Great Moral Teacher
|Dawkins: Losing the plot?|
There are lots of things that simply don't add up about Dawkins arguments, that must be why he won't spend any time debating with Christians whose arguments are grounded in theology or, Heaven forfend, Scripture. At some point, someone who is obsessed with disproving God's existence is going to have to refer to texts which have as their main thread the revelation of God. At some point, someone who wants to tell the World that God (probably) does not exist, is going to have to examine Scripture.
The problem is that atheists, especially those atheists whose specialist subject is biological science, are usually quite ignorant of Scripture. So, we have Dawkins describing Our Lord as a 'great moral teacher'. According to The Catholic Herald...
“Jesus was a great moral teacher,” Richard Dawkins said to The Guardian earlier this week. “Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.”
Gandhi is a man who is often described as a 'great moral teacher'. He was famous for saying, "I love your Christ but I hate your Christians." Fair enough, I guess. He taught non-violence, peaceful protest against unjust political rule and generally 'turning the other cheek' and, let's not forget, that it was still cool to wear sandals. Here are some Gandhi quotes, from someone who is widely admired as having been a great moral teacher.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
We can assume that for his statement that Our Lord was a great moral teacher, Dawkins has searched the Gospels, since we really have no other historical record of what Christ said. So, let's source from quotes from Our Lord, the great moral teacher...
Before Abraham was, I am.
You will see the Son of Man coming in great glory on the clouds of Heaven.
When you pray, pray Our Father, who art in Heaven...
I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.
I am the living bread which has come down from Heaven.
Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life.
When the Son of Man is lifted up from the Earth I shall draw all men to myself.
You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
And, according to Dawkins, Our Lord is a 'great moral teacher' and 'intelligent' too. Our Lord sounds like a man worth listening to. Of course, Our Lord's moral teaching is perfect. He is a great moral Teacher, the greatest because His words are 'spirit and they are life' and they came from God's own mouth, but there is a distinct difference between what Gandhi said and what Our Lord actually said. Gandhi didn't, for example, say stuff like, "If anyone believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live."
Dawkins refused to debate with a Protestant Christian theologian because he was 'too busy' or something. It would be a 'waste of time'. Perhaps he realises that if he debates with someone who knows Scripture then he'll (probably) lose. I don't know why he doesn't just stick to his specialist subject, which is, ironically, not God, out of whom he has made so much money, but the inheritance of acquired behaviour in chickens. Why should he 'waste his time' debating with a creationist, he said. I expect that even against a creationist, the simple fact is that Dawkins would have lost the debate. I expect that is the real reason he refused it.
And while we're discussing Dawkins, another thing. Do you remember that bus advertising campaign with the slogan, 'God probably does not exist, so don't worry if you murder your husband' or something like that? What gets me is that word 'probably'. If you told me that there was 'probably' not a lion outside my door, but there was a 10 % or even 1 or 2 % chance that there was a lion outside my door, I might actually consider not going to the front door. I want to hear that word 'definitely'. I want to know that there is definitely not a lion outside my door. The Catholic Church says God's revelation to us in Jesus Christ is full and final - it is definitive. For the Church, there is no 'probably'.