Richard Dawkins and the survival instinct

I was amused to see that Douglas Murray had written the following piece in the Jewish Chronicle Online on Feb. 24th:

"In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of "the Old Testament" is "hideous" and "a monster," and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character "in fiction." Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: "Well, um, the God of the Koran I don't know so much about."

How can it be that the world's most fearless atheist, celebrated for his strident opinions on the Christian and Jewish Gods, could profess to know so little about the God of the Koran? Has he not had the time? Or is Professor Dawkins simply demonstrating that most crucial trait of his species: survival instinct."

If it was survival instinct, he was not alone. I seem to recall Alexei Sayle saying something along the lines of (and this may not be an exact quote)

You wont see many modern comedians attacking ... fundamentalist Islam and you can bet I'm not going to be the one to start.


Jim said…
I guess it was just for simplicity. The god of the Bible (torah) is the one he was brought up with, thus these its the religious book with which he is most familiar.

I guess when we do down the "what about the god of the Quran?" we just open up to an endless list really.

What about Thor?
What about Ra?
What about Horus?
What about Supai?
What about Kuhuluhulumanu?
What about Lupi?

Etc, etc etc..............

Instead I think Dawkins was using more of a "I know a lot of the bible, had it thrown at me for years, not so much on other religious texts as i find most of them a bit of a waste of my time really, Now can you ask me about something that I have actually spent my life studying? - Evolution perhaps?"
Chris Whiteside said…
Don't really think he could use the "ask my about my professional subject e.g. evolution" line given that he has spent a lot of time banging on about why he doesn't believe in religion, published books on the subject of religion, given interviews and lectures and was doing so at the time he was asked the question.

Nor would I have found it amusing enough to repost if the religion he was claiming not to know about had been one that worshipped a completely different God to the one he was expressing strong opinions about five seconds before.

The reason I find Dawkins' reply to be funny is that, although I absolutely do not claim to be an expert on Islam, even I know that the God of the Torah IS the God of the Koran - Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.
Jim said…
I thought as much (As i know it is the abrahamic god) though I was not 100% on the Quaran.

I know the torah is simply just the first parts of the old testament (and in there it would be hard to argue that god is quite a nice chap. Sure it starts well but from the 3rd chapter of genesis it all goes rather downhill)

I dont know where the quran brakes from the bible, but in the quran god does do things differently, and we end with none mixing water and winged horses to heaven. So the god may be the same god just one book may well paint a more flattering picture of the same god than the other one does.

I guess what i am trying to say is easier to say by example. Read a news story about something a politician said or done in both the daily mail and then the daily mirror. You will soon see that the politican is the same, said the same thing, but the 2 papers tell 2 very different stories.
Jim said…
Take a recent one on George Osborne and a new policy. (Obviously these are not actual reports but not so far from the way it would be that it will help illustrate my point.)


St George Osborne has came to the rescue of taxpayers by ensuring benefit claimants live in appropriately sized houses, thus protecting the hard pressed tax payer from needless wasted expense.


Evil Osborne announces new "Bedroom tax" which will force thousands of the most impoverished family's to live in cramped conditions, or pay an unaffordable price.

You see what i am getting at, its the same George Osborne, and its the same policy, its just presented in ways where one one hand he is being a very good man, and on the other he is not a nice chap at all.

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