Documentation: a reply to Richard Dawkins

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Author: Antony Flew
Date: Dec. 2008
Publisher: Institute on Religion and Public Life
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 1,104 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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The God Delusion, by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling more than a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than the economic achievement is that the contents--or rather lack of contents--show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: a secularist bigot. (Helpfully, my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary defines a bigot as "an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view.")

The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period he composed this book, although he has since retired) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine that he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form.

Thus, we find in his index four references to Einstein. But I find it hard to write with restraint about the obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins to make any mention of Einstein's most relevant report--that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind the physical world. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)

Of course, many physicists with the highest reputations do not agree with Einstein on this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position that he believes to be mistaken must, of course, attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein, and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A189050892