Richard Dawkins Demonstrates His Closed Mind

Dawkins has made it clear that nothing could count as evidence for the existence of God. He has shown himself as a closed-minded, dogmatic atheist. You can see the demonstration for yourself in the video below. It starts at 12:30 and goes to 15:30.

This is a video clip that should be shown in churches everywhere. Dawkins, with agreement from Boghossian, has just admitted that if God Himself were to appear to Dawkins, complete with mind-boggling displays of miraculous power, all during the second coming of Christ, he would NOT consider that evidence for God’s existence. Well, if an empirical demonstration of God and miracles would not count as evidence for God’s existence, then nothing will. And that is essentially what he confesses at the end of the clip.

This is a clear-cut demonstration of the power of the closed-mind and illustrates that more and more atheist discussions about “evidence” are rooted in trickery and dishonesty. If you believe nothing can count as evidence for the existence of God, it is dishonest to pretend that you don’t believe because of a lack of evidence. It is dishonest to pretend you would change your mind if only someone could come up with the evidence.

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17 Responses to Richard Dawkins Demonstrates His Closed Mind

  1. Cory says:

    It really is subterfuge. Book after book written to extol science or denounce the evil God of the Bible; it’s all a smokescreen for a heart that will not bend its will to the God to whom we owe our existence.

  2. Gregory Hurd says:

    What Mr. Dawkins is suggesting, I think, is that you would need more than just some spectacular miracle show to prove the existence of god. The only thing a “miracle” would prove, if it did happen, is that something is taking place that we don’t understand. It’s not logical to jump to the conclusion that it must be the god of the bible. That’s the “argument from personal incredulity” fallacy. “I can’t explain what just happened, therefore it must have been magic!” God can’t really be used as a real explanation for anything because you would have to, first, explain God. By positing a God as an explanation, you are simply trying to explain one mystery with an even bigger mystery, thus not really explaining ANYTHING!

  3. GM says:

    In that case, natural selection doesn’t really explain anything since we don’t have an explanation yet for abiogenesis. Can you guess what I’m going to say next?

  4. Kevin says:

    By positing a God as an explanation, you are simply trying to explain one mystery with an even bigger mystery, thus not really explaining ANYTHING!

    This is a pretty hefty statement. You seem to be saying that nothing can be explained if the explanation itself isn’t explained, which leads to infinite regression. By your logic, nothing can be explained. Ever.

  5. Gregory Hurd says:

    GM – Natural selection only explains the diversity of life and changes in populations over time. You are correct that it does not explain abiogenisis. However, I don’t follow how this is analogous to my comments.

    Kevin – We explain things in terms of other things that we already understand. Not the other way around.

  6. TFBW says:

    What Mr. Dawkins is suggesting, I think, is that you would need more than just some spectacular miracle show to prove the existence of god.

    The category of possible things which are “more than just some spectacular miracle show” seems to be empty. “Beyond miraculous” sounds a bit like “beyond impossible”. That being so, you have simply reiterated the main point of the blog post: “if an empirical demonstration of God and miracles would not count as evidence for God’s existence, then nothing will.” As such, the position you describe amounts to, “no empirical evidence could ever persuade me that God exists.” That is, there is a “lack of evidence for God” only in the same sense that there is a lack of round squares. Just as anything round is not square, anything which is evidence is insufficient to be evidence for God. Would you agree? If not, where’s the loophole?

  7. GM says:

    You’ve apparently missed the implications of what you’ve said. “We explain things in terms of other things that we already understand.” But eventually, the ‘things that we already understand’ if followed far enough, come to lack explanation because of our epistemological limits. Thus, their origins become mysterious. If we cannot use God to explain ANYTHING (‘anything’ is an odd category to work with) by virtue of God being mysterious, then everything that we do understand cannot have explanatory power due to their mysterious origins.

    This is all working with the very poor theology of God needing an explanation in the same way as a contingent thing. That’s a whole can of worms that I just don’t have the energy for.

  8. Michael says:

    Gregory: What Mr. Dawkins is suggesting, I think, is that you would need more than just some spectacular miracle show to prove the existence of god. The only thing a “miracle” would prove, if it did happen, is that something is taking place that we don’t understand. It’s not logical to jump to the conclusion that it must be the god of the bible. That’s the “argument from personal incredulity” fallacy. “I can’t explain what just happened, therefore it must have been magic!” God can’t really be used as a real explanation for anything because you would have to, first, explain God. By positing a God as an explanation, you are simply trying to explain one mystery with an even bigger mystery, thus not really explaining ANYTHING!

    So you are confirming the point of my blog entry: Well, if an empirical demonstration of God and miracles would not count as evidence for God’s existence, then nothing will. And that is essentially what he confesses at the end of the clip.

    This is a clear-cut demonstration of the power of the closed-mind and illustrates that more and more atheist discussions about “evidence” are rooted in trickery and dishonesty. If you believe nothing can count as evidence for the existence of God, it is dishonest to pretend that you don’t believe because of a lack of evidence. It is dishonest to pretend you would change your mind if only someone could come up with the evidence.

  9. Gregory Hurd says:

    I assure you I am not closed minded. If I witnessed a “true miracle”, supposing that such a thing could actually be performed, I would consider all the explanations including the possibility that a god or superior being may have done it. But with no mechanism to examine, I don’t see how you could conclude that it was not Allah, Zeus, or advanced aliens. Maybe someone slipped me some LSD and I hallucinated the whole thing. This is not being dishonest. Skepticism is the most intellectually honest position one can take.

  10. Michael says:

    I assure you I am not closed minded.

    LOL! You “assure” me. And I’m supposed to accept that on faith, right?

    If I witnessed a “true miracle”, supposing that such a thing could actually be performed, I would consider all the explanations including the possibility that a god or superior being may have done it. But with no mechanism to examine, I don’t see how you could conclude that it was not Allah, Zeus, or advanced aliens. Maybe someone slipped me some LSD and I hallucinated the whole thing.

    So as we can see, nothing could count as evidence for the existence of God. This is why it is dishonest to posture as if your atheism has anything to do with “the evidence.”

    Skepticism is the most intellectually honest position one can take.

    It is intellectually dishonest, and sneaky, for closed-minded hyperskeptics to posture as if they are mere skeptics.

  11. Gregory Hurd says:

    I don’t appreciate being called sneaky or dishonest. You do not know me. I did not say that there could be no evidence for god. I even said I would consider the possibility. However, I fail to see how one could conclusively prove that it was any particular god.

  12. Michael says:

    I don’t appreciate being called sneaky or dishonest. You do not know me.

    I know what you have written. You “assure” me you are open-minded, but have no evidence to back up this claim. Worse yet, you advocate an extreme form of hyperskepticism that is evidence of a closed-mind.

    I did not say that there could be no evidence for god. I even said I would consider the possibility.

    So what data could count as evidence for the existence of God? So far, we know miracles would not count.

    However, I fail to see how one could conclusively prove that it was any particular god.

    No one is talking about conclusive proofs.

  13. Gregory Hurd says:

    If we are not talking about conclusive proofs, then we are in agreement.

    Evidence is the set of all data. I agree that a genuine miracle would be “evidence” for a god, but not proof. How do you determine that it is a genuine miracle though. Just because you can’t come up with a natural explanation for the event, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Without a verifiable mechanism, “miracle” isn’t even a real explanation. Classic argument from ingnorance fallacy: “I can’t explain what just happened, therefore it was magic.”

  14. GM says:

    Gregory,

    This conversation highlights a problem in discourse with Richard Dawkins and the like. They reject theology as a legitimate, rigorous school of thought that has anything of substance to say, and therefore is not worthy of study. Which is fine, he’s free to think that. The problem then is, why does he keep making theological statements? Any statement like “God is________” or “God needs______” is based on an assumption squarely in the school of the metaphysics of theology. This is dialectical trickery: I can say whatever I want about God, but deny the ability of my opponents to counter because the entire thing is nonsense. It’s a rigged game, and I just refuse to play by those rules.

    Your questions about what to “do” with a miracle have as much to do with their context and purpose as anything. There’s no such thing in scriptures as a superfluous miracle. The closest thing the category of miracles we are talking about here (demonstration as a mere catalyst of belief) we have in scripture is something like the commissioning of a prophet (See Isaiah 6 or Ezekiel 1) or when there’s some kind of event of distinction between the God of the Hebrews and some other Pagan god, which would be something like an experiment, but these are very rare, and under very specific circumstances of crisis.

    Nowhere in scripture are miracles treated as some be-all-end-all of religious epistemology. Jesus had a borderline ambivalent attitude towards them, often telling people that he healed to keep the story to themselves, or His famous line “If a man does not believe in Moses and the prophets, neither will he believe in resurrection from the dead.” So often His own resurrection is treated as some kind of “TAH-DAH! SEE? LOOK! That was crazy right? Okay bye!” You have to understand the soteriological, eschatological and existential implications of the resurrection story for it to have any theological and epistemological value. That would be true of ANY miracle: Does it fit with what we can know about God? What does it claim to affirm? What does it require of me? Does anyone else know what this means? Has anyone else experienced this?

    I’m not going to sit here and try to force Christianity into some kind of palatable thing according to the ridiculous demands of the hyper-rationalist. As far as I’ve seen, despite all the attempts to assassinate faith as some kind of exercise in insanity, it just hasn’t worked. Full stop. It’s a failed philosophical endeavor. Faith in it’s broadest sense is important and unavoidable in any life, and there are myriad ways that faith in something true becomes validated AS true. Scientific proof just happens to not be one of them. It’s not the end of the world.

  15. toddes says:

    “Skepticism is the most intellectually honest position one can take.” What evidence do you have for this? Do you apply the same tests to skepticism that you apply to other intellectual positions?

  16. TFBW says:

    Gregory Hurd said:

    I agree that a genuine miracle would be “evidence” for a god, but not proof.

    That’s a start.

    How do you determine that it is a genuine miracle though. Just because you can’t come up with a natural explanation for the event, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    Sure. Do you have a solution for that, or are you unable to detect “genuine” miracles? Because if you can’t, then the only evidence that you’ve described as acceptable is impossible to distinguish from non-evidence, which strikes me as problematic.

    Without a verifiable mechanism, “miracle” isn’t even a real explanation. Classic argument from ingnorance fallacy: “I can’t explain what just happened, therefore it was magic.”

    So in order for a “maybe miracle” to raised to the status of “genuine miracle”, we need to discover a verifiable mechanism for it? I’m not sure what that means, in the context. Suppose, for example, that we were witness to Jesus’ water-to-wine miracle — what kind of thing are you looking for when you say that a “verifiable mechanism” is needed in this context?

  17. Michael says:

    Evidence is the set of all data. I agree that a genuine miracle would be “evidence” for a god, but not proof. How do you determine that it is a genuine miracle though. Just because you can’t come up with a natural explanation for the event, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Without a verifiable mechanism, “miracle” isn’t even a real explanation. Classic argument from ingnorance fallacy: “I can’t explain what just happened, therefore it was magic.”

    See TFBW’s reply.

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