By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 02 January 2007 2127 hrs
Selected Extracts from Inter-faith dialogue important way to root out prejudices: PM Lee
SINGAPORE: Inter-faith dialogue is an important way to root out prejudices in a multi-religious society, especially so now, when extremist groups are taking every opportunity to build hatred between different communities.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made these points at an inter-faith gathering.
"To root out the stereotypes and prejudices that form the fault-lines in a multi-religious society, it is crucial to have a process of dialogue and engagement. Such dialogue is not aimed at achieving agreement, but at building a relationship," said Mr Lee.
"In a troubled world, we have made ourselves an oasis where we can live in peace and harmony together. What we have achieved, very few others have done. We must treasure this and do our best to keep it this way. Every religious group will be protected and assured of fair treatment, but no group should press its claims too hard to the exclusion of the others. This is the accommodation that we have come to accept in Singapore," said Mr Lee.
Mr Lee was speaking before a gathering of some 2,000 people of different faiths from Singapore and around the world. - CNA /dt
Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explains why God is a delusion, religion is a virus, and America has slipped back into the Dark Ages.
By Gordy Slack
Richard Dawkins is the world's most famous out-of-the-closet living atheist. He is also the world's most controversial evolutionary biologist. Publication of his 1976 book, "The Selfish Gene," thrust Dawkins into the limelight as the handsome, irascible, human face of scientific reductionism. The book provoked everything from outrage to glee by arguing that natural selection worked its creative powers only through genes, not species or individuals. Humans are merely "gene survival machines," he asserted in the book.
Dawkins stuck to his theme but expanded his territory in such subsequent books as "The Blind Watchmaker," "Unweaving the Rainbow" and "Climbing Mount Improbable." His recent work, "The Ancestor's Tale," traces human lineage back through time, stopping to ponder important forks in the evolutionary road.
Given his outspoken defense of Darwin, and natural selection as the force of life, Dawkins has assumed a new role: the religious right's Public Enemy No. 1. Yet Dawkins doesn't shy from controversy, nor does he suffer fools gladly. He recently met a minister who was on the opposite side of a British political debate. When the minister put out his hand, Dawkins kept his hands at his side and said, "You, sir, are an ignorant bigot."
The God Delusion - The Documentary
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,
Richard Dawkins - The Interview on The BBC
Paxman interviews Dawkins about his new book about the delusions of religion on Newsnight.
Or is Lee celebrating the suspension of critical thoughts, scepticism and the acceptance of the Root of all Evil?