Richard Dawkins (Oxford prof., father of meme theory, author of The Selfish Gene) argues against irrational, militant religion in the two-part Channel 4 UK documentary “The Root of all Evil?” (Jan. 2006).
Dawkins goes too far by including all forms of faith – not all are in direct contradiction to independent thought and constructive doubt! (Please chime in on this – esp. Progressive Faith Bloggers!)
Still, his arguments are very persuasive in terms of the malignant, dangerous, and destructive forms of “faith” that we see once again today – both here and abroad.
This from the Channel 4 description:
He describes his astonishment that, at the start of the 21st century, religious faith is gaining ground in the face of rational, scientific truth. Science, based on scepticism, investigation and evidence, must continuously test its own concepts and claims. Faith, by definition, defies evidence: it is untested and unshakeable, and is therefore in direct contradiction with science.
In addition, though religions preach morality, peace and hope, in fact, says Dawkins, they bring intolerance, violence and destruction. The growth of extreme fundamentalism in so many religions across the world not only endangers humanity but, he argues, is in conflict with the trend over thousands of years of history for humanity to progress – to become more enlightened and more tolerant.
Here is Part 1: