It was interesting watching Richard Dawkins on ‘Q and A’ last night.  Three things struck me:

  1. Richard ruled out the question “Why are we here?”  He preferred to answer the question “How is that we came to be here?”, a question that science can try to answer.  He said ‘Why are we here?’ is a question as ridiculous as ‘What colour is jealousy?’.  My question to Richard is, ‘Says who?’  On what authority does he rule a question that a good many people have asked down through the ages invalid?  The meaning that we put on human life comes from the answer to that question.
  2. Richard came out clearly as an existentialist.  He claims that the meaning of life is determined by people as they so choose.  Existentialism has several weaknesses.  The individualism built into it wars against the very concept of society.  I couldn’t help but notice the irony of Richard pushing existentialism as his philosophy of choice but then denouncing Darwinian natural selection as a moral code.  Couldn’t someone choose to make Darwinian natural selection their values, and how can an existentialist complain?
  3. Richard claimed that even if a 900ft Jesus stood in front of him and said, ‘I exist’, he wouldn’t believe.  This is an astounding claim.  Is Richard here admitting that he refuses to believe in God in the face of all and every evidence put before him?  These are not the words of neutrality.  These sound awfully like the words of a man who has decided the answer to the question before asking it.

To my great disappointment George Pell seemed to miss all these points.

Is anyone well read in Dawkins who wants to add flesh to these points or come back at them?  I must admit to only reading the God Delusion, which I hear was one of his least impressive works.