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10 January 2006



> Pejorative or what?

Yes, unfortunately so. I watched the first programme in entirety yesterday, and given that I'd seen a stated aim as being "religion leads to suffering in the world", it was not a scientific exposition on that theme. It did not tackle religion in general; it showed clips of Catholics at Lourdes (the programme's token handling of the "misguided moderates") and concentrated on fundamentalists, both right-wing conservative evangelicals in the USA (showing an interesting clip of a bit of a falling-out between Dawkins and the pastor) and a fundamentalist Muslim in Jerusalem (talk about a strange set of views). Jews got third place. Hindus and Buddhists were conspicuous by *total* absence. The programme is a simple argument-by-repeated-assertion based on very limited evidence, so I don't consider it a sufficiently comprehensive study, nor even an attempt to refine whether it's a religion, religion in general, fundamentalism, or football matches that leads for violence in the human species.

A lot came down to Creation, where frankly I also think Dawkins oversteps his bounds. I respect his work as a scientist, and since it's based on evidence and its predictions work, I tend to go along with the conclusions as they remain within the fields of ethology and biology and stay applicable to the world around me, but as I half-expected, when it comes down to the old "you can't dis/prove God" he concentrated on reading that one way only. His output bangs-on along a general theme of "religion is unthinking, leads to badness, there's a conflict with science that is the better way", yet he never explores the concept of a *theo**logian* or of working together, letting people live with their own choice of views. As I expect holds for many people, my personal views manage to reconcile having a faith with the evidence of the world's antiquity around me. While it would allow me to hold to faith for my lifetime, I don't even fall for the normal "God of the Gaps" trap, and it rankles whenever someone says "for centuries God has been used to mean `what we don't know'", or similar.

People at my church are motivated, by our Christianity, to love our neighbour and love our enemy as well, to be ecumenical rather than dogmatic, and to explore dialogue in reasoned manner with representatives of other religions. Where does Dawkins get off in telling us all religion is bad now?


>Where does Dawkens get off?

I saw him get off the No 21
at Cessnock on tuesday

O well whatever some people have to say about Christ there will always be people who will need and find Christ as a worthy Lord and a capable Saviour

Too many scratchy cats
and not enough Cheshire cats
beaming with appreciation
of all that Christ means to us
Robt wrote
'The man O' independent mind
looks an' laughs at a' that'
Psalm 2:4 an' that

David Muir

A chap called Paul Knox (http://24ce.blogspot.com/) has a go at Dawkins and Starkey in a recent blog entry (http://24ce.blogspot.com/2006/01/theres-nothing-new-under-sun.html). Thought you might find it interesting.

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