imagine 'no religion too'
1/10/2007 02:08:00 AM
I don't think that this critique really applies to the whole of atheism, because I have personally met atheists that don't think like Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is just one of the many of atheists out there, but his views are probably the most discussed. I thought I might add to the fray with an analysis of Dawkins' view.

It is no secret that Dawkins would like to see religion just disappear and everyone endorse atheism and humanism as their worldview. While his intentions may be noble, I think that his view would ultimately spell disaster, not utopia, for the people of the world. First, if everyone believed like Dawkins and there were no religion in the world, then everyone would effectively be atheists. He wants uniformity on worldview. The question I would ask, how this is any different than fundamentalist religious sects who want everyone to believe like they do. How can Dawkins preach against something so adamantly when he himself portrays himself in the likeness of fundamentalists. Even under his worldview one could not be an agnostic because in agnosticism there is at least the possibility of God and thus a chance that religion might be warranted, because they have no other reason to believe otherwise.

Dawkins also likens his views to those of John Lennon, the ex-Beatle who wrote the song Imagine:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there are no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

In this song, there are a few things to note. First note uniform atheism. We've discussed this already. Second, note the communist overtones: "No Possessions" and "Sharing all the world." Lennon's version of utopia sounds good, but is it possible? Atheistic communist states have been proven empirically to fail within the first 70 years of their conception. Consider the former Soviet Union and the Soviet Block countries of Eastern Europe. The USSR started as a communist state with atheism (more or less) as the state sponsored worldview. It wasn't even 70 years before it fizzled and plummeted into ruin. China was much the same. After the death of Mao, China has lessened its stance on hardline communism and pressed for a more market driven style government and economy after seeing the failure of communism. One of few remaining communist nations, North Korea, can't even feed its people. This is a far cry from Lennon's view of utopia where there is no hunger.

Dawkins Writes in the God Delusion :

Imagine with John Lennon a world with no religion...Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as 'Christ killers', no Northern Ireland 'troubles', no 'honour killings', no shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing gullible people of their money.

Let's imagine a world with Dawkins view: Hope in inherently greedy men for a better tomorrow, starvation and poverty on everyone corner because your leaders would rather pursue nuclear technology than grow food, a great Cultural Revolution to destroy religion, no ability to think about spiritual things or convene with those who do, no televangelist fleecing you for money because you don't have any, no need to work because you could live off the labor of someone else, and if you do work what you work for may be taken away and given to the one who does not. These are just a few things that one could say drawing from the examples that we have of failed atheistic states.

Christians would like to see a place of peace without war, famine, and all the vices, but Christians are not so naive in thinking that everyone would want to embrace such a place. The Christian worldview maintains that people are inherently selfish, and would rather seek the good for themselves, even at the expense of others. As a result, Christians do not expect nor act as if people would embrace selflessness and peace, but they assume they will act to the contrary even if peace and selflessness were completely possible. It is not human nature to want to give up something for somebody else, but rather a force of will. Christians desire to have peace and to eliminate hunger and they do much to attempt to solve these problems.

I am not blaming atheism for the problems in Russia, North Korea, and other communist or formerly communist states. But I am saying is that Dawkins' analysis of many world problems is not really the result of religion as it is political ideology in the guise of religion. Communism carries with it atheism, and atheists would be quick to point out that the two are not the same thing. In the same manner, Atheists cannot call terrorist cells Islam, for it too would commit the same fallacy.

Comments: 0
Post a Comment