Now that I’ve pissed some people off about rape*, I thought I would calm things down by turning to a more sedate topic: Richard Dawkins and religion.
Everytime Dawkins has issued one of his proclamations about religion, I’ve wanted to respond, but the words have never come out quite right. Thankfully, Barbara O’Brien has written a wonderful post that sums up exactly what I think:
What Dawkins writes about religion is, IMO, generally true of that part of religion he is writing about.
Unfortunately, like every other fundamentalist atheist I’ve ever encountered, he is profoundly ignorant about religion as a whole. The small part of religion he knows and writes about is not representative of the whole. He’s like a really backward space alien who lands on the North Pole and assumes the whole planet is covered by ice. And, because he doesn’t respect religion enough to study it, he remains willfully ignorant of it. This is, pure and simple, elective ignorance, which is the hallmark of a fanatic….
Let me say (if you are new here) that I do not “believe in God” as people normally understand those words, and in particular I don’t believe in a personal God, yet I am religious. And I sincerely believe that if Dawkins ever tried to wrap his brain around religions as I understand it, his head would explode. I can tell from his writing he hasn’t even been exposed to much about religion and has no idea how ignorant he is.
If Richard Dawkins wants to apply himself to a criticism of Tillich, or Spinoza, or Dogen, or any other religious teacher or thinker who doesn’t fit the religion mold in his head, that’s grand. But until he does, he’s stuck at the level of claiming evolution can’t be proved until someone finds the Missing Link.
I agree: give me that old time agnostic monism…
*The ScienceBlogs Blogerator 8300 is on the fritz; for some reason, html tags don’t work in the ‘entry body’ part, so here’s the link.