On Richard Dawkins’ Atheism and His Criticisms of the Design Argument

On Richard Dawkins’ Atheism
and His Criticisms of the Design Argument
Kai-man Kwan
[Published: Kai-man Kwan, “On Richard Dawkins’ Atheism and His Criticisms of the Design Argument.” CGST Journal 49 (July 2010), pp. 165-203.]

Introduction: An Evolutionary Biologist Turned the High Priest of Atheism
Richard Dawkins is Reader in Zoology in the University of Oxford. He has a good reputation in his field of ethology. In particular, his books The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype have made significant contribution to evolutionary biology, and won him a fame in the 1980s. He is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University who is supposed to promote science to the general public. Dawkins is a good communicator, and his books on popular science are rightly acclaimed.
Dawkins has long expressed negative opinions about religion. The perceived threat of creationism has provoked him to write a polemical work The Blind Watchmaker. This work established his status as one of the most prominent contemporary defenders of Darwinism. He not only tried to point out the weaknesses in the arguments of the Creationists, but also heaped scorn on them. Gradually, he became heavily involved in the contemporary science/religion debate. His attention was no longer restricted to the issue of evolution. He also relentlessly advocated the conflict thesis that science and religion were basically incompatible. In recent years, he launched an all-out attack on religion, root and branch. Dawkins has already uttered a number of antireligious statements during his Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. In a two-part series The Root of All Evil? on Channel 4, which was shown in Jan 2006, Dawkins argued that religion is not only irrational, but also positively evil and harmful. In 2006 he published the God Delusion, which summarized his case against religion, and for a kind of in-your-face atheism. Since he is so passionate about his own atheistic position and is so zealous to propagate it, he can be called the high priest of atheism. In this paper, I will examine Dawkins’s atheistic naturalism with a special focus on his criticisms of the design argument. His God Delusion will be extensively quoted (with the book title abbreviated as GD).[1]



 1記:記者 (來自浸會大學基督徒團契)


關:基本上認同。導致視野狹窄的原因大概有三個。第一,香港基督徒生活在資本主義濃厚的商業社會,難免感染到重視個人利益的觀念。第二,我們不可忽略‘各自修行’這中國傳統思想對香港人有潛移默化的影響。這兩個因素營造了一個漠視社會問題的風氣,處身在此的基督徒很自然會遭受其害。第三,香港教會在基要派【註一】的主導下,恐怕自由派所提倡的信仰責任(積極關心世界問題)會導致‘社會福音’【註二】的萌生而替代了他們所堅持的一套信仰原則(著重個人靈性修養及強調耶穌救贖為唯一的信仰中心),故它們對此信仰責任非常低調。這巨大抗拒的心態塑造了一個基督徒安於教會生活的局面,亦使信仰本應有的解放潛力(Liberating Power)不能發揮出來。