Benedict Adrian Vincent Poole
Probably the most outspoken atheist in the world Richard Dawkins does appear to enjoy causing controversy but does he actually address people’s responses or is he just closed minded?
After recently releasing his autobiography Dawkins has, as always, not held back his views on religion. Dawkins discusses his life and there are certainly moments where he appears to be very one-sided. At one point he refers to Elvis as obviously being religious because “He came from an uneducated working-class family in the American South”. It is this kind of statement that Dawkins haters latch onto.
He has also published books such as the God Delusion which became a #1 bestseller. It caused huge amounts of controversy but it is this that engages the public. The controversy is there to sell the books; he is just doing his job.
One of his beliefs seems to be that people who don’t have the access to higher education believe in a God to fill gaps in their knowledge. In interviews with Dawkins he spends a lot of time just insulting religion rather than actually dealing with the reasoning behind his views. Statements such as “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness” are commonplace.
But if he truly wants to convince the public that there isn’t a God he’s not just got to be able to understand the science he needs to understand religion so he can address the arguments properly. Dawkins couldn’t have a proper debate over the ins and outs of whether there is a God without knowing a great deal about religion. He claims his aim is to educate people about his field and this, for him, means explaining why the ideas about evolution completely disagree with the concept of God. Interestingly Dawkins also wants the Bible to be taught in schools saying “It needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and culture”. If he was closed minded he wouldn’t encourage the education of the Bible.
Dawkins has spent his whole life devoted to the research and development of the theory of evolution; it is fair that he has such strong views related to it. Dawkins sees evolution as the complete facts because it has been proven; there is evidence for it.
However he still has put his faith in science. The theory of evolution is not an unalterable truth but rather the best account we have so far of how life has developed. This is no different from religious people with religious beliefs putting all their faith in God. It appears that he rejects the whole of religion because it is wrong in some particular cases. Science is wrong a lot of the time, does he reject science?
He is passionate, opinionated and most certainly very one-sided when he puts his opinion across. Does this make him closed minded?