Richard Dawkins: ‘Jesus would have been an atheist’
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claims that given today’s knowledge of science, even Jesus would have questioned the existence of God if he were living today.
“What about those Christians — and there are millions of them — who don’t have necessarily that hardened belief in creationism, for example, for whom a belief in God is less devout and less hardened than in other branches of Christianity, of other religions?” The Guardian‘s John Harris asked Dawkins during an interview broadcast Monday.
“To the extent that a religious person believes an obvious falsehood like the world is only 6,000 years old, I’m going to have an argument with them,” Dawkins explained. “Your tea-drinking vicar who doesn’t believe that… I mean, of course those people are very different and I would have a very different kind of argument with them.”
“I wrote and article called ‘Atheists for Jesus,’ I think it was… Somebody gave me a t-shirt: ‘Atheists for Jesus.’ Well, the point was that Jesus was a great moral teacher and I was suggesting that somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.”
While Dawkins considers himself an atheist, he leaves open the slight possibility that God could exist.
“The space for positive demonstration is shrinking and there is no positive evidence for any kind of supernatural entity,” he told Harris. “We’ve all got to be agnostic about anything that somebody could imagine because you can’t actually disprove it.”
“In The God Delusion, I made a seven-point scale. One was total conviction that there is a God and seven is total conviction that there isn’t. And I put myself as a six. OK? So, that is kind of agnostic but veering towards atheist. And I would be a six in respect to fairies and pixies and werewolves and things like that.”
Listen to the entire interview here.
Watch this video clip from The Guardian, broadcast Oct. 24, 2011.