COMMENTATOR and (‘compassionate’?) humanist Malachi O’Doherty has found himself the target of Belfast’s ‘fundamentalist’ humanists and hardline atheists. O’Doherty has had the temerity to suggest that not only is Richard Dawkins “a prat”, but that
some religions are better than others; that there is diveristy and much to be fascinated by in the history of religion; that religion is human and that you can not be a humanist without caring to understand religious motivations – given that religion is not a fringe lunacy in human culture but has been, for probably ten thousand years and more, practically all of it.
O’Doherty’s refusal to be dismissive of believers and sneer at religion, and the lack of empathy in hardline humanism seems to have resulted in the new atheists’ loss of, he argues, their own humanity. In his signoff, O’Doherty calls for humility, not arrogance, in those who reject religion – “let’s give the fundamentalists a hard time and be wary of flattering them with imitation”.