Dawkins the Agnostic, and the limitations of Science

Posted in the Atheism Forum

“Hi”

Since: Oct 12

Blackpool, UK

#1 Oct 18, 2012
Sharif Hafezi

Richard Dawkins is known throughout the world as a prominent advocate for atheism and evolution, however he admitted in February 2012 that he has some doubt over whether a God could exist.

In a debate with Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, Dawkins remarked that he was less than 100% sure that a God does not exist, stating “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low.” He further mentioned that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs. The chair, Sir Anthony Kenny, then asked “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” To which Dawkins confirmed that he did.

For some theists this will be seen as a major climb down from someone so antagonistic towards religion. However if one scrutinises his words then they will realise this isn’t any different to his previous positions. In fact this uncertain approach is the nature of science whose conclusions cannot determine the definitive nature of an observation.

This may seem counter-intuitive to today’s world where science has assumed the role which once was the preserve of religions and where scientists are now consulted on origins of life and the universe in order to define a meaning to one’s life. Rowan Williams thus painted an archaic picture of a man who represented an outdated philosophical outlook in comparison to the scientific, evidence based approach of Dawkins.

However, is science the only basis for knowing the world around us, can science answer all questions and will this lead to certain knowledge? These key questions require a thorough analysis of the scientific method so that its role and limits can be identified.

Further reading:
http://www.newcivilisation.com/home/ideas-phi...
Lemony

Wylie, TX

#2 Oct 20, 2012
Calling Christians wrote:
In fact this uncertain approach is the nature of science whose conclusions cannot determine the definitive nature of an observation.
What do you mean by this? Please elaborate. Science corrects itself. Science describes. Religion prescribes. Religion operates on dogma, faith, fear and superstition. Religion is not a "way of knowing". The world of the shaman, imam, psychic, rabbi, witch doctor, medium, pastor, priest and guru is shrinking. Science offers better explanations; explanations which are open to challenge and correction. It's okay to say, "I don't know" when you don't know. It's never okay to say, "I don't know, therefore God." Denial and disbelief are not the same thing.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Atheism Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Atheists Aren't the Problem, Christian Intolera... 24 min thetruth 2,616
Atheism requires as much faith as religion? (Jul '09) 28 min thetruth 233,133
Is 'naturalism' a bleak philosophical outlook? ... 30 min thetruth 10
Christians More Supportive of Torture Than Non-... 32 min thetruth 21
Evidence for God! 36 min thetruth 371
Science Disproves Evolution (Aug '12) 41 min thetruth 1,456
Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038 (Apr '12) 42 min thetruth 23,261
More from around the web