Saturday, May 05, 2007

Religious nutters

In my view, Dawkins attacks a straw man version of religion: literalist readings of the Bible, a hateful God, a young earth, designed animals, harps in heaven, everyday miracles etc. But, in fairness to Dawkins, this is only a straw man in that it is an easy argument to beat down, not in the sense of being artificial. People do believe this stuff -- and perhaps they really shouldn't.

Dawkins, however, admits no alternative except atheism. He refuses to acknowledge any sophisticated version of religion (except Buddhism, for some reason). He only quotes religious fundamentalists: his quotes come from websites, not books; from fundamentalists, not, well, smart people.

It is worthwhile to note that when Dawkins is on target, attacking simplistic fundamentalism, he is doing something worth doing.

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