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Pulls No Punches
Entry 577, on 2007-07-23 at 19:35:33 (Rating 4, Religion)
Today I watched Richard Dawkin's TV show "The Root of All Evil?" Its a criticism of religion and it really doesn't pull too many punches. I agree with everything Dawkins says but I do think he failed to mention some of the positive aspects of religion - or maybe he just gave them too little emphasis.
He talked with an interesting variety of religious figures. From the totally mad Ted Haggard (this was before he was forced to resign because of sexual immorality and drug use) who really was a very unpleasant individual, to the more traditional leaders of the Church of England who simply had no concept of what was reality and what was fantasy.
After watching this program, and researching some relevant stats, I have some hope for the world. Perhaps the stupidity of religious belief can be finally eradicated from the world. I read that belief in Christianity in the US has diminished by 1% per year over the last 10 years. And the fastest growing group there is atheism! OK, its still only 14% but things are definitely heading in the right direction, especially when the overt religious beliefs in the US administration are considered.
The religious community are fighting back though. There efforts to get creationism taught in schools are well known, but I was more alarmed by some of the schools running in Britain where the pupils are taught the most ridiculous religious mumbo jumbo such as the Biblical flood in science class. Its disgusting to see young people's minds being filled with this garbage just to maintain the power of the churches. Actually, its worse than disgusting, I'll use the more Biblical word: evil.
Dawkins made an interesting quote when he was talking about morality. Steven Weinberg said: Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
Another relevant quote I found when researching quotes was this by Aldous Huxley: If we must play the theological game, let us never forget that it is a game. Religion, it seems to me, can survive only as a consciously accepted system of make-believe.
So I found the program very enlightening but at the same time depressing. When Dawkins expounds poetically on the (non-supernatural) wonders of nature he reminds me a bit of Carl Sagan whose program, Cosmos, really presents the scientific wonder of the Universe. And there is one other thing I should mention that I noted in the program: Dawkins was using a Mac. That's it, he disses religion, reminds me of Sagan, and uses a Mac. He's my hero!
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