But this resolute regiment has a serious rationale problem. If it ever broaches the question of its own existence, it comes up short every time. For example, Richard Dawkins, the noted and notorious atheist, in River Out of Eden, encourages us all to remember that DNA (and by that he means “people”) cares nothing about anything; DNA simply is, according to him. So, he says, our reaction to the multitude of troubles and events around us should be one of “pitiless indifference.” The problem, however, is that no one is indifferent, not even Dawkins.
Why tout such “indifference” when there seem to be no signs of it anywhere? It might help if we sit back for a minute to try to get some perspective. We need to see the big picture that secularism and atheism want us all to hang on our walls and admire.
The first thing they want us to see in their picture is the sheer purposeless and meaningless accident of our existence. The only reason we happen to be here, they say, is because we happen to be here. There is no purpose, no design, nothing meaningful about our presence in this world. The natural world is all there is, and that world just happened to bring you into existence. In their picture of reality, you are not created; you evolved. And your evolution was nothing more than a random collection of matter and chance circumstances.
Dawkins is anything but indifferent when it comes to this accident of evolution. According to him, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” Does this sound like a man who is indifferent to those who don’t hold his views?
Let’s think of it this way: If you and I are, as Dawkins would have us believe, a chance collection of random molecules, why would it matter if we believed his view or not? Wouldn’t an affirmation of Dawkins’ view be as random and “accidental” as a denial of it? If my belief that we were created by God is nothing more than a material function of my DNA, why does it matter? Specifically, why does it matter so much to Dawkins?
It is not too difficult to begin to see that secularism, with all of its attendant irritants and irrationalities, is a house of cards. One puff can raze it. Its own theories seep into its core like a brain-eating virus and render it useless.
The reason the secular mindset cannot live with its own theory is that if the theory is lived out, nothing is left. If Dawkins were taken seriously, then a secularist who really lives like one would be so committed to “pitiless indifference” that the only serious question left, as Albert Camus pointed out decades ago, would be suicide. And that, too, would be a choice of indifference.