Melanie Phillips writes that there are fundamental flaws in Richard Dawkins’ atheistic perspective, including ‘scientism’, intolerance towards those who disagree with him, unfounded assertions (‘hubristic over-reach’) and unscholarly disdain in refusing to engage in a scholarly way with academics who hold different views. What fuels the zealot Dawkins?
(Dawkins) became the apostle of scientism, the ideology that says everything in the universe has a materialist explanation and must answer to the rules of empirical scientific evidence; to believe anything else is irrational.
A second’s thought tells one this is absurd. Love, law and philosophy are not scientific yet they are not irrational. So it is scientism that seems to be irrational.
As for Dawkins’s claim that religion is responsible for the ills of the world, this is demonstrably a wild distortion. Some of the worst horrors in human history – the French revolutionary terror, Nazism, communism – have been atheist creeds. And although terrible things indeed have been done in the name of religion, the fact remains that Christianity and the Hebrew Bible form the foundation stone of Western civilisation and its great cause of human equality and freedom.
Phillips speculates on the reasons for Dawkins’ anger, gross intolerance and hatred of religion. Could it be that he is actually terrified that God is the alternative answer to his belief that there is no intelligence that gives rise to life.
To stamp out the terrifying possibility of even a divine toe peeping over the threshold, all opposition has to be shut down. And so the great paradox is that the arch-hater of religious intolerance himself behaves with the zeal of a religious fundamentalist and, despite excoriating religion for stifling debate, does this in spades.
Full article by Melanie Phillips in The Australian at Dawkins preaches to the deluded against the divine.