Monday, 20 February 2012

Dawkins' Religion Poll Undercuts His Own Argument

Richard Dawkins' outfit, the Foundation for Reason and Science (UK), published the results of a poll into the attitudes of British Christians towards politics, science and morality as well as their knowledge of their own faith. Professor Dawkins reckons the result[s] buttress his secular agenda, showing as they do the waning influence of religion on British public life. But there is a sense in which the results undercut one of his main theses, namely that religion is something dangerous to society.

The majority attitudes listed above as regards the law, politics etc are ones that Dawkins would deem as rational and tolerant and it is self-confessed Christians who espouse these opinions.
But doesn't this rather undercut his thesis that religion is the everlasting foe of “rationality”, as Dawkins defines it? In his view, religion [is] a delusion and precludes reasonable thinking altogether.
[But]His poll actually reveals that in their attitudes to law and politics, Christians aren’t so different from other Britons. Therefore, why does he work himself into such a lather about them?
Frankly, I think Dawkins is so single-focused, so tunnel-visioned, so blind to his own contradictory logic, that, whatever proves to be reality, he will find a way to spin it to fit his own biased presuppositions.

Take Care
From Here...


Warren said...

What the author of the cited editorial fails to point out is that, according to the poll, a significant majority of those identified as "Christians" appear to be so in name only. Although I strongly disagree with a thesis that Christianity is a foe of rationality (which isn't exactly Dawkin's thesis), I don't think the poll results do much undercut it. Maybe I hang around the wrong blogs (and I don't include yours in this), but my observation is that many Christians (as individuals) can be quite irrational.

Warren said...

It took me five attempts to get get past your anti-robot software to post the above comment; and I suspect posting this comment will be a PITA as well. Can you tone it down?

John K said...

Hi Warren, good to hear from you.
My own logic in this is probably a little twisted, but here goes:
Dawkins is always harping about how bad religion is for society. So then he conducts a poll among those very people he claims are doing all the damage. And he finds that their attitudes are not all that "bad" after all. So will he then cut back on his criticism of religion? Probably not. But it seems to me that if he is honest, his amunition pouch is a little emptier than it was before.

And yes, I agree that there are Christians who don't seem to think things all the way through.