This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Atheism as extremism

Thanks to Crapsquire for the link.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/faithbased/5729128/atheism-as-extremism.thtml

Watching Channel Four’s “Bible: A History”, I expected the usual cliched “look at these strange religious people” spiel – especially as it started depicting Christians with a scene from an American evangelical church. Then to Israel, where Jews were depicted by the ultra-orthodox praying against the wailing wall. To represent something by depicting its extreme form is a basic act of the journalistic stitch-up. I was all for switching it off - if my father-in-law hadn’t persisted. It quickly became more nuanced, and then Howard Jacobson (the narrator) had this to say about Richard Dawkins. It seemed to come from the heart, and is worth repeating here:-

“I don’t practise any religion nor worship any God, and fear all fanaticism and that’s bred by faith so I ought really to be sympathetic to Dawkins’ book ‘The God Delusion’. But it moves me – to be frank – to fury. Partly because it assumes that men were stupid until science rescued them. Partly because its ignorance sees no reason not to remain ignorant of what belief is like for those who do believe. Partly because of its certainty, Where’s the point of attacking religion for thinking it has all the answers, when you think you have all the answers yourself? Blind faith is fatuous, but so is blind doubt. This is where I find myself: unable to share the faith of the religious, but unable to share the mockery of the atheists. The big question for me is how to believe, and not to believe, at the same time. Let’s confront the absolutists: those who absolutely believe and those who absolutely don’t.”


Of course, most Christians and Jews do not think the Bible is a fax from God and regard it as a mixture of eternal truths and some time-bound elements that we can ignore. So most are stuck in the middle with Jacobson. But it’s unusual to see aggressive atheism – ie, the type which seeks to mock people with religion – depicted as form of extremism.

Rageh Omaar does Islam next Friday at 7pm. I might even watch it.

TAGGED: COMMENTARY, RELIGION, RICHARD DAWKINS


RELATED CONTENT

Does this set a record for smug...

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net Comments

Does this set a record for smug nastiness?

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah...

Eric MacDonald - Choice in Dying Comments

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah Wollaston misunderstands.

[update to a previous article] Richard...

Hamish MacDonnell - The Independent Comments

Some church groups have expressed disappointment at the decision to invite leading atheist Richard Dawkins to speak at an island book festival.

Rats Manipulated to be Attracted to Cats

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net Comments

Rats Manipulated to be Attracted to Cats

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 25 - 26...

- - Ancestors Trail Walk Comments

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 26 AUGUST 2012 - event begins on Saturday 25 August

MORE

MORE BY FRASER NELSON

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment