Leon Wieseltier writes a brilliant review of Daniel Dennetts attempt to reduce religion to biology. There are so many good zingers that I dont know which to single out.
O.K., heres one:
So all of Dennetts splashy allegiance to evidence and experiment and "generating further testable hypotheses" notwithstanding, what he has written is just an extravagant speculation based upon his hope for what is the case, a pious account of his own atheistic longing.
Wieseltier himself is a rationalist, but one who recognizes that its self-grounding character might be problematical. Dennett. on the other hand, is, by Wieseltiers lights, no rationalist at all:
It will be plain that Dennetts approach to religion is contrived to evade religions substance. He thinks that an inquiry into belief is made superfluous by an inquiry into the belief in belief. This is a very revealing mistake. You cannot disprove a belief unless you disprove its content. If you believe that you can disprove it any other way, by describing its origins or by describing its consequences, then you do not believe in reason. In this profound sense, Dennett does not believe in reason.