Wednesday 9 December 2009
Richard Dawkins, the atheists' atheist, is on the offensive. He wants to proselytise to his cause, violently so, at least violent in words. The target is those who totter on the threshold between belief and doubt, who are to be ridiculed and be "swayed by a display of naked contempt" to make sure that they fall on the right side of the Prophet's line.
Oh, to believe or not to believe, that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Richard, or to drop arms against a sea of insults, and by agreeing end them?! Smell the wind, smell the scent of the new absolute as bad as the old absolutes; smell absurdity, intolerance and malice as tools of conversion; smell a new jihad as it sweeps across the land. I offer no comment on belief or disbelief here; I comment solely on the technique of tirade. And now the words of another poet come to mind:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Yes, what rough Dawkins, his hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? :-))