“I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low.” – Richard Dawkins
Well, that’s what you’d think after reading some of the tripe that has hit the net, airwaves and radio over the past few days in response to the debate he had with the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is just another example of the mental gymnastics that are part and parcel of the believing mindset. You know, it always amazes me how the religious can vilify the concept of “doubt” when it is applied to their fairy tales, but when it is applied to an unbeliever, it is then used as irrefutable proof of why the unbeliever should abandon all logic, reason and the collective of human intelligence and embrace the divine.
Dawkins Has Changed…
On Page 50 of “The God Delusion,” Dr. Dawkins explains his “Spectrum Of Theistic Probability.” This is the scale from 1 to 7 that many of us are familiar with, which rates the level of belief (or lack thereof) of any given individual. Dawkins says, “the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other.” He expounds on this via his proposal that there exists a continuous “spectrum of probabilities” between two extremes of opposite certainty, which can be represented by seven “milestones”. From his book, “The God Delusion“:
- Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: “I do not believe, I know.”
- De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.”
- Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.”
- Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. “God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.”
- Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. “I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.”
- De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. “I don’t know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”
- Strong atheist. “I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one.”
Dawkins has stated on numerous occasions that there are many who would categorize themselves as a “1” due to their strong, fundamentalist beliefs, but most atheists would stop short somewhere shy of a total “7” due to the nature of the scientific method which would dictate that because atheism arises from a lack of evidence and evidence can always change a thinking person’s mind. In fact, Dawkins had originally identified as a “6,” but in recent years has furthered his unbelief to the level of 6.9.
Oh, The Dissonance Of It All…
This is the way of the righteous, such as they are. As I have already pointed out, the concept of doubt is a double-edged sword with the religious. I find it amusing that if an atheists acquiesces even a sliver of self-skepticism, then they must, must, must concede that all the myths, legends and fairy-tales – no matter how ridiculous – should receive the same treatment.
They posit that anyone who exhibits anything less than a complete 7 on the Dawkins scale is obligated to consider the possibility that everything else that comprises the bible and religious theology should, by default, be considered for debate. This mindset was the catalyst for all the batshit crazy stories that have been littering the ether and airwaves over the past few days that gist toward the theistification of Dr. Dawkins, when, in fact, over the years he has become an even stronger atheist.
Teaching Calculus To A Toaster…
This is one of the reasons why debating a theist can be so aggravating. Presenting them with gobs and gobs of scientific evidence that debunks their ridiculous beliefs are consistently thrown asunder with a variety of replies that are just variances of the usual “God Said It, I Believe It and That Settles It.” This is what the crux of every theistic argument comes down to, even the complicated, intricate arguments put forth by the most learned theologians.
While I enjoy a good debate, the fact that in this day and age we still have to defend science to the claims of the intellectually stunted beliefs of the theist is beyond sensible. Evolution and creationism are not on equal footing. Nor are any of the other doctrines as compared to scientific discovery. But, in spite of the ridiculousness of religious belief, we must continue having these debates. The ease of which it has been reported and believed by so many that Dr. Dawkins somehow had abandoned a lifetime of knowledge to embrace the existence of God is a prime example of this.
In Case You Missed It…
Here’s the video of the recent debate between Dawkins and the Archbishop:
If they bothered reading his books, particularly “The God Delusion,” they would understand the utter stupidity of their claims.