Regular readers of this blog will know I don’t have much time for the militant Atheist Richard Dawkins, and his simplistic straw-man arguments on religion.
There are a couple of very telling quotes in this New York Times interview that illuminate his world view.
For a start, what about this one?
Why is the Nobel Prize in Literature almost always given to a novelist, never a scientist? Why should we prefer our literature to be about things that didn’t happen?
The way he dismisses fiction as “things which didn’t happen” speaks volumes about the way he fails to recognise the extent to which fiction can illuminate greater truths. I’ve long suspected this lies at the heart of why he cannot understand non-fundamentalist religion.
And then he comes up with this.
I’m not an aficionado of science fiction, but I’ve already appreciated a novel that pumps scientific intuition. Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, too, exemplify that kind of good science fiction, unlike slack-jawed fantasy where the writer dreams heedlessly away without respecting the decent constraints of science.
Clearly there’s no place for stories with any kind of emotional depth in Dawkins’ world. His insistence on “the decent constraints of science” remind me of Paul Kinkaid’s essay on “The Cold Equations”, which explains why so-called “Hard SF” is so often tied to an ugly right-wing POV.