Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and a self-professed atheist, agreed to an Al Jazeera interview with Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim journalist. The interview is highly enlightening. This may be the first time Dawkins has been interviewed by a journalist who is faithful to the second largest religion in the world – Islam.
While this begins as an interview it turns into more of an interrogation and at times a debate between Dawkins, with Hasan taking the position of a theist.
According to Al Jazeera, “Fanaticism, fundamentalism, superstition and ignorance. Religion is getting a bad press these days. Much of the conflict in the world, from the Middle East to Nigeria and Myanmar, is often blamed on religion.”
“But how are things from a different perspective? Defenders of religion claim Adolf Hitler was an atheist. Communism under Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao Zedong banned religion, but also massacred millions. And science brought incredible and amazing advances, but also pollution and the atomic bomb,” notes Al Jazeera.
During the interview Hasan notes that religion like science can be used for good or evil. Both Dawkins and Hasan agree that politics has a lot to do with how both are perceived and used. Has science become a religion to those like Dawkins?
During the interview Dawkins and Hasan discuss the existence of a mono-theistic God. Dr. William Lane Craig, noted Christian apologist and author of Reasonable Faith, lays out detailed arguments that God does exist in his column “The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God“. Dr. Craig’s moral argument for a God, for example, takes the following form:
- If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
- Objective moral values and duties do exist.
- Therefore, God exists.
It is in times of great suffering and turmoil that individuals turn to religion. Many believe we are in those times and religion may be the only thing that will provide us with comfort and salvation. What do you think?