Debate:Is 'Dawkins a fundamentalist?
I've recently heard claims that R.Dawkins is a fundamentalist.
I've heard claims that R.Dawkins is a clam person.
Answer: First I would like to differentiate between what most religious people mean when accusing atheists of "fundamentalism", and what I assume the person who asked this question meant.
2 definitions of "fundamentalism", as defined by the Webster English Dictionary:
(1) Fundamentalism: a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture. (2) Fundamentalism: strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.
This distinction is crucial to make. When people like Reza Alsan or Cenk Ugyur of the The Young Turks claim that people like Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins are "Fundamentalist in their atheism", they are blurring the line between these two definitions to imply that the New Atheism movement is dogmatic and unresponsive in the face of new evidence. This is, of course, untrue, and I think that somebody as intelligent and knowledgeable in the area of religion as Reza Aslan is knows this. To say that Richard Dawkins is a "fundamentalist atheist" is technically true, by the second definition of the word, but there is a reason that it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I think that this is because the word "fundamentalist" is generally defined using the first definition. Using the word to describe the New Atheists is intended to exploit the perception that "fundamentalist" anything is stubborn and myopic in it's nature, and therefore the word is used as a way to falsely equivocate fundamentalism of all types.
Conclusion: No, I would not describe Richard Dawkins as "fundamentalist" in his atheism, simply because the word is too often misunderstood to imply religious connotations, and may even be a way to present atheism as a religion (as I have often heard it compared to). Sam Harris says it best: We don't have non-astrologers. There is no non-astrologer movement. In the same way, it is not the belief in something that defines atheism, but rather the lack of belief in an unfounded ideology.