I really should be thanking Richard Dawkins.
It seems his Fundamentalist stand against Fundamentalism has launched growth in the one thing he so desperately tried to stamp out: Christians’ faith in God.
Amusingly, his assault on faith has backfired. (Well, maybe.)
It all depends whether the main goal of his public atheism was “prophet” or “profit”.
Was he mainly interested in duping the public into buying millions of dollars in books (described as half-baked even by other atheists) to become a speaking-circuit celebrity; to become unspeakably wealthy simply by leveraging polemics against a God he claims not to believe in?
If that’s what he’s doing this for, he is atheism’s answer to Joel Osteen. That would explain his sophomoric grasp of the philosophical implications of both his own beliefs, and those he criticizes.
If he was intending to take a stand for a great secular ‘truth’, then he has failed.
What Dawkins has done instead, is take people who were entirely disinterested in the existence or non-existence of God, and thrust them headlong into the most important metaphysical questions about life and purpose. He got people talking about God.
In the words of one comic (Marcus Brigstocke):
“Before I read The God Delusion I was a an atheist, after I read it I was an agnostic – I don’t want to read it again in case I turn into a Christian! ”
As a Scottish pastor says: “I actually know of people who have been converted through reading The God Delusion and interacting with the discussion”. (Full article here.)
As such, I can only encourage Dawkins to keep on writing, keep on raging, and keep generating conversations with otherwise disinterested unbelievers.
Thank you, Mr. Dawkins.
Who knows? Perhaps one day he’ll even read his own book, and be sufficiently persuaded by its many weaknesses that he, too, may rethink life’s Big Questions.