Last night Richard Dawkins was on the Daily Show and has once again demonstrated why I am not a fan of his television appearances in America. Maybe he does better with a British audience, I don’t know, but when it comes to American audiences, he just doesn’t do a good job.
The average watcher of Jon Stewart, probably only watched the first part of the interview which aired on Comedy Central. They probably did not watch the online show with the extended interview. This means that they probably came away from the interview thinking that Richard Dawkins believes that science will cause the destruction of the human race.
Did he say that? No, of course he didn’t. He actually said he doesn’t believe that. But that is not what the average audience heard. They heard him say that people are going to destroy themselves with science. If they actually stayed for the whole interview, it gets worse. Then they heard that the scientific method is often wrong and that baseball is just as destructive as religion. Since no one seriously thinks that baseball (the most boring sport on the planet) is destructive, then by comparison, religion isn’t that destructive either. So really, science is the destructive force and religion is as harmless as baseball. Facepalm!
I wish he had said that science can make incredible advances to our society and daily lives like this show, the internet, cures for diseases, etc. Religion uses faith-based thinking which makes them resistant to evidence and critical thinking and then sets people off on a path of destruction. Patriotism and fanatic baseball lovers may make some people irrational briefly, but not nearly to the degree or frequency of religious fundamentalism or even religious moderation. Yeah, religious moderates choose their beliefs over critical thinking; you just don’t see that with sports teams.
You can be religious and love science, but at some point you are going to have to choose between the two. The fact is that there is no scientific reason to believe in the existence of any deities or in life after death. If you truly love the scientific method, you have to accept that. When you die, you actually are dead. We are not Super Mario; we do not have extra lives to live. Life is not a video game.
Religious “strife” is a problem because religious faith is not mere “trust” in something; it is blind belief often in the face of evidence to the contrary. Add ancient holy books filled with violence and written by people who knew far less about the universe, science, and social science than we do today and you have recipe for disaster. Science flies people to the moon and religion flies people into buildings.
- What I Wish Richard Dawkins Would Have Told Jon Stewart (patheos.com)
- Stewart and Richard Dawkins Ask the Big Question: Will It Be Science or Religion That Dooms Us All? (mediaite.com)
- My Interview With Ray Comfort (skepticink.com)
- 5 Best Books To De-Convert A Christian (skepticink.com)
- Life and Afterlife: The Meaning In It All (skepticink.com)
- Instrumental In Leaving The Faith (skepticink.com)