Mar 23, 2010 - 6:16 pm
"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." -- Richard Dawkins
Earlier today I watched a fairly fetching speech by Oxford professor and biologist Richard Dawkins. It was about what he described as "militant atheism". Among his points:
Science is corrosive to religion and religion is corrosive to science.
How can people try to argue that man, the world, the universe, are too complicated to have happened by chance and then argue instead that it MUST have been designed by an EVEN MORE complicated entity (intelligent design) ?
Agnostics are toothfairy atheists (he suggests that those of us who have proclaimed ourselves such are merely non-aggressive atheists).
I could go on, but won't.
I found Dawkins' speech to be engaging, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous, to the point that I am re-evaluating my agnostic stance: some possibilities are less likely than others, as he suggests.
Perhaps the most interesting notion, though, was that we are allowed to argue the validity of what science discovers (science requires it, after all) and we are permitted to disdain atheists publicly, but it is considered bad form to express disdain for religion or religionistas.
Why is it that religion excludes itself from the magnifying glass, from the microscope, and this is permitted to be fine and dandy? Why do WE permit that? Why do we rely on reason's toolkit in dealing with virtually everything in our lives but toss reason out the window when it comes to explaining our existence and our purpose?
There is nothing really new about Dawkins' musings, with the exception of his notion that those of us who question rarely do so publicly but should. Consider this that.