Thursday, October 18, 2007
Dawkins & Atheism
Richard Dawkins is on 'The Late Edition' on BBC4 tonight. Richard Dawkins is always someone I have felt torn over. Whilst I agree with his views on the importance of science, and the crucial role that Science plays in the world today, as well as the importance of the public understanding of science. His views on the importance of curiosity and scientific investigation is reflected in his 2003 collection of essays 'A Devil's Chaplain'. I especially enjoy his essays about postmodernism (debunking much of the arts) , his schooldays at Oundle. His response to the death of his close friend Douglas Adams is also a deep insight into the lives of both men.
I do however have major issues with his views on Religion - his recent comment that "People like Rowan Williams are in a minority - religious and educated. the majority of religious people believe in miracles and the virgin birth."
I find it alarming that a man who relies so much on theories in his scientific career, has ended up criticising people who believe other theories. He may not choose to believe in anything himself, but he should accept the right for Christians, Muslims and Sikhs to each believe in what they choose. His final essay, a letter to his daughter is particularly guilty of that which he claims to argue against. It seems to be indoctrination and the start of a tradition as much as (he claims) other religions are.