Militant atheism | Richard Dawkins

Militant atheism | Richard Dawkins

That splendid music, the coming-in music, “The Elephant March” from “Aida,”
is the music I’ve chosen for my funeral. (Laughter) And you can see why. It’s triumphal. I won’t feel anything, but if I could, I would feel triumphal
at having lived at all, and at having lived
on this splendid planet, and having been given
the opportunity to understand something about why I was here
in the first place, before not being here. Can you understand
my quaint English accent? (Laughter) Like everybody else, I was entranced
yesterday by the animal session. Robert Full and Frans Lanting and others; the beauty of the things that they showed. The only slight jarring note was when
Jeffrey Katzenberg said of the mustang, “the most splendid creatures
that God put on this earth.” Now of course, we know
that he didn’t really mean that, but in this country at the moment,
you can’t be too careful. (Laughter) I’m a biologist, and the central theorem
of our subject: the theory of design, Darwin’s theory of evolution
by natural selection. In professional circles everywhere,
it’s of course universally accepted. In non-professional circles
outside America, it’s largely ignored. But in non-professional
circles within America, it arouses so much hostility — (Laughter) it’s fair to say that American biologists
are in a state of war. The war is so worrying at present, with court cases coming
up in one state after another, that I felt I had to say
something about it. If you want to know what I have
to say about Darwinism itself, I’m afraid you’re going
to have to look at my books, which you won’t find
in the bookstore outside. (Laughter) Contemporary court cases often concern an allegedly
new version of creationism, called “Intelligent Design,” or ID. Don’t be fooled.
There’s nothing new about ID. It’s just creationism under another name, rechristened —
I choose the word advisedly — (Laughter) for tactical, political reasons. The arguments of so-called ID theorists are the same old arguments
that had been refuted again and again, since Darwin down to the present day. There is an effective evolution lobby coordinating the fight
on behalf of science, and I try to do all I can to help them, but they get quite upset
when people like me dare to mention that we happen to be atheists
as well as evolutionists. They see us as rocking the boat,
and you can understand why. Creationists, lacking any coherent
scientific argument for their case, fall back on the popular
phobia against atheism: Teach your children
evolution in biology class, and they’ll soon move on to drugs,
grand larceny and sexual “pre-version.” (Laughter) In fact, of course, educated
theologians from the Pope down are firm in their support of evolution. This book, “Finding
Darwin’s God,” by Kenneth Miller, is one of the most effective attacks
on Intelligent Design that I know and it’s all the more effective because
it’s written by a devout Christian. People like Kenneth Miller could be called
a “godsend” to the evolution lobby, (Laughter) because they expose the lie
that evolutionism is, as a matter of fact, tantamount to atheism. People like me, on the other
hand, rock the boat. But here, I want to say something
nice about creationists. It’s not a thing I often do,
so listen carefully. (Laughter) I think they’re right about one thing. I think they’re right that evolution is fundamentally hostile to religion. I’ve already said that many individual
evolutionists, like the Pope, are also religious, but I think
they’re deluding themselves. I believe a true
understanding of Darwinism is deeply corrosive to religious faith. Now, it may sound as though
I’m about to preach atheism, and I want to reassure you
that that’s not what I’m going to do. In an audience
as sophisticated as this one, that would be preaching to the choir. No, what I want to urge upon you — (Laughter) Instead, what I want to urge
upon you is militant atheism. (Laughter) (Applause) But that’s putting it too negatively. If I was a person who were interested
in preserving religious faith, I would be very afraid of the positive
power of evolutionary science, and indeed science generally,
but evolution in particular, to inspire and enthrall,
precisely because it is atheistic. Now, the difficult problem
for any theory of biological design is to explain the massive statistical
improbability of living things. Statistical improbability
in the direction of good design — “complexity” is another word for this. The standard creationist argument — there is only one;
they’re all reduced to this one — takes off from
a statistical improbability. Living creatures are too complex
to have come about by chance; therefore, they must have had a designer. This argument of course,
shoots itself in the foot. Any designer capable of designing
something really complex has to be even more complex himself, and that’s before we even start
on the other things he’s expected to do, like forgive sins, bless
marriages, listen to prayers — favor our side in a war — (Laughter) disapprove of our sex lives, and so on. (Laughter) Complexity is the problem
that any theory of biology has to solve, and you can’t solve it by postulating
an agent that is even more complex, thereby simply compounding the problem. Darwinian natural selection
is so stunningly elegant because it solves the problem
of explaining complexity in terms of nothing but simplicity. Essentially, it does it
by providing a smooth ramp of gradual, step-by-step increment. But here, I only want to make the point that the elegance of Darwinism
is corrosive to religion, precisely because it is so elegant,
so parsimonious, so powerful, so economically powerful. It has the sinewy economy
of a beautiful suspension bridge. The God theory is not just a bad theory. It turns out to be — in principle — incapable of doing the job required of it. So, returning to tactics
and the evolution lobby, I want to argue that rocking the boat may be just the right thing to do. My approach to attacking creationism is — unlike the evolution lobby — my approach to attacking creationism
is to attack religion as a whole. And at this point I need
to acknowledge the remarkable taboo against speaking ill of religion, and I’m going to do so in the words
of the late Douglas Adams, a dear friend who,
if he never came to TED, certainly should have been invited. (Richard Saul Wurman: He was.) Richard Dawkins: He was. Good.
I thought he must have been. He begins this speech,
which was tape recorded in Cambridge shortly before he died — he begins by explaining how science
works through the testing of hypotheses that are framed to be vulnerable
to disproof, and then he goes on. I quote, “Religion doesn’t
seem to work like that. It has certain ideas at the heart of it,
which we call ‘sacred’ or ‘holy.’ What it means is:
here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed
to say anything bad about. You’re just not. Why not?
Because you’re not.” (Laughter) “Why should it be
that it’s perfectly legitimate to support the Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows, but to have an opinion
about how the universe began, about who created the universe — no, that’s holy. So, we’re used to not
challenging religious ideas, and it’s very interesting how much
of a furor Richard creates when he does it.” — He meant me, not that one. “Everybody gets absolutely
frantic about it, because you’re not allowed
to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally, there’s no reason why those ideas shouldn’t be as open
to debate as any other, except that we’ve agreed
somehow between us that they shouldn’t be.” And that’s the end
of the quote from Douglas. In my view, not only is science
corrosive to religion; religion is corrosive to science. It teaches people
to be satisfied with trivial, supernatural non-explanations, and blinds them to the wonderful,
real explanations that we have within our grasp. It teaches them to accept
authority, revelation and faith, instead of always insisting on evidence. There’s Douglas Adams, magnificent picture
from his book, “Last Chance to See.” Now, there’s a typical scientific journal, The Quarterly Review of Biology. And I’m going to put
together, as guest editor, a special issue on the question,
“Did an asteroid kill the dinosaurs?” And the first paper
is a standard scientific paper, presenting evidence, “Iridium layer at the K-T boundary, and potassium argon dated
crater in Yucatan, indicate that an asteroid
killed the dinosaurs.” Perfectly ordinary scientific paper. Now, the next one. “The President of the Royal Society has been vouchsafed
a strong inner conviction that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.” (Laughter) “It has been privately
revealed to Professor Huxtane that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.” (Laughter) “Professor Hordley was brought up to have total and unquestioning faith” — (Laughter) — “that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.” “Professor Hawkins has
promulgated an official dogma binding on all loyal Hawkinsians that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.” (Laughter) That’s inconceivable, of course. But suppose — [Supporters of the Asteroid Theory
cannot be patriotic citizens] (Laughter) (Applause) In 1987, a reporter asked George Bush, Sr. whether he recognized
the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists. Mr. Bush’s reply has become infamous. “No, I don’t know that atheists
should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” Bush’s bigotry
was not an isolated mistake, blurted out in the heat
of the moment and later retracted. He stood by it in the face of repeated
calls for clarification or withdrawal. He really meant it. More to the point, he knew
it posed no threat to his election — quite the contrary. Democrats as well as Republicans
parade their religiousness if they want to get elected. Both parties invoke
“one nation under God.” What would Thomas Jefferson have said? [In every country and in every age,
the priest has been hostile to liberty] Incidentally, I’m not usually
very proud of being British, but you can’t help making the comparison. (Applause) In practice, what is an atheist? An atheist is just somebody
who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels
about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. As has been said before, we are
all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. (Laughter) (Applause) And however we define atheism,
it’s surely the kind of academic belief that a person is entitled
to hold without being vilified as an unpatriotic,
unelectable non-citizen. Nevertheless, it’s an undeniable fact
that to own up to being an atheist is tantamount to introducing yourself
as Mr. Hitler or Miss Beelzebub. And that all stems
from the perception of atheists as some kind of weird, way-out minority. Natalie Angier wrote a rather
sad piece in the New Yorker, saying how lonely she felt as an atheist. She clearly feels
in a beleaguered minority. But actually, how do American atheists
stack up numerically? The latest survey makes
surprisingly encouraging reading. Christianity, of course, takes a massive
lion’s share of the population, with nearly 160 million. But what would you think
was the second largest group, convincingly outnumbering Jews
with 2.8 million, Muslims at 1.1 million, Hindus, Buddhists and all other
religions put together? The second largest group,
with nearly 30 million, is the one described
as non-religious or secular. You can’t help wondering
why vote-seeking politicians are so proverbially overawed by the power
of, for example, the Jewish lobby — the state of Israel seems to owe its very
existence to the American Jewish vote — while at the same time, consigning the non-religious
to political oblivion. This secular non-religious vote,
if properly mobilized, is nine times as numerous
as the Jewish vote. Why does this far more
substantial minority not make a move to exercise
its political muscle? Well, so much for quantity.
How about quality? Is there any correlation,
positive or negative, between intelligence
and tendency to be religious? [Them folks misunderestimated me] (Laughter) The survey that I quoted,
which is the ARIS survey, didn’t break down its data
by socio-economic class or education, IQ or anything else. But a recent article by Paul G. Bell
in the Mensa magazine provides some straws in the wind. Mensa, as you know,
is an international organization for people with very high IQ. And from a meta-analysis
of the literature, Bell concludes that, I quote —
“Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship
between religious belief, and one’s intelligence
or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one’s intelligence
or educational level, the less one is likely to be religious.” Well, I haven’t seen
the original 42 studies, and I can’t comment on that meta-analysis, but I would like to see more
studies done along those lines. And I know that there are —
if I could put a little plug here — there are people in this audience easily capable of financing a massive
research survey to settle the question, and I put the suggestion up,
for what it’s worth. But let me know show you some data that have been properly
published and analyzed, on one special group —
namely, top scientists. In 1998, Larson and Witham
polled the cream of American scientists, those who’d been honored by election
to the National Academy of Sciences, and among this select group, belief in a personal God dropped
to a shattering seven percent. About 20 percent are agnostic;
the rest could fairly be called atheists. Similar figures obtained
for belief in personal immortality. Among biological scientists,
the figure is even lower: 5.5 percent, only, believe in God. Physical scientists, it’s 7.5 percent. I’ve not seen corresponding
figures for elite scholars in other fields,
such as history or philosophy, but I’d be surprised
if they were different. So, we’ve reached a truly
remarkable situation, a grotesque mismatch
between the American intelligentsia and the American electorate. A philosophical opinion
about the nature of the universe, which is held by the vast majority
of top American scientists and probably the majority
of the intelligentsia generally, is so abhorrent to the American electorate that no candidate for popular election
dare affirm it in public. If I’m right, this means that high office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very people
best qualified to hold it — the intelligentsia — unless they are prepared
to lie about their beliefs. To put it bluntly:
American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously
intelligent and honest. (Laughter) (Applause) I’m not a citizen of this country,
so I hope it won’t be thought unbecoming if I suggest that something
needs to be done. (Laughter) And I’ve already hinted
what that something is. From what I’ve seen of TED, I think this
may be the ideal place to launch it. Again, I fear it will cost money. We need a consciousness-raising, coming-out campaign for American atheists. (Laughter) This could be similar to the campaign
organized by homosexuals a few years ago, although heaven forbid
that we should stoop to public outing of people against their will. In most cases, people who out themselves will help to destroy the myth that
there is something wrong with atheists. On the contrary, they’ll demonstrate that atheists
are often the kinds of people who could serve as decent
role models for your children, the kinds of people an advertising agent
could use to recommend a product, the kinds of people
who are sitting in this room. There should be a snowball effect,
a positive feedback, such that the more names
we have, the more we get. There could be non-linearities,
threshold effects. When a critical mass has been obtained, there’s an abrupt
acceleration in recruitment. And again, it will need money. I suspect that the word “atheist” itself contains or remains a stumbling block far out of proportion
to what it actually means, and a stumbling block to people who otherwise might be
happy to out themselves. So, what other words might
be used to smooth the path, oil the wheels, sugar the pill? Darwin himself preferred “agnostic” — and not only out of loyalty
to his friend Huxley, who coined the term. Darwin said, “I have never been an atheist in the same sense of denying
the existence of a God. I think that generally an ‘agnostic’ would be the most correct
description of my state of mind.” He even became uncharacteristically
tetchy with Edward Aveling. Aveling was a militant atheist who failed to persuade Darwin to accept the dedication
of his book on atheism — incidentally, giving rise
to a fascinating myth that Karl Marx tried to dedicate
“Das Kapital” to Darwin, which he didn’t, it was
actually Edward Aveling. What happened was that Aveling’s
mistress was Marx’s daughter, and when both Darwin and Marx were dead, Marx’s papers became muddled
up with Aveling’s papers, and a letter from Darwin saying,
“My dear sir, thank you very much but I don’t want you
to dedicate your book to me,” was mistakenly supposed
to be addressed to Marx, and that gave rise to this whole
myth, which you’ve probably heard. It’s a sort of urban myth, that Marx
tried to dedicate “Kapital” to Darwin. Anyway, it was Aveling, and when
they met, Darwin challenged Aveling. “Why do you call yourselves atheists?” “‘Agnostic, ‘” retorted Aveling, “was
simply ‘atheist’ writ respectable, and ‘atheist’ was simply
‘agnostic’ writ aggressive.” Darwin complained, “But why
should you be so aggressive?” Darwin thought that atheism might be
well and good for the intelligentsia, but that ordinary people were
not, quote, “ripe for it.” Which is, of course, our old friend,
the “don’t rock the boat” argument. It’s not recorded whether Aveling told
Darwin to come down off his high horse. (Laughter) But in any case,
that was more than 100 years ago. You’d think we might have
grown up since then. Now, a friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew, who, incidentally, observes the Sabbath
for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself
as a “tooth-fairy agnostic.” He won’t call himself an atheist because it’s, in principle,
impossible to prove a negative, but “agnostic” on its own might
suggest that God’s existence was therefore on equal terms
of likelihood as his non-existence. So, my friend is strictly
agnostic about the tooth fairy, but it isn’t very likely, is it? Like God. Hence the phrase, “tooth-fairy agnostic.” Bertrand Russell made the same point using a hypothetical teapot
in orbit about Mars. You would strictly have to be agnostic about whether there is a teapot
in orbit about Mars, but that doesn’t mean you treat
the likelihood of its existence as on all fours with its non-existence. The list of things which we strictly
have to be agnostic about doesn’t stop at tooth fairies
and teapots; it’s infinite. If you want to believe
one particular one of them — unicorns or tooth fairies
or teapots or Yahweh — the onus is on you to say why. The onus is not on the rest
of us to say why not. We, who are atheists, are also a-fairyists and a-teapotists. (Laughter) But we don’t bother to say so. And this is why my friend
uses “tooth-fairy agnostic” as a label for what most people
would call atheist. Nonetheless, if we want to attract
deep-down atheists to come out publicly, we’re going to have find
something better to stick on our banner than “tooth-fairy” or “teapot agnostic.” So, how about “humanist”? This has the advantage of a worldwide
network of well-organized associations and journals and things already in place. My problem with it is only
its apparent anthropocentrism. One of the things
we’ve learned from Darwin is that the human species is only one among millions of cousins,
some close, some distant. And there are other possibilities,
like “naturalist,” but that also has problems of confusion, because Darwin would have
thought naturalist — “Naturalist” means, of course,
as opposed to “supernaturalist” — and it is used sometimes — Darwin would have been confused
by the other sense of “naturalist,” which he was, of course, and I suppose there might be others
who would confuse it with “nudism”. (Laughter) Such people might be those
belonging to the British lynch mob, which last year attacked a pediatrician
in mistake for a pedophile. (Laughter) I think the best of the available
alternatives for “atheist” is simply “non-theist.” It lacks the strong connotation
that there’s definitely no God, and it could therefore easily be embraced
by teapot or tooth-fairy agnostics. It’s completely compatible
with the God of the physicists. When atheists like Stephen Hawking
and Albert Einstein use the word “God,” they use it of course
as a metaphorical shorthand for that deep, mysterious part of physics
which we don’t yet understand. “Non-theist” will do for all that,
yet unlike “atheist,” it doesn’t have the same
phobic, hysterical responses. But I think, actually, the alternative is to grasp the nettle
of the word “atheism” itself, precisely because it is a taboo word, carrying frissons of hysterical phobia. Critical mass may be harder
to achieve with the word “atheist” than with the word “non-theist,” or some other non-confrontational word. But if we did achieve it
with that dread word “atheist” itself, the political impact
would be even greater. Now, I said that if I were religious,
I’d be very afraid of evolution — I’d go further: I would fear science
in general, if properly understood. And this is because
the scientific worldview is so much more exciting, more poetic, more filled with sheer wonder than anything in the poverty-stricken
arsenals of the religious imagination. As Carl Sagan, another recently
dead hero, put it, “How is it that hardly any major
religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This
is better than we thought! The universe is much bigger
than our prophet said, grander, more subtle, more elegant’? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god,
and I want him to stay that way.’ A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence
of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth
reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.” Now, this is an elite audience, and I would therefore expect
about 10 percent of you to be religious. Many of you probably subscribe
to our polite cultural belief that we should respect religion. But I also suspect
that a fair number of those secretly despise religion as much as I do. (Laughter) If you’re one of them, and of course
many of you may not be, but if you are one of them, I’m asking you to stop being polite, come out, and say so. And if you happen to be rich, give some thought to ways
in which you might make a difference. The religious lobby in this country is massively financed by foundations —
to say nothing of all the tax benefits — by foundations, such as the Templeton
Foundation and the Discovery Institute. We need an anti-Templeton to step forward. If my books sold as well
as Stephen Hawking’s books, instead of only as well as
Richard Dawkins’ books, I’d do it myself. People are always going on about,
“How did September the 11th change you?” Well, here’s how it changed me. Let’s all stop being so damned respectful. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Militant atheism | Richard Dawkins

  1. Guess who said, "We need militant atheists to take over this nation!" Vladimir Lenin, the communist leader of the Soviet Union, who then murdered 35 million people in the name of militant atheism. Has Dicky Dawkins failed to learn from history? Or is he planning another 35 million murders in the name of militant atheism in America?

  2. The Russians already went down this path to destruction after the Bolshevik revolution, when they let militant atheists take over their nation. The results were that 35 million Russians were murdered by the militant atheists who were followers of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. Learn from their fatal mistake and reject the homicidal atheists. They execute their own revolutionary followers first because they're afraid they will kill them for leadership positions!

  3. We should elect the most Intelligent person to the position not because of money religion, morality and or status

  4. Divine evolution?
    Evolution is the master plan for never ending divine creation.
    It is the perfect of system that only God could devise.
    Darwin a religious man seeking the answer to how God created "everything" and discovered the theory of eternal never ending creation aka "The Theory of Evolution".

  5. What are Richard Dawkins' actual accomplishments as a scientist? Please forgive me for saying this, but he's the Barack Hussein Obama of the world of science. Remember how after only a couple of weeks into his presidency Obama was selected for a Nobel Peace prize, without any basis in fact or reality? That's the same with Dawkins. Even atheists have shunned him because he's done so much harm to their cause.

  6. I have always mostly used the label agnostic myself, but consider myself a secular humanist because to me secularism is just putting religion aside. You can be religious privately, that is your own business, but when you are in a group or working collectively with others, of what ever belief, we get on common ground which is secular.

    I don't believe in the Bible. I don't believe in Jesus et el. as depicted in the Bible or Mohammad as depicted in other religious texts. I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny. I highly doubt religious divinity as a whole. I don't really think there is any being we can call god or the creator or whatever. I just know there is stuff I don't understand, there is stuff I don't know. I take agnostic to mean more like, I don't know, and I'm alright with that. If knowing is available to me, I'd like to know, but to admit that I don't know is ok with me.
    I am going to hold any religious or metaphysical like explanation as having little weight and not accept it as explanation because I don't need "an answer". I am more likely to give more weight to a scientific explanation, but still hold a skeptical posture. Generally find that to be the main difference between people who refer to themselves as agnostic and those who adamantly demand they be called atheist and others embrace atheism. The latter, although only slightly different has more of an air of aggressive arrogance about it. I get kind of repulsed by that. If it were more "a"theist or the absence of theism, like it should be, rather than anti-religion. I think it is the authoritarian anti-religious people that have poisoned the the atheist label.

    I am confused though. Am I a tooth-fairy agnostic. Does a tooth fairy agnostic hold out on the possibility of a tooth fairy? Or do they take an atheist like position on the tooth fairy?
    I'll have to go back and listen because that part was confusing for me on a quick listen.

  7. Evolution of some is a lie and it's fake no dog ever became a bird a cat never became a dog a species never changed into another species we have to prove everything 2 Dawkins but Dawkins has no proof he even mispronounced words to deceive people perversion he says free version which is where it all started from sexual perversion

  8. Dawkins can say whatever he wants to say anyway wants to say it but nobody else can say it only Dawkins only Dawkins has the right to say what he wants to say nobody else yet Dawkins doesn't have any proof he says he does but it's not proof it's not proven

  9. The problem for everyone who wants to apply logic and intelligence to the mystery of existence is that it presupposes that one of two things must be true: either something came from nothing or something always was. Neither proposition strikes most of us as particular logical, which may be why so many people posit the existence of a God or gods, of something mysterious beyond the realm of conventional logic.

  10. Something I noticed is as much as people will criticize someone for believing in god, is if the person changes their mind, the same people will criticize that person even MORE. Leaving a religion will not just cause religious people to hate you for leaving, but atheists to hate you for having believed in the past, causing you to be an outcast to just about everyone. It would be nice if more atheists were welcoming to People who are NEW to atheism.

  11. i think militant atheist does not represent the atheist movement at all. In fact activist atheist or debaters is more closer to a accurate description


  13. As much as I agree with him on militant atheism , creating a population of skeptics that question everything is politically dangerous . A dictatorship needs to be created to prevent the spread of religious cancer and to force humanity toward scientific and technological progress . Man must become God in his own image through science or we must go extinct . Death of humanity is preferable to its continuation with such ideas as religion . Death to God

  14. Left to themselves humanity will never do the right thing and improve. Only a technological dictatorship using education, social engineering and discipline can save society . Left to themselves ppl will embrace such nonsense as vegetarianism and gun control .

  15. Atheism and nihilism are the only reasonable options and all other spiritual and religious ideas must go. We must be militant and push and push

  16. I'm an Atheist, but i'm not militant about it.

    In my country your religious beliefs or non religious beliefs are a private matter that should never spill over into the public space or government, etc.

  17. On the other hand…
    Scientists searching for alternative, but still scientific explanations to why the dinosaurs went extinct, are being rigorously attacked, ridiculed and segregated by the proper scientific community for their audacity to speak up against the established scientific "dogmas".

    The idea behind science is exactly this; create theories and then try to prove them.
    But when an alternative idea is – instead of being investigated and, maybe in the end, proven wrong or whatever – just being discarded because it does not conform to current theories, we are back in the middle ages.
    Maybe that is why so many people go against the scholars who are sometimes seen as the arrogant high priests of modern religion.

    A good example could be the anti vaxers.

    I was brought up watching the mass vaccinations against – amongst others – the polio and I am not only convinced that vaccinations are probably the greatest gift to humanity. But when you question it you might hit this here scientific wall where any argument against MUST be annihilated ASAP.

    So idiotic anti vaxers gain terrain.

    Today we see Science with a capital "S" becoming the new religion and the scientists are our new high priests.
    This is probably the worst that could happen, simply because the average man on the street today can never get up to the level where he can actually debate and criticise. He hasn't got the time to really get into an issue and become able to make qualified, critical questionnaires to challenge what is being said.
    This way he will have to pick a side and depend on what he can find out there.

    Internet, fake news etc.

    Our man on the street who has to worry about down-to-earth problems in his day-to-day life turns on his internet or his TV and, depending on his choice, Fox/CNN, Peter or Christopher Hitchens… Well, he hasn't got the time to do a qualitative decision on what to believe in. He has to change the diapers on the baby and get to work.

    This, in my humble view, is the biggest problem in our time. Scientists have to get down to earth and start to speak a language the man on the street can easily and quickly adhere to.

    People like Mr Dawkins try, but the scholars in general don't.

  18. Let's All Stop Being So Damn Respectful!

    Richard Dawkins is one of the guys we have now that Christopher Hitchens is no more.

    There are others of course!

    We need those people in powerful political positions of today in stead of people who don't believe in god but pretend to in order to get elected.

  19. Richard, sorry to see you have allowed yourself to "believe" the deception of 9-11. I long thought you a genius, but a man possessing an IQ anywhere above 100 easily dismisses the government version of events on that day. So you are an exceptionally well educated average man, but no genius.

  20. This guy something else , do you have scientific facts that God don't exist? I know you don't but I would like to see you on the day of judgment trying to explain to God how you didn't believe in him and why , that would be a sight. But in the meantime all this intellectual mumbo jumbo playing with big words and trying to Mesmerize folks with their arrangement doesn't mean a damn thing human beings did not evolve from apes and monkeys and you have to be a monkey to believe that. That's why it's called the theory of evolution because it ain't been scientifically proven it's still a theory. But I'm sure you got a hoard of morons who follow you and believe in what you talkin about.

    Atheist won’t watch this ☝🏼BC if anyone would, there would be no denying God is real, and Jesus is the Son of God…. I was lost now I am found, I was blind but now I see. Jesus Saves, Jesus died for you and me. Roel and Believe the Good News.

  22. What is wrong with the audience?!! They laugh at moments which are sometimes completely inappropriate! Dawkins great as ever, though.

  23. Charles Darwin was NOT a scientist, held racist views that influenced nazism, he was obviously wrong on scientific viewpoints. Evolutionist even acknowledge this; Darwin believe humans evolved from present day monkeys, he also believed gained traits could be passed on to offspring. Most of his held beliefs are no longer valid.

  24. Baal and Thor required human sacrifices including children. That's WAAAAY different from Christianity. Baal and Thor religions disappeared because they weren't sustainable religions and were easily replaced.

  25. There is a difference between parichoial religious beliefs and a belief in God, its good this man will be dead soon, we need fewer intellectually dishonest people alive, less scientific dogma, if we hope to survive as an energy form of creation in the future.

  26. Silly arguments are easily defeated….I suspect that is why Atheists like to make fun of them, and the fact that they feel validated and superior by exposing the weakness of them.

    I mean, it's totally obvious that billions of years ago, a self creating pebble, the size of a pea, decided to explode itself and create the Universe or perhaps a billion universes and billions of galaxies; as well as simultaneously creating matter, energy, time, space, gravity, the laws of physics, all natural laws and ultimately life…and Black Holes to clean the whole mess up and start the game over.

    Really…What could be more obvious and easier to understand?

  27. "When they take atheism to the level of Religion"
    In that regard they sorta become what they criticize.

    Darwin – proposed a Theory – in order for it to fit their paradigm – they must ignore vast artifacts, fossils, and even data – "Rh(-)"
    MS Academia is the venue where these points remain – and they're very much like MS News Media – they're "Producers"
    …and they continue to try to put "Cinderella's Shoe on Drucella's Foot"

    Now – as to the subject – the Human Body Evolving is a given – although I definitely call them on their Time Line and I don't feel they have enough points of solid facts to really get so worked up – apparently the Evolutionists are those getting Anxious.

    I would recommend making Conscious Application of Thoughts to use the Higher Mind – 🔑
    The lower – Ego Mind – is obviously "Judging and Reacting" and the efforts to be "cute and caddy" doesn't cover the "anger and Ego wrapped up in his subject" –

    The subject is mute – since We are Souls having a Human Journey – the vessel we inhabit is a separate subject.
    Recommend the Biologist go on to further his Science interests – and take some Physics Classes and toss in some Philosophy and an Anger Ego Management Course – to allow all the negative pent up energies release in a healthy manner – allowing for happiness.

    Each have their freedom of choice – (Why behave like a Fundamentalist – ? Unless of coursse they are reflecting Ones own true Ideaologies.)

    Who's the individual Preaching their opinions?

    Why feel the need to do so – ?
    I find it odd to have such an urge to tell the world – what their personal view is – unless they are trying to promote their Religion – ?

    There are facts that support my view – and Physics calls these Universal Laws – especially the Law if Attraction.

    Theres the R9man based Religion design – then there the Gnostic – Spiritual – Metaphysical (now I'm ready any time to debate – but not when the other party is so obvious in their Anxiety and Ego Sensitivity.)

  28. 23:00 the problem with this is that the teapot really isnt a part of human culture. Religion really is, from out most dark beginings. I obviously dont think the burden of proof has been met at all when it comes to any god and there is no reason to subscribe to any particular theology… however, the possibility of higher inteligence is NOT ludicrous in my mind, while eagerly accepting the whole of the scientific method. Therefore Atheist is still too rush for me. It aggresively challanges religion, which is fine, but it also inadvertently states there is nothing like a "god" at all. Its not as unlikely as a teapot to imagine a deistic god or a higher being… Not at all.

  29. This was before atheists realized that they couldn't defend their beliefs. So they redefined atheism as holding no belief in God which (they think) absolves them from the need to defend their beliefs because they claim they have no beliefs.

  30. Why can't I find anything addressing the fact that religionism is going to bring about 'armageddon' – destructionism. The 'plan' is the ultimate devastation of all life on the planet. How do we stop that? Who is addressing that and where do I find them?


  32. Atheist are just sad angry people. As an atheist you are living an objectively meaningless life. No wonder that most kids that grow up atheists become religious. The atheist retention rate is at 30% according to statistics.

  33. "We must become militant atheists!" – Josef Stalin, just before he slaughtered 35 million people. Tell us who is on the hit list of the "militant atheist" Dicky Dawkins?

  34. ' God Delusion ' Richard Dawkins

    Almighty Allah's respond to those who rejected Him that:


    " How can ye reject the faith in Allah ?! When ye were dead and
    He gave you life; Then He will give you death,then life again,and then unto Him ye will return.
    And when it is said to them:

    " Believe as the others belive: "
    They say : " shall we believe as the fools believe? " —
    Nay, of a surety they are the fools,
    But they do not know."
    ( Qur'an, 2: 13)
    They rejected Almighty Allah.
    Allah Himself responded them that by rejecting Almighty Allah they proved that they themselves are fool.


  35. What an irony.. Internet has managed to destroy the truth and give a platform for the alternative facts and tribalism. It has also propagated and balooned the number of people believing in conspiracy theories and other BS. But in the same time the internet has slowly managed to show the people the futile nature and wrongness of religion. It has managed to raise the number of atheists in the relatively short amount of time like never before in history.. Internet gives you an access to unlimited amount of knowledge and information, good and bad, true and false. Then it's up to an individual to sift through that incredible amount of facts and come to the right conclusion. And therein lies the problem – coming to the right conclusion, knowing what is true and what is false. This is what our education system should teach – how to think, how to conclude what's true and what's not… Unfortunately I have no faith (pun intended) in our education system since it's churning out drones, a people with hive mind mentality that will propagate this tribalism culture we live in, and make it even worse…..God help us (one more pun intended).

  36. Atheism is an assortment of beliefs involving secularism, Scientism, and hatred toward Judeo-Christianity.

    When confronted with this definition, atheists whine – “No it isn’t! We just don’t believe in God.” However, a random sampling of their writings and speeches illustrates the falsehood of their denials.

  37. Would he give this same speech today ? Doubt it. As time goes on science proves to us that in no way whatsoever did the Universe come about randomly. The odds are far far too thin for any rational being to claim it as plausible. Unless you believe that you can win the lotto a trillion times in a row using the same numbers. Oh look at how perfectly tuned and non chaotic things are with life in a Universe that had none. Science just shows us more and more the design in it all and refutes the random nonsense we have been force fed for too long. Science denial to the power of googol.

  38. Too many religious people think that God must exist in such a way that He is outside of the realm of science and natural law, that he does nothing but break the laws of nature at a whim for His own purpose. Too many atheists believe that an acknowledgement of God means that they must ignore all scientific fact and instead believe in an old dude with a white beard sitting up in the clouds dispensing judgment on the world. It is much more likely that God, the universe, and science are not quite as distinctly separate as people think.

  39. the agnostic/atheist argument is exactly why I choose to be neither. much like Hitchens, I am an anti-theist. the belief in things too fantastical to have any place in reality is a corruption of the mind, a destruction of society, and is a form of abuse on par with child molestation in my opinion.

  40. the other problem with intelligent design is, and i'm a designer, that you try NOT to make things complex, keep it as simple as possible is rule number one, if i were a god and i wanted creatures who would worship me i would've stopped at single celled organisms "ooh look at the bugs, all mine!!" – why make human, that has a hard time staying alive for more than a few days without proper resources, and stick him in one of the most inhospitable places imaginable, and that's just our home planet.

  41. The Jewish lobby has a close relationship with hard right christians. We protect Israel as it's a good place to put all the jews after all.
    Atheists and other non-religious are not organized and are likely to never be so.

  42. I agree that Scientific theory trumps religious fundamentalism and that religion should be held to the standard of all other ideologies. But I feel like Dawkins is doctrinaire about his own beliefs.

  43. Militant atheism literally is the religion of not believing in a deity. That's right, atheism is a religion. People be saying that atheism isn't a religion because of the "lack of belief in any deity/god" but that's false when you start thinking about how much they hang on their belief (that god doesn't exist) and do everything in their might to say that "GoD doESn"t eXiST!!11" "yOu bliEve iN a fAIrytalE yOU deluSIonAL idIOt" not to mention that atheist churches/congregations are a thing.

    Congregation at a venue, spreading their beliefs, acts of violence (shooting in NC, church burnings of Norway), that all just points to an organized belief system i.e. religion. There's a reason why communities like r/atheism, militant atheists and other atheist groups are frowned upon among the general population because instead of trying to propagate how good their beliefs can be and how atheist world views are an improvement (according to atheists), they waste their time instead attacking others because they think differently.. Militant atheism isn't secularism at this point, it literally is hate speech.

    Mind you I have yet to find a single religious person that would shove his beliefs down my throat, however I already had many irl encounters with atheists that would start to use ad-hominem/insults or just outright say "i fucking hate you christians/muslims" whatsoever

  44. I love Dawkins. He has a brilliant mind. But im neither atheist nor religious or spiritual. Atheism is as dumb to me as religiousness is. And whats worse is atheists hide behind science although there "ism", is non scientifical at best. You cannot prove nor disprove the existance of God to the point of it being an objective scientific fact. You simply cannot. And therefore atheists are fooling themselves, while riding the scientific highhorse. Disprove his existance to the point of it being an objective scientific fact and ill be an atheist from then on. Prove his existance and ill be a christian. Untill then im niether.

  45. Grateful to be saved the love of God his grace and mercy This is the word of my testimony…… atheism is not under attack in this country or anywhere else in the world I admire atheist Faith a frog given enough time will become a prince…. science points to Creation

  46. If Dawkins had been my biology teacher, I'd have learned a lot more than I actually did at school. Witty, concise and engaging.

  47. A zillion books, a bestselling writer, performances on the mass media, a great (?) biologist, the sciences are oh so poetics… Well well, what a goddamned fat and ugly, self-righteous, brainwashing, child-abusing, ignorant preacher man I hear and see here!! Sir Richard Damnkins!! This phony and sanctimonious guy seems so nice and human-, music- painting-, etc. loving, but at the same time, he claims that all living organisms are just machines meant to pass on genes. In the case of humans, there are also memes involved which we try to pass on to our offspring. He even lets us know in his meme, The Selfish Gene that he's telling us the Ultimate TRUTH!!! He's written many books under different titles in which he indoctrinates us with the same bullshit over and over again. This is exactly the same fundamentalism religious people adhere to according to SIR(!) Damnedkins. His memes (books) aren't actually memes at all, because they handle abóut memes and genes. He proclaims we exist only because we want to pass them on. Which is exactly the question at stake. I don't deny that we pass them on to our children, but his interpretation that this is the reason for our existence can be questioned. You can as well say that we're not controlled by genes (like all living beings) and memes, but that we are in (unconscious) control (or in no control at all) of thém and that it's nice to let new little people be born as well as memes they can enjoy. As I said, this thought is NOT a meme, but a thought ABOUT memes; an interpretation of life to which he ascribes an absolute Truth, like many god(s) believing people ascribe an absolute Truth to théir interpretation of life. And besides all that, saying that we live to pass on our genes or memes is a circular statement: We live to pass on our genes (memes) and we pass on our genes (memes) because we live. So Dawkins Truth is nothing but an interpretation of evolution, just as evolution, as a part of the sciences, and the whole of all sciences, is nothing but a subjective interpretation of the beautiful World around us. Making the sciences an objective enterprise makes it inhuman (don't get me wrong: I love the sciences, especially physics; how could it exist if scientists wouldn't exist?) and that can be very dangerous. Look what damage the fruits of the tree of sciences did to our Earth! Also religious countries, be it Christian, Jewish, Islamic or whatever are based on the sciences. Just look what is taught obligatory on the schools and at the universities over there, and how the streets, the defense systems, food production, etc look like; only the law is replaced by the Sharia (and this law is put in the front by Dawkins over and over again)! Biodiversity gets less and less until we can't survive anymore, in which case the sciences meme is undermined in a very obvious way indeed! The described scenario is supported by the second law of thermodynamics: if order is made in a closed system like the Earth (I omit the changing climate, which includes the Sun) then this increase in order must be compensated by for by a décrease in Nature which means a decrease in biodiversity. Of course, you can say that humans are to blame for that but you simply can't separate the two. If people know things in a scientific they for certain try to build things with this knowledge. Look at the recently discovered (to discover is a key feature of the sciences) people in the (still) fabulous rainforests in South America when a huge area of forest was destroyed. They never had any contact with "civilization" but, being the same people as we are, they obviously have managed to survive without the sciences. They possess a lot, bot non-scientific, knowledge and live in harmony with Nature (in my opinion because of this lack of scientific knowledge), like all the other "non-civilized" (read ""non-sciencesized") people (the number of which is rapidly decreasing, not because they are inherently wrong but by the brute force of science). So dear mister Dawkins: Damn you sir, and let everyone live their lives in a way they want to or which gives their lives meaning (of course théy must let others live their life too as it seems fit for thém) and don't sing your same, arias, no, operas over and over again. As I see it, at the moment, it are the sciences which seek world domination (our children are being indoctrinated already when they're young, at school and via social media which thrive with scientific programs or lessons) and they are already a long way in doing so! It's a shame that such a dumb person as you is one of the drivers who steers the train of scientific progress. You're part of the train's control system to make it go faster and faster, make it load bigger and bigger, but unfortunately, don't see the dark abyss ahead to which this goddamned train is heading!!! And if you PROOF that what you conjecture is the absolute Truth (I for myself BELIEVE that Nature, comprising the entire Universe is eternal). So stop preaching and enjoy life! God bless!

    I hope the word "militant" in the title of this video is used in an ironic way (as a reply to militant religious lunatics, who by the way carry scientifically based weaponry; the truly religious people I know won't hurt a fly though)!! If not…god save us!!

  48. If you want to know how eloquent Americans have responded to Richard Dawkins' works you should watch "Love letters to Richard Dawkins." on Youtube. It illustrates many of the points that he raised in this lecture!

  49. His underlying premise that religion/faith and science are mutually exclusive is so short-sighted and such an old, worn-out argument. Check out some videos on this topic (and many others) by Bishop Robert Barron. He's extremely smart (unlike what Dawkins proposes–that religious people are unintelligent) and explains normally complex Catholic doctrine, and how it fits in today's world, quite well–for both believers and, probably especially, for non-believers.

  50. What a lousy fascist,a missionary fanatic jesuit bigot who conflates scientism and materialism with science and reason,while science is,in principle,or should be at least,metaphysically neutral.The whole western “enlightenment” was based on its own anti-religion paradigm,so this guy is just trying to reinvent the wheel,not that that paradigm is universal,far from it.Nothing new under the sun thus…
    Its just that these so-called new atheists(atheists always existed though throughout the history of mankind),are pursuing an exclusive political right-wing agenda that has nothing to do with the truth,whatever that might be,& they claim to have figured out the very nature of reality already,while science is just a descriptive tool that cannot claim to be able to reveal the nature of reality.Quantum physics has made that cristal-clear,but these kind of bigots are still stuck in the 19th century materialist ideology and mechanistic deterministic Newtonian world view.Pathetic,dishonest,deceptive,contemptible…& utterly outdated attitude to this world and life in it…

  51. After my daughter’s church wedding, I made my hastily prepared father of the bride speech. I included the line (attributed to the actor Bill Neighy in a film I can’t remember the name of) “ my new son-in-law (a catholic) and my daughter were today married in the sight of God…….apparently”. It received a few sharp intakes of breath. I did feel a bit guilty about it but nobody gave me a hard time after the speech. I suspect many of the congregation mouthed the religious bits in the service without really believing what was being said……but I could be wrong. I am a self confessed hypocrite….I doubt Richard Dawkins would have attended had it been his son or daughter…….but I could be wrong again.

  52. Even as a practicing Christian, I find a good deal in this speech I can understand and agree with. The sad fact is that most of the extremely religious people I've met have been more than a little ignorant and judgmental of anyone NOT in their holy circle.

  53. Read this,u brainless sheeps:

  54. Maybe, like a lot of other atheists, you could start a series of pogroms and some wars and get rid of all these religious people. Been done before. Millions died.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *