Friday, 6 July 2007

Review: The Trouble with Atheism, Rod Liddle, Channel 4 TV UK

Rod Liddle's whole approach seemed to be based around the belief, that if you criticize religion your being arrogant. What's the big deal about religion that you cannot criticize it, even aggressively?

The whole program came across as an attack on atheists for attacking religious dogmatism, with the claim that the atheists are being just as dogmatic. Well, if religion were not as destructive in the World today, as it so clearly is, then Liddle may have had a point... As it is, his claim "rings hollow". Is it so surprising that atheists are so strident, when religion is causing so much violence in the World? ...I don't think so.

One of the most annoying claims that Liddle made, is that atheism is synonymous with communism. But, I agree with Richard Dawkins in his book 'The God Delusion', it is incidental to it.

Communism itself, I would say is a form of religion... secular yes, atheistic no; there is a difference. It is a dogmatic belief system, which is detached from reality, as is the belief in a personal God... Both theistic religion and communism are dogmatic belief systems, without objectively identifiable evidence of their validity.

Atheism, is not a dogmatic belief system, it is simply the none acceptance of God, based on improbability.

Liddle then goes on to do the same annoying thing with Darwinism, implying that Darwinism and atheism are synonyms (they are not of course, Darwinism is not an atheist Bible)... It is true that an acceptance of Darwinism may weaken an individuals religious convictions. But, the fact that it does is not the primary fundamental of Darwinism ...again, it is incidental. Rod liddle does not seem to be able to tell the difference between fundamental primaries and incidental coincidences. Why did liddle fail to mention that many Christians do accept evolution? ...Would that have weakened his argument?

I found it all rather one sided, with Liddle being far too nice to religion. The time for being nice to religion is up. Look where being too nice and too politically correct, in the name of not upsetting religious sensibilities has got us. It is this wishy-washy attitude to religion, that has allowed religious extremism to fester and spread like an untreated cancer.

It is aggressive ridicule of religion (including through the power of humour) that is necessary, to deflate its "untouchable status".

There was also a comment made, not by Liddle himself (though he didn't dispute it), that without Darwinism there doesn't seem to be any grounds for atheism... This is absurd, it suggests all atheists are Darwinist's and without Darwin atheism is not possible. The proof of the absurdity of this is myself. I have been an atheist all my life. Even as a young child I never bought into the God concept and I held this world-view, before I had any knowledge of Darwin. Of course, I am not denying that some theists may become atheists after reading 'The Origin of Species' ...But one could just as easily say someone became an atheist because they read Sam Harris, even if they are ignorant of Darwin.

And why does Liddle use phrases like "part of the atheist project" ...when referring to Darwinism, is he suggesting that Darwinism is part of an atheist plot to overthrow religion? ...Some kind of mass atheist conspiracy? (perhaps the overthrow of the geocentric view of the universe is part of the same plot). Notice, that not even once does he call Darwinism a scientific theory.

Then Liddle goes on to say that Darwin took on the religious establishment. No he did not, that is exactly what Darwin did not do, again it is purely incidental that Darwin's scientific identifications, where in conflict with religion. From what Liddle says it gives the impression that Darwin's purpose in discovering his theory, was done for the primary purpose of attacking religion. But Darwin was extremely sensitive to the religious beliefs of others and the last thing he wanted to do, was "rock the boat".

Virtually every point Liddle makes throughout the whole program is just plain wrong.

I am also utterly fed up with the coupling of the Nazi regime with atheism... Read this excellent article:

Hitler Was Not An Atheist
by John Patrick Michael Murphy

And finally, this was both sadly and hilariously the most pathetic comment of the whole program, Rod Liddle's absolutely absurd claim that "Communism was a utopia based on reason" ...Lol, if I didn't laugh, I would cry at such a ridiculous comment. Communism was not a system of reasonableness and it was not born out of reasonable thinking; but its antithesis... There was no reason to be found, that is why it was so inhumane... He is doing the same thing that he has done, throughout the whole program, linking atheism with a dogmatic belief system and making a wild claim that they can be coupled together as synonyms.


I get the impression that Liddle made this specifically, as a direct counter-attack on Richard Dawkins 'Root of All Evil?' ...Even the filming style was similar (was it the same camera crew?), the shakey camera technique and even the music had a similarity.

The Root of All Evil? Was a superb series, in fact the only criticism I have of it, is that the interviews were all far too short. Liddle's effort on the other hand was lame.

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1 comment:

andregons said...

nice words
Thank You!