People like us

I originally saw this “discussion” between super-atheist Richard Dawkins and born-again wotsit Ted Haggard as part of a TV documentary, but it’s worth giving it a mention here, seeing as some kind soul (whoops) posted it on YouSpace or MyToob or is it GooTube these days?

Haggard comes across as rather aggressive and exasperating in this clip and Dawkins is totally shocked by some of the ludicrous claims he makes about the nature of evolution, not surprisingly.

One retort from Dawkins led Haggard to plead with Dawkins not to be arrogant (as if):

“But you see, you do understand, you do understand, that this issue here of intellectual arrogance is the reason why people like you have a difficult problem with people of faith.”

There’s far more underyling Dawkins’ urge to dispel the God Delusion than intellectual arrogance, I’m pretty certain that he really does want people to understand the truth and time and again he suggests that if only they would we could reduce some of the awful happenings that occur in the world in the name of religion. Others will disagree, but watching this clip after reading about Haggard in the press recently puts a rather different slant on his faith, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, over on, we learn that humans may have evolved over tens of thousands of years (just tens of thousands?) to be susceptible to supernatural beliefs, Bruce Hood, Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol claims. He reckons that religion and other forms of mystical beliefs exist because we evolved a natural bias to accepting a role for the irrational in our lives.

This evolved credulity suggests that it would be impossible to root out belief in ideas such as creationism and paranormal phenomena, even though they have been countered by evidence and are held as a matter of faith alone. Still it doesn’t mean that what’s being reported about Haggard isn’t incredible, but some people might argue that it does suggest that Dawkins is either less evolved than Haggard and others of a religious disposition, or conversely he is more highly evolved, you decide.

3 thoughts on “People like us”

  1. Science is currently lucky because the standard it used to distinguish truth from error seems coincident with what Nature appears to be up till now and no one ensure this coincidence because there is no God. Religion is also lucky because it need no such distinguishment. It is only claimed to be true and ensured by God. But this is enough for a huge people to believe in it because it is so wonderful if what it says were true. Science is always weak because it always has premises which are unsafe, while religion need no premises and as a result seems safe. People need to be ensured and feel safe. Science unfortunately does not necessarily provide this feeling. That’s why religion wins.

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