Richard Dawkins, the British biologist whose militant atheism is integral to his worldview of scientism, gave an interview to Beliefnet.com while at the World Congress of Secular Humanism. Some choice excerpts:
When people say that the idea of God is intellectually satisfying: Well, of course it is. Wouldn’t it be lovely to believe in an imaginary friend who listens to your thoughts, listens to your prayers, comforts you, consoles you, gives you life after death, can give you advice? Of course it’s satisfying, if you can believe it. But who wants to believe a lie?
If you had to name top sources for optimism and hope in a naturalistic or materialistic worldview, what would they be? I think there is something glorious in the universe, in contemplating the Milky Way galaxy, in contemplating the fact that this is only one in billions of galaxies, contemplating the fact that at the beginning of the 21st century, humanity really has gone a very long way toward understanding the universe in which we live and the life form of which we are a part. I find that a truly inspirational thought. Obviously, there are other things having nothing to do with science–music, poetry, sex, love. These are all things that make life, to me, extremely worth living. Then there’s the added fact that it is the only life we’re ever going to get. Don’t kid yourself that you’re going to live again after you’re dead; you’re not. Make the most of the one life you’ve got. Live it to the full.
Nothing really new here, just more of the same from Dawkins. Still, it is important to recognize that this is one of the most influential scientists in the world today. His atheism is a matter of faith, however. In his own way, Richard Dawkins is just a fundamentalist atheist seeking to impose his own narrow ideological agenda on the rest of us.
See my commentary, “The Devil’s Chaplain — Richard Dawkins on Christianity,” February 25, 2004.