Uncontroversial logic 1

January 20, 2006

Why should the views of Richard Dawkins on religion be "controversial" and raise an eyebrow when considered alongside other (by inference, non-controversial) religious views (People, January 13)?

Depending on one's allegiance, these variously contend that the world was made in seven days by an omnipotent power; the mind/soul survives the death of the brain; children should be taught unsubstantiated and often divisive "faith" in state-funded schools; disobeying the wishes of (your version of) God leads to burning for eternity in Hell; religious dogma can justify violence; diseases in children are a result of misdemeanours in a past life, or insufficient faith on the part of their parents, or at least the "mysterious" hand of God; and so on.

That the logical conclusions drawn by Dawkins from Darwinian evolution should be deemed controversial in a higher education publication attests to the infection of the human mind by these pre/proto-scientific notions.

Philip J. Corr
Professor of psychology
University of Wales, Swansea

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