Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Zealous God


Never a man to let an opportunity slip to smash a walnut with a sledgehammer, Darwinist and renowned aetheist Richard Dawkins has lambasted chirpy comedian Peter Kay, for professing in his autobiography to believe in a 'comforting God'. Dawkins, who clearly was not doing much else at the time, fumed:

'How can you take seriously someone who likes to believe something because he finds it 'comforting'?

'If evidence were found for a supreme being I would change my mind instantly -with pride and with great surprise. Would I find it comforting? What matters is what is true, and we discover truth by evidence, not what we would 'like'.'

And there was I thinking that Peter Kay was just a comedian. It is not the first time that Dawkins has been unnecessarily arrogant and boorish on the issue of belief in God. He is one of the greatest biologists of the last fifty years and he has well earned his respect as both an eminent theorist of evolution and his public fame due to the success of his books. However, his use of this fame is both embarrassing and tiresome. You wonder if Dawkins has any social skills to speak of; even in the columns he has written for The Guardian, The Independent and others his evangelical arrogance has been an embarrassment to many of his admirers, and if anything, his belligerence has set the cause of secularism, not to mention, aetheism, back decades. Though I suppose it is a bit of a novel diversion from the old 'but religion has been the cause of so many wars' line. Even the most brilliant intellectuals can be damn silly at times.

4 comments:

Luke said...

I threw down the God Delusion after getting halfway through it. It was such a relief. I agree with everything he said but it was such an unpleasant read that it was impossible to finish.

Putting it down was like escaping the bore who's been shitting on about George Bush for an hour at a party. Yes they are right, no I have no interest in hearing about it.

seanachie said...

Hope your hard drive's OK after that fiasco last night, or, more to the point, the data on it. Hardly an act of God...

John Self said...

In Dawkins' (at least partial) defence, he had never heard of Peter Kay and was responding to a journalist who rang him up hoping for - and getting - a tasty quote.

seanachie said...

I agree entirely and I have since rectified my stance on this blog. Dawkins can be an infernal bore in spite of his brilliance but I would sooner have him supping tea in my front room (if I had one) than A.N. Wilson.