This weekend, an estimated 20,000 agnostics, atheists and ardent secularists gathered on the National Mall in rainy Washington DC. They were attending the first Reason Rally, an event intended to “unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it!” Lawrence KraussMichael Shermer, Eddie Izzard — they all spoke to the crowd. And then came Richard Dawkins, the high priest of reason, the author of The Selfish Gene, who spent decades teaching evolutionary biology at Oxford. In the middle of his 16 minute talk, he tells the audience, “We’re here to stand up for reason, to stand up for science, to stand up for logic, to stand up for the beauty of reality, and the beauty of the fact that we can understand reality.” I’m with you Richard on that. But then comes the scorn we’re now so accustomed to (“I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”), and my guess is that changing perceptions of agnostics, atheists and secularists will need to wait for another day.


by | Permalink | Comments (6) |





Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Corn Walker says:

    “I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”

    How is that any different than the “hate the sin, love the sinner” cliché we hear so often?

  • Karajaru says:

    Dawkins isn’t afraid to offend. That’s precisely why so many people like him. It’s true that offence is not usually a good way of making friends and influencing people, but damn it: he has a right to criticize irrational superstitious beliefs, he’s courageous to do so, and we should be behind him on principle.

  • JG says:

    I’m with you Richard on that. But then comes the scorn we’re now so accustomed to (“I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”), and my guess is that changing perceptions of agnostics, atheists and secularists will need to wait for another day.

    Whereas, if a Christian had made the analogous comment about atheists you wouldn’t even have noticed it go by.

  • Ap says:

    Corn Walker says . . .

    “I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”
    How is that any different than the “hate the sin, love the sinner” cliché we hear so often?

    ‘I don’t despise’ is certainly different than love. We all fall short of loving those we disagree with. The difference with Dawkins is that he doesn’t even set it up as a goal. He feels it’s sufficient to merely ‘not despise.’

  • mortimerzilch says:

    The Catholic Church has been dealing with Atheist objections for a long time, and R.Dawkins’s objections are VERY VERY weak. In fact, they are so weak as to indicate that the whole point of it all is the FACT THAT he CAN object without suffering any negative effects. He should go to the Middle East and voice his objections. Beyond that, there really is no conflict whatsoever between Reason and Faith, if BOTH are understood properly. Dawkins is like a nudist who takes his clothes off and yells: “Look I am naked!” and no one does anything about it. eh. that’s the whole point I suppose….

  • CD says:

    I agree with AP. And Dawkins doesn’t realize that the very secular institutions he only recognizes are also built on the values from religion.

    Just take a look at morally-challenged ancient Rome before Christianity took over. It was a mess, even with the political structures already established.

Leave a Reply

Quantcast