Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Interrogating The God Delusion By Richard Dawkins
Upon my second reading of The God Delusion I was struck by the awkward way in which Dawkins spoke about consciousness raising. To Dawkin's the path to a raised consciousness sought to be a pursuit of learning/critical thinking, adoption of evolution, and a personal capacity to come out of the atheist closet. On the surface this form of consciousness may not seem particularly difficult to digest. Yet, the subtext is individualistic in nature. Learning is great, but of what use is it in a wholly personal context.
Let's think back to the great Paulo Freire and oppose raised consciousness to critical consciousness. The primary difference is the inclusion of the social in the latter. Critical consciousness is created cultural dynamic which seeks to bring people together in order to take a real look at the world, learn from it, and change it. Dawkin's 'raised consciousness' on the other hand is a kind of cultural capital leveling. The idea being to conform to a set of accepted ideas in order raise yourself to the level of a atheist-evolutionist. Freire argued
The problem here, of course, is that while Dawkin's promoting a secularist and evolutionary perspective he is pushing the same path to consciousness as his enemy; conformity.