Subsequently, however, it appears to have undergone a touch of the Alastair Campbells: it is now called the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
There is a big difference. Firstly, reason is not the same thing as rationalism; as Alister McGrath points out,
Reason is the basic human faculty for thinking, based on argument and evidence. It is theologically neutral and poses no threat to faith - unless it is regarded as the only source of knowledge about God. It then becomes rationalism, which is an exclusive reliance on human reason alone and a refusal to allow any weight to be given to divine revelation [...] thus immediately locking theology into the fallen human situation, with no possibility of being extricated from our confusion and distortion by God himself.Now, I can hear atheists saying "hear hear", but that's not the point. The point is it is perfectly possible to be reasonable while recognising the limits of reason:
The Enlightenment criticized Christianity for basing itself on the person of Jesus Christ rather than on the permanent, universal, unshakeable foundations of reason. Yet it is now generally conceded that no such unshakeable and universal foundations actually exist.*Secondly, as - as I documented in my last post - people seem to be recognising, "unthinkingly" associating reason with science (and, in any case, what Dawkins actually means is scientism) and regarding their combination as the be-all-and-end-all is an attitude which has got us nowhere very quickly except into the arms of bland consumerism and all-conquering self-interest.
I note in passing that what the Bishop of Oxford is doing on this site is probably a textbook example of what Denyse O'Leary has called "selling out to materialism".
Anyway, the Foundation doesn't have charitable status as of yet.
*Alister E. McGrath, 'Intellectuals Don't Need God' and Other Modern Myths, Zondervan (1993), pp147-155