Sunday, December 28, 2014

Richard Dawkins’ Religion

           I’ve read a great deal  of Richard Dawkins and devote a chapter on him in my book Vast Wastelands of Unbelief. While browsing the Access Research Network web site (www.arn.org), I came across a link to fellow atheist John Gray’s critique of Dawkins at http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119596/appetite-wonder-review-closed-mind-richard-dawkins. Gray says, despite trying to eliminate religious belief, Dawkins has created a religion around his own beliefs. I’ve come to the same conclusions about him. I found one paragraph worth quoting where Gray is speaking about Dawkins’ belief that we are created by genes as survival machines to enable their propagation.

If we “are” survival machines, it is unclear how “we” can decide anything. The idea of free will, after all, comes from religion and not from science. Science may give us the unvarnished truth-  or some of it – about our species. Part of that truth may prove to be that humans are not and can never be rational animals. Religion may be an illusion, but that does not mean science can dispel it. On the contrary, science may well show that religion cannot be eradicated from the human mind. Unsurprisingly, this is a possibility that Dawkins never explores.

            Gray casts Dawkins as little more than a secular priest looking for his own religious fame and unable or unwilling to seriously consider arguments against his beliefs.

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