One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.
Real life seeks the gentle slopes at the back of Mount Improbable, while creationists are blind to all but the daunting precipice at the front.
The assignment of purpose to everything is called teleology. Children are native teleologists, and many never grow out of it.
The book is true, and if evidence seems to condtradict it, it is the evidence that must be thrown out not the book.
The only watchmaker is the blind forces of physics.
There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents.
Though the details differ across the world, no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth consuming, hostility provoking rituals, the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion.
We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
A god who is capable of sending intelligible signals to millions of people simultaneously, and of receiving messages from all of them simultaneously, cannot be, whatever else he might be, simple. Such Bandwidth!
Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it.
Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
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.
Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.
God likes to have his free lunch and be it too.
I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.
I mean it as a compliment when I say that you could almost define a philosopher as someone who won't take common sense for an answer.
What has 'theology' ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has 'theology' ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that 'theology' is a subject at all?
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.
A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.
Dawkins Law of the Conservation of Difficulty states that obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity
Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.
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?
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth.
Evolution is a theory in a special philosophical sense of science, but in terms of ordinary laymen's use of language, it's a fact, ... Evolution is a fact in the same sense that it's a fact that the Earth is round and not flat, that the Earth goes round the Sun. Both those are also theories, but they're theories that have never been disproved and never will be disproved.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isnt it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it This is how I answer when I am askedas I am surprisingly oftenwhy I bother to get up in the mornings.
Cloning may be good and it may be bad. Probably it's a bit of both. The question must not be greeted with reflex hysteria but decided quietly, soberly and on it's own merits. We need less emotion and more thought.
But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience.
The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.
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.
More Richard Dawkins Quotations (Based on Topics)
Religions & Spirituality - God - Science - World - Mind - Evolution - Wisdom & Knowledge - Thought & Thinking - Belief & Faith - Purposes - Life - Physics - Humanity - Good & Evil - Children - Power - Facts - Principle - Environment - View All Richard Dawkins Quotations
More Richard Dawkins Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The God Delusion
Tycho Brahe - Paul R. Ehrlich - Margaret Mead - Julian Huxley - Herbert Simon - Guglielmo Marconi - Erasmus Darwin - Carolus Linnaeus - Alexis de Tocqueville - Alexander Fleming