Regulars will know, I’m not heavily into a thing “alone” (eg. Bible alone,…)
In the holidays I was channel-surfing in a motel and stumbled upon a rerun of the interview I’ve now embedded in this post (above).
Oksana Boyko interviews Richard Dawkins – and RT.com titled this “Faith in Reason” (full transcript at that link). In the interview, Oksana Boyko declares her own position: “I consider myself an atheist, primarily thanks to you”; so this is not an uncomfortable interview for Richard Dawkins.
But Oksana Boyko does make some strong points – is Richard Dawkin’s faith in reason alone influenced by his gender? Dawkins responds by allowing, “I’m driven by emotion in other issues…Religion, to me, is a matter of intellect, and I take my stand on that.”
I think this is a key insight. Beauty, music, relationships, art, etc – these, clearly, are not able to be accessed by reason alone. But, without any rational justification, by an act of pure faith, the antitheist Richard Dawkins applies standards to religion and spirituality that he does not apply in these other areas of human flourishing.
What Richard Dawkins and other antitheists do is, in fact, the exact mirroring of the fundamentalist, biblical literalism that they decry. The only difference is that the biblical literalists allow no room for metaphor and affirm the literalism, and the antitheists allow no room for metaphor and deny the literalism.
Richard Dawkins cannot allow, while a person is totally scientific when it comes to science, that we accept that reason alone is insufficient for wider human flourishing in beauty, music, relationships, art, religion and spirituality.
Oksana Boyko: Now, the traditional atheist view has been that with the development of science, religion will die out. …Are you putting too much faith in human rationality?
Richard Dawkins: Well, it looks as though you may be right. I mean, it is quite mysterious to me, the way that people can do that.
- The Effort of Adding God to Stuff
- Symphony of Science
- There’s probably no God?
- All Religions are Fairy Tales