Wednesday 15 August 2007

Richard Dawkins- Enemies of Reason


Richard Dawkins has made some good points in his time, especially about the dangers of religious bigtry and superstitious dogma, based on scripture rather than spiritual experiences. But he's completely lost it here! He's saying that science and reason are not just a way to see the world, they are the only way to see the world.

Science did a good thing, freeing the world of dogmatic funadamentalism. I also don't dispute the benefits of technology. But the problem is that the rise of materialistic science has also taken something away from us, a feeling of spirituality. Most people instinctively feel this loss. A few don't mind, like Dawkins, who tries to brand everyone who does as backward and deluded! Most people do feel this however, I think. I certainly do. This is why many people, including myself, have gone on a search to find this lost part of ourselves and the universe. It's not because we're backward or deluded; it's because we know that there's a place for spirituality in our own lives and the world. It used to exist before dogmatic religion came along and destroyed it, by burning witches and "evil pagans" etc. We want to find it again. We know it exists, we just can't see it yet! Can't we have a society which embraces best of both worlds: the benefits of science and reason, but also intuition, spirituality, the divine? Are the two really incompatible? I think not and I'm not alone. One of Dawkins' own Oxford colleagues has challenged him. Here you can see the two of them wrangling in a rough cut outtake from Dawkins' last TV series:

For some reason this didn't make the broadcast cut. McGrath has cahallenged Dawkins to a live debate at the Union, but so far Dawky hasn't taken him up on it!


David said...

Dawkins - married to the most intelligent and beautiful woman to have ever played a Time Lord - is a pro-evolution fundie. It is a matter of personal opinion whether this is a good or bad thing, but when researching the 'flaws in evolution' section of my book 'Secrets & Lies' I found claims about his fundie tactics that if true are truly as frothing and fundie as any US evangelist.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Fundie anything is bad, I think. I'm not bothered by Dawkins' opinions; I'm bothered that he might succum to the common temptation of thinking: "I'm so sure I'm right and those who disagree are wrong, that maybe they shouldn't be ALLOWED to disagree with me." What follows is a dictatorship.

Many atheists have this self-delusion that bigotry and fundamentalism are exclusively afflictions of the irrationalist and that rationalists are above all that. That's a fallacy and it's a bubble that needs bursting. Have you seen "The Trouble With Atheism"?