“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” Richard Dawkins
An atheist on Facebook posted the above quote, attributed to Richard Dawkins. It inspired a brief conversation between us:
Bob: A Christian who doesn’t believe in Zeus isn’t an atheist when it comes to Zeus. He’s a Christian when it comes to Zeus. If you expect Christians to take your arguments seriously, best to keep Dawkins out of the conversation.
FB: That isn’t true. You lack belief in Zeus just like I lack belief in Jesus Christ or Yahweh. When it come to the pantheon of Greek gods, you are an atheist. Unless you disagree with the dictionary.
If you’re a Christian when it comes to Zeus, you still lack belief in Zeus. Atheism is just lack of belief. That’s it. You’re an atheist when it comes to Zeus. You feel the same way about Zeus as I do about Jesus Christ. They are both fiction and myth.
Keep Dawkins out of the conversation? Why is he not credible? You mean keep anyone out of the conversation who correctly calls Christianity out on its superstitious nonsense?
The quote is true. You are an atheist when it comes to the thousands of Gods that have been created, I go one god further.
Bob: In fact, I do disagree with the dictionary. I have no idea why the dictionary should be considered a greater authority on the matter than 2000 years of Catholic philosophy. Atheism simply means “no theism.” The word itself doesn’t imply either a lack of belief in God or a belief in in the lack of God. As far as I’m concerned, atheism is a belief that there is no God. Why? Because from a Catholic perspective, faith isn’t required to hold for the existence of God. Reason is sufficient. Faith is what we believe about the God whose existence reason demonstrates. Given that God’s existence can be demonstrated by reason, it requires faith to deny His existence. I’m not an atheist regarding Zeus any more than I’m an atheist regarding the proposition that 2+2=3. I know Zeus doesn’t exist by the same reason that I know that God does. Reason, not faith, demonstrates that there cannot be a pantheon of gods. Reason, not faith, demonstrates that there is a God, and only one. It is faith that rejects the demonstration of reason in the existence of God.
Bob: Dawkins is not credible because he often simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Have you read his assessment of Aquinas’ Five Ways? The man has no understanding of Aquinas at all. Have you read his attempt at a philosophical argument on why there is almost certainly no God? It’s ridiculous. I understand Dawkins has a reputation as an excellent biologist. He should stick with biology.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.