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16 October, 2006

Fair hearing

I haven't been a fan of Richard Dawkins' style of – I thought – stridently aggressive atheism, and I'm still not entirely comfortable with his apparent intention to teach others what to think.  Evangelism is evangelism, and to be condemned, even if it's atheist evangelism.

However, there's an interesting interview with Dawkins in Salon, in which he comes across as rational and essentially respectful of individual beliefs, an approach which conveys his message very well. I wonder if my earlier impression was simply due to his words having been edited and filtered by sensationalist mass-media.


Um, no, he really has been extremely strident about this, so much so that even his atheist cohorts have been asking him to tone it down. He actually did have some good stuff to say in this interview, which came as a surprise to me. But not enough, unfortunately.

Posted by Tom G at October 17, 2006 01:24 AM

"Atheist cohorts"? Very dramatic....

As he acknowledged in the interview, there is a risk that the 'intelligent design' nutters could twist his words to support their anti-evolution agenda, but I thought he countered it well, saying that opposing religion as a whole is more important than discrediting one specific tenet.

The interview was necessarily brief on a few points I'd like to have heard developed (though fewer than I'd have expected credit is due to the interviewer as well as Dawkins). It was certainly enough to interest me in reading his book.

Posted by NRT at October 17, 2006 01:56 AM
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