Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday, Richard Dawkins discussed his brief infatuation with religion as a young boy saying:
“I was briefly seduced by it and took it all in and would pray very vigorously every night,” adding that he had fantasy visions of angels and white light, but continued, “I never tried the experiment. I shall never know if it might have happened.”
Of course now Dawkins is one of the most famous atheists on the planet and his criticisms of religion draw heated arguments and makes him one of the most disliked people as well. That doesn’t seem to bother him when certain people dislike him, “I don’t mind disliked by complete idiots.”
By idiots, Dawkins is speaking of mostly creationists, often the ones who criticize him the most for his stance against sharing a stage with them.Maybe more importantly though, Dawkins was asked if he thought his recent comments on Islam may demonize moderate Muslims, something he said he had hoped would not.
“It is very important that we should not demonize ordinary, law abiding, very decent Muslims, which of course are the vast majority in this country.”
He did however go further and claim that moderate people of faith “make the world safe for the extremists,” by legitimizing their claims and allowing them to justify beliefs without evidence, adding this kind of legitimacy allows these extremists to say, “my belief is I’m supposed to be a suicide bomber or blow up buildings – it is my faith and you can’t question that”.
Dawkins did recognize that moderates would be horrified by this suggestion saying, “I’m sure they’d be horrified, nevertheless it could be true.”
(h/t Raw Story)