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Quotes

Richard Dawkins Quotes Collection

Richard Dawkins Quotes Collection

  1. I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

 

  1. By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.

 

  1. Isn’t it a remarkable coincidence that almost everyone has the same religion as their parents? And it always just happens to be the right religion.

 

  1. Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.

 

  1. Anybody who has something sensible or worthwhile to say should be able to say it calmly and soberly, relying on the words themselves to convey his meaning, without resorting to yelling.

 

  1. Don’t kid yourself that you’re going to live again after you’re dead; you’re not. Make the most of the one life you’ve got. Live it to the full.

 

  1. Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.

 

  1. Coming out as an atheist can cost an academic his or her job in some parts of America, and many choose to keep quiet about their atheism.

 

  1. My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.

 

  1. We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can’t disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

 

  1. Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

 

  1. It’s a horrible idea that God, this paragon of wisdom and knowledge, power, couldn’t think of a better way to forgive us our sins than to come down to Earth in his alter ego as his son and have himself hideously tortured and executed so that he could forgive himself.

 

  1. Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private ‘revelation’.

 

  1. If something is true, no amount of wishful thinking will change it.

 

  1. A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence.

 

  1. I’m sure Obama is an atheist; I’m sure Kennedy was an atheist, but I doubt if Pope Frank is.

 

  1. Nothing is wrong with peace and love. It is all the more regrettable that so many of Christ’s followers seem to disagree.

 

  1. We’ve all been brought up with the view that religion has some kind of special privileged status. You’re not allowed to criticise it.

 

  1. Rather than say he’s an atheist, a friend of mine says, ‘I’m a tooth fairy agnostic,’ meaning he can’t disprove God but thinks God is about as likely as the tooth fairy.

 

  1. Christopher Hitchens was a great warrior, a magnificent orator, a pugilist and a gentleman. He was kind, but he took no prisoners when arguing with idiots.

 

  1. We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

 

  1. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

 

  1. I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organised ignorance.

 

  1. Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm? September 11th changed all that.

 

  1. Darwin gives courage to the rest of science that we shall end up understanding literally everything, springing from almost nothing – a thought extremely hard to comprehend and believe.

 

  1. How can you take seriously someone who likes to believe something because he finds it ‘comforting’?

 

  1. If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.

 

  1. Do you advocate the Ten Commandments as a guide to the good life? Then I can only presume that you don’t know the Ten Commandments.

 

  1. Einstein was adamant in rejecting all ideas of a personal god.

 

  1. If you look up at the Milky Way through the eyes of Carl Sagan, you get a feeling in your chest of something greater than yourself. And it is. But it’s not supernatural.

 

  1. All the fossils that we have ever found have always been found in the appropriate place in the time sequence. There are no fossils in the wrong place.

 

  1. ‘What is the purpose of the universe?’ is a silly question.

 

  1. Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility.

 

  1. To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used.

 

  1. It is immoral to brand children with religion. ‘This is a Catholic child.’ ‘That is a Muslim child.’ I want everyone to flinch when they hear such a phrase, just as they would if they heard, ‘That is a Marxist child.’

 

  1. Just as I wouldn’t expect a gynecologist to have a debate with somebody who believes in the Stork-theory of reproduction, I won’t do debates with Young Earth creationists.

 

  1. The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

 

  1. A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents. This latter nomenclature, by the way, would be an excellent piece of consciousness-raising for the children themselves. A child who is told she is a ‘child of Muslim parents’ will immediately realize that religion is something for her to choose -or reject- when she becomes old enough to do so.

 

  1. Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.

 

  1. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.

 

  1. Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.

 

  1. To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.

 

  1. Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

 

  1. Science is the poetry of reality.

 

  1. Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional “next world” is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them.

 

  1. The majority of children born into the world tend to inherit the beliefs of their parents, and that to me is one of the most regrettable facts of them all.

 

  1. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal’s wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?

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