Critique Of Religion, The God Delusion, By Richard Dawkins Essay

Critique Of Religion, The God Delusion, By Richard Dawkins Essay

Length: 1443 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


In his critique of religion, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins makes several fundamental flaws in his reasoning for disputing the arguments in Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways, particularly the Third Way: The Argument From Contingency. Dawkins writes of this argument, and the others, in a condescending, blatantly contemptuous manner. It is clear that he did not make an attempt to thoroughly understand the points that Aquinas makes, and in his rush to refute them, he overlooks a few errors of his own. Dawkins seems to have misunderstood the Third Way particularly egregiously. He misinterprets this argument, and then criticizes his misinterpretation for being false using faulty logic, and unfounded statements. According to Dawkins’ interpretation, the Third Way uses an infinite regress to conclude that every physical thing must have a non-physical reason for coming into existence, and this is what people call God. Dawkins criticizes this argument in several ways. First, he states that the argument makes the “entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress.” (77) He then goes on to say that if there is a terminator to the regress, there is no reason to believe it has any of the properties that God is believed to have, and that it would be better to say the terminator is the big bang, or some other physical thing. Finally, Dawkins argues that some seemingly infinite regresses have natural terminating points, and that it is not at all clear that Aquinas’ regresses are terminated by God. All of these criticisms are either irrelevant, false, or both.
Dawkins’ first criticism is easy to dispel quite thoroughly. Dawkins states that the argument makes the unjustified assumption that God is immune to the regress of conti...


... middle of paper ...


... the terminator, without giving any reason or evidence, and provides another type of alternate explanation would be better, despite his explanation is explicitly stated to not be a solution to the regress. These errors, and several others, demonstrate that however otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable Dawkins may be, he is vastly underqualified, and in at least one respect, possibly even too immature, to attempt to refute the argument presented in Aquinas’ Third Way. It is possible that Aquinas was wrong, and that his premise is false, or his argument invalid. However, rather than seriously considering any part of the argument, Dawkins takes an almost childish approach to the issue. Dawkins makes so many errors of reasoning throughout his argument that it is completely invalidated, and cannot be used to support any conclusion, no matter what that conclusion may be.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

- Humans have been studied over a period of long time in order to understand our process to do things and what thoughts go into that process. Human nature varies and is unpredictable, it has been studied for so long over the past few centuries that one thing is for certain; the building blocks of it is essentially the same to every human being. One of the fundamentals of human nature is the selfish gene and The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins “show how both individual selfishness and individual altruism are explained by the fundamental law that I am calling gene selfishness” (Dawkins 6)....   [tags: reasoning, book review and analysis]

Strong Essays
643 words (1.8 pages)

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins Essay

- In The Blind Watchmaker, evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins provides arguments to support the validity of Darwin’s theories of mutation, cumulative evolution, and natural selection as the only plausible explanations for the evolution of living organisms. In Chapter 7, Dawkins discusses the main concepts of the “arms race” and the “Red Queen Hypothesis”, the concept that organisms must continuously adapt and evolve in conjunction in response to the different selection pressures organisms and the environment place on each other....   [tags: Arms Race, Mutualistic Relationship]

Strong Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

Richard Dawkins Article On Religion Essay

- Richard Dawkins Article Richard Dawkins believes faith and religion are dangerous because they are viral and lead people to believe irrational ideas that can be perverted to discriminate against others. He is correct because religion is based on faith which is blind to reason, religion is too open to interpretation and thus too easy to pervert, and it is viral and easy to spread in its nature. Blind faith is extremely dangerous because it can lead almost anyone to believe something unwaveringly, whether it is good or bad....   [tags: Religion, Faith, God, Belief]

Strong Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)

Schizophrenia Is The Most Common Type Of Delusion Essay

- When thinking of someone with schizophrenia, most people probably envision a person experiencing delusions and/or hallucinations. This may often be the case, but there are several diagnostic criteria to consider when assessing for schizophrenia. First, as many people imagine a schizophrenic person, a person with schizophrenia will experience either delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. They may in fact experience more than one, or all of, these criteria. Delusions are the false belief in something that is contraindicated....   [tags: Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Delusion]

Strong Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Capgras Delusion Essay

- Introduction The Capgras Delusion is one of the rarest and colorful syndromes in neurology. The patient fails to recognise the faces of close acquaintances and calls them as an ‘imposter’. They claim that the person ‘looks like’ or is ‘identical to’ someone they know, while continuing to believe that they are two different individuals. The delusional belief is strongest when the putative imposter is present [2]. Capgras delusion is classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome, a class of beliefs where the patients have delusional beliefs that involves misidentification of people, places or objects....   [tags: Capgras Delusion]

Strong Essays
2268 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on The Role Of Fear, Hatred, And Power Of Religious Organizations

- The Role of Fear, Hatred, and Power in Religious Organizations Working Thesis- Religious Organizations generate mass influence by the use of fear and hatred. Doubtfulness is frowned upon in the church. In fact, the church encourages thoughtlessness and obedience by saying that the more certain of God that they are, the better they are. As humans, it is natural and an essential part to our advancement to question what we already know. Members of these churches are expected to blindly follow the word of the church without uncertainty....   [tags: Islam, Religion, God, Richard Dawkins]

Strong Essays
1284 words (3.7 pages)

Dawkins, Kozol, and Cultural Evolution Essays

- Clinton Richard Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1941. Born into an upper –middle class, Christian naturalist family, Dawkins had an interest in Biology and unanswered philosophical questions regarding: Where did we come from. What is life all about. among others. His interest in Biology flourished under the guidance of his Biology teacher later in his education. He received his B.A. degree in Biology from Oxford University in 1996. He received M.A. and D.Phil. in 1996. During the acquisition of his education, Dawkins worked as a Biologist in Britain, but in 1972, he had to give up his research due to power shortages....   [tags: Biography, Evolution of Life]

Strong Essays
2320 words (6.6 pages)

Compare and Contrast of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins´s Points of View on Science and Religion

- There are different viewpoints on the question “what is the universe made of?” I think that both science and religion offer their own explanation to this topic and they sometimes overlap, which creates contradictions. Therefore, I do not agree with Stephen Jay Gould’s non-overlapping magisterial, which claims that there is a fine line separating science from religion. That being said, I think the conflict between science and religion is only in the study of evolution. It is possible for a scientist to be religious if he is not studying evolution, because science is very broad and it has various studies....   [tags: Universe, Creation]

Strong Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Religious People Are Stupid And Atheists Are Smart

- “Science proves religious people are stupid and atheists are smart.” This is a somewhat provocative title pulled from an article on a small blog called “The Moral Minefield,” run by a group of Graduate Theological Union students and graduates (Green). This statement is exactly the kind of thing, however, that one would expect Richard Dawkins to wholeheartedly agree with. In fact, he seems to imply this sentiment throughout the entirety of his speech titled, “Militant Atheism.” Just as Dawkins believes the creationist argument can be boiled down to one simple idea, so too can his argument; atheists are superior to religious people and there needs to be an atheist social movement to give them...   [tags: God, Atheism, Faith, Richard Dawkins]

Strong Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Essay The Belief That God Does Not Exist

- According to a 2010 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 3% of young people (18-29) identify as atheists, the belief that God does not exist, while 4% identify as agnostic, the belief that we are unable to know if God exists. Politically, they aim to not only reject religion but to take religion out of our society. Socially, they are aiming to become more mainstream and they gather in godless “churches” to discuss their unilateral outlook on life. Overall these goals are called the “new atheism” movement....   [tags: God, Atheism, Theology, Richard Dawkins]

Strong Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)