Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dawkins; spirit without religion?

More Dawkins, transcribed from 44 minutes into the Point of inquiry interview.
I find this passage fascinating. To me it shows the intellectual honesty of Dawkins and the vulnerability that comes with it. After lambasting religions and faith based world views, he never the less points at this ”spirituality” at the basis of everything.
It sounds schizophrenic, but I entirely understand him. I am awed by the beauty and sophistication of it all, but I have a hard time with religions.

”There are those that believe in evolution, but still believe in the doctrines of some particular religion such as Christianity. They believe in the redemption by the crucifixion, the resurrection and so on... which are sort of miraculous beliefs.
But there are others who are often physicists or other scientists who don’t have any belief in those things, but none the less believe in some form of intelligence, some vast cosmic intelligence at the basis of the whole of the universe. I do have a lot more respect for them – for one thing they are a lot brighter than I am and one has to respect that – but I would be prepared to argue with them - but I do think that it is very different from belief in some particular religion with miracles, with prayer and with forgiveness of sins and all the things that go with, say, Christianity or Islam or Judaism.
It’s very easy to listen to a physicist who is making a very sophisticated case for some spirit at the deep base of the universe and to think ”oh well, he is just talking about Christianity – No, he is NOT talking about Christianity, he is talking about something far grander, far more profound, something that physicists maybe in a thousand years time may give a naturalistic explanation to.
I think it is very pernicious to confuse that sort of spirituality which sounds vaguely religious with the particular beliefs that we associate with named religions of history and persisting into today".

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