The Enlightenment had firmly put reason on pedestal and faith had abdicated the position it had held for centuries. Darwin’s theory of evolution had convincingly debunked the various creationist myths. Absorbing the impressions, as if by a process of osmosis, writers and men of letters like Voltaire, Dostoevsky etc, proclaimed my death! Not many mourned it but some of my children like Dostoevsky rued it for purely pragmatic reasons .He feared moral anarchy. "Since God is dead everything is permissible". Voltaire insisted that a God had to be resurrected, I did not plead for it. Now you would see that he is flogging a dead horse for the fun of it, out of sheer meanness and spite. I was happy with my situation - suspended between being and nothingness. But intellectual quarrels are what sustain Dawkins and he would not only shame his adversary to the roots of his intelligence, he would ram his own point of view as the universal rule of perception. Malvolio, though not as brainy as Dawkins even though he rarely strayed into sobriety, made a very valid point. "Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shalt not be any more cakes and ales."
But Dawkins will have none of it. Now he struts into areas like theology and philosophy wearing his plumes of different feather. Terry Eagleton - I simply adore him for his linguistic quibbling, and his capacity to mass-produce theories, informs me that Dawkins has not changed one bit.
"Imagine someone holding forth on biology" he says of God Delusion, "whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology." Or for that matter I should add philosophy.
But now I must address the cruelest charge that my beloved child Dawkins has made against me – that I have incited people to murder and mayhem. To this I can only say alas! If only he could care to read what I have said in several languages and different cultural contexts. I have never been able to fathom why the sins of fanaticism, which is a form of cultivated blindness, are laid at my door. The countless millions murdered in Communist Russia and China as a burnt offering to the God of Marxism, we will go no further in the past; genocidal crimes of capitalism, the blood shedding in the two wars, the mass killings by the proponents of terror and counter terror, I would rather not be dragged in the old debate, you know them all.