: views from the Hill

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Richard Dawkins - THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

Came across this YouTube click (uploaded by Luther Blissett because, he says, Richard Dawkins doesn't have a youtube account):

Dawkins' THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, part 1: The God Delusion.

The click is forty-seven minutes long. I found it both engaging and thought-provoking, especially Dawkins' dustup with an Israeli Muslim who grew up Jewish in the United States before emigrating to Israel, and converting.

I came across this click through a click embedded in a column on Pastor Ted -- the guy currently in the news saying, I never knew him, well, maybe I did, I guess I did, he gave me a massage, that's all that happened, I didn't buy meth, well, maybe I did, but I never used it.

If you want to see the Reverend "Pastor Ted" Haggard in action, you can find him at the very beginning of Dawkins' THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, part 1, followed by another ten minutes or so devoted to Haggard and his New Life Church that starts 'round about minute 19 or so. Haggard and Dawkins argue creationism vs. evolution, and then Haggard kicks Dawkins and his film crew off the church property.

The second part of THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, The Virus of Faith, completes the BBC documentary.

Interesting watching if you're an atheist like Dawkins or a believer like Haggard or somewhere in between.

A favorite part, near the end of part 1: Dawkins talks about Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot.

Russell wrote, If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

Dawkins follows up by mentioning Thor and Aphrodite, hobgoblins and unicorns and says, "We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in."

What a nifty and useful bit of technology YouTube can be.

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