Professor Richard Dawkins reminds us that even though we treat the last century as a Century of Reason, the religious extremists are just now on the move and are, in fact, a greater threat than ever before.
Why should science sneak quietly away when religion is mentioned, asks Richard Dawkins. He thinks that reasonable people should already say aloud when enough is enough.
The religious thinking is preventing open and honest debate in all societies where it has the power to so. It divides people to separate mutually hostile groups in a quite unncessary way. Richard Dawkins warns that religion is simply dangerous.
Richard Dawkins reminds that a person is very often seen as exemplary in religious circles if he or she can totally forget about reality. Most of all a deeply religious person can accept even all claims that are made by his or her own religion without ever demanding any kind of proof for those claims.
However, the ability to face reality is to Richard Dawkins always a better option than giving any kind of false hope.
Richard Dawkins thinks that religion and science can never exist peacefully side by side, as science is based on open analysis of the facts of the real world. Conclusions that are made in the realm of science can always be altered if new facts are discovered. Faith on the other hands demands that critical analysis is pushed entirely aside.
Science puts forward models and hypothesis that it tries to prove to be wrong. On the other hand, religions typically simply claim that their quite untested ideas are some kind of final truths. They normally even claim that these ideas can never be altered in any way.
In religious circles the mere fact that a claim is old can make it to be seen as a proven fact. For example, the claim that mother of Jesus was taken to the Heavens in the moment of her death was conceived round the year 600. During the following centuries it was hoisted to be among the beliefs supported by the Catholic Church.
It was finally formalized to the Catholic faith as recently as in the 1950’s. Now all Catholics must adhere to this belief.
Richard Dawkins says that we now have the ability to understand the real mechanisms that make up the universe. This understanding can happen with the knowledge that science provides to us. Religion is simply not needed to explain anything anymore.
The extraordinary discovery of Charles Darwin was the fact that life as we know it has been evolving for millions of years through the method of natural selection. Richard Dawkins says there just has been no need for a great designer. The concept of a designer also brings up the the question of who designed this designer?
The evangelical right of the United States is driving the Intelligent Design to supplant evolution as an explanation for the cause for life. According to recent studies a whopping 45 percent of the Americans do believe in creation instead of evolution.
Richard Dawkins thinks that the greatest danger in fundamentalist thinking is the fact that their worldview is often changed to a entirely black and white one without any shades of gray. Fundamentalist often simply want to forget that the world is a complex place. In the face of the growing complexity they are retreating to a childish certainty.
Religious people all too often need only one truth which is told to them by their evangelist. A sorry fact of life is that he (almost always a he!) is usually giving them also a set of outright lies.
Richard Dawkins says that we are living in an age of deadly polarization. The most frightening thing for Richard Dawkins is the fact that these fanatics normally think that they are doing a good thing.
The irrational base of religions feeds intolerance and hatred, says Richard Dawkins. Every religion claims that its holy book is the right one.
He says that even if the political problems may be the prime cause, the suicide bombers are created only when people will hold unchangeable notions of absolute and infinite truths. Killing for a religion is according to Richard Dawkins morally wrong but also a incredibly stupid thing to do.
Richard Dawkins reminds that all people are atheists towards most Gods. Even Christians are atheists, when the God in question is Baal, Thor or Neptune. Many just go one god further.
This presentation of Richard Dawkins’ central ideas is based loosely on the television documentary named ‘The God Delusion’ that Richard Dawkins has made for the BBC. This series is based on his book with the same name.
(This piece was completely refurbished on 21st of February, 2012)