Dawkins Interview with Jeremy Paxman

My copy of The God Delusion is in transit from Amazon, and I expect that many of my readers are in similar circumstances. While we all wait, there’s a video on YouTube of Jeremy Paxman interviewing Richard Dawkins about the book.

Interestingly, I find it very difficult to tell what Paxman’s own beliefs might be. He doesn’t go easy, but neither does he appear to simply feed Dawkins the questions he most happily address. I suppose that can stand as a testament to his journalistic integrity, something that begins to stand out for me as I see more videos of American interviews. Dawkins makes a typically sturdy defence of his position. Not terribly surprising given the strength of the position he’s defending.

Paxman gives some time to the question of whether the sense of worth and happiness that many people derive from their faith should be ignored. Dawkins, quite rightly in my view, maintains not only that that question has no bearing on the truthfulness of religious claims—which is inarguable—but also that to him truth is more valuable and more desirable than comfortable ignorance.

A brief TV interview obviously can not address the entire topic of the veracity of religion. I doubt even that a whole book can make a serious dent in the subject, vast as it is. But Dawkins is most certainly the person I would favour in framing our side of the argument, and I look forward to reading what will be his first book solely dedicated to the subject.