Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s most famous atheist, has admitted that eliminating God from the public consciousness would pose huge problems.
Speaking to British paper The Times, Dawkins insisted that if religion were to be abolished, it would “give people a license to do really bad things.”
Expanding on his point, the Oxford University fellow said that, without the presence of a higher being, “people may feel free to do bad things because they feel God is no longer watching them.”
Reverting to his sharp rhetoric on religion, Dawkins warned that people would feel entitled to do what they like because they no longer need to obey a “divine spy camera in the sky reading their every thought,” — a description he often uses for an omnipresent God.
Dawkins revealed an experiment he came across working on his latest book, “Outgrowing God,” which intended on finding out whether people would be “good” if they felt someone was watching. The experiment, carried out by professor Melissa Bateson at the University of Newcastle, entailed the setting up of a coffee station and “honesty box” system for payments — people simply put in what they felt was the appropriate amount for their drink of choice.
However, at different points, Bateson changed the display overlooking the coffee bar, switching between a flowery image and an ominous pair of eyes.
When the eyes were watching, “nearly three times as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed,” Dawkins explained, concluding that “whether irrational or not, it does, unfortunately, seem plausible that, if somebody sincerely believes God is watching his every move, he might be more likely to be good.”
“I must say I hate that idea,” added the lifelong anti-God campaigner. “I want to believe that humans are better than that. I’d like to believe I’m honest whether anyone is watching or not.”
Responding to the Professor’s remarks, controversial creationist leader ,Ken Ham, whom Dawkins has tussled with on several occasions, commented that “Dawkins has spent his life fighting against God (the God he doesn’t believe even exists), but still recognizes that atheism (the worldview religion of Richard Dawkins) doesn’t provide the foundation for morality.”
“Without a biblical foundation, anything goes,” Ham added. “Who is to say what is right or wrong? There is no ultimate foundation. It becomes arbitrary; everyone does what’s right in their own eyes. In fact, Dawkins is admitting that atheism is totally bankrupt morally.”