Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two visions of atheism

What has happened to atheism? It used to present the human person as a colossus straddling the universe. It saw man as having surpassed or outgrown God. Man was capable of making a veritable paradise on earth. The Man of the past was good, altruistic, self denying, he was heroic. The atheist vision of Man used to be that he was Divine!
Then came Dawkins.
Now, the atheist sees him as self seeking, needing to be restrained from his innate selfishness by legislation and external coercion. Now he cowers in dark shadow.

The first is vision enthused by Christianity, it presents Man as redeemed, the second is post-Christian, it seems a vision of Man stuck in Original Sin.

3 comments:

Paul Mallinder said...

At our local Catholic Church we get two different views of man given to us by two different priests. One tells us we are good and that God loves us. We come away with a positive view of mankind. The other tells us we are sinful and not so good. We come away with a negative view of mankind. So are we good people or bad people? Dawkins is reflecting the same experience in atheism, some atheists think we are generally good whilst others think we are generally bad.

Independent said...

We should all pray for the soul of the philosopher Professor Anthony Flew who died on April 8th. He spent most of his life as a militant atheist but five years ago concluded that he could not explain his existence without God. He died a theist, not a Christian, but always followed his conscience. One hopes that Dr Dawkins , the biologist,does likewise, and if in his view the evidence does not warrant his conclusions, will change his mind accordingly.

Independent said...

According to the Telegraph obituary , Professor Flew argued that research into DNA had "shown by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangments which are need to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved" and that although he accepted Darwinian evolution, he felt it could not explain the origin of life. "I have been persuaded that it is simply out of the question that the first living matter evolved out of dead matter and then developed into an extraordinarily complicated creature". He seems to have accepted the general argument of two of Aquinas' proofs of the existence of God - the argument from design and the need for a prime mover. Since a key concept of his philosophy was "follow the evidence wherever it leads" he became a theist.