Dawkins and Education

Note: This is part of a weekly note sent to members of Providence Church.

Richard Dawkins–the militant anti-christian atheist–declared that he is starting a summer retreat. What will they learn at this retreat? They will mix tug of war with philosophical arguments against the existence of God, scientific proof that evolutionary theory is valid, and of course, instead of the traditional kumbaya melody, these little, open-minded children and teenagers will be dancing to the tune of John Lennon’s atheistic utopia Imagine. This reveals a sort of change in tactic for the atheists; a return perhaps to their Stalinist and dictatorial history when evil triumphed by polluting the minds of the children. Atheists thrive in demonizing the Christian faith for its crusades and violent ecclesiastical history, but the reality is that ultimately it is the atheistic impulse that leads to violence and death. Think about it. In what worldview can you affirm that life begins at conception or that man bears the image of His Creator? Certainly not atheism. Atheism teaches that life bears no ultimate meaning. This is all there is. At least Dawkins now realizes that education begins at the early stages of life. But what hope can he offer these impressionable little ones? This is probably Dawkins’ attempt to leave a legacy; ultimately, a legacy of hate and meaninglessness.

On the other hand, blessed are we who teach our little ones to awake with the sounds of the gospel and to end the day with the sounds of the gospel. May our little ones grow up with the full assurance that life is full of meaning for those who trust in Yahweh.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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11 Responses to Dawkins and Education

  1. Atheism teaches that life bears no ultimate meaning.

    I’m not here to argue the point. I’m just curious.

    If life bears a non-ultimate meaning, does that not count?

    Must all meaning be ultimate?

  2. Uri Brito says:

    Yes…all meaning must be ultimate. It must have a purpose, a telos, a goal. The atheist views meaning as non-ultimate, thus his meaning is meaningless.

  3. So when I set forth a meaning, it is not a meaning?

    This… seems a little bit contradictory, but okay. Fine.

    So if I say that my love for my family is meaningful to me, the purposelessness of the universe be damned… You regard that love I feel for my family to be meaningless?

    Is that correct?

  4. Sorry – forgot to subscribe to e-mail follow ups.

  5. Uri Brito says:

    Yes, meaning can only exist in a God-created universe. Atheism cannot account for meaning because meaning is not an atheistic concept. If the universe is random, it cannot account for meaning. You can believe your love for your wife is meaningful, but you cannot defend it on your own presuppositions. In the Christian worldview, there is meaning because God created the world with meaning. See these videos for further explanation: http://gregbahnsen.blogspot.com/2008/01/problems-for-unbelieving-worldviews.html

  6. Yes, meaning can only exist in a God-created universe.

    I have created meaning for myself. It is meaningful to me.

    It’s as if you’re telling me that water doesn’t exist while I’m drinking water from a big flask.

    Atheism cannot account for meaning because meaning is not an atheistic concept.

    Atheism is a negative description of a person’s beliefs. As such, it doesn’t contain any concepts. So meaning is not an atheistic concept.

    Well Duh!

    This doesn’t stop me from finding something positive in the world in which to find meaning. The world is brimming with meaning – you just have to engage with it first.

    If the universe is random, it cannot account for meaning.

    First off, the universe isn’t random – it consists of both random and nonrandom events.

    Secondly, I agree that the universe can’t account for meaning – it has nothing to account for meaning with.

    People do have something to account for meaning with. You are demonstrating this human capacity when you value the meaning of a universe that has a God in it over one that does not.

    You can believe your love for your wife is meaningful, but you cannot defend it on your own presuppositions.

    Why should I have to defend it at all?

    If I love my family, and this is meaningful to me, what else matters to the situation?

    In the Christian worldview, there is meaning because God created the world with meaning.

    And why is a world created by God more meaningful than a world that was not?

    Why is the meaning assigned to my life by God more meaningful than the meaning assigned to my life by me? It is my life, after all.

    ———-

    Having a look at the videos now.

  7. Uri Brito says:

    By what standard have you created meaning? Is your definition of meaning applicable only to yourself and not to others? My point is meaning assumes morality. In your worldview there is no standard for morality. You cannot assume anything about your life without first attributing the origin of your life.
    Again, only God gives meaning…your life is at the mercy of God. As Van Til used to say: ” the atheist in order to deny the existence of God has first to sit at His lap.”

  8. By what standard have you created meaning?

    The creation of meaning is a natural function of humans, just as the creation of spiders-silk is the natural creation of spiders.

    The creation of meaning is not subject to some legislative standard or regulation… Well, not unless we first create such a meaning for ourselves. Yet even this first act of evaluation must be done without such arbitrary guidance.

    Is your definition of meaning applicable only to yourself and not to others?

    There is a difference between my definition of meaning and what I consider meaningful. Please be consistent: To which do you refer?

    My point is meaning assumes morality.

    Mine is that meaning creates morality.

    In your worldview there is no standard for morality.

    Again with ‘standards’.

    You are assuming in your language that a ‘morality based on standards (MBS) is of greater value than a ‘morality not based on standards’ (MNBS).

    This evaluation of MBS above MBNS is a morality that you had to create for yourself, that could not itself be justified in a standard.

    You cannot escape your responsibility to think for yourself about morality.

    You cannot assume anything about your life without first attributing the origin of your life.

    Actually, I can assume pretty much anything I want. Whether the assumption is warranted is the question.

    Again, only God gives meaning…

    This is a ‘meaning’ statement that you have devised for yourself.

    … your life is at the mercy of God.

    Even if this was true, it would change nothing in our argument. We would still have to make a personal moral and meaning judgement that ‘our life at the mercy of God’ implied that we should obey God’s morals and meanings.

    It seems the only morality or meaning you are prepared to accept is that granted to you by a tyrant.

    This reeks to me of the will to mediocrity. You cannot escape your responsibility to think and decide for yourself: Choosing not to think or decide is to think and decide.

  9. Uri Brito says:

    No human has the capacity to create meaning not can any action outside of a God-created universe be meaningful to the atheist.
    You cannot legislate or make your own morality. You have to assume too much to do so; assumptions you are not willing to concede.
    My point is that to make personal moral judgments you have to assume that there is such a thing as evil and good. Do you believe this? If so, by what standard is something evil and by what standard is something good?
    You write:” You cannot escape your responsibility to think for yourself about morality.”

    Exactly. That responsibility assumes you have a set of assumptions about the world that are universal in nature. If a murderer assumes killing is a good thing for the world, by what standard can you say it is a bad thing? Your own morality? But the murderer does not share your morality. On what basis are you right and he is wrong?

    You write: “The creation of meaning is a natural function of humans, just as the creation of spiders-silk is the natural creation of spiders.”

    How do you know it is a natural function? Where is that standard decreed or written? In a Trinitarian theistic worldview, a spider does what it does because God designed it to do so. What does natural creation mean anyway?

    You write: “Actually, I can assume pretty much anything I want. Whether the assumption is warranted is the question.”

    Of course. That is not my point. You can assume anything you want, but your assumption cannot be warranted unless you attribute the ability to verify your warrant to a particular standard.

    You write: “This is a ‘meaning’ statement that you have devised for yourself.”

    No. This is a meaning statement derived from the standard I live by: The Holy Word of God, not devised by myself. Herein lies the difference.

    You write: “You are assuming in your language that a ‘morality based on standards (MBS) is of greater value than a ‘morality not based on standards’ (MNBS).”

    That’s right. The concept of morality does not exist if there is no standard from whence it came. Out of nothing nothing comes.

  10. You’ve completely failed to address the central point I have been making. When you say this:

    That’s right. The concept of morality does not exist if there is no standard from whence it came. Out of nothing nothing comes.

    You are attributing meaning to the concept of standards. You cannot justify this in a standard without your argument becoming circular.

    You have presumed your conclusion – and you have presumed it so deeply you can’t seem to understand that this beliefs regarding morality and standards is itself arbitrary and subjective; your opinion, not subject to any standard but your own.

    What I find engaging in arguments like this is the free exchange of ideas. You’ve been giving me ideas – not new ideas, but you’ve been giving them nonetheless. However, you’re not taking on anything I’m saying, so when you respond to me you’re not giving me anything new. There’s no exchange here. Just you repeating the same point over and over, and ignoring the points I’m actually making. The discussion isn’t moving anywhere.

    I’ve invested a bit of effort into this discussion, and the returns are already marginal. In short: We’ve reached my boredom-threshold.

    I grant you the last word.

    Keep well, and I wish you all the best in life.

  11. Uri Brito says:

    I do not deny that my argument is circular. But so is yours. Your assumptions about reality are also your conclusions about reality. We all argue in circularity.
    Your boredom threshold is there because you are expecting me to argue on your own terms. But I cannot assume there is neutrality in argumentation. There are no brute facts; all facts are interpreted by one’s own reality. And I do not assume your reality; rather I assume the Biblical Trinitarian reality.
    You write: “your opinion, not subject to any standard but your own.”

    Wrong. My opinion and my thoughts are subject to the Word of God (II Cor. 10:5).

    Thank you for your time.

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