Richard Dawkins Quotes

Quotes tagged as "richard-dawkins" Showing 1-27 of 27
Richard Dawkins
“Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.”
Richard Dawkins

Bill  Gates
“I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill.”
Bill Gates

Christopher Hitchens
“Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.

Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person.

Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either.

It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy.

And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.”
Christopher Hitchens

Richard Dawkins
“Science replaces private prejudice with public, verifiable evidence.”
Richard Dawkins

John C. Lennox
“Richard Dawkins regards faith as an evil to be eliminated; he takes all religious faith to be blind faith. (Dawkins says) ‘Scientific belief is based on publicly checkable evidence, religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its joy, shouted from the rooftops.’ However, taking Dawkins own advice we ask: where is the evidence that religious faith is not based on evidence? Mainstream Christianity will insist that faith and evidence are inseparable. Indeed, faith is a response to evidence, not a rejoicing in the absence of evidence. The apostle Paul says what many pioneers of modern science believed, that nature itself is part of the evidence for the existence of God ,‘ Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. So that men are without an excuse.’ Dawkins’ definition of faith turns out to be the direct opposite of the biblical one. Curious that he does not seem to be aware of the discrepancy.”
John Lennox

Jeffrey Tayler
“I’ve often wondered how the term “'New Atheism”' gained such currency. It is a misnomer. There is nothing new about nonbelief. All of us, without exception, are born knowing nothing of God or gods, and acquire notions of religion solely through interaction with others – or, most often, indoctrination by others, an indoctrination usually commencing well before we can reason. Our primal state is, thus, one of nonbelief. The New Atheists (most prominently Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens) have, in essence, done nothing more than try to bring us back to our senses, to return us to a pure and innate mental clarity.”
Jeffrey Tayler

“John Hodgson can describe Richard Dawkins's atheism as vacuous only because 'atheist' is a term which non-believers use purely as a polemical convenience when we have to define concisely what we don't believe [...]. No atheist is principally that. What we'd want to call ourselves is humanist or materialist, or biologist or linguist, or for that matter socialist, because one or more of these, or something else again, is what we do and think and are. We have 'purely and simply finished with God', to adapt a phrase of Engels's.”
David Craig

Richard Dawkins
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”
Richard Dawkins

“The problem with ID, of course, is that it leaves open the possibility that the intelligence behind nature may have a moral interest in us, having communicated already with humanity in the past, and might try to boss you around in your private affairs.

With hypothetical advanced aliens residing at a safely distant address in the hypothetical multiverse, that is - to the relief of folks like Gribbin, Dawkins and the New Scientist - manifestly not the case.”
David Klinghoffer

“There is yet another class that, having found that their own religion not only prevents free thinking but that some of its philosophies are also against some basic social, economic and scientific concepts of life as required by the progressive society, comes to the illogical conclusion that all religions similarly thwart the growth of progressive societies... Such people fall easy prey to materialism and denounce all religions without having any definite idea of any religion at all.”
Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin, A Comparative Study of the Religions of Today

Ernst W. Mayr
“The funny thing is if in England, you ask a man in the street who the greatest living Darwinian is, he will say Richard Dawkins. And indeed, Dawkins has done a marvelous job of popularizing Darwinism. But Dawkins' basic theory of the gene being the object of evolution is totally non-Darwinian.”
Ernst Mayr

Israel Morrow
“Sherrie described atheism as a positive system of belief—one based on data, exploration and observation rather than scripture, creed and prayer. Atheists believe that human life is a chemical phenomenon, that our first parents were super-novas that happened billions of years ago—that humans are inexplicable miracles in a universe of structured chaos. Atheists believe that when we die, we will turn into organic debris which will continue cycling for billions of years in various incarnations.
Sherrie explained that atheists appreciate life unfathomably because it is going to end. No one who takes atheism seriously dies without hope.”
Israel Morrow, Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion

Richard E. Leakey
“I simply would not accede to being forced into this, and would frequently be kept out of classes because of irreverent comments and mocking this religious stuff. Frankly, it stayed with me to this day. In fact, don't get me going. I'm almost as bad as Richard Dawkins on this issue.”
Richard E. Leakey

Maarten Boudry
“Who gave the decisive deathblow to the argument from design on the basis of biological complexity? Both philosophers and biologists are divided on this point (Oppy 1996; Dawkins 1986; Sober 2008). Some have claimed that the biological design argument did not falter until Darwin provided a proper naturalistic explanation for adaptive complexity; others maintain that David Hume had already shattered the argument to pieces by sheer logical force several decades earlier, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Hume 2007 [1779]). Elliott Sober has been among the philosophers who maintain that, as Hume was not in a position to offer a serious alternative explanation of adaptive complexity, it is hardly surprising that 'intelligent people strongly favored the design hypothesis' (Sober 2000, 36). In his most recent book, however, Sober (2008) carefully develops what he thinks is the most charitable reconstruction of the design argument, and proceeds to show why it is defective for intrinsic reasons (for earlier version of this argument, see Sober 1999, 2002). Sober argues that the design argument can be rejected even without the need to consider alternative explanations for adaptive complexity (Sober 2008, 126): 'To see why the design argument is defective, there is no need to have a view as to whether Darwin’s theory of evolution is true' (Sober 2008, 154).”
Maarten Boudry

R. Alan Woods
“Mr. Dawkins' assertions are self-refuting- ie. Actual infinity vs. potential infinity easily makes the most reasonable argument for theism and a Deity. Now, the argument for the Creator God of Christianity requires much more time, energy, and logical effort."


~R. Alan Woods [2007]”
R. Alan Woods, The Journey Is the Destination: A Book of Quotes With Commentaries

Diogenes of Mayberry
“Linda continued stubbornly, “Evolution can’t be true, because if humans evolved from apes, then why are there still apes?”

“Frankly, Linda, it is exactly that kind of bone-headed statement that demonstrates a complete ignorance of evolutionary processes by the staggeringly misinformed. Humans did not descend from apes, humans and apes shared a common ancestor millions of years ago. Humans and apes are distant cousins, with chimpanzees as our closest cousins sharing roughly ninety-eight percent of our genome, who together share an even earlier common ancestor with gorillas.”

“I am not descended from a monkey,” Linda stated hotly. “Humans are created in the image of God and appeared on Earth in our present form. We did not evolve from pond scum!”

“You are free to believe that and persist in your ignorance, but as the renowned evolutionary biologist and zoologist, Richard Dawkins, wrote in A Devil’s Chaplain—”

“Aha!” Linda burst out, “there you go, admitting it’s the work of the devil.”
Diogenes of Mayberry, Manifest Insanity, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Think for Myself

Michael Ruse
“The New Atheists believe that science replaces the claims about the world that religion makes — and therefore makes religion redundant. Some of them think that a whole new moral system should be based on science. That’s sounding more and more like religion itself to me. But the other unsettling way in which Humanism imitates religion — and perhaps the most notable one in the case of the New Atheists — is its claim that people who do not share its beliefs are not only mistaken but also deluded and perhaps even evil. The line I quoted above about opposition to evolution being a sign of insanity and possibly wickedness comes, of course, from Richard Dawkins.
[Curb your enthusiasm]”
Michael Ruse

“Professor Dawkins himself stated that “Religion is about turning untested belief, into unshakable truth through the power of institutions, and the passage of time.” This is exactly what is happening with his meme conjecture. He is taking an untestable idea, by scientific standards, and through media and literature and a popular cult following, creating it into a social norm of truth where others believe his idea and propagate it as an unshakeable truth. This also is occurring faster because of computer technology in time. But nonetheless, it is an occurrence within a passage of time.”
Idav Kelly, The Leprechaun Delusion

Michael Ruse
“So, if someone like Richard Dawkins indignantly protests that his passion about these sorts of things -- the passion that drives the "God Delusion" -- should not be taken as a religious passion, I am happy to accept that. I do nevertheless think that often Dawkins and company show the sociological characteristics of the religious. This comes across particularly in what Freud calls the narcissism of small differences, the hatred of those who are close to them but not quite close enough. Just as evangelicals can differ bitterly over the true meaning of the host, so the New Atheists loathe people like me who (like them) have no religious belief but who think that science as such does not refute religion.
[Is Darwinism a Religion? - Michael Ruse]”
Michael Ruse

Michael Ruse
“And yet I, and others of my ilk, am reviled in terms far harsher than those kept for the real opponents like the Creationists. We are labelled ‘accommodationists’ for our willingness to give religion a space not occupied by science. We are put down in terms that denote powerful emotion, way beyond reason. In The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, I am likened to Neville Chamberlain, the pusillanimous appeaser of Hitler. Jerry Coyne, the author of both the book and the blog Why Evolution is True and an ardent fan of Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, wrote about one of my books in terms used by George Orwell: ‘There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.’ The Minnesota biologist PZ Myers, who writes the blog Pharyngula, has referred to me as a ‘clueless gobshite’. And if I had a dollar for everyone who has made a pun out of my last name, I would be a very rich man. Because I will not toe the line absolutely or bow down in praise of Dawkins and company, because I laugh at their pretensions and positions, I am anathema maranatha.
[Curb your enthusiasm]”
Michael Ruse

Frithjof Schuon
“[...] let us note that a so-called "Sociobiologist" - this word is a whole project by itself - pushed the ingeniosity to the point of replacing matter by "genes", whose egoist selfishness, combined with ant and bee instincts, would have managed to constitute not only bodies but also conscience and at the end, human intelligence, miraculously able to dissert on the genes that amusingly created it.”
Frithjof Schuon, From The Divine To The Human: Survey Of Metaphysics And Epistemology

“There is I believe the imperative necessity that understanding myself is a prerequisite for even asking questions about consciousness and God. Understanding myself and understanding God is one question. Any discussion on the existence of something including my existence or the existence of God that bypasses the ancient question of what being self is, is nebulous. (Deus Absconditus - The Hidden God)”
Michael M Nikoletseas

Michael M. Nikoletseas
“Knowledge of the mechanisms of the brain as an instrument
all the way down the reductionistic range is useful not only
in implementing applications, but also most importantly in
the evolution of new, more parsimonious concepts. It is
evident that success of a particular search depends entirely
on our understanding of our tools, mechanical and cognitive.
God will remain hidden as long as we eschew this
requirement.
(Deus Absconditus - The Hidden God)”
Michael M. Nikoletseas, Deus Absconditus - The Hidden God

“understanding God rationally would entail distancing from experiencing God, the magnitude of this estrangement positively correlating with the degree of progress in science at a given time."
(Deus Absconditus - The Hidden God)”
Michael M Nikoletseas

Salman Ahmed Shaikh
“Prof. Richard Dawkins titles his book “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution”. But, it could only potentially explain how the show runs and it cannot explain that who directed it, produced it and is administering it if the show is still live.”
Salman Ahmed Shaikh, Reflections on the Origins in the Post COVID-19 World

Salman Ahmed Shaikh
“Prof. Richard Dawkins once said “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further”. It is a casual remark to think about theistic beliefs. We also believe in no more than one Prof. Richard Dawkins and it still proves that Prof. Richard Dawkins exist.”
Salman Ahmed Shaikh, Reflections on the Origins in the Post COVID-19 World

Salman Ahmed Shaikh
“Prof. Richard Dawkins once said “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further99”. It is a casual remark to think about theistic beliefs. We also believe in no more than one Prof. Richard Dawkins and it still proves that Prof. Richard Dawkins exist. Anthony Kenny gives response to such naïve assertion as follows: “Many different definitions may be offered of the word 'God'. Given this fact, atheism makes a much stronger claim than theism does. The atheist says that no matter what definition you choose, 'God exists' is always false. The theist only claims that there is some definition which will make 'God exists' true.”
Salman Ahmed Shaikh, Reflections on the Origins in the Post COVID-19 World