A Short Essay... The Dawkins Delusion

Sarah Tirri
December 31, 2019

Author, Oxford University Professor and biological evolutionist, Richard Dawkins foresaw the inevitable retort to his book The God Delusion and addressed it. “The God that Dawkins doesn’t believe in is a God that I don’t believe in either. I don’t believe in an old man in the sky with a long white beard.” Dawkins says that, “That old man is an irrelevant distraction and his beard is as tedious as it is long. Indeed, the distraction is worse than irrelevant. Its very silliness is calculated to distract attention from the fact that what the speaker really believes is not a whole lot less silly. (Intelligent Design) I know you don’t believe in an old bearded man sitting on a cloud, so let’s not waste any more time on that. I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented.” Mr. Dawkins is an atheist for all those who might for some strange reason find the above statement murky.

Is atheism the inevitable counterattack at the God of Abraham, who has spent a great deal of time disenchanted with us paltry human creations? Are atheists shaking their fists at a bogus God who still has people warring in His hallowed name?

Dawkins says, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak: a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” I agree, and the fact that millions of people in these times of clearer thinking do not view The Good Lord in the same way, is as baffling to me as the fact that The Real Housewives commands the attention of millions of people and I am one of them!

Of course, as man evolves into his future, he will find that he has little choice but to reject this God in favor of an upgraded version, but Mr. Dawkins doesn’t see this as a viable alternative because for him declaring that there is some cosmic power that intelligently designed the evolutionary process raises bigger problems than it solves. But isn’t this assertion anti everything that science stands for? Because one question raises a bigger question, one should not dismiss it on the irksome grounds of it being infinitely unfathomable and statistically improbable. Dawkins says “God, or any intelligent, decision-taking calculating agent, would have to be highly improbable in the very same statistical sense as the entities he is supposed to explain.” But never does Dawkins say impossible, and for that reason wouldn’t it be better if he refrain from labeling all those that put forward that there is a bigger picture as delusional! (Many of whom gladly remain uncertain of what the bigger picture is until further scientific investigation dolls out answers) Why not accept as plausible Intelligent Design (ID) as a viable substitute worth exploring as an alternative to continually bleating that accidental natural selection is the only reasonable scientific hypothesis for man’s existence. Mr. Dawkins advocates that natural selection is the ever-continuing journey that got us all here, but fails to see that human beings in all our ugly pettiness, are somewhere on the early part of it. (Given eternity as times relationship) Would it not be reasonable to assert something like this: As yet, I am unconvinced, but science in all its evolving glory will be able to prove or disprove the existence of ID as we stumble and surge forward.

From reading The God Delusion, I got the sense that even though Dawkins himself advocates Darwinian evolution as being the only rational hypothesis available to us, he does not see his dogmatic self as a work in progress and that two hundred years from now, his conclusions about the lack of ID might be relegated to the same school of thought that once told us the world was flat. If evolution is a fact, then wouldn’t it be more reasonable for Dawkins to say, As yet, Darwinian evolution hasn’t given me an ounce of evidence that God exists, however, perhaps as evolution unfolds, my skeptical mind may be inspired to open up to the possibility that more is going on behind the scenes than I once thought. Dawkins himself says, ‘Maybe quantum theory is already knocking on the door to the (as yet) unfathomable.” but also asserts that some questions raised to demystify the unfathomable do not deserve an answer. I get the feeling he would lump the silly question of; ‘Is evolution a fluke or of intelligent design? with the equally silly question of,  Why don’t marshmallows have legs?

Actually, I’m not a bit surprised that Dawkins clings on to his unyielding atheist position with the same zeal that he might detest in a Baptist preacher. (The preacher holds onto his view out of fear and Dawkins out of Godless reverence.) Maybe evolution, of the luck-but-no-design-natural selection-variety, is incomparably breathtaking with or without an intelligent creator responsible for whipping into existence the entire snail-pace  process, and this is obviously the conclusion that the venerated, and clearly brilliant Richard Dawkins has arrived at. I suppose this is inevitable when one has been bestowed with the privilege of pursuing a highly-specialized advanced education. Did Dawkins possess the aptitude, patience and endurance necessary to be able to apply himself sufficiently to the study of biology to a similar degree to that of Darwin? If the answer is yes, then it is no surprise then that his findings seemingly aroused within him a sense of wonder so supreme, that this alone allowed him to lead a life that had no greater purpose than enjoying a ‘good lunch!’ The beauty and complexity arising from Dawkins and Darwin’s ‘unintelligently’ designed natural selection is probably enough to have evoked a similar sensibility in both Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Who can blame them? But I myself (in the past) have seen and felt so much shit, far more than beauty, and I give very much a damn whether God (ID) exists because if He/it doesn’t, then much of the world is living in a hell, created by a miserable fluky process that most of us will never see as particularly awesome.

Rather than advocating an End to Faith as Dawkins’ friend, Sam Harris demands, shouldn’t we simply and more reasonable upgrade it, embracing the idea as Dawkins purports that evolution is already a fact and man, clearly is part of that evolution and might need more than one lifetime to reach the heights in store for him.

Dawkins: “I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented.” The ‘whenever and will be’ part of this sentence, does not jibe with Dawkins notion of evolution being a work in progress. Surely it is delusional to decide to refute any potential claim made by science regarding the idea of intelligent design before it has even happened. What man ‘is’ and what man ‘knows’ never remains the same and I do not need to remind Dawkins that you only have to look at how far we have come, to know how far we are going. Science will prove the existence of God and then we shall be gods ourselves. (George Bernard Shaw) Might Dawkins be unhappy with the eventual findings that he, himself is a God-in-the-making? No, I don’t think so, he’ll be fine with the idea, he’s no more humble than I am! (My dear Richard, I loved your book, but please don’t lump me, and others like me, into the same category as say, someone like The Reverend Pat Robertson, Please! I beg you. And if you do ever find yourself, (god forbid) coming face to face with the tyrannical mythical monotheistic creator that man is currently in the evolutionary process of shedding, please grab Him for me and put Him in a deadly and successful choke-hold.

This is the definition of delusion as per Webster's: 'The act of deluding' 'the state of being deluded' 'something that is falsely believed or propagated' 'a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary'. Some of the synonyms for delusion are: chimera, conceit, daydream, fantasy, dream, figment, illusion and hallucination.

All the above synonyms of delusion could perhaps form one great self-depreciating confession for anyone that has had the misfortune of succumbing to the perils of it... A confession that Dawkins triumphant, tapping his fingers might consider that "we the deluded" ought, for once and all, just bloody well own up to... "Forgive me Richard, for I am delusional…

How many delusional people in the last fifty thousand years have died believing in God - died having faith that a bigger picture exists?  How many have died knowing ‘something’ transcendental is taking place even though they might have not have fully awakened to the possibilities? I suspect its billions and billions and billions and billions. Who are all these poor, pathetic deluded people? Since time immemorial, according to the average atheist, everyone that has ever believed in god? The weird chimera of philosophers and kings? The conceit of bishops, priests and nuns? The daydreams of housewife’s, mother’s wives and daughters? The fantasy of scientists and engineers? The dream of doctors, nurses, surgeons and healers? The fancy of playwrights, poets, artists and composers?  The figment of the imaginations of laborers, stonemasons, carpenters and architects? The hallucinations of farmers, agriculturalists and botanists? The illusion of teachers, professors and all the inquisitive, as far back as we can go? All delusional? All of them? Really?

The supreme likelihood that we have so far got the wrong God is obvious to me. I write about this in my book: Is This the Best God Could Do? which you can download for free on this site. But many other authors, prominent and influential, who too see the sobering effect that believing in the wrong (monotheistic) God has, only seem to come up with atheism as an alternative. Sam Harris in his book Letter to Christian Nation, Christopher Hitchens in his book God is Not Great and Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion, denounce God, suggest that the rest of us are delusional, then attempt to invoke atheism as the only viable alternative.

Listen darlings, I am not delusional, I might have been a lot of things, confused, uncertain and often mystified as to what the bigger picture was, I might have been a Christian for a while, then defected, thank God, but I was and am still not, delusional. I cannot prove empirically that something bigger is going on behind the scenes – but I am as certain that it is – in the same way that I am certain that the sun rises and sets each day. Most of us who believe that what is going on here on earth (evolution) was intelligently designed, might not be able to articulate to the average atheist the origins of what that is, we might not possess the necessary vocabulary to be persuasive let alone convincing, we might nor even care that others believe what we do, but we know we are certain that something bigger is going on - just like the many billions that have died before us who knew the same thing!

You can read my novel: The Day She Cut God Loose in eBook format on this site, or go to Amazon, or listen to it at Audible.com. In in, I hope I have been successful in articulating to the average atheist an alternative to randomness and the depressing implications of believing that life is just a crap-shoot.

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