Skip to comments.Atheist Richard Dawkins: We Are ‘Apes,‘ Evidence for Jesus’ Existence ‘Is Surprisingly Shaky’
Posted on 08/27/2012 2:13:45 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins sat down with Playboy Magazine to discuss the simple beauty of evolution, the improbability of God and why the pope should be arrested, among other subjects. As usual, Dawkins took a provocative approach in the interview one that people of faith will surely find offensive. These contentious anti-religious views appear in the September issue of Playboy.
(VIDEO AT LINK)
Toward the beginning of the interview, Dawkins was asked to weigh in and explain why, in the past, he has called himself a tooth faith agnostic. His explanation essentially frames his overarching views on Gods existence. Heres how the dialogue unfolded:
PLAYBOY: Youve described yourself as a tooth fairy agnostic. What is that?
DAWKINS: Rather than say hes an atheist, a friend of mine says, Im a tooth fairy agnostic, meaning he cant disprove God but thinks God is about as likely as the tooth fairy.
PLAYBOY: So you dont completely rule out the idea of a supreme being. Critics see that as leaving an opening.
DAWKINS: You can think so, if you think theres an opening for the tooth fairy.
While its unlikely that the Lord exists at least in Dawkins mind if given the opportunity to ask the creator (in the unlikely event hes real) a question, the famed biologist said hed ask, Sir, why did you go to such lengths to hide yourself?
When it comes to the individuals Dawkins associates himself with, he admitted not having any deeply religious friends. In addition to separating himself from those who believe in a higher power, Dawkins took a swipe at the intellectual capacity of those who embrace God.
Its not that I shun them, he said of the religious. Its that the circles I move in tend to be educated, intelligent circles, and there arent any religious people among them that I know of.
Of course, many intelligent and educated people do, indeed, embrace the existence of a higher power. However, it seems Dawkins either avoids or simply hasnt encountered these people.
As for the Bible and Jesus Christ central tenets of the Christian faith the famed non-theist didnt have many favorable accolades to share. On the sociopolitical front, he believes that the holy books associated with Christianity, Judaism and Islam will prevent peace from ever coming to fruition in the Middle East.
Theres not much hope to the extent that the most influential protagonists both base their hostility on 2,000-year-old books that they believe give them title to the land, he explained.
Rather than staking the claim that Jesus Christ was merely a historical figure, but that he simply wasnt the son of God as many other atheists have done, Dawkins seems to cast doubt on his existence.
The evidence he existed is surprisingly shaky, he told Playboy. The earliest books in the New Testament to be written were the Epistles, not the Gospels. Its almost as though Saint Paul and others who wrote the Epistles werent that interested in whether Jesus was real.
Even if hes fictional, whoever wrote his lines was ahead of his time in terms of moral philosophy, he added.
Dawkins called the idea that Jesus died for our sins barking mad. At the center of his angst over the salvation story is the notion that God found the need to torture himself to the point of death. He called the entire story a truly disgusting idea.
While he holds these intense views, he did admit that he hasnt read the entire Bible, but that he believes his knowledge of it is more profound than most fundamentalist Christians. Despite not having read the entire book, the evolutionary biologist said that the book of Ecclesiastes is his favorite.
Dawkins also criticized the Pope and made the case against his alleged cover-up of crimes that were committed by clergy. He also went on to address evolution and his view that human beings are essentially apes:
PLAYBOY: Lets turn to evolution, which many people misunderstand, such as believing we descend from apes.
DAWKINS: We are apes. We descend from extinct animals that would have been classified as apes. We are not descended from modern chimps or bonobos or gorillas. Theyve been evolving for exactly the same length of time as we have.
PLAYBOY: So what makes us human?
DAWKINS: We are a unique ape. We have language. Other animals have systems of communication that fall far short of that. They dont have the same ability to communicate complicated conditionals and what-ifs and talk about things that are not present. These are all unique manifestations of our evolved ape brain, which some evidence suggests came about through a rather limited number of mutations.
These, of course, are only the highlights. While Dawkins has shared many of these views before, he reiterated, clarified and intensified his stance on non-belief and theism in his Playboy dialogue.
And it would be barking mad. Unless of course as Ronald Reagan once said, “HE is who he said HE was.”
Not much said regarding Muslims.
ted kennedy will meet this GODless creature when he arrives in hell. “Yeah richard... the Bible was all true”.
That is almost a first, as there can be debate on whether Jesus was God in incarnate, but there usually is not much debate on whether he existed or not.
Sounds racist to me.
But he doesn't hide himself. It always surprises me when a "scientist" doesn't see him plain as day.
“Its not that I shun them, he said of the religious. Its that the circles I move in tend to be educated, intelligent circles, and there arent any religious people among them that I know of.
Huh. That smart and he doesn’t know how to construct a sentence? Go figure. Unless, of course, he really does move among circles and they are inanimate. There may be such circles, but their existence is something about which I am unaware.
...because there’s no evidence of a body?
I stopped taking it seriously when I saw the interviewer listed as “Playboy”.
Really doubt Richard Dawkins is qualified to speak on the evidence of Jesus’s existence from either a scientific or historical standpoint.
Interesting that the man has such fear of God he has become insane, trying to run from the Almighty.
“ted kennedy will meet this GODless creature when he arrives in hell. Yeah richard... the Bible was all true.
Ted Kennedy (D-HELL) will undoubtedly represent him.
Dawkins is a particularly dim self-promoter who has a jones for notoriety earned by insulting God. See ya. Wouldn’t wanna be ya.
The Israelis and Arabs fighting over Israel aren't referencing "2,000 year old books."
The Torah, even by the most liberal textual critical standard, is 2500 years and the Koran is 1300 years old.
In his letters, Paul explicitly says that if the crucifixion did not happen, then his words are meaningless.
Everything he says about religion demonstrates that he is only vaguely acquainted with the history and texts he is criticizing.
That pretty much sums up my view on Dawkins.
Mr. Dawkins could you please explain why, that if there is no God, did the universe bother to create itself?
Truly amazing. It appears there may actually be a person walking the face of this Earth with an even larger ego than Barack Obama. Who da thunk it!!!
Hey, Dick: if I’m wrong, oh well. If you’re wrong...well, I’d rather be in my position than in yours.
Doctor, Saint Paul apparently thought He was real enough to change from killing Christians to dying under the sword as one.
As if I give a smelly Obama about Dawkin’s ideas.
He’s not exactly in a profession that’s up there with physics or math now, is he?
The evidence for Richard Dawkins is surprisingly shaky.
He’ll find the truth soon enough.
Historically there is more than sufficient records to not that a person named Jesus did exist and he did his “speaking tour” and he was crucified.
The meme of “did not exist” is an atheist propaganda point. It is like the USSR though exercises to disprove capitalism is real.
Pairs of particles are constantly being created out of nothing, by “borrowing” the energy from the potential of the vacuum. When the particles (a particle and an anti-particle) recombine, they destroy each other and repay the energy debt to the vacuum.
It’s believed that space below the Planck level is a seething froth of particle creation and destruction, which we cannot see, much like you can’t see the small waves of the ocean from an airplane.
In the first moments, the universe was infinitely dense, unimaginably hot, and contained pure energy. But witnin a tiny fraction of a nanosecond, vast numbers of fundamental particles had appeared, created out of energy as the universe cooled.
Then why is he loose from the Ape House? Someone go round him up and put him back in his enclosure.
skeptic Penn Jillette(noted magician and atheist) onced said he kept off the Muslim tack as he hoped to live a long life(this was for his ‘Bull$h!t’, show he also said he kept away from scientology because the network insisted). Something to be said about sects that scares the crud outta people, but that government treats with kid gloves instead of firearms.
This claim has been around for some time. I remember reading a newspaper column more than 30 years ago where the columnist noted the fact that there are some people who deny that Jesus Christ ever existed. His comment was “If that’s true, then the Thirty Years War wasn’t necessary.”
He’s a smug, know-it-all liberal bastard. You can tell he’s a teacher. Thinks he knows it all, thinks everyone he associates with is of superior intellect, thinks he’s more learned about Christianity than those who practice it and read the bible.
He claims to be so intelligent yet can’t understand why God would send His Son to die for us, to take our deserved punishment for sins onto Himself. This is why the logic of natural man is unable to find God on its own. Much less, save man himself.
If he honestly doesn’t ask God to save Him, he’s going to find out just how NOT “tooth fairy” God is.
Historically there is more than sufficient records to not that a person named Jesus did exist and he did his speaking tour and he was crucified.
The meme of did not exist is an atheist propaganda point. It is like the USSR though exercises to disprove capitalism is real.
exactly...one can debate divinity of Christ, but it is pretty hard to debate his existence...it is too well documented.
I personally think Islam is a bogus death cult, but there is no doubt that a pedophile named Mohammad existed
Er...er...forget I asked.
The evidence he existed is surprisingly shaky, he told Playboy. The earliest books in the New Testament to be written were the Epistles, not the Gospels. Its almost as though Saint Paul and others who wrote the Epistles werent that interested in whether Jesus was real.Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian and no friend of Christianity, sure was convinced that he lived.
Such indeed were the precautions of human wisdom. The next thing was to seek means of propitiating the gods, and recourse was had to the Sibylline books, by the direction of which prayers were offered to Vulcanus, Ceres, and Proserpina. Juno, too, was entreated by the matrons, first, in the Capitol, then on the nearest part of the coast, whence water was procured to sprinkle the fane and image of the goddess. And there were sacred banquets and nightly vigils celebrated by married women. But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed.Will Durant, one of the greatest historians of the 20th century, and a self-described "reluctant" atheist wrote:
Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44
All this granted, much remains. The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies - e.g. Hammurabi, David, Socrates - would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed - the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus' arrest, Peter's denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.I always chuckle when I read or hear interviews with these supposed intellectuals who do not seem to read much.
Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol 3, Caesar and Christ, Ch 26, Sec I.
Paul explicitly says that if the crucifixion did not happen, then his words are meaningless.Hate to be a stickler, but Paul said in 1 Cor 15 if the resurrection did not happen then it is all meaningless. Of course, the crucifixion is implied, but he was making the explicit point about the bodily resurrection.
Speak for yourself, Ape Boy.
Most athiests are fairly clueless when interacting with the text of the Bible ... but what we have here is a new standard for ignorance of all things Biblical.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Paul was fairly certain Jesus existed, perhaps Dawkins should undertake actually READING the Bible before commenting on it.
Its that the circles I move in tend to be educated, intelligent circles, and there arent any religious people among them that I know of ...
Dawkins called the idea that Jesus died for our sins barking mad.
1 Cor. 1:18-21
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
In summary Mr. Dawkins ... the joke is on you. Through all of your intellectual persuits you cannot find the savior that you desperately need ... nor even the reason why you need Him.
The existence of Jesus Christ was attested to by numerous witnesses and the fact that twelve of them at least were willing to die horrific deaths rather than recant what they saw and heard. Later on disinterested historic authorities such as Josephus took his “existence” at face value. Who would be willing to suffer such a fate for the sake of Richard Dawkins and can anybody swear they’ve actually met the SOB? Anybody?
>>Not much said regarding Muslims.
He said that there is little evidence that Jesus even existed as a historical figure. That means he’s calling the Koran a lie and Mo’Ham-Ed a liar. Maybe he can get himself a fatwa.
Frankly, as a Christian, I don’t care what he says. He’s heard the Gospel and studied it and he made his choice.
Sir, why did you go to such lengths to hide yourself?
Won’t wash, Dickie. God is inside your head. He KNOWS how you have run from Him, denied Him. He KNOWS how many times He has Touched you.
it is not the eye witness accounts but the actual written records of the day. For example the romans actualy kept written records of who was crucified and when.
“If you seek Me, you will find Me, if you search for Me with all your heart....”
5. a group of people sharing an interest, activity, upbringing, etc; set: golf circles ; a family circle
5. a group of people sharing an interest, activity, upbringing, etc; set: golf circles ; a family circle
“There may be such circles, but their existence is something about which I am unaware.”
I am sure the circles are animate. When referring to them they should be recognized as such. I also think, if I may be so bold, that the word “of” is a preposition and intelligent people generally concede they should avoid ending sentences in prepositions, which you made no mention of. Heh heh heh.
People like Dawkins point to that and say "A ha, no evidence!". But if we used the same standard on other historic figures we could equally say "where is the evidence that Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great actually existed?" The Egyptians left their records in stone and papyrus that was buried deep and dry. The Romans and Jews on parchment and wax tablets which are all long gone. Just copies of copies of copies (as with the Gospels) exist.
His agnosticism on the historicity of Jess Christ simply paints him as a nut and does us Christians a huge favor.
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