The root of all evil?

Sydney Morning Herald, & ABC TV, May 2007


For Australian television audiences accustomed to comfortable Sunday evenings spent watching genial English dons strolling through ruined castles speculating about the sex life of 16th-century monarchs, Richard Dawkins will have come as one hell of a shock. So, too, will his message, which strikes at the very things they hold most dear ...

Dawkins is unapologetic. "The time has come for people of reason to say: enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought. It's divisive and it's dangerous." ...

"There are would-be murderers all around the world ... They want to kill you and me and themselves. They are motivated by what they think is the highest ideal." ...

Religion, says Dawkins, is the big issue that can no longer be ignored or respectfully tolerated. Rather, it is the decaying carcass that must be confronted and cast out if civilisation is to be saved. His attack is trained not solely on Muslim fundamentalism and its Western religious counterpart ... He has benign "mainstream" churches in his sights, too ...

Religion, he argues is superstition. It is the enemy of rational thought, the ever-present threat to civilisation, the fuel of war, the bastion of bigotry, the rulebook for systematic human rights abuse, the virus with which parents infect their children. In the home, and in church schools.

Religion, he says, is the root of all evil ... Dawkins, whose best-selling books The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion have confirmed his leadership of a swelling band of militant atheists ...

There has been a rush of other books espousing atheism ... Of monotheism, Hitchens writes with trademark floridity, it is "a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few non-events" ...

So, wild, unsubstantiated, indiscriminate scaremongering? Or fair warning for a world fast going to hell in a holy handcart?

Australia - which has a strong church school tradition but, according to the most recent census, also boasts more Jedi warriors than atheists - now has an opportunity to make up its own mind.

Part 2 of this documentary will be screened on ABC TV, Sunday 27th May, 9:30pm.

Watch the documentary intro ...


More: Sydney Morning Herald, RichardDawkins.net, Google Video

My thoughts ...

Dawkins is stating the obvious by saying that humans are more cultural than rational. Cult-ure is what binds us, the highest human drive - it deserves both respect for the connectedness it brings, and fear for the blind herd mentality. I hope Dawkins uses his brain to go further than just stating the problem, to find some solutions.

2 comments:

10men said...

Hey Skip, socialists have a problem with reality; sooner or later it will bite them on the bum.

Abandon Skip said...

10men, let's hope they get "mugged by reality" real soon now.