Dawkins on Hitchens on Religion

September 2007

Dawkins on Hitchens on Religion. I'd be interested to read the book (entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.)

Greg commented:

Personally I struggle to take anyone as bigoted and prejudiced as Dawkins, Hitchens and their ilk seriously... in the same way that I find fundamentalist bigots hard to stomach.

Matt commented:

I wouldn't call them bigoted. Angry, yes, and occasionally I think they go too far, but their stuff is far too grounded in reality and truth to be written off. Personally, I find them quite challenging.

Have you read the article? It actually pre-emptively addresses the accusations of bigotry and fundamentalist atheism, I felt quite soundly.

KT commented:

I'm scared of Dawkins. Silly but true.

Fraser commented:

Dawkins has pretty sound arguments. And is a bit of an arsehole, as far as I can deduce from his writings.

Nato commented:

It is a pretty long article - took me two readings to get through it all. I too thought his counter-arguments were sound.

I noticed how he responded to the objection that real religion is immune from this criticism: "...If only all religions were as humane and as nuanced as yours, gentle theologian, all would be well..." So, it seems they wouldn't have problem with our own theology? Makes me wonder if there is some common ground, and that we should stop seeing Dawkins as an opponent, but as a potential ally?

I found this interview with some bishop to be very interesting:

Matt commented:

Nato, I think his point with the "if only all religions…" was that, generally, all academics and theologians claim that to be true of their religion, and every religion has these militant aggressive fundamentalist followers indicating otherwise. At some point you have to ask yourself which is the true form of said religion? Ideals are one thing, reality another.

Nato commented:

There's an assumption there:- that a particular religion can have it's true form. How about we consider different people to have their own little distinct religions (even if they use the same labels). In that case, arguments over what is and isn't the true form of religion is pointless. The argument becomes, what is a good religion, and what is bad religion?

era commented:

I was underwhelmed by him on the daily show actually, he seemed positively awkward when discussing his book.