If I subscribed to the Western take on reincarnation -- wherein the deceased invariably return to Earth as more spiritually enriched beings than their previous selves -- I'd love to think I'd died and been re-born in Nairobi during World War II as Richard Dawkins, the renowned evolutionary biologist and secular humanist who has long been celebrated (or reviled, depending on your view) for his inviolably matter-of-fact smackdowns of Godidiots of all classifications. His first book, The Selfish Gene, was a bestseller that riled up scientists and moonbats alike and is worth a read by anyone with a yen for scientific literature with a philosphical angle, although being a math geek is a near-prerequisite for fully appreciating some sections.

Therefore, it's no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this Dawkins interview on Slate.com. In this exchange, Dawkins says nothing novel or brilliant (though he is a man with rare intellectual gifts) and offers little that hasn't been said by atheists already; however, his high profile combined with his apparent ability to detach his musings -- however firm and bombastic -- from his emotions when exploring the ills of "organized" religion is what sets him apart. Be it primarily through style or through substance, Dawkins makes it painfully evident how far down the sense and reason scales American society has slipped, but offers hope in the form of urgent, wholesome appeals to his readers and listeners, imploring all of us to fully enjoy the one life each of us has and to not use our brains to engage in superstitious, hate-mongering tomfuckery.

Given the psychology of religious fundamentalists, it's unlikely that even the most compelling arguments from Dawkins and others will ever reach the already stricken, but any and all broad-based efforts to discourage the widespread ino皜ulation of children with faith byrus are certainly worth supporting.


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