Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Dawkins Delusion

It's Sunday. I don't want to think about who broke up the McCartneys' marriage today (see exclusive story below if interested). I don't want to think about Andrew Lloyd-Webber's unrequited love for Tim Rice (see exclusive story below). Or whether the Independent's louche editor Simon Kelner - last seen in the Ivy, Groucho, etc - should have blacked up Kate Moss. Today, I give to ....

Voted one of the world’s three top three intellectuals (by Prospect magazine), Richard Dawkins continues his materialist-atheist fatwa against religion with his new book The God Delusion, just out. Belief in the Divine causes wars, promotes abuse and is a general pan-historical pain in the arse, he argues – “He [Dawkins] eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being,” promises his publisher.

It’s on my books-to-read list but I caught him on Radio 4 this morning re-asserting his view that even a transcendent experience (such as he enjoys while listening to Schubert) is no evidence of God. Asked about Einstein on religion, Dawkins replied: “He did not believe in a personal God.” This is correct. But Einstein always marvelled at the ordered mysteries of the universe and conceded a “super-personal” cosmic intelligence. He had a sense of God in all things, or as he put it:

“I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvellously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations...."

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