The miraculous is the suspension or violation of natural laws. For Christians, miracles are the result of the supernatural agency of God. It should go without saying that atheists of the material monist variety — for which all that exists are material systems obeying natural laws — deny miracles. Prominent examples are Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and the recently discussed William Provine.
Here, we want to examine the atheism of Richard Dawkins. Dawkins describes himself as a “dyed-in-the-wool monist.” A monist believes there are no “minds,” just physical brains, and much like a computer, there are “brain states.” Man, being a purely physical system, must always be subject to purely natural laws. The brain, too, is a physical system, controlled by the underlying natural laws — thought being a mere passive epiphenomenon, with no causal agency. It is a theorem of this worldview then, that man, as such, cannot be free from natural laws, and, thus, there can be no human freedom. William Provine can see this easily (as he has said), and — as an almost-consistent naturalist — asserts the absence of “free will.” To deny this conclusion is to accept a supernatural suspension of natural law — a miracle — which Provine, consistent with his unadulterated material monism, rejects.
Which brings us to Richard Dawkins, who says:
“I am very comfortable with the idea that we can override biology with free will. Indeed, I encourage people all the time to do it.” (Counterbalance Foundation Interview)
What we have here is an unabashed atheist miracle. After millennia of being subject to physical causation, a physical system called “man” evolved by natural law and then spontaneously broke the shackles of natural law, violated the natural laws, thereby becoming henceforth “free.” Man’s brain also became “free” to employ abstract (non-physical) logical principles and to reason. This is an absurd and irrational miracle. Dawkins can override biology at will and encourage others to do so, too. Quite a miracle — a physical system violating physical laws every second of every day.
Christian miracles are intelligible since God, the rational Being who created and upholds natural law, can intercede according to His will. Likewise, Christians as dualists (man has both a material body and an immaterial soul), deny man is causally determined by physics. So then, belief in Christian miracles is rational. . .Dawkins’ belief in his atheist miracle of “free will” is irrational.
Richard Dawkins describes Christians as “dyed-in-the-wool-faith-heads” who are “immune to argument.” He could not be more wrong — Dawkins the self-styled “dyed-in-the-wool monist ” with a belief that a natural system called man can override biology (which is just physics, after all) is the one immune to reason. Dawkins’ faith in his atheist creed makes him a “dyed-in-the-wool-faith-head.” He will accept an irrational atheist “miracle,” but deny the rational Christian miracles.
And to think Dawkins subtitled his website “…Reason and Science, A Clear-Thinking Oasis.” Contrary to that slogan, Richard Dawkins is a most muddle-minded irrational “scientist,” and that is saying a lot.