« To Live Outside The Law | Main | Excluded and Marginalised »

April 27, 2007



I believe that Hitchens and Dawkins are following a regressive policy, one that is typified by the "Modern Liberal" concept voiced by Evan Sayet, where liberal views are fortified by forcing moral equality to objective arguments.

The reduction of "religion" to mean anything remotely associated with faith of some sort is a dangerous concept, because ultimately it is a fact that some religious ideas are far more destructive than others, so distancing yourself from even the smallest of acts of faith is bringing a huge question mark over even the miniscule beneficial actions of those deemed to be religious.

Liberal understanding evolved out of an enlightened Western Christian society, it has never come from anywhere else. Therefore as a liberal you need to understand that although modern mainstream Western Christianity might be a bit of a throwback, it is at least a philosophy that allows freedom of thought and can develop.

Liberal America marched against fascist Nazi Germany with racial segregation in its army, yet we know that nowdays that racial segregation is all but gone. It is understanding that a particular idealism may not necessarily be perfect now, but has potential.

A Christian might well tell Hitchens he may be turned away by St Peter at the Gates of Heaven, but he wont be decapitated, unlike proponents of another religious concept.

You have to accept that some religions are going to progress, whereas others remain rooted in ancient lifestyles. Of those that progress, the faith element becomes less and less associated with the real world and more with the one percieved hereafter, those that dont progress seek to increase their control over your daily lives, even defining which hand you should wipe your bottom with.

Judaism uses the word "gentile" to pejoratively term one who is not a Jew, a few other religions use similar epithets, in fact it is a common religious argument to portray people as "us and them", with elements of superiority attached.

The established faiths don't have a monopoly on this either, nationalism is a political ideology rooted on "us and them" lines.

Hitchens and Dawkins are doing just the same, they are running danagerously close to creating their own superiority concept.


"The first was to allow Saddam to remain in power after 1991 and to watch while he massacred the Shiites and Kurds": actually, those are different decisions. The decision not to march to Baghdad and fell Saddam may well have been wise, especially given the promises that Bush the Elder had presumably made to his allies. To watch the slaughters mmay well have been unwise and may not have been covered by those promises.

James Hamilton

I haven't the intelligence to keep up with commenting of that calibre, but did wonder if you'd tried Dennett's "Sweet Dreams", which is a great deal less dull than the work you cite above.

Mick H

No - maybe I'll check it out. The reason I got hold of "Breaking the Spell" - apart from the fact that it was a cheap remainder - is that I normally like Dennett a lot. I thought "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" was wonderful. Sadly "Breaking the Spell" isn't.

The comments to this entry are closed.