Monday, September 25, 2006
He argues that the rise of religious fundamentalism is dividing people around the world, while the dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism 'is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science'.
Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman also interviews Richard Dawkins (video link is below book cover image here)
Chapter Seven: The "Good" Book and the changing moral Zeitgeist (Opening paragraph):
There are two ways in which scripture might be a source of morals or rules for living. One is by direct instruction, for example through the Ten Commandments, which are the subject of such bitter contention in the culture wars of America's boondocks. The other is by example: God, or some other biblical character, might serve as - to use the contemporary jargon - a role model. Both scriptural routes, if followed through religiously (the adverb is used in its metaphoric sense but with an eye to its origin), encourage a system of morals which any civilized modern person, whether religious or not, would find - I can put it no more gently - obnoxious. [Bible]
Chapter Eight: What's wrong with religion? Why be so hostile? (Opening paragraph)
In July 2005, London was the victim of a concerted suicide bomb attack: three bombs in the subway and one in a bus. Not as bad as the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, and certainly not as unexpected (indeed, London had been braced for just such an event ever since Blair volunteered us as unwilling side-kicks in Bush's invasion of Iraq), nevertheless the London explosions horrified Britain. The newspapers were filled with agonized appraisals of what drove four young men to blow themselves up and take a lot of innocent people with them. The murderers were British citizens, cricket-loving, well-mannered, just the sort of young men whose company one might have enjoyed.
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