Friday, May 23, 2008

Marilynne Robinson is among my very favorite writers. She combines great intellect with great literary skill, and here she takes on Richard Dawkins, atheist-in-residence at Oxford. This is almost a must read it is both so good and so fun. It's not too long and would probably take 20 minutes to read. Let me give you a sample:

"It is amazing, when the movers and shakers of the so-called postwar have devoted so much effort and rhetoric to policies with names like Mutual Assured Destruction, that anyone could be surprised to find some significant part of the populace reading up on End Times. But here is Richard Dawkins to dispel the clouds of fear and gloom — that is, religion."


Ben said...

Unsurprisingly, I like it. I wish she had taken on a few more of Dawkins's arguments against theism, but I do like how she points out the weaknesses of his arguments.

One of the best points I take away from it is this: "To set the declared hopes of one [science] against the real-world record of the other [religion] is clearly not useful, no matter which of them is flattered by the comparison." It's an extremely good point that the science has been corrupted by the darkness in human nature as much as the institutions of religion. For what is evil, but good corrupted?

kennyching said...

If you like this piece, but want more, she has a significantly longer version in her book 'The Death of Adam,'. The essay there is called 'Darwinism,' and its about 75 pages of the same type of material.

Ben said...

I've never heard of her before. Where did you find her?