Thursday, 1 July 2010

Yet another atheist from Oxford

I have just read Richard Dawkins latest book entitled, The God Delusion. I realize that Dawkins is a well respected man in the scientific community and so hesitate to say anything critical. However, I am wondering whether I am correct in my thinking that his views on religion are, largely, reductionist?

For example, he writes: "The proximate cause of religion might be hyperactivity in a particular node of the brain".

The proximate cause of religion might indeed be the node of the brain but it may also be many other things apart from biochemical reactions in the mind. And, even if it were, it does not necessarily mean that this furthers an atheistic view. In other instances he employs psychology or biology or chemistry to not only explain particular aspects of religious belief but also to assert a strident atheism.

Perhaps, his atheism is temporary. It is well known that atheism can, and does, lead to a deeper faith. I doubt if it will in this case but you never know.

It will be interesting, however, to see what happens to the views of the liberal left intelligensia as British society and culture becomes increasingly concerned with religion and other issues evolving from multiculturalism.

In the meantime, does anyone agree that Dawkins views on religion are reductionist?

ps By the way, what is it with atheism and intellectuals based in Oxford?

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