A Question for Richard Dawkins

“Religious claims need to be ridiculed with contempt.”  Richard Dawkins, March 24, 2012, Washington, D.C. “Reason” rally

“I was at this time living, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions.  I maintained that God did not exist.  I was also very angry with God for not existing.  I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.”  C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy 

 “When I was an atheist my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.  But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?  A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.  What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?…Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple.  If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.”  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“I now believe that the balance of reasoned considerations tells heavily in favour of the religious, even of the Christian view of the world.”  C.E.M. Joad, British philosopher and former atheist

“Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds [reason alone couldn’t give us morality], nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium…I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends; and when, after three or four hours’ amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold ,and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find it in my heart to enter into them any further.”  David Hume, British skeptic

“The National Mall will play host to a rally for atheists on Saturday, March 24, that is being referred to as the ‘Woodstock for nonbelievers.’  Many political issues will be addressed, according to coordinators including the Republican nomination battle.  Event sponsors also say that issues surrounding blasphemy laws and the recent controversies over the separation between church and state will be discussed.

“The National Mall is a well-known spot for social protest, but his event is intended to be celebratory.  In recent years the number of individuals identifying themselves as atheists has increased across the country and the planners expect a large turnout, perhaps as many as 30,000.  Counter-rallies are also expected since some local Christian groups may attend to talk with the atheists and hand out readings from the Bible.

“”There will be numerous speakers.  Unsurprisingly, Richard Dawkins has top billing.  The only openly atheist member of Congress, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) along with ultra-liberal Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will address the event by video.  Several organizations are involved in sponsoring the rally, which claims three main purposes.

“According to the “Reason Rally’ website, sponsors hope to encourage non-believers to open up about their unfaith.  They also wish to dispel any stereotypes there may be about secularists.  The website points out that there will be attendees from all ethnicities and backgrounds.  Perhaps more significant, the groups are pushing for ‘’legislative equality’ and seek to put their values on the radar of all Americans by running for office.”  John Watts, Human Events, March 19, 2012, p. 6

The issue that no atheist has yet explained is found in The Wall Street Journal’s review of Chris Impey’s How It Began: A Time Travelers Guide to the Universe, March 28, 2012, p. A11.  “It has long been assumed that gravity would act as a brake on cosmic expansion, but astronomers were horrified to discover in the 1990s that the expansion is speeding up.  ‘Dark energy’ is the mysterious culprit, but the name is more of a sign of ignorance than a physical description of something that makes up approximately 73% of the mass-energy of the universe.  If that wasn’t surprising enough, an analysis of the motion of galaxies reveals that approximately 23% of the universe is made up of something dubbed ‘dark matter.’  This means that we know nothing about roughly 96% of our universe.”

Question for Richard Dawkins—if we know nothing about 96% of the universe how do you (using reason, experience, science, and as Richard Feynman suggests, ‘guess work’ as your guide) know that God does not exist? Perhaps someone attending the “Reason Rally” could write an answer to this question and give it to Free Inquiry magazine to print.

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