The Halting Point

Monday, November 20, 2006

Richard Dawkins explains why he is hostile towards religion.

A recent article on BeliefNet (not sure if he wrote this for them or they just picked it up from elsewhere), written by Dawkins himself explains his hatred of religion. It is a fascinating read because while Dawkins usually presents his information through examples and evidence, this piece is more of an opinion piece, providing a few links to back up his points, but mostly just explaining his animosity towards fundamentalists and any who would put religion over science.

He gives two eloquent anecdotes of what happens when one renounces their beliefs and when one chooses to block out the facts in favor of beliefs. He also does an excellent job of explaining the fact that he is not the atheist equivelant of a fundamentalist. There are many differences, the key one being that if he was presented with evidence that disproved current scientific theories of evolution for example, he would change his view overnight, and be overjoyed that science had progressed. He points out that there is not a single fundamentalist alive who would do such a thing. And he is right.

I truly hope for a day when atheists rule the world, perhaps there will be fewer wars, or perhaps people will just be more honest about why they are fighting them without the excuse of their religion. Part of me wonders what life would be like if we had two planets, one for religious people and the other for atheists. What would those societies look like? What would the rate of technological advancement be? One can only wonder...

This is a good follow-up to my previous article on Dawkins that also has links to download his full-length documentary "The Root of All Evil" which explains as only Dawkins can explain it, why religion is bad for us.


  • RE Dawkins

    Richard Dawkins - Speaks in Lynchberg Virginia

    By Blogger beepbeepitsme, at 12/13/2006 6:11 PM  

  • Can you really look at an atheist nation such as Communist Russia and tell me that religion is what causes wars? Stalin killed over 12 million of his own people without using religion at all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/02/2007 12:04 PM  

  • broader social philosophy is: communism/soviet nationalism was as much a dogma as any religion. 'you're doing your part for mother russia, for the state, for the people!' religion is not only dangerous, but so is nationalism. all memes which seek to own your free will are to be suspected. people who hold power will -through propaganda- create memes which provide you with a belief structure, a cultural identity -democrat, republican, christian, jew, muslim, family man, even the word 'independent', once it has been assigned a framework for behavior becomes a box in which we can place ourselves and each other, for identification purposes. these labels -as well as the attendant propaganda - create the comfortable illusion of unification... 'unified against (fill in the blank)' we then don't have to trouble ourselves with finding our own truth, which is dangerous.

    By Blogger Liberty Alvar, at 1/04/2007 10:22 AM  

  • I'm a former Atheist that can relate to both sides of the argument. I do not push my Christianity on anyone (I'm a Lutheran now and quite happy) but if asked why the change to pretty happy go lucky these days I share my thoughts about Jesus and spirituality. Religion isn't for everyone and just because there are narrow minded fundamentalists on BOTH sides of the religion debate that doesn't change the fact that most people fit somewhere in between. Religion can be blamed for a lot of ills in the world (ie poverty,genocide, ignorance, terrorism, scientific apathy, etc) but it's really the people behind it. Not everyone who believes in God is a fundie or a crazy who believes that the world was created 6,000 years. Not everyone who adheres to the belief that there is no god is a cranky, hateful grinch who wants to destoy all things sacred and have no fun during holidays.

    By Anonymous kris, at 4/13/2007 12:39 AM  

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