Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dawkins Wants There To Be No Cake And Eat It Too

The incoherence of Dawkin's philosophical musings, here.

In River out of Eden : A Darwinian View of Life Richard Dawkins wrote:
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: ‘For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.’ DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.
In a 2007 New Scientist/Greenpeace Science debate, Dawkins said:
Far from being the most selfish, exploitative species, Homo sapiens is the only species that has at least the possibility of rebelling against the otherwise universally selfish Darwinian impulse . . . If any species in the history of life has the possibility of breaking away from short term selfishness and of long term planning for the distant future, it’s our species. We are earth’s last best hope even if we are simultaneously, the species most capable of destroying life on the planet. But when it comes to taking the long view, we are literally unique. Because the long view is not a view that has ever been taken before in whole history of life. If we don’t plan for the future, no other species will . . . 
It is a common move for Darwinists to first insist that an unintended, undesigned, amoral, purposeless "lower-story" mechanistic, material, world comprehended by science, is all that exists. Having done this, they then quickly move into an "upper-story" existence -- the world of purpose, meaning, and moral values. Often, seemingly, without even realizing it. (Upper-story/lower-story are Francis Schaeffer's terms, described below).

Dawkin's is doing this here.

Why? Because lower-story atheism is unlivable.  What is life without the real realities of purpose, meaning, and the struggle to implement moral values?  Even the most ardent atheist doing materialistic science is purpose- and aspiration-driven! Darwinism may promote decent science while being ultimately false, but it is unlivable as a philosophy of life.

Dawkins, like other atheists, has two simple wants: he wants there to be no cake and eat it too.

When atheists make this move into the upper-story (as they all do), theists say, "welcome to our world". We've been insisting all along that this is what being human is really all about. The only difference is, we have a rational, amply sufficient explanation why this should be so, while theirs is necessarily feeble, insufficient, unsatisfactory, and unsatisfying.

An introduction to the lower-story/upper-story paradigm, here.

Strange Schizophrenia
The late Francis A. Schaeffer described this strange schizophrenia in a fine little booklet titled Escape From Reason. The basic premise that Schaeffer develops helps us to understand why archaeologists can say that the Bible is accurate while continuing to assert that the Bible is not necessarily true.
Schaeffer explains how modern man has become schizoid in the way he views the world. He actually thinks about life on two different planes. Schaeffer calls them the upper story and the lower story. The lower story is where reality is--facts, science, laws of nature, the world as it really is. The upper story is where values, meaning, God, religion, faith and those kinds of things reside.
Modern man is split. On the lower story of reality, man is locked into a machinelike universe of cause and effect. We are just matter in motion. If there is to be meaning and significance, it must come from somewhere other than the real world. It must be invented in our imagination and believed against the facts through an irrational leap of faith.
Schaeffer calls this the second-story leap. Man invents significance, value and morality by making a blind leap of faith into the upper story.
Regain your humanity. Make that leap into the arms of a Sufficient God. Rebel against the atheist machine.™

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see no contradiction. Merely a contrast between a descriptive account of how evolution (and all-to-frequently many humans) acts, and a prescriptive vision of how humans can and should act. In manufacturing a contradiction, you are indulging in the Is-Ought Fallacy.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"