Dawkins’s Doubts


by Ken Ham
Featured in Answers Magazine
Also available in Español

The media are abuzz with evidence of a rapidly rising number of nonbelievers. But are there any true atheists? Consider the most famous modern atheist, Richard Dawkins.

There are no atheists. But wait, you say, don’t people like Richard Dawkins and many of his followers claim they are atheists? Don’t we call the new breed of activist atheists “The New Atheists”? Aren’t atheists people who don’t believe in God?

Yes, it is true that some Americans (fewer than 2%) call themselves atheists—and many in other countries openly profess atheism.

Richard Dawkins is one of the most outspoken atheists in the world—the author of the best selling anti-Christian book The God Delusion. However, even Dawkins has admitted he can’t be absolutely sure about atheism.

Dawkins appeared on TV’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in September 2013. In the extra interview footage, available on The Daily Show’s website, Dawkins made an interesting admission. He doesn’t know for sure what happens when we die:

Jon Stewart: So where do we go when we die?

Dawkins: Bertrand Russell—well—

Stewart: So you don’t know?

Dawkins: Well, we either get buried or cremated. Or we give our bodies to science. Bertrand Russell said—

Stewart: But you actually don’t know what happens to us?

Dawkins: I don’t know what happens to us, but I know that our consciousness is wrapped up in our brains. I know that our brains rot.

So Richard Dawkins, a man who is so certain there is no God, is not totally certain about what’s going to happen to him when he dies. And yet he speaks with certainty as he tries to indoctrinate people to believe in his religion of atheism!

Because Dawkins, like all human beings, is finite, he has to admit he doesn’t have all evidence and so he can’t prove his atheism.

Because Dawkins, like all human beings, is finite, he has to admit he doesn’t have all evidence and so he can’t prove his atheism.

But let’s think about what atheism really means: There is no God, and life is totally the result of natural processes. When you die, you cease to exist—or as Dawkins puts it, your brain will rot. Thus, when your life is over on this earth, you will never know you even had such a life. Eventually, everyone will die—the whole universe will die a heat death—and so ultimately no one will even know anything existed!

So, from the perspective of a self-described atheist, why does it ultimately matter what anyone believes about anything? We can make whatever “purpose” and “meaning” for life that we want to during our brief existence—but in an ultimate sense, life is totally meaningless, hopeless, and purposeless.

So why do people like Richard Dawkins become so aggressive in preaching their atheism? Why do they want to convert people to their religion of atheism? They say they have a positive message to proclaim—people can make their own purpose and meaning while alive—yet they cease to exist when they die!

So what does it matter to atheists if Christians share their message of hope and salvation in Jesus Christ? In fact, atheists have set up many billboards actually attacking Christianity. Why do they bother? After all, ultimately there is no purpose in attacking Christianity if Christians cease to exist when they die. From a human perspective, isn’t this confusing?

But actually it’s not confusing. It is totally understandable. The Bible clearly teaches there are no atheists:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:18–21, emphasis added).

God’s Word clearly states that He has put the knowledge of God within each of us. We all know there is a God. There are no atheists! Also, the Bible asserts it is obvious from what we see around us that God created. The universe and life did not arise by natural processes as atheists believe and assert.

Not only this, but the Bible also teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The carnal mind is enmity against God (it hates God); for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be (Romans 8:7).

And in the passage from Romans 1 above we read, “men . . . suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

Their hostility against what they know to be true explains why atheists like Dawkins are so aggressive.

Their hostility against what they know to be true explains why atheists like Dawkins are so aggressive. They know God exists—the evidence is within them and all around them. But because of their sin nature, they don’t want God. They are at war with God. In fact, they want to be their own god, which is what the devil offered Adam and Eve in the Garden about 6,000 years ago: “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

Our sin nature is such that we want to be our own god and not submit to the God who created us. Like rebellious little children, professed atheists cover their eyes, and put their hands over their ears, and are really crying out, “No, I refuse to believe. There is no God. I evolved. I determine what my meaning and purpose is. I refuse to believe God’s Word. I will not submit to God.”

Creation Wise

Because the evidence within man and all around us in the creation is so strong, these atheists actively and aggressively attack Christianity and promote their atheism in order to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

But praise God, “atheists” have been and can be saved for eternity, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s Word. Several passages, such as Hebrews 4:12–16, attest to this:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:12–16).

One day, even those who claim they are atheists will have to admit there are no atheists: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11; see Romans 14:11).

There are no atheists now, and there will be no atheists in eternity. Even those who will spend eternity separated from God (because they did not receive the free gift of salvation) will have to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is.

Ken Ham is the founder and president of Answers in Genesis–USA. He has edited and authored many books about the authority of God’s Word and the impact of evolutionary thinking on our culture, including Already Compromised and The Lie.

Answers Magazine

July – September 2014

The summer issue looks at some of the earth’s most amazing rock features and explains how they formed quickly in the past few thousands of years.

Browse Issue Subscribe


Get the latest answers emailed to you.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390