Richard Dawkins and the Dalai Lama are both wrong about religion

The Dalai Lama … told his Facebook friends that religion is no longer ‚adequate to the task‘. Photograph: Ashwini Bhatia/AP

The new individualistic ideology justifies itself as more rational – but is as concerned with power relations as Christendom was

Von Andrew BrownAndrewBrown’s Blog

The Dalai Lama and Richard Dawkins may not have much in common – one is a world-renowned spiritual leader and the other a Tibetan monk – but both of them seem to think we can manage in a world without religion.

The Dalai Lama has told his Facebook friends that we need to think about spirituality and ethics and that religion is no longer „adequate“ to the task. Dawkins has been known to put the same point with even more enthusiasm.

I was listening to him debating with Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi, in Manchester last night, and he closed the evening with the thought that we needed to put something in place of religion. I’ll come back later to the question of whether this is possible. The first remarkable point is that we all know what they mean. What, after all, is religion made from, if not ethics and spirituality? How can you mix them and get something that isn’t a religion?