|« Film Diary: Robot Chicken (Season One)||Film Diary: Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell The Truth [Robert B. Weide] »|
Dawkins examines how religious faith infects the human mind and deludes people into believing in the absurd.
Dawkins interviews distinguished believers among the major faiths, Christianity, Judasim and Islam, and he politely challenges their denial of science and rationality.
It one remarkable interview, Dawkins chats with anti-abortionist Rev. Michael Bray, a friend and supporter of convicted (and executed) murderer Rev. Paul Hill. During the chat, Bray is cordial and well-spoken, but he condones the killing of doctors who perform abortions as justified by the Bible, and the fact that he smiles sincerely while spouting hate causes Dawkins to remark afterwards that he "quite liked" Bray, but then he quotes the Nobel Prize-winning American physicist Steven Weinberg:
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."
And this notion that religion motivates people to commit morally reprehensible acts is the punchline to Dawkins' message.
Dawkins argues that religion, through its suppression of rational thinking, is downright harmful (especially to impressionable children) and we, as highly evolved being capable or rational thought must not passively tolerate the evil caused by faith.
I should note that Dawkins does NOT think that religion is the root of ALL evil. He repeated several times in an interview with the Center for Inquiry's podcasted radio show "Point of Inquiry" that he protested against the name of the series, but only managed to get the producers to add a question mark to the title, as if the show was asking, "Is faith the Root of All Evil?"
As a former Christian turned staunch Atheist, I wholeheartedly agree with Dawkins that faith is not the only thing that drives people to act immorally, but it is certainly a "root of evil" in this world.
Americans are notorious for proclaiming religious tolerance (especially among the faithful who are ironically often the most intolerant of religions that differ from their own), but as an American (and as a member of the human race) I will NOT tolerate religion whenever it is defies logic and reason.
I am frustrated and angry that Atheists are often accused of being intolerant whenever they question a person's faith, and yet the faithful rarely cry foul when science is ATTACKED outright.