Living a fulfilled life without God
Personally I’ve really enjoyed the discussion between the Archbishop Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins. I really enjoyed the tone of the two and were happy to see them remain respectful towards one another. However, one outcome of the debate was that media headlines were emphasizing a statement by Dawkins that he can’t prove God doesn’t exist and calling him agnostic. One article I read even suggested that Dawkins was possibly on the verge of a religious conversion.
I think what I find so unusual about this is that Dawkins has ALWAYS said this. He explains this in his book “The God Delusion” by introducing a “Spectrum of Theistic Probability”. I’ve really struggled with this mentality as I’ve tried to explain my stance to friends. People outside of the atheist community just think that atheists feel like they know there is no God and anytime you suggest that you can’t prove that, they quickly feel like they have won the argument. It’s very poor logic to say that God is real unless someone can prove he’s not. I have written about this many times and it gets exhausting trying to explain oneself. The primary definition of atheist in most dictionaries suggest a belief that there is no God. The secondary definition will often be a lack of belief in God. Most people in the atheist community realize that being an atheist has nothing to do with being able to prove the non-existence of God. So by Dawkins saying that he is an agnostic is not untrue. Many atheists are both agnostic and atheist. I’ve said before that one is a statement of belief and the other is a statement of knowledge. I don’t know what everyone is getting so excited about. Dawkins hasn’t changed his stance whatsoever. He’s not on the verge of a conversion… he’s just restating his longstanding position. Whether one uses the “atheist” label or not, this is still a frustrating misunderstanding.
Aside from this outcome of the debate, I enjoyed the dialogue. It’s nothing earth-shattering but it’s good to see these two individuals interact respectfully with one another on an interesting subject.