Darwin's theory if it were ever found, who is to say that it wouldn't wreck the intelligent design theory as well? Indeed, it already has wrecked the intelligent design theory, for, as I keep saying and will say again, however little we know about God, the one thing we can be sure of is that he would have to be very very complex and presumably irreducibly so!" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 151).

In other words, the one thing we can be sure of is that, if God exists, He is nothing at all like what the theists describe Him as being. This is a shouting match between deaf people.

Richard Dawkins himself realizes theologians say that God is simple: "Theologians had always defined God as simple." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 183). And he understands what 'simple' means; it means 'not comprised of parts:'

"A God capable of continuously monitoring and controlling the individual state of every particle in the universe cannot be simple. His existence is going to need a mammoth explanation in its own right. . .Indeed, the biologist Julian Huxley, in 1912, defined complexity in terms of 'heterogeneity of parts,' by which he means a particular kind of functional indivisibility." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 178-179).

So what is his response to the discovery that theologians do not agree with his premise that God is a very, very big biological organism? What any two-year-old's response would be, he screams 'Liar!' It is difficult to see the problem: "Richard Dawkins has rejected this argument on the grounds that God is too complex a solution for explaining the universe and its laws. This strikes me as a bizarre thing to say about the concept of an omnipotent spiritual Being. What is complex about the idea of an omnipotent and omniscient Spirit, an idea so simple that it is understood by all the adherent of the three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?" (There is a God, Anthony Flew, p. 110).


Alien God

A recurrent problem with the 'New Atheists' is that what they know about Christianity could fit within a thimble. Here is a case in point. Is God understood, by theists, to be an intruder, a new-comer, an alien invading the province of another? If so, His arrival might have been spotted by telescope! He must be a material being after all; what other kind is there?

When Dawkins wades into philosophical waters, his arguments become infantile. He has heard that philosophers ask questions like, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' and 'Is there a God?,' and offer their various answers. He has no idea where and when these questions occur. They are found as a rule further back up in the hierarchy than any question he knows how to ask. In asking 'Does God exist?,' the inquirer is not seeking yet one more constituent of the universe for which we will search with a telescope or tracking dogs. The question occurs prior to that; for example, when we ask, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?', or 'Why is there a world?' (I don't mean that this where people of faith encounter God, but where it occurs to the metaphysician to ask.) One simply must not ask these questions: "Some questions simply do not deserve an answer." (The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, p. 80).

An especially egregious recent example is the author Lawrence M. Krauss, for whom Richard Dawkins provided a worshipful afterword. The atheists have no answer for certain questions, and thus bark out to the world the command, 'You must not ask that question.' 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' is a good example. This is the forbidden question par excellence, the first entry on the prohibited question list. They hand us their List of Approved Questions, explaining that 'you may ask these questions, because we can answer these, or might be able to in the future; you must not ask questions omitted from the list, because we cannot answer those.' On our new list, this perennial, but now forbidden, question has been rephrased into a form which a physicist might answer. Thus Lawrence Krauss has helpfully revised the question, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' into 'How is it there is dark matter and dark energy in addition to visible matter and energy?' A physicist might have something to contribute to discussion of this new and improved question, though forced into silence on the original question. Richard Dawkins, always lighter than air, must positively been held down lest he escape earth's atmosphere in his upwelling enthusiasm for Krauss' adventures in word-redefinition.

The atheist savant Nietzsche pointed out that nature-loving artists are especially drawn to those elements in nature. . .which they can paint, not the colored yet Stygian gloom of a shadow in sunlight, not detail dwindling down to the infinitude of the very small, but, may it be, 'masses:'

"The Realistic Painter.
"'To nature true, complete!' so he begins.
Who complete Nature to his canvas wins?
Her tiniest fragment's endless, no constraint
Can know: he paints just what his fancy pins:
What does his fancy pin? What he can paint!" (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Jest, Ruse and Revenge, Section 55, p. 26).

In a similar vein, Dawkins and Krauss demand that their viewers ask questions. . .they can answer. None others will be admitted! How they expect to get people to stop asking metaphysical questions, in the absence of a police force, I don't know, but this is what they expect: you may ask questions, of course. But you may ask only those questions which the physicist or biologist can answer, not questions which fall outside the purview of any empirical field of inquiry. Moreover, 'it happened by chance' must be admitted as an 'explanation.' In the end the reader can only conclude that neither one of these gentlemen can even understand what it is that people mean when they ask, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' How else could they proffer their new question as in any way equivalent to the old, or even in the same ball park? Though they can't quite wrap their minds around the original question, give them a break: if we were to redefine the words so that 'something' meant 'visible matter and energy' and 'nothing' meant 'dark matter and dark energy,' then they would have something to say:

Dark Ages
History of Science
Multiply Entities
Van Leeuwenhoek
The Ptolemaic System
Empty Words
Where is Not What
A Brief History
Verified Prediction
Truth in Advertising
Plain Talk
Making Sense
Stopped Clock

My acquaintance this material ran backwards: first I read the book, which I had heard was all the rage with the atheists, then I went through William Lane Craig's debate with Lawrence Krauss, then last of all I down-loaded the YouTube video which had started the sensation. It seems that Krauss has come away from his mauling by Craig with a generalized dislike of 'philosophers,' of whatever tendency; does he even know there are atheist philosophers, who do not find it necessary to deny the principle of sufficient reason? There is a good, solid word-play at the heart of this latest atheist boomlet, a verbal sally: that 'nothing ain't what it used to be.' Just as people talk about 'the recording artist formerly known as Prince,' they might speak of 'the nothingness formerly believed to fill empty space.' What a clever little rhetorical hook to draw in an audience! Yet that's all it is; when the opponent points out that your 'nothing' isn't really 'nothing,' you must acknowledge the point, with a jaded nod at being called to the wearisome task of explaining a joke. Can these people seriously believe they have worked up an empirical case to disprove the principle of sufficient reason? Is there no one on that side of the aisle to explain to them that that's not really even a good idea? Yet they continue to present, as amongst the wonders of atheist science, that physics has proven logic wrong. Science cannot have discovered that logic is wrong, because science cannot be done without logic.

'Nothing is not nothing anymore'. . . 'Empty space is not 'empty'. . .cute, but at some point these statements must be replaced with, 'What had previously been thought nothing has been discovered not to be nothing,' and 'What had previously been thought to be empty has been discovered not to be empty.' What not to say?: 'Because nothing has been examined and found not to be nothing, therefore science has falsified the principle of sufficient reason.' Careful editing could have nipped this 'discovery' in the bud! Lawrence Krauss, of whom no praise is too fulsome for the fawning Dawkins, is quite frankly puzzled as to why the metaphysicians do not base their researches on empirical evidence, like everybody else:

"When it comes to understanding how our universe evolves, religion and theology have been at best irrelevant. They often muddy the waters, for example, by focusing on questions of nothingness without providing any definition of the term based on empirical evidence." (Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing, p. xvi.)

So why can't the metaphysicians get with the program? Why can't they base their work on "empirical evidence" like everybody else? Don't they know that's how it's done, as Dawkins, Krauss et al were instructed and never thought to question? To take a concrete example, see the futility of looking to sense-data for evidence of Descartes' God, because in this construction of the world, God guarantees the integrity of sense-data: 'How do we know sense-data are evidence of a world, rather than an illusion?' 'Because God is no deceiver but wholly good.' It is God's existence which guarantees the utility of sense-data in this system, so using sense-data to track down God would be comparable to picking up the block upon which one is standing, piling it atop the one above it, and proceeding to climb upwards, traversing a stair-case resting firmly upon thin air.

Metaphysics is 'first philosophy;' we do not employ "empirical evidence" because we have not yet established grounds justifying empiricism as a procedure; wait for it. It is surpassingly easy to make up worlds in which empirical research leads participants deeper into illusion, such as Plato's Cave or the Matrix sci-fi movies. Certainly these scenarios are fictional and there is no reason to believe they are real; but why is it so easy to come up with them? Dawkins himself, in his Afterword to Lawrence Krauss' book, bubbles over about an anti-empirical scenario in which the inhabitants of a hypothetical universe with a beginning, like ours, could not discern that their universe had had a beginning, because the expansion had carried the evidence beyond the horizon. He spins the same yarn in his lecture:

"All evidence of the Big Bang will have disappeared. And those scientists will discover quantum mechanics, discover relativity, discover evolution, discover all the basic principles of science that we understand today, use the best observations they can do with the best telescopes they will build. And they will derive a picture of the universe which is completely wrong. They will derive a picture of the universe as being one galaxy surrounded by empty space that's static and eternal. Falsifiable science will produce the wrong answer." (Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe From Nothing, YouTube Video, AAI 2009, 52:12-52:45).

Now this scenario is not the best we can devise, because no one ever has observed that the universe is eternal. Even absent revelation, Plato wrote a cosmology into his Timaeus simply under naturalistic expectations. But Dawkins certainly 'bought' it. So what warrant can be found for confidence that the world is as we perceive it to be? This is a step which cannot be omitted, not by thinking people. Dawkins and Krauss want to rid the world of philosophy, but people who refuse to do philosophy will fall prey to their same confusion.

Richard Dawkins lurches off the rails upon hitting the most basic philosophical questions. He cannot ask such questions, but only, 'is there yet one more constituent of the world, God, on top of all the other constituents of the world as cataloged by naive scientism?' At the heart of the 'New Atheism' is confusion as to how these fields of inquiry fit together. It is to the metaphysician, not the botanist, that we turn to ask, 'Is saying "it happened by chance" an explanation, or a denial that explanation is possible?'


Cannibals Eight Cousins
Genghis Khan Social Darwinism
Guess That Author Summum Bonum
What is to be Done? Richard Dawkins
William Jennings Bryan

Nikolai Ge 'What is Truth?' (Christ before Pilate)

Ancient Error

Evolution is not a new error but a very old one:

On the Nature of Things

Contrary to this viewpoint is Anaxagoras' competing idea that Mind is the ordering principle of the universe. People complained that, after introducing this concept, Anaxagoras did nothing with it. Certainly it is the most parsimonious explanation, that our world is intelligible because it is the expression of an intelligence. Could the spectator trapped within the snow globe of Lucretius' world or Anaxagoras's world tell which one he was in? No doubt: there would be a perceivable difference between Democritus' chance universe and Anaxagoras's concept of the universe as the creative expression of a mind, an art project expressing the personality of its visionary, to wit: How much order is found there? Only just enough as can be obtained from sending random, chance products through the sieve of 'fitness,' which is how apparent order is 'explained away' by Lucretius and Darwin? Or boundless, immeasurable, unfathomable order, whose interconnections can never be exhausted by diligent, life-long search?

Some people complain that the theory of evolution is not falsifiable. The theory of evolution makes no prediction that any specific creature will exist in the world, indeed its proponents claim a different shuffle of the cards would have resulted in a completely different complement of creatures. While this failure to predict anything concrete makes it hard to falsify this popular global explanation for everything, ultimately it is possible, I think, to look at our world and see it for what it is: a masterpiece, the product of art.


William of Ockham's Razor

The medieval principle of parsimony urges us to suppose no unnecessary entities; that is to say, to adopt the simplest explanation available to us. For instance, let us say our senses inform us of one universe; let us not suppose, needlessly, that there are many universes, of which we have no experience. That is the principle of parsimony.

Toss that paradigm out the window and replace it with 'whatever it takes:'

"Another theoretical physicist, Lee Smolin, has developed a tantalizingly Darwinian variant on the multiverse theory, including both serial and parallel elements. Smolin's idea, expounded in The Life of the Cosmos, hinges on the theory that daughter universes are born of parent universes, not in a fully fledged big crunch but more locally in black holes. Smolin adds a form of heredity: the fundamental constants of a daughter universe are slightly 'mutated' versions of the constants of its parent. Heredity is the essential ingredient of Darwinian natural selection, and the rest of Smolin's theory follows naturally." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 174-175).

What problem do these proliferating mother-daughter multiverses, unknown and unseen, solve? They avoid theism. The universe we inhabit seems as it were designed just for us, its physical constants fine-tuned to within the very small range that would support life: "It is as though God had six  knobs that he could twiddle, and he carefully tuned each knob to its Goldilocks value." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 171). To 'save the hypothesis' of chance, we must posit a multiplicity of unseen universes, some habitable, others not, so that a happy, random toss of the dice landed us here, where everything is just right. In so doing, we have multiplied entities something ferocious; but that's OK, so long as none of them is God. One cannot help but agree with Anthony Flew, "The postulation of multiple universes, I maintained, is a truly desperate alternative. If the existence of one universe requires an explanation, multiple universes require a much bigger explanation: the problem is increased by the factor of whatever the total number of universes is." (Anthony Flew, There is a God, p. 136).


The Whale's Pelvis Useless Excrescences
Periodic Table Rewind Button
The Author of Life

Declaration of War

People who hang around in internet chat-rooms are very familiar with the youthful atheist who seems to have his head stuck down the toilet-bowl. How can he survive like that; does he never come up for air? A more potty-mouthed group than the atheists could not be found. Think of Tim Minchin, who sings the songs of his people. Indeed one wonders how they dare to eat with that mouth; are they sure they have aspirated back none of the material they continually spew out? Is there no risk of contracting hoof-and-mouth disease from all that filth? They say that, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." (Luke 6:45). What a scary thought for the atheist, whose treasure is hid in the septic tank.

Richard Dawkins has inspected his people and concluded the problem with atheists is that they are too polite, too respectful. This is what he told the audience at 'TED.' A group that polls at 3% of the population is sick and tired of tolerating the 80% of the population who are Christians. No more; now it's war.

Dawkins has the chutzpah to reprint the choleric e-mails he receives from Christians as an argument against Christianity. Believe me, I could not reprint the e-mails I've received from atheists, not on a 'family' web-site. Certainly Dawkins' offended correspondents should have counted to ten before pressing the 'send' button, remembering,

"'O man, forgive thy mortal foe,
Nor ever strike him blow for blow;
For all the souls on earth that live
To be forgiven must forgive.
Forgive him seventy times and seven:
For all the blessed souls in Heaven
Are both forgivers and forgiven.'" (Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Promise of May).

Still and all, atheists remain the best argument against atheism. They put up billboards, 'You Can Be Good Without God.' But you would never guess it, from observation. Dawkins' grandiosity convinces him that the world is awaiting his moral teaching, so he shares with us what he found on the web, if you please, "Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 298-299). This from a man who's a professional hate-monger! He makes good money demonizing and vilifying his Christian neighbors. What's next, moral guidance from David Duke?



Those old enough to remember the 'Old Atheists,' including the Commies, are very familiar with hero-worship as a substitute offered the populace, filling the void left by nostalgia for God. The old 'heroes of the working class' were street fighters or bomb throwers, the occasional psychopathic killer like Stalin, along with a crowd of heroic tractor-drivers with massive fore-arms. Today's atheists are on the same track, with similar results. Richard Dawkins breathlessly intones that Carl Sagan is a "hero:" evidently 'hero' means, to atheists, 'somebody who used to be on TV.' Dawkins himself is idolized by many, on similar grounds. Atheists, it seems, are a cargo cult. They cannot get over hoping, expecting and waiting for the sympathetic magic to work, of placing a man in an empty suit in front of a screen, and projecting a picture of something majestic and awe-inspiring, like a waterfall or a butterfly, onto the screen. You see they expect the butterfly's beauty will somehow 'rub off' onto the man, whose vacancy will be filled if he just stands there: his spiritual desert will bloom into abundance after rain, his vacuity will become plenitude, his spiritual penury and poverty will be exchanged for riches untold, his barren wasteland will blossom as the fruitful plain. This never actually happens, because most people can tell the difference between the waterfall and the empty suit in front of it, but the atheists never lose faith in their magical thinking. These are their 'heroes:' people who stood in front of a picture of a waterfall and waited for something to happen that didn't happen.

Atheists are drawn to hero-worship, even if their heroes are of necessity paltry, by their heritage. According to William Jennings Bryan, Friedrich Nietzsche was the arch-Darwinian: "Nietzsche carried Darwinism to its logical conclusion and it made him the most extreme of anti-Christians." (William Jennings Bryan, In His Image, Chapter IV, p. 123). Is this a fair assessment? How much sheer human misery on this planet could have been avoided if people had just said 'No' to Darwin?


The Binding of Isaac

God commanded Abraham to offer his son, his beloved and only son, as a sacrifice upon the altar:

  • “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
  • (Genesis 22:1-2).

People react differently to this story, depending on where they're bound:

"By the standards of modern morality, this disgraceful story is an example simultaneously of child abuse, bullying in two asymmetrical power relationships, and the first recorded use of the Nuremberg defense: 'I was only obeying orders.'" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 275).

Funny, the old-line Social Darwinists understood 'bullying' to be the way of the world: the stronger imposes his will upon the weaker. They believed they had discovered this 'fact' in the very same mythology upon which Richard Dawkins bases his world view: Darwinian evolution. In our present case, what this "bullying in" an "asymmetrical power relationship" amounts to, is that God intends to provide the ram for sacrifice: His own beloved Son:


Mount Moriah Problems
Mount Calvary Only Begotten
Jewish Tradition Detractors

Thomas Jefferson

Readers who want to get a sense for the intellectual dishonesty endemic to the 'New Atheists' should study how they shade Thomas Jefferson into an atheist. Richard Dawkins quotes with approval the late Christopher Hitchens' efforts at creative appropriation of the third president of the United States:

"Christopher Hitchens, in his biography Thomas Jefferson: Author of America, thinks it likely that Jefferson was an atheist, even in his own time when it was much harder:
"'As to whether he was an atheist, we must reserve judgment if only because of the prudence he was compelled to observe during his political life.'" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, P. 64).

These pusillanimous atheists cannot think of a reason why a person would ever tell the truth, if the truth works to the disadvantage of his "political life!" Thus we are entitled to throw out the evidence,— Jefferson touches upon his religious views in several personal letters,— because, you see, he lied: wouldn't you, too? Surely no atheist has any reason to tell an inconvenient truth! Having cast aside any need to take the man's own testimony seriously: Thomas Jefferson says, "I am a Christian," but, wink wink, we know he lies,— we are free to paint in colors from whatever palette appeals to our taste. We are expected to imagine that Jefferson was an atheist, because he counsels his nephew, "'Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.'" (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, quoted p. 64, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins). Like the rest of us, it seems that atheists understand the instruction to 'question everything boldly' as identical constructively to the instruction, 'agree with me'! Surely if young Peter questions, he will come up with the 'correct' answer! No doubt Thomas Jefferson thought so too, which is why this instruction yields no information as to the content of the 'correct' answer.

In reality, Thomas Jefferson was no more an atheist than are the Muslims and the Jews, who agree with him that Jesus Christ is not God incarnate. He was not an orthodox Christian; this puts him into the same category as billions of inhabitants of this globe, 'non-Christians;' are they all atheists? The poverty of Dawkins' categories lead to this result; in his compressed theological universe, the only religious variables are 'more' and 'less;' he cannot really even distinguish between Muslims and Christians. Since Jefferson was not an orthodox Christian, why then, surely, he was an atheist! Jefferson was a Socinian Unitarian who commended the writings of Joseph Priestley, though his own views were somewhat to the left of Priestley's. So why has he been repackaged as an atheist? Have these people no shame? And why stop with him? Inasmuch as inveighing against 'priest-craft' was a staple of the Protestant pulpit of that day, they might as well repackage Cotton Mather as an atheist as well, because he is likely to have used similar language:

Three of Six The Problem
Sister Heresy Then and Now
The Face of God Church Government
All Paths He Says
Mary in the Koran Post-Modernism
David Barton Et Tu
Desire of Nations Restoration

Incidentally, if our author believes materialism incompatible with religion, he should investigate the Mormons. Thomas Jefferson, though an anti-supernaturalist, was so impressed with the moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth that he lived his life in accord with them. Friends and relatives testified that he did so with greater fidelity than most 'real' Christians. Did he honor, or flout, the first rule of Jesus' moral system: "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." (Mark 12:29-30)? Richard Dawkins asserts that the U. S. Constitution was written by "men of the Enlightenment:" . . .that great republic whose constitution, after all, was drawn up by men of the Enlightenment in explicitly secular terms." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 282). Who were these "men of the Enlightenment?" Not the unitarian Thomas Jefferson, who wasn't even in the country at the time. 'Push-back' from evangelical remolds Jefferson into the reverse mold, but history is not silly-putty for this matched set of fantasists to make of what they will.

People like Jefferson, though they have fallen off the Bible bus, are not fairly described as atheists. 'Socinian Unitarian' is their apt descriptor. Yet he wills history to be otherwise: "The deist God, often associated with the Founding Fathers, is certainly an improvement over the monster of the Bible." (The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, p. 68). "[O]ften associated" by whom? By people like him, who transmute Thomas Jefferson and John Adams into 'deists.' This ingrained dishonesty is our author's common pattern. He quotes "Seneca the Younger" as saying, "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 313). Dear reader, if you ever want to know the truth about these people, just ask them, 'Where? Where does Seneca the Younger say this?' If he had said any such thing, surely you could find it someplace like here:

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

I've got most of Seneca up, except not the 'Natural Questions,' for which I cannot find a public domain translation. But trust me, it's not in the 'Natural Questions' either. Plus some of the dramas await processing; but, again, trust me, it ain't there. It's yet another Atheist Made-Up Quote. This affinity group is notorious for this kind of dishonesty. In real life, Seneca was the kind of guy impressed that no two snow-flakes are exactly the same:


  • “And among the other reasons for marvelling at the genius of the Divine Creator is, I believe, this,— that amid all this abundance there is no repetition; even seemingly similar things are, on comparison, unlike. God has created all the great number of leaves that we behold: each, however, is stamped with its special pattern. All the many animals: none resembles another in size — always some difference!”
  • (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letter 113).

The Judge of the World

Judgment is the activity of God which reduces these people to gnawing at their own tongues:

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." (The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, p. 51).

The God of the Old Testament describes Himself as "merciful:"

"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6-7).

The atheists, however, do not see it: "The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." (Gore Vidal, quoted p. 58, The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins). Are God's judgments against the people of the land 'barbaric,' or altogether just?:


The Bible
Human Initiative
Ancient Historians
The Problem of Evil
Child Sacrifice Today
Last Stand
Binding of Isaac
Infidels' Indictment

Retention Rate

Atheists often offer the strange opinion that people are born into various religions, and there remain, owing to lack of imagination: "This is the presumptuousness whereby religious people know, without evidence, that the faith of their birth is the one true faith, all others beings aberrations or downright false." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 353). If Americans knew that, the Roman Catholic Church would be quite dominant. England is dominated by a very dead church, established by a fat guy who wanted a divorce, which inoculates its adherents with just enough religion to confer immunity to the real thing; so perhaps this is an 'English' thing.

Over-developed tastes and the economic exigencies of agribusiness have condemned millions of blameless animals to a grim fate: they live their lives without their feet ever touching the ground, without the wind rustling past their face, without the sun beaming down its warming rays upon their skin. Veal calves live in darkness. These innocent children of darkness, along with mass-produced chickens, know nothing of gamboling through green meadows, they know only confinement in bleak and barren surroundings. One might liken their condition to that of the children of atheists, imprisoned by their parents in a dark prison devoid of any sky-light. These pale children lead stunted spiritual lives, with an entire dimension of the human experience left deliberately starved by their conceited, self-absorbed parents.

One might ask the children locked in this darkness and vacuity (and I speak from personal experience), imprisoned by no crime they have committed but by the unfortunate luck of the draw, the question the boastful pagan tauntingly asked his luckless prisoners:

"Gaius Caesar was passing along the Via Latina, when a man stepped out from the ranks of the prisoners, his grey beard hanging down even to his breast, and begged to be put to death. 'What!" said Caesar, 'are you alive now?'" (Seneca, Letter 78).

Are you alive now? Fully human, or only half-human, missing something essential to the life of those created in the image of God? Inhabiting the world, or only a bleak, vacant warehouse that non-entities like Dawkins have furnished for you? Thank God, unlike Caesar's prisoners, these ones hold the key to their own liberation. Their parents forgot to lock the stairway to the roof; they said, there's nothing up there. And many,— the majority, 70% as it happens,— climb to freedom through this unlocked route:

"Those who grow up in an atheist household are least likely to maintain their beliefs about religion as adults, according to a study by Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
"Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This "retention rate" was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study. . .
"Gray also noted that, "of those raised as atheists, 30% are now affiliated with a Protestant denomination, 10% are Catholic, 2% are Jewish, 1% are Mormon, and 1% are Pagan."
"Jehovah's Witness, congregationalist and holiness churches had the next lowest retention rates at 37 percent, 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively." (Christian Post article, Study: Atheists Have Lowest Retention Rate Compared to Religious Groups, by Napp Nazworth, July 11, 2012)

Compare these realities with Dawkins' claim: "If you are religious at all it is overwhelmingly probable that your religion is that of your parents." (The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, p. 25). This may well be technically correct: because atheists amount to only three percent of the population, their lamentable track record of convincing their own children cannot make a dent in the much larger mass of religious children who are also the offspring of religious parents. According to research by the Pew foundation, Americans are nimble and quick to switch denominations. How else could the Pentecostals have gone from a standing start at the turn of the twentieth century to millions today? However, the most fine-grained analysis of which Dawkins is capable cannot quite distinguish between Christians and Muslims,— rather, 'religious people' did 9/11.

Richard Dawkins is obliged to try to explain the persistence of religion in accordance with his inherited dogma of natural selection. Since he can see no survival value in religion, he posits it must be a by-product of something that does confer survival value. Perhaps the child's suggestibility, his willingness to take instruction, the "useful programmability of the child brain," (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 206), is helpful in itself, and religion piggy-backs onto it. Odd, isn't it, how this human propensity for instruction works better for Baptists than for atheists, though he thinks it ought to work even for nonsense: "Part of what I want to say is that it doesn't matter what particular style of nonsense infects the child brain. Once infected, the child will grow up and infect the next generation with the same nonsense, whatever it happens to be." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 228-229). Thank goodness the majority of these blameless children, when they grow up, find themselves equipped with a 'nonsense detector' sufficient to detect and eject atheism.

The tendency of adherents to over-estimate their prevalence in the population is called 'false consensus:' "The false consensus effect refers to the tendency for people's own beliefs, values, and habits to bias their estimates of how widely such views and habits are shared by others." (How We Know What Isn't So, by Thomas Gilovich, p. 113). While this tendency is common, I've never yet encountered any other group so irrational as simultaneously to acclaim that their own view has won in a land-slide, and in the next breath to whimper and weep that they are socially isolated because hardly anyone agrees with them.

Atheists bask in the delusion that their movement enjoys a hundred percent retention rate: "'Once a person is bitten by the Atheism bug, that person stays an Atheist for the rest of his or her life. It is very rare that an Atheist ever lapses back into religion.'" (Madalyn Murray O'Hair, quoted page 144, Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair, by Brian F. LeBeau). This is a group of people peculiarly immune to fact.

Optimism End Game
School Prayer Problem of Evil
Atoms and the Void Thomas Jefferson
Workers' Paradise Colonel Robert Ingersoll
A Loving God Deity of the Sick
Hobgoblin of Little Minds Old Testament
Adolf Hitler

So, Atheist Child, do not despair: there is freedom in the Lord. Like your warden says,

"I didn't know I could.
"I suspect — well, I am sure — that there are lots of people out there who have been brought up in some religion or other, are unhappy in it, don't believe it, or are worried about the evils that are done in its name, people who feel vague yearning to leave their parents' religion and wish they could, but just don't realize that leaving is an option." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 23, Preface).

If your parents had tried to starve you physically, would you feel gratitude or any sense of obligation? Spiritually, atheist parents are the Susan Smiths of the family tree. They tried to kill you spiritually; they didn't succeed. They locked you in an airless, windowless room; are you fool enough to stay there? You owe them what? Nothing; you've escaped their barren and waterless desert, keep running; His arms are open wide:


Absence of Belief

"By contrast, why would anyone go to war for the sake of an absence of belief?" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 316). You'd just be surprised what people will do:

Karl Marx V. I. Lenin
Bhagat Singh Mao Zedong
Pol Pot Enver Hoxha
The Derg Che Guevara
No True Atheist Why?
Tu Quoque Prince of Tyre
Atheist Armies French Revolution

Your jaw just drops in astonishment; does Dawkins honestly think he can convince even his young and naive readers that,

"I might retort that such hostility as I or other atheists occasionally voice towards religion is limited to words. I am not going to bomb anybody, behead them, stone them, burn them at the stake, crucify them, or fly planes into their skyscrapers, just because of a theological disagreement." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 318.)

And what have his comrades the "other atheists" done other than just exactly that, murder thousands upon thousands of Christians merely for being Christians? Or does he want to claim that the thousands of Christians murdered by the French Revolution or the Bolsheviks were murdered as counter-revolutionaries, not as Christians? Certainly, but doesn't he know that the proof they were counter-revolutionaries was merely this and none other. . .that they preached the gospel? Or is this just another brazen fabrication, like 'Seneca the Younger'?


  • “It still remained to be proved that the Patriarch wanted to overthrow the Soviet Government. And here is how it was proved:
  • 'Propaganda is an attempt to prepare a mood preliminary to preparing a revolt in the future.'
  • The tribunal ordered criminal charges to be brought against the Patriarch.”
  • (Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, p. 349).

Edgardo Mortara

New Atheist logic asserts that any irrational thing done by any religious person at any time and for any reason proves that religion, as such, is false. This logic concludes, 'because 19 Muslims flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, therefore Christianity is false.' He can't be slowed down in his traverse of the religious ground: "For most of my purposes, all three Abrahamic religions can be treated as indistinguishable." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 58). Because, after all, those 19 Muslims were 'religious.' So were the devotees of Molech. How can quibbling about whether a 'religious' person worships Baal or the Lord possibly change the standing of 'religion,' which, as is self-evident to the New Atheists if to no one else, all stands or falls together. My more subtle readers may perceive a problem. Let's try out this approach with biology, say: because Laetrile has no documented efficacy as a cure for cancer, yet people used to travel to Mexico to receive this 'therapy,' without benefit, therefore we have discovered that medical science is worthless. Have we, really? In fairness, not this, nor the instant popularity of the ruinous lobotomy, not MERSA, not the vast sums wasted on Freudian analysis in its hey-day, none of these add up to that conclusion. The doctors must be permitted to try to differentiate themselves from the quacks after all. We do not conclude that, because there is bad medicine, therefore all medicine is bad.

The center-piece of Richard Dawkins' indictment of religion is the case of Edgardo Mortara, an Italian child of Jewish heritage 'baptized' by a Catholic serving-girl, and subsequently kidnapped from his parents' home:

"But this story of the Italian Inquisition and its attitude to children is particularly revealing of the religious mind, and the evils that arise specifically because it is religious. First is the remarkable perception by the religious mind that a sprinkle of water and a brief verbal incantation can totally change a child's life, taking precedence over parental consent, the child's own consent, the child's own happiness and psychological well-being. . .over everything that ordinary common sense and human feeling would see as important. Cardinal Antonelli spelled it out at the time in a letter to Lionel Rothschild, Britain's first Jewish Member of Parliament, who had written to protest about Edgardo's abduction. The cardinal replied that he was powerless to intervene, and added, 'Here is may be opportune to observe that, if the voice of nature is powerful, even more powerful are the sacred duties of religion.' Yes, well, that just about says it all, doesn't it?" (The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, pp. 351-352)

Richard Dawkins cannot make up his mind whether religious parents have no rights respecting the education of their children,— this is his usual view, and accounts for the ominous threats he and his co-religionists periodically issue against religious liberty,— or whether this child's parents suffered a severe infringement of their civil rights, because indeed parents do have some say in this matter, which is the more popular and usual stance. Why does he adopt that platform here, when he attacks it elsewhere? In reality Dawkins no more supports the Mortaras' parental rights than did the priests who abducted their child; he only wants to borrow someone else's indignation.

Is it irrational to splash unknowing children with water and then pronounce them adherents of a religion of which they know nothing? Very much so. Who has ever believed it? Not the apostles, who baptized upon profession of faith: "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:36-37).

Not the early church, who baptized upon a profession of faith:

"I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water. . .And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe;. . ." (Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 61).

The practice of infant baptism crept into the church through the seeming mercy of baptizing sickly children, who, it was feared, might not survive into adulthood. As late as Aurelius Augustine's childhood, as he relates in his 'Confessions,' there was talk of baptizing him in childhood when he became ill, but this project was dropped when he got better. In large part owing to his own forceful advocacy for infant baptism, this practice then became general. As no doubt the New Atheists will be astonished to learn, it is not universal, because it is not only irrational, it is also unscriptural:

It is comical to reflect that, when the atheists need a believer to vilify, odds are they'll come up with a Baptist: think 'Jerry Falwell.' Yet their proposal for a completely unjustifiable religious practice is none other than. . .infant baptism!

Having discovered that the gold standard for the "religious mind" is a particular Roman Catholic set of understandings not shared by others, may we employ the same methodology to discover the "atheist mind" in Josef Stalin's liquidation of the kulaks? Certainly the one argument cannot be admitted without taking on board the other in its train.


First Amendment

When it comes to civil liberties, some of the scariest people you'll ever run into are atheists. Think of atheist B. F. Skinner, who dreamed of a utopia where atheist 'doctors' could devise means of 'curing'. . .i.e., controlling, a recalcitrant population which suffers from the malaise of not doing what the doctor ordered. Sam Harris is another of this tribe; he wants to install lie detectors in the court-house panelling, lest anyone plead the Fifth. In a similar vein, Richard Dawkins complains that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 'privileges' religion:

"Here's another weird example of the privileging of religion. On 21 February 2006 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in accordance with the Constitution, that a church in New Mexico should be exempt from the law, which everyone else has to obey, against the taking of hallucinogenic drugs. . .They do not have to produce evidence." (The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, p. 44)

No, and if they did happen to "produce evidence," the Court would be duty-bound to ignore it, because the United States government has no competence to decide the truth or falsity of religious claims. Read it and weep:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (First Amendment)

This 'free exercise' clause ties the hands of any would-be atheist 'saviors' like B.F. Skinner, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. If, God forbid, these people should ever gain power, they cannot enact their schemes, not without first dismantling the U.S. Constitution.

While religious opinion enjoys absolute protection, in the nature of things overt actions cannot enjoy entire protection; but there can be nothing in America like the mischief-making of the French government, who have banned women's head-scarves as a gratuitous insult to Muslim women. What legitimate State purpose is advanced by such legislation? None; it sends a message, that's all. This is what the atheists seek: a government that insults religious people, simply because it can. They do not want freedom. Let there be no mistake: the atheists have spelled out with sufficient clarity what their brave new world will be like. This will be a world in which no young person is allowed to go to school wearing a t-shirt with the slogan printed upon it, 'Homosexuality is a sin,' etc., because this, they say, discriminates against homosexuals. You are either for the First Amendment, or you are for the New Atheists.


Adolf Hitler

The social ideas that came out of Darwin's creative enterprise were deeply offensive and deeply unchristian: racism, contempt for the poor, euthanasia for the sick, the celebration of the strong and healthy. Reverse all the Beatitudes, and you have Social Darwinism. What is simply staggering about the intellectual dishonesty of the New Atheists is that they think they can foist these ideas,— their own ideas,— onto us:

"Then, too, there is improved education and, in particular, the increased understanding that each of us shares a common humanity with members of other races and with the other sex — both deeply unbiblical ideas that come from biological science — especially evolution. One reason black people and women and, in Nazi Germany, Jews and gypsies have been treated badly is that they were not perceived as fully human" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 307-308).

You wonder how they think they can get away with it, when it is not really so very long ago that Hitler breathed our air. In reality, the Nazis embraced a pagan nature mysticism very much like that longed for by Richard Dawkins. The forces of nature, conceived as Darwin described them: the endless struggle between the strong and the weak for self-preservation, whose outcome is the survival of the fittest,— were surrounded with a numinous cloud and made the object of religious devotion. Where did Hitler get it all from? Where else? From the source, from Darwin, and from Darwin's interpreters, including Friedrich Nietzsche. From the same stream whence flows Dawkins' own religion of the pale blue dot.

  • “In 1920, when Hitler was thirty-one, his close associate Rudolf Hess, later to be deputy Fuhrer, wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister of Bavaria, 'I know Herr Hitler very well personally and am quite close to him. He has an unusually honorable character, full of profound kindness, is religious, a good Catholic.'”
  • (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 310.)

So they say. What are the facts?:

Truth to tell the Nazis sound remarkably like Richard Dawkins:

  • “The insanity of the Christian doctrine of redemption really doesn't fit at all into our time. Nevertheless there are learned, educated men, occupying high position in public life, who cling to it with the faith of a child. It is simply incomprehensible how anybody can consider the Christian doctrine of redemption as a guide for the difficult life of today. The Fuehrer cited a number of exceptionally drastic and in part even grotesque examples. The opinionated 'sky pilots' of course know exactly how the world is constituted. . .One can regard such a disgusting performance only with disdain. A church that does not keep step with modern scientific knowledge is doomed.”
  • (The Goebbels Diaries, edited by Louis P. Lochner, p. 421)

And what would that "modern scientific knowledge" be, realizing that "The Fuehrer is an enthusiastic advocate of pure science." (The Goebbels Diaries, edited by Louis P. Lochner,  p. 422)? You have to ask? "Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life." (The Goebbels Diaries, edited by Louis P. Lochner, pp. 423-424). Darwinian evolution, of course.

The Nazis had their own religion, the nature religion of the pale blue dot, and I've never yet seen evidence Adolf Hitler was anything other than a sincere Nazi. So whence comes Dawkins' shameful claim? For a light-weight, conscienceless scamp like Dawkins, no more is needed than just the fact there's a sucker born every minute; but aren't there any thinking atheists? I suspect it started as an ad hominem reversal against the Roman Catholic Church. Atheists, and others, have always complained about the way this church count their membership, which is to count all baptized persons, regardless of their current opinions or affiliations: "The Roman Catholic church must be separately considered, because it claims as a member everyone who has ever been baptized into the faith. This leads to certain anomalies." (Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Freedom Under Siege, p. 14). Anomalies, to be sure: 'Adolf Hitler is a Catholic! You count him as such! Ha-ha!' They do indeed, because young Hitler was baptized, and was even evidently impressed with the dignified, opulently costumed processions he saw in the Catholic church, which he then copied for his torch-lit pagan revels. Drop the 'ha-ha:' some young atheists might not know why it's there,— and you have this ubiquitous atheist 'argument' against Christianity: 'Hitler was a devout Catholic.' But the correct conclusion is, this is the way to over-count.


False Advertising

They say there's a sucker born every minute, and some people, it may be, are naive enough to swallow the notion there is a link between 'reason' and 'atheism:' recall, they named their jamboree the 'Reason Rally.' The more thoughtful and skeptical observer may wonder why any event at which Tim Minchin is the head-liner should be so described. In real life, Richard Dawkins has the mental substance and solidity of a dandelion puff-ball. Notice, he commends wild conspiracy theories to the reader's attention:

"It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others, Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist?" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 122).

Bigger is Better

Does small mean insignificant? Some people think so:

  • “Other sciences raise our consciousness in different ways. Fred Hoyle's own science of astronomy puts us in our place, metaphorically as well as literally, scaling down our vanity to fit the tiny stage on which we play out our lives — our speck of debris from the cosmic explosion.”
  • (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 143).

Weight David
Israel Mary's Magnificat
Friedrich Nietzsche Lowest Place

Fundamentally this author is simply not worth reading. The expectant reader who purchases his book looking for coherent, worthwhile arguments finds this type of material instead:

"The nineteenth century is the last time when it was possible for an educated person to admit to believing in miracles like the virgin birth without embarrassment. When pressed, many educated Christians today are too loyal to deny the virgin birth and the resurrection. But it embarrasses them because their rational minds know it is absurd, so they would much rather not be asked." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 187).

This argument by shame or embarrassment proceeds from the premise that the smart crowd agrees with Richard Dawkins; if you don't agree, you're just dumb and backwards, that's all. And your mama dresses you funny, too. What a waste of the reader's time.


Secondary Causes

It would appear that Richard Dawkins has never heard of the concept of 'secondary causes,' because he says,

  • “In any case, despite the good intentions of the sophisticated theologian, a frighteningly large number of people still do take their scriptures, including the story of Noah, literally. . .Steeped in the story of Noah, and ignorant of all except biblical learning, who can blame them? Their whole education has led them to view natural disasters as bound up with human affairs, paybacks for human misdemeanors rather than anything so impersonal as plate tectonics.”
  • (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 269- 270).

Dan Brown
Lawrence Krauss
Ex Nihilo
Deep Europan Sea

By "sophisticated theologian," he means atheists like Bishop John Shelby Spong. Notice, please that either earthquakes are the result of shifting plates within the earth, or they are the result of God's wrath. Let's try out this Dawkinsian kind of 'reasoning' in daily life, and see how well it works out: 'I'm sorry I slammed on the brakes, Officer, but I saw the sign for that yard sale and wanted to stop.' 'What's wrong with you, what is this primitive superstition? Don't you know that the car stops because of friction between the brake pad and the wheel?' 'Yes, of course, but this process is not exclusive of my intention in depressing the brake pedal. Don't you want to know why I did that? If I am a primitive, perhaps you are a touch reductive.'


Thy Neighbor

Richard Dawkins' Bible research has uncovered the fact that 'neighbor' doesn't mean 'neighbor,' but rather 'member of one's own in-group:' "Christians seldom realize that. . .'Love thy neighbor' didn't mean what we now think it means. It meant only 'Love another Jew.'" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 287). Understandably, not everyone agrees:

  • “So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
  • “And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’
  • “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’
  • “Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’
  • “And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’
  • “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
  • (Luke 10:27-37).

Presumably the reader has by this point noted the repeated pattern of gross misrepresentation of Christian teaching and drawn the appropriate conclusion. Why is the only way to salvage atheism to misrepresent what others believe?


The Gospel of Judas

Utilitarianism is a bit hit with atheist authors like Sam Harris, and this author seems to be among their ranks, for he quotes with favor,


  • “As another aside, it has occurred to various people, including Robert Graves in his epic novel King Jesus, that poor Judas Iscariot has received a bad deal from history, given that his 'betrayal' was a necessary part of the cosmic plan.”
  • (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 286).

Joseph Atwill

People who think Richard Dawkins has an intellect to be reckoned with, or has an intellect at all, ought to read Joseph Atwill's book 'Caesar's Messiah.' Richard Dawkins is a fan. Mr. Atwill is a Jesus'-existence-denier whose case against Jesus' historicity is strictly Looney Tunes stuff: