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reviews /  member tv review
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Dawkins- root of all evil? [preview]
by: Christian Bodart  03 january 06
rating: rating of 5

A personal, provocative and self-publicising journey into hell and back
Richard Dawkins is an interesting gene vessel indeed.

He thinks that people who choose to believe that the Universe is accidental are 'bright' rather than over-confident in Mankind's Understanding of the Universe, he careful co-opts agnostics (who may or may not be 'bright' but are certainly humble enough to grasp some of Humanity's limitations).

He also describes the Universe as potentially too 'queer' to understand. Again an interesting and telling choice of word though a more telling revelation of Dawkins' simultaneous ability to be incredible insightful and as entirely blind as his Watchmaker simultaneously.

Because, of course, should the Universe be genuinely beyond our comprehension then the very mystics and religious folk he constantly, and unfairly, derides are (yet again) right thousands of years before the Messiah of Social Dawkinism managed to grasp such a simple yet elusive and mysterious concept via his incomplete understanding of our entirely incomplete understanding of Theoretical Physics. Most of the rest of us have been able to stare at the sky and echo those immortal Words of Shakespeare that begin - "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio" in silent contemplation of the vasteness of Space and our simultaneous ability to see so much of it and know so little of the same.

And so it seems that without a thought to empathy with the xx.x% of us who seem to have a weaker grasp of theory but an innate grasp of our own Reality, Dawkins and Channel 4 are about to embark on a journey into just how patronising, self-serving and ignorant the privelieged can get.

No doubt there'll be plenty of Allah tomatoes, Mother Theresa buns and the such. Whether there'll be any discussion of the numbers of 'brights' who end up blindly faithful and dogmatic about redundant and disproven scientific theories or involved in obsessive fantasy lives or conspiracy theories or just plain extreme or bizarre science, sciencism and the rest will not be touched upon. No doubt the fact that almost all of the world's great Evils have been caused by greed, xenophobia and ignorance using whichever ideology is at hand (Capitalism now, Fascism 50 years ago, 'religion' since time immemorial) and indeed no doubt the cruelties of scientists to animals and so-believed 'lesser' primate species like monkeys (and if you're a Nazi - Jews) will be casually ignored. Perhaps if Dawkins studied a few social sciences (or even read some Humanist literature) he might begin to understand that people who seek Power all have common features that diametrically opposed to almost all of the Spiritual and Philosophical innovators since time began (but not of course all - Moses was a Politician as well as a Prophet - as indeed anyone has to be these days to get on in life).

Does Dawkins really believe that Bush Jr is as zealous in his religious belief as he is in the political strength of the religious Right in America? Does he really believe that when Churches have worldly power that the religious leaders are religious at all? I hope not for then he's ignoring the simplest lessons that history has to tell us. Not that People will believe anything but that certain sorts of People will say they believe anything if it gives them a leg up in life. Power is pervasive as well as corrupting - and I suspect that this little exercise in 'cultural imperialism' of Dawkins' will be proof positive of that.

How anyone that can describe the universe as 'indifferent' and 'inhospitable' (both of which imply traits of consciousness to the universe, incidently) whilst at the same time expounding the tremendous diversity and propogative characteristics of life on this Planet is beyond me. Clearly the man has distorted his own speciality into a religion of it's own - a religion that is as fundamentally flawed as any kook religion invented since the so-called Enlightenment.

Let us not forget that those lucky enough to be both wise and religious are suspicious and loving of all religion, most of all their own. It's a shame there are so few of them around these days - scientists raptured by their own theories despite supposedly believing them to be theories as well as emotionalists finding solace in the only non-toxic, natural narcotic - faith.

Having an under-developed sense of anything is no excuse for hating that thing - whether it be athleticism, musicianship or religiosity. Dawkins may learn this one day but not before he has preached a litany of resentment and ignorance that will no doubt ultimately be as embarassing to Science as anything George W can pull from his hat will be to America.

This program will most likely be appalling and embarassing in equal measure - and it will no doubt lack most of the Virtues common to all human cultures that have ever had a chance of evolving satisfactorily rather than annihilating themselves and others in a short-sighted fiddling of their Emperors and Empires.

If Dawkinsism is your religion - fine. But do your best to bring a little bit of common sense and reality to it before you end up thinking that rape is merely a valid (and thus not 'evil') expression of the Survival of the Fittest.

Richard Dawkins' Root of all Evil is on Monday the 9th and 16th, Channel 4, at 20:00.

Hopefully it'll say something about more than Dawkins' own personal contempt for religions besides his and his complete lack of understanding of and empathy for people not in denial of the Human Condition - but it probably won't - it'll just sell some advertising space and kick up a debate that will no doubt sell a lot more as well as allow Dawkin's to further exploit his gullible followers with a few more poorly written and misguided psuedo-(I mean popular)-science products.

Be suspicious, very suspicious of all propheteering and you may go far. Try to understand things you don't rather than ridicule them and you'll probably go even further.
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