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

Comment

← Melvyn Bragg attacks Richard Dawkins' 'atheist fundamentalism'

Mark Jones's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Mark Jones

What an insult; bracketing Richard and de Botton together!

Melvyn has launched a sad tirade against Strawkins here, which leaves him looking like the ignorant and disrespectful one. He's become more intolerant and bigoted recently, against an atheism that dares to speak its name. The series he did on the KJV seems to have lit a fire of stupid inside him, making him much more of a faitheist.

Bragg argued that reason was not “the primary source of knowledge”.

“We start with emotions and passions and feelings, the roots of which we don’t know and perhaps will never know,” he said.

The article misrepresents what Bragg says slightly; obviously reason alone gets us nowhere - that was Hume's point. Without evidence from our senses we have nothing to reason with. But just because our first encounter with the outside world is our senses, this does not mean they are trustworthy - they're just the only inputs we have! As Bragg says, reason then 'steers and sorts' these inputs, I would say 'controls' them. So, reason and evidence is the root to knowledge, our senses being the source of all our evidence ultimately. And, of course, that's what Dawkins thinks too, I'm sure.

I do believe there are things I can’t know. I do believe that there are things beyond the human mind, and oddly enough, I respect those things...

But if they're beyond his mind, how does he know he respects them? Is it really the behaviour of a sane and intelligent man to respect that of which he knows nothing?

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:24:38 UTC | #926941