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Debating delusion : a critical interrogation of Richard Dawkins' New atheism

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Debating delusion : a critical interrogation of Richard Dawkins' New atheism

Pritchard, Gisèle Baril (2010) Debating delusion : a critical interrogation of Richard Dawkins' New atheism. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Throughout his career, Richard Dawkins has argued that religious faith is incommensurable with the evidence of Darwinian evolution (Dawkins 2006). In his widely popular book, The God Delusion , he cements his perspective on religion: not only is religious faith tantamount to delusion, but it is also dangerous. This thesis aims to render explicit the presuppositions informing Dawkins' work and the Enlightenment debates in which they are so deeply rooted. In particular, this thesis aims to elucidate the ideology and secular worldview, with its attendant critical conception of the religious and religious institutions, that inform Dawkins' conclusions in order to show that they are not simply the obvious product of rational reflection or scientifically informed common-sense, nor are they necessarily a universal interpretation of the immutable evidence of nature, as he seems to claim. This project will interrogate the certainty and authority with which Dawkins presents his view of science and religion, arguing that his "scientific" viewpoint is itself a worldview, it is also constructed, and it has a history and context, which Dawkins too readily glosses over. This thesis maintains the importance of such a critical examination given the serious moral implications of Dawkins' position. Dawkins' atheism entrenches the idea of an essential divide between scientific reason and religion that it presents as real, historical and natural; and it seeks not only to silence, but to eradicate any other perspectives, effectively rejecting and disregarding a huge segment of humanity and rendering untenable any possibility for inter-religious and pluralistic dialogue.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religions and Cultures
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Pritchard, Gisèle Baril
Pagination:v, 117 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Religion
Date:2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Daniel-Hughes, Carly
ID Code:979230
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:55
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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