Friday, January 13, 2006

More on Dawkins: "Angry Atheists"

Chris Mooney makes wonderfully astute observations about the atheist community in general, and Richard Dawkins in particular. He's right about everything -- what people like Dawkins are good for, what they're bad for, and the underlying problem with "angry atheists" who are mad at the world. (I think of a few who post over at Internet Infidels.)

"Dawkins is a divisive figure -- which means that he's very good for some things and very bad for others.

Here's what Dawkins is good for: Making people think critically about their most cherished assumptions. In this area, Dawkins completely rocks. I'm a firm believer that we desperately need public intellectuals who are willing to slaughter sacred cows, and there's no cow killer who quite compares to Dawkins...

Nevertheless, it is not wise to go slaughtering sacred cows amidst one's defense of evolution in America. Ask any pollster, any communications strategist -- the tactic will backfire. And this is where the Dawkins approach isn't so effective...

There's a larger point here. My experience with the nation's atheist community generally -- and I speak from considerable experience -- is that few of its members think very strategically about how to achieve their goals. They're too angry, too ready to pop off about religion, too quick to file lawsuits, too eager to offend people."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawkins has been giving interviews to promote the series in the UK (and the book he is writing that apparently will be called 'The GOd Delusion' and published in the autumn). If you want to hear one radio interview you can, at the moment, download it from Look under 'Listen Again'.

Jacob Knee


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