Skip to comments.Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist (Is world's foremost atheist an agnostic now?)
Posted on 02/24/2012 10:12:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.
He told the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, that he preferred to call himself an agnostic rather than an atheist. The two men were taking part in a public dialogue at Oxford University at the end of a week which has seen bitter debate about the role of religion in public life in Britain. Last week Baroness Warsi, the Tory party chairman, warned of a tide of militant secularism challenging the religious foundations of British society. The discussion, in Sir Christopher Wrens Sheldonian Theatre, attracted attention from around the world. As well as being relayed to two other theatres, it was streamed live on the internet and promoted fierce debate on the Twitter social network.
For an hour and 20 minutes the two men politely discussed "The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin" touching on the meaning of consciousness, the evolution of human language and Dr Williamss beard.
For much of the discussion the Archbishop sat quietly listening to Prof Dawkinss explanations of human evolution.
At one point he told the professor that he was inspired by elegance of the professors explanation for the origins of life and agreed with much of it. Prof Dawkins told him: What I cant understand is why you cant see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?
CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE VIDEO
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
At one point he told the professor that he was inspired by elegance of the professors explanation for the origins of life and agreed with much of it. Prof Dawkins told him: What I cant understand is why you cant see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God? Dr Williams replied that he entirely agreed with the beauty of Prof Dawkinss argument but added: Im not talking about God as an extra who you shoehorn on to that. There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator.
The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: Why dont you call yourself an agnostic? Prof Dawkins answered that he did.
I’ve never met an atheist face to face. Every single person that claimed to be, eventually admitted that he just didn’t know for sure. Which makes him agnostic.
But they are trying to redefine the words. They now try to say that Christians are really “Christian agnostic” since they are not “sure”, and atheists are “atheist agnostic”.
Don’t buy into it.
Why this reads pretty much just like what that serpent told Eve.
Even atheists don’t believe that life started from “nothing,” but that it evolved by natural processes from something; i.e., the primordial soup.
I actually prefer atheists to agnostics, and especially to dumb people who just don’t think or care. All the professed atheists I know at least have read the bible and wrestle with the question of the existence of God, the possibility of his presence on Earth in the form of Jesus Christ, etc... At some level, I sense they want to believe.
Too bad over history and all the people that have come and gone, no one has figured out a way to prove or disprove God’s existence to all agnostics without requiring a leap of faith. If there were such a way, I imagine the world would be way different than it is now.
Yes. but I see them as agnostics.
Then you’ve never met a militant atheist.
But how do we know that Richard Dawkins even exists?
For a Friday chuckle go to Youtube and type in “The Dawkins Delusion”.
I see the staggering, elegant, beautiful thing - the anatomy of the eye, the germination of a seed, the ocean tides, the water cycle, the construction of a cell - any number of countless beautiful things -
as evidence of a great Designer, a Designer of unfathomable wisdom and perfection.
hardly as “messy.”
I know someone who reads Dawkins’ stuff. They said he acknowledges in his books that he can’t prove a negative, that his books are a lot more logical than his public persona.
If I were to tell the folks at SETI that I knew for certain that there was not only no intelligent life in the universe outside earth, but there was ABSOLUTELY no life at all anywhere in this vast universe outside Earth, they would ask me if I was the omniscient God, making a statement like that.
There is no difference with an atheist saying there is no God.
My reply would be:
“What, are you omniscient? If so, I guess that makes you a god. Ergo, there is a “god” (you) and atheism is an untenable position.”
I find that idea not beautiful, but sad.
You are dead on the money. The Scriptures report of many who would like to believe, but cannot. But, nearly everyone in the world thinks that the "will" to believe lies in the hands of each person, so they think that these folks are just being stubborn, willful, or rebellious.
They are that, but the Scriptures report that if you are able to trust Jesus Christ (as the Rescuer sent from the God of Heaven and Earth, the God of Israel), then you have been granted that belief, that faith. What Dawkins doesn't realize is that he, and all unbelievers, are being managed (at least heretofore) to remain in darkness until God grants them rescue.
This radically biblical message is not welcome by unbelievers, and often is denied by believers. The human species just likes to believe they are autonomous from their Creator.
Ive never met an atheist face to face.Hi! Nice to meet you.
Do you know that leprechauns don't exist? If you answered "No", then does that make you "agnostic" about leprechauns? And, if you can't reach a conclusion about leprechauns, how could you reach a decision about anything?
There's a big difference between "I can't be metaphysically certain that God doesn't exist, but I see no evidence of him" (atheist) and "I don't know" (agnostic).
You’ve never met me, then.
What a HOOT!
Speaking of all those people that have come and gone, why is it that man's "deliverance" didn't happen earlier?
I don't see a whole lot of difference between "I can't be metaphysically certain" and "I don't know". The word "metaphysical" is beside the point.
Most agnostics also say they see no evidence of God.
I find that their definition of "nothing" varies according to what conclusion they are trying to support.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.