If God Does Not Exist, Why do Atheists Fight Him?

Christians are superstitious fools. But don’t take my word for it. After all, I’m a Christian, so what do I know? Rather, accept it on good faith from the mouth of Richard Dawkins. A biologist best known for the boldness of his God-bashing, he’s the author of The God Delusion, a bestseller that has received much attention in recent months for its recycled (in last week’s Register, for instance) rants against religious belief.

In fact, the book’s arguments are so lame that literary critic Terry Eagleton, hardly a Christian apologist, wrote: “Dawkins, it appears, has sometimes been told by theologians that he sets up straw men only to bowl them over, a charge he rebuts in this book; but if The God Delusion is anything to go by, they are absolutely right.”

In a debate between Dawkins and Irish columnist David Quinn, an occasional Register contributor, Dawkins opined that God is a type of an “imaginary friend.” He mused, “I am not interested in free will,” which should alert readers that he is not a serious thinker, at least not when it comes to philosophy and religion. And he stated that the “origin of matter” is “one that scientists are working on … one that they hope, eventually, to solve.” So he is a man of faith after all.

Of course he is. All men, even atheists, rely on faith in something — whether it’s God or ourselves or science.

Almost 16 years ago, while a student at Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, Canada, I attended a debate at the University of Saskatoon. The event pitted atheist and devoted abortionist Dr. Henry Morgenthaler against evangelical-Protestant scholar and apologist William Lane Craig.

The debate was similar in both tone and content to that between Dawkins and Quinn. The topic was the existence of God: Is it rational? Is there evidence? It was obvious, very quickly, that Morgenthaler was not only arrogant but also woefully unprepared. His lone interest was in condemning the “infantile” and “childish” notion of theism and bragging about the wonders of abortion. Abortion, he said, saves children from bad homes and bad lives. Which, of course, makes perfectly obvious the connection between abortion and euthanasia. He was condescending and intellectually inept, stating, “I don’t believe in absolutes.”

Hmm. That sounded like the position of an absolutist to me.

Craig, who has doctorates in theology and philosophy, thoroughly destroyed Morgenthaler’s arguments. He highlighted the fact that science is supposedly the sole basis for a secular humanist/atheistic value system, yet that value system cannot be proven by the scientific method. So, for example, upon what basis does Morgenthaler believe Home A is bad while Home B is good? Because Home A is poor and the children aren’t fed well? If killing an unborn baby is morally acceptable, what moral basis do we rely upon to say that starving a 4-year-old boy is unacceptable? And if we are all simply accidents of nature who live in a meaningless universe, why even bother to make such moral judgments?

Yet Dawkins, in his debate, stated: “Stalin was a very, very bad man, and his persecution of religion was a very, very bad thing. … It has nothing to do with the fact that he was an atheist.”

Meanwhile, of course, he insisted that evil acts committed by religious people are due to — what else? Religious beliefs. But, again, if those who believe in God (or gods) do so simply because of infantile desires and may not even possess free will, is it logical to so passionately condemn them? Or is it done simply out of a desire to survive? And, if so, does Dawkins have a better chance of surviving in a Christian environment or a truly atheistic environment?

At least one superstitious fool would like to know.

Carl Olson is editor of


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