Richard Dawkins Book Tour - Tomcat at Randolph Macon Women's College, Lynchburg, VA
RICHARD DAWKINS BOOK TOUR - Tomcat at Randolph Macon Women's College, Lynchburg, VA
This stop for Dawkins is a special one, in that Lynchburg is home to Liberty University. Jerry Falwell's pet project. Seated in Appalacia, Lynchburg in the fall is beautiful. Trees changing color on the highway there set me in the mood for what was sure to be a majestic evening. I pull into town, but I immediately find that I had taken the wrong exit and I was lost. I pull into a Family Dollar to ask for directions (you know, one of those "Everything's a dollar" stores). The clerk had no idea how to get to Randolph Macon, so he yells to the whole store asking if someone knows. Some random lady says it's 15 minutes away, and I can follow her in her car to the place! Southern Hospitality. Gotta love it. So I get there early like I wanted to, and grab my (free) ticket. I got stuck up on the balcony, even though there were hardly any other people there! What a rip! Anyways, I couldn't lose focus: I had come to ask a question. That was my mission.
Dawkins begins the lecture with readings from "The God Delusion," which I have separated by chapter. This was the more boring part of the lecture as he was reading straight from the book. Hearing Dawkins read is a treat though, it's like listening to Masterpiece Theater. In the middle of the recording, I get up to explore around some more after deciding it was boring to just sit there and hear him read the book. There is an incredible event caught on tape you do not want to miss!
Chapter 1 - A Deeply Religious Non-Believer
2:30 - Not my cellphone
Chapter 2 - The God Hypothesis
I Leave My Seat
At this point I had gotten bored and decided to leave the auditorium to have a look around. The seats were cramped and I had to akwardly crawl over some people. Dawkins aparently took notice, because as I'm finally about to exit out, he cracks a joke about himself keeping tally of the people leaving, and that he must be doing well because only 3 or 4 had left! As I heard this I looked back into the auditorium, and plenty of people were looking back at me and chuckling. I comment on the audio about that as I head down the stairs to the main floor. Suddenly, I hear what sounds like a sob. I look up to find two girls, one sitting on the floor, with the other in her arms. The one being cradled is weeping. Sobbing. I freeze. She is saying softly, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." After a moment, the thought hits me: apostasy? Is she renouncing her faith? I suddenly come to my senses and decided to walk away, give them some space.
Things were just beginning to get intense...
Chapter 7 - The "Good" Book and the Changing Moral Zeitgeist
The recording jumps in on page 243, and is much clearer. I had found out they had a screen downstairs with speakers broadcasting the speech live, and it is considerably louder. I comment on the girl from the last recording, and I voice my bordeom with reading straight from the book. All I had on my mind was asking my question!
Chapter 7 continued - The Burka
Dawkins had just announced that he was skipping around again before this clip begins, and I take that as my que to get back upstairs to the main floor so I can get ready to jump into the question line ASAP. Only problem was I had discovered earlier that the doors had been locked. Bastards! Amazingly though, as soon as I climbed the last step, someone from inside opens the door and walks out. I slip in behind them as the door closes. I was in!
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The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...