Richard Dawkins' highly critical documentary attacks the pulsing heart of all mainstream religion- faith; with special focus on Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Contains repeated ... See full summary »
Ideas about the soul and the afterlife, of sin and God's purpose have shaped human thinking for thousands of years. Religious rituals remain embedded in the major events of our lives. In ... See full summary »
In this three-part series Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary scientist and bestselling author, takes us on a journey of discovery. How does evolution work? How do we know it's true - and why... See full summary »
The Naked Cowboy,
It's great to see that science and reason has its own Michael Moore in Richard Dawkins. It's not just cool and amusing, but downright triumphant to see him ridicule and expose "alternative" medicine and other wholesale hoaxes. More power to him.
And yet - I'm not really that big a Dawkins disciple. I think he focuses too much on reason in his own reasoning. Now, I'm certainly an atheist and a science-minded person and all that, but Dawkins' critique of religion almost exclusively hinges on how irrational it is. Well, sure it's irrational! Religion is about emotion. It's about fear and insecurity, much of which is very understandable in the life situations of the faithful, who frequently have very tough lives (esp. in earlier historical periods, but also today). Yet Dawkins doesn't address this at all. He doesn't really cut to the heart of the matter; he only talks about what's rational. So it's kind of only addressing half the issue, but, all right, that's entertaining too.
As for something like homeopathy; well, it's certainly a bunch of nonsense, but, what's at work there is the placebo effect, and maybe this actually helps a lot of people. People who're insecure and have a deteriorating health because of it, might react well to assurances that this substance or that will help them, and their very belief in it will make it work - at least to some degree. I agree that it would be better if their problems could be solved in better ways, but as long as they can't be, the placebo effect is a useful and good form of medicine. Once social circumstances start improving (as we have to hope they will), maybe such things won't be necessary anymore, but can be replaced with real medicine (if needed).
Still, despite Dawkins' uncompromisingly rational outlook, I think he's on the right path and I hope he does more programs like this. He needs to look into emotion, though.
9 out of 10.
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