Saturday, 26 May 2012

Richard Dawkins Does Not Believe His Own Ideology

Richard Barns, a former atheist, has written an intriguing exposé of Richard Dawkins’ thinking and worldview.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, on a short trip to London, I stumbled upon a book entitled The Dawkins Proof for the Existence of God written by Richard Barns, who is a computer scientist and a former atheist.

The very title prompted me to buy the book. The Dawkins Proof is well-written, and in only 128 pages it succinctly brings up the major inconsistencies in atheistic thinking.

I tried to be a consistent atheist and I believed the conclusions that atheism led to. But I found that what consistent atheism led to was something utterly unworkable. It was, paradoxically, my desire to be a thorough atheist that drove me towards God,” Richard Barns writes in the foreword.

Barns shows that Richard Dawkins is willing to believe in completely irrational explanations, as long as they are compatible with his ideology. For instance, Dawkins espouses views that are not supported by evidence, such as the existence of multiverses or multiple universes:

Dawkins is quite prepared to take this fairy story seriously, not because there is any evidence for it, but because it promotes the ideology that he believes in.” (p. 63)

Dawkins’ own thinking is inconsistent. He lives as if he had free will, although he is supposed to be ruled by his selfish genes:

But Dawkins fails to understand his own philosophy. If we rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators then it is only because the selfish replicators have made us do so for some selfish reason. As Dawkins himself says in his book River Out of Eden: 'DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.' We are not free, we cannot rebel, we are the mechanistic, deterministic outworking of the laws of physics and the laws of Darwinism.” (p. 74, internal reference omitted)

Morals are another hard nut to crack for atheists:

Dawkins’ atheism makes moral standards meaningless and yet he cannot help behaving as if moral standards are real. He cannot help behaving as if atheism is false.” (pp. 85-86):

An orthodox atheist should not believe in the immaterial. Yet this is what they often do:

Has it ever struck you how strange it is that atheists, who are materialists, often present themselves as the defenders of reason, which is immaterial?” (p. 102):

What, then, is The Dawkins Proof? Barns has a pithy answer:

With every moral judgement, with every use of cause and effect, with every rational thought and with every purposeful act Richard Dawkins is living as if God exists. This is the Dawkins proof.” (p. 117).

I would recommend The Dawkins Proof to all who are interested in delving deeper into atheistic thinking.


Barns, Richard. 2010. The Dawkins Proof for the Existence of God. 2nd ed.