Friday, December 14, 2007

Why Does Richard Dawkins Get a Free Pass When He Denounces "Respect" For Others?

As noted by others, Richard Dawkins does not just denounce religion, he renounces respect for people who believe something different from himself. As reported by the New York Times:
But whether there really is some kind of supernatural being — Dr. Krauss said he was a nonbeliever — is a question unanswerable by theology, philosophy or even science. “Science does not make it impossible to believe in God,” Dr. Krauss insisted. “We should recognize that fact and live with it and stop being so pompous about it.”

That was just the kind of accommodating attitude that drove Dr. Dawkins up the wall. “I am utterly fed up with the respect that we — all of us, including the secular among us — are brainwashed into bestowing on religion,” he said. “Children are systematically taught that there is a higher kind of knowledge which comes from faith, which comes from revelation, which comes from scripture, which comes from tradition, and that it is the equal if not the superior of knowledge that comes from real evidence.”

And this from Wired magazine:

The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking.

Three writers have sounded this call to arms. They are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. A few months ago, I set out to talk with them. I wanted to find out what it would mean to enlist in the war against faith.

Respect for others who believe something different is one of core principles of Western Civilization, and is reflected in the First Amendment provision of free exercise of religion and religious tolerance. One definition of "tolerance" is this: "the capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others."

Why does Richard Dawkins get a free pass when he renounces it? Instead of criticism, he is given a prominent platform for making vicious personal attacks on others from a former leading publication that has clearly lost its moral compass.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wired Magazine on Dawkins and Dennett: "They Are Fundamentalists"

I haven't had time to write much recently, but I thought I would link to some previous posts.

Recent events have me pondering the dogmatism of the new Darwinian Fundamentalists.
People see a contradiction in its tone of certainty. Contemptuous of the faith of others, its proponents never doubt their own belief. They are fundamentalists. I hear this protest dozens of times. It comes up in every conversation. Even those who might side with the New Atheists are repelled by their strident tone.

And the militancy:

By the third day, the arguments had become so heated that Dr. Konner was reminded of “a den of vipers.”

“With a few notable exceptions,” he said, “the viewpoints have run the gamut from A to B. Should we bash religion with a crowbar or only with a baseball bat?”

Hopefully, most people will continue to reject their worldview and will pursue civil discourse and respect for others.