If you, like myself, are interested in questions about science, religion, and evolution you have probably heard of Richard Dawkins (see picture). Following, his recent book, The God Delusion, he has answered a few questions from the readers. Find all the questions and answers here. Below is his response to people who claim that he is a fanatic... This post is more or less a plagiarism of Felicia Giljam's most recent post on her blog.
What is there to distinguish your intolerance from that of a religious fanatic?
Dawkins answer: It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have. I merely give robust expression to views about the cosmos and morality with which you happen to disagree. You interpret that as 'intolerance' because of the weirdly privileged status of religion, which expects to get a free ride and not have to defend itself. If I wrote a book called The Socialist Delusion or The Monetarist Delusion, you would never use a word like intolerance. But The God Delusion sounds automatically intolerant. Why? What's the difference?
I have a (you might say fanatical) desire for people to use their own minds and make their own choices, based upon publicly available evidence. Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private 'revelation'. There is a huge difference.