God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


A contradiction at the heart of atheism?

(Beyond Ourselves #22)

What's in the series?      Previous: Two reasons why right and wrong are real       Next: Science and moral values

Can there be real good and evil, if we are just atoms and molecules?

Many atheists say that there can not. So, for example, Richard Dawkins, in one famous comment, says:

'The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.'

The problem is that none of us can live as if there is no good or evil.  So somewhere else, Dawkins says:

'Faith is one of the world’s greatest evils.'

This sounds like a claim that some things really are evil. So which is it?  Is there no evil, no good, just pitiless indifference? Or are some things really evil? You cannot have it both ways.

We may say that good and evil are not real, but we cannot live consistently like that. In practice, all of us acknowledge that some things really are right, and others really are wrong.

Is atheism a belief?

Since we first posted it, this video has generated a massive response. One of the most common objections is that 'atheism is not a belief at all, so it cannot contradict itself.' Our response is here.

Are good and evil real?

A second common objection is that good and evil are not something real, 'out there,' but we create them for ourselves. Our response is here.

Misquoting Dawkins

The third common objection is that we are misquoting Dawkins - either by not understanding that he is using words in different ways, or by selective quotation (quote mining). Our response is here.

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‘The universe is unlikely. Very unlikely. Deeply, shockingly, unlikely.’ - Discover magazine