Dawkins has been called “Darwin’s Rottweiler” for his aggressive form of arguing in debate and his avid determination to spread evolution as the only theory, of the creation of life, which anyone should believe in. In a recent review of the first of a two part autobiography of Dawkins’ life, John Gray has taken this view to the extreme; and is more of a slander of Richard Dawkins in general than a book review. A rebuttal article was made and can be seen here, but what I am more interested in is what led to such an article in the first place and also whether Dawkins really is as close-minded as is portrayed.
If you were to read the Wikipedia page of Richard Dawkins you would find some quotes of his that seem intolerable such as “faith is one of the world’s great evils” and if you were to visit the r/atheism subreddit you wouldn’t be wrong for assuming Richard Dawkins is the leader of a cult instead of a scientific writer. An opinion piece that Dawkins wrote for the Guardian gives great insight into how he views religion; particularly when religion conflicts with the current theories of scientific research. He is clearly someone who believes that religion should not exist within education and that science should answer the questions that religion says it does.
Much of the above would definitely appear to make a case that Dawkins is close-minded. Having read slightly deeper into the situation I have found myself doubting that stance. The first piece of evidence I found was that in Dawkins autobiography he was in fact raised Christian and only over the years of his childhood did he decide to turn his back on religion. Also in his book, “The God Delusion”, he formulates his own spectrum of theistic probability. This alone isn’t an argument to say he is open-minded however he has said in interviews and debates that on this spectrum he would consider himself a 6.9 on the scale as he is willing to change his views if evidence of a God(/s) was to arise he would have to accept it as the scientific method dictates.
Even in light of this it is hard to go as far as to say that Richard Dawkins is open-minded. He appears to have grown up with changing his views and believing that objective evidence is the only thing that can confirm his beliefs and that therefore he does not have a “faith” by definition. However because of his disbelief in religions subjective nature he appears unable to see the benefits of religion and can only see the disadvantages. There are many debates involving Richard Dawkins that are freely available however this one made by Al Jazeera English seems to show how Dawkins is a great thinker but has closed his mind to the idea of positive religious benefits for society.