“The time has come for people of reason to say: enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, it’s divisive, and it’s dangerous.” Richard Dawkins made this statement in his 2-part documentary entitled, “The Root of All Evil?”
Apply the power of Google if you want to find out more about Dawkins and his documentary. My intent here is to look further into the question about what is the root of all evil. Is it religion, as Dawkins professes, or something else?
It’s actually quit simple to disprove Dawkins. Just look at the amount of evil conducted NOT in the name of religion. The murderer who knows nothing of God or religion – just one such example breaks down Dawkins’ assertions.
Yet history is indeed full of evil conducted in the name of some religion. It’s happening all around us, everyday. So what does all evil have in common; both religiously motivated evil, and evil of other motivations?
Are you ready? The root of evil is not religion, or secularism, or even money. The root of all evil is pride.
What motivates the parent to abuse their child? A need to exert power, to exercise authority, to appear in control, ego, selfishness… pride. What motivates the dictator to murder his own people? The answer’s the same.
Why does the religious extremist set off a car bomb in a crowded marketplace? Because they are not willing to allow others to be different from them – agree with them or die. I’ve greatly simplified the issue here, for the sake of brevity. But it all boils down to selfish pride; if you don’t agree with me, you must be WRONG. The only difference between the extremists and most of the rest of us is that they assign a much more severe punishment for being “wrong”.
I could go through an exhaustive list of more examples, but I would rather invite you to come up with your own examples of evil acts. Look at each act and find the motivation. If you dig deep enough, in the bottom of that pit of evil you will find pride.
But to give Dawkins another chance, maybe religion is the root of pride? That could be possible. Using my religion of choice, let’s see what God and Jesus have to say about pride:
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Proverbs 8:13)
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10)
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart.” (Proverbs 16:5)
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
Dawkins believes getting rid of religion will get rid of evil. What do you believe? Be careful not to let pride, selfishness, or arrogance motivate your answer.