Of Dawkins and his delusions

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  • Is there a logical counter?

English biologist Richard Dawkins rose to fame in 2006 following his argument against the existence of God. Dawkins says that a supernatural creator does not exist and that anyone who believes in such a creator is “delusional”. Can the Quran logically counter?

Dawkins, throughout his book, The God Delusion, gives sweeping statements that are meant to cover and put a pause to religion as an entity in its entirety. Interestingly, the book’s primary focus is on Judaism, it barely touches upon Christianity and scarcely feathers across Islam. Unless, Dawkins endeavours to become thoroughly well versed in all religions, it would be illogical to accept his statement that he puts out for all religions.

Dawkins also fails to distinguish between the followers of a religion and the religion itself. Understand that the religion, for example, Islam, is what is in the Quran, and not what ‘Muslims’ do. The followers of a religion are humans and flawed in many ways, while the holy scripture is the word of God and is free from error. One must not try to understand religion on the basis of what humans do; rather what is contained in the scripture.

The personal epistemology of people of science is rooted in the scientific method but how does a scientific law come into being? There is a hypothesis, which if repeats itself becomes a theory and theory becomes law when it is mathematically proven. However, once something is mathematically proven, for example two added to two would always equal four, it has to transcend time and prove to be true in all occurrences the past, present and future in order to be an established law.

But science has disavowed several of its own laws that followed the same procedure. For example, Galileo’s laws were considered as the ultimate scientific laws until they were replaced by Kepler’s laws which were replaced by Newtonian physics which in turn was replaced by Einstein’s laws. Is one to understand that those who studied the earlier laws of physics had spent their entire lives learning something that was wrong? An easier way to conclude this would be to say that even in science, the laws are not final, since they may fail the test of time.

Immanuel Kant critiques reason and judgement and says that the human mind is limited and therefore unable to reach the absolute truth by itself. From this follows that there has to be a higher power that transcends the limitations of time and space

Moreover, Dawkins assumes that Darwin’s theory of evolution explains the evolution of man on earth. One must question this notion because the theory of evolution is still a theory, which means it is as true as much as it is false and no scientist would elevate a theory to the status of a law until it is proven to be one. In this case on must remember the most basic lesson of science; hypothesis < theory < law.

Dawkins also finds God “vindictive”. Do parents not punish their children? Does the criminal justice system in Dawkins’ United Kingdom not punish offenders of the law? If that is allowed, then why must God not punish those who offend his laws?

Dawkins believes the Abrahamic God to be “infanticidal” and one realises that Dawkins has indeed been unable to study Islam. Islam had explicitly banned infanticide and God had ordained strict punishment for those who indulged in the heinous act. Quran says, “And when the female infant buried alive is questioned: For what sin was she killed?”

Similarly, Dawkins and atheists around the world believe that religion is misogynistic. However, Islam was the first religion to recognise women as human beings by giving them the rights of inheritance, to marry, to own property and divorce, etc. Dawkins’ society gave somewhat similar rights to women more than 700 years later and some rights only in the preceding 20th century. Quran was revealed 1400 years ago and says, “Whosoever does good whether male or female, and is a believer, shall enter Paradise and they shall not be wronged.”

Dawkins says in his book, “Christianity, just as much as Islam, teaches unquestioned faith is a virtue.” He does not realise that Islam has ordered its followers to “ponder over the word of Allah”.

Immanuel Kant critiques reason and judgement and says that the human mind is limited and therefore unable to reach the absolute truth by itself. From this follows that there has to be a higher power that transcends the limitations of time and space.

Consequently, does Islam promote terrorism? Quran says, “Whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.” Thus, if terrorists claim to be Muslims and use the name of Islam to garner increased following, one must check whether the claim they are making is true. If one claims to be Muslim, then one must put the word of God above everyone else’s. Therefore, those who spread anarchy and terrorism and kill innocents are only serving their own personal ambition and neither Islam nor God.

Lastly, while the world attempts to define new social norms as it does in every age, Islam allowed for the tolerance of other faiths 1,400 years ago. Quran said, “There is no compulsion in Deen.” (Deen, means way of life, of which religion is also a part). Therefore, Islam, the religion, not only allows the protection of life, property and other rights of an atheist but goes a step forward and ensures it.