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I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
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We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
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The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.
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Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.
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Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility.
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God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.
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Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.
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The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale.
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One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all.
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By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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Much as we might wish to believe otherwise, universal love and the welfare of the species as a whole are concepts which simply do not make evolutionary sense.
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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.
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Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
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Faith is belief without evidence and reason; coincidentally that's also the definition of delusion. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Faith is belief without evidence and reason; coincidentally that's also the definition of delusion.
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Evolution is just a theory? Well, so is gravity and I don't see you jumping out of buildings. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Evolution is just a theory? Well, so is gravity and I don't see you jumping out of buildings.
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Such delusions of grandeur to think that a God with a hundred billion galaxies on his mind would give a tuppenny damn who you sleep with, or indeed whether you believe in him.
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The less you think, the more you believe. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
The less you think, the more you believe.
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How thoughtful of God to arrange matters so that, wherever you happen to be born, the local religion always turns out to be the true one.
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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.
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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.
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Science is the poetry of reality. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Science is the poetry of reality.
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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 number of people who could be here, in my place, out number the sand grains in the Sahara. If you think about all the different ways in which our genes could be permuted, you and I are quite grotesquely lucky to be here. The number of events that had to happen in order for you to exist, in order for me to exist... we are privileged to be alive and nd we should make the most of our time on this world.
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The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
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Let children learn about different faiths, let them notice their incompatibility, and let them draw their own conclusions about the consequences of that incompatibility. As for whether they are ‘valid,’ let them make up their own minds when they are old enough to do so.
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Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.
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Everybody is an atheist in saying that there is a god - from Ra to Shiva - in which he does not believe. All that the serious and objective atheist does is to take the next step and to say that there is just one more god to disbelieve in.
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Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.
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It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.
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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.
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It's a truly disgusting idea that the creator of the universe - capable of inventing the laws of physics and designing the evolutionary process - that this protégé of supernatural intellect couldn't think of a better way to forgive our sins than to have himself tortured to death.
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Don't ask God to cure cancer and world poverty. He's too busy finding you a parking space and fixing the weather for your barbecue.
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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 its own merits. We need less emotion and more thought.
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What I can't understand is why you can't see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing - that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?
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If you listen to two people who are arguing about something, and they each of them have passionate faith that they're right, but they believe different things---they belong to different religions, different faiths, there is nothing they can do to settle their disagreement short of shooting each other, which is what they very often actually do.
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Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well.
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The truth is more magical - in the best and most exciting sense of the word - than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic: the magic of reality.
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We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.
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We are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make more copies of the same DNA. ... This is exactly what we are for. We are machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object's sole reason for living.
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If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.
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Religion: Together we can find the cure. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Religion: Together we can find the cure.
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An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
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I am not an enthusiast for diversity of opinion where facts are concerned. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
I am not an enthusiast for diversity of opinion where facts are concerned.
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Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read Qur'an. You don't have to read Mein Kampf to have an opinion about Nazism.
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I detest 'Jingle Bells,' 'White Christmas,' 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,' and the obscene spending bonanza that nowadays seems to occupy not just December, but November and much of October, too.
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The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.
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The idea of a divine creator belittles the elegant reality of the universe. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
The idea of a divine creator belittles the elegant reality of the universe.
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Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.
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Next time that somebody tells you something is true, why not say to them: 'What kind of evidence is there for that?' And if they can't give you a good answer, I hope you'll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.
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The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality. It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality. As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture.
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Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.
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Faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.
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People sometimes say that you must believe in feelings deep inside, otherwise you'd never be confident of things like 'My wife loves me'. But this is a bad argument. There can be plenty of evidence that somebody loves you. All through the day when you are with somebody who loves you, you see and hear lots of little tidbits of evidence, and they all add up. It isn't purely inside feeling, like the feeling that priests call revelation. There are outside things to back up the inside feeling: looks in the eye, tender notes in the voice, little favors and kindnesses; this is all real evidence.
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Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.
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Religious faith, is a state of mind, that leads people to believe in something, it doesn't matter what, without a whisper of doubt, or a whiff of evidence, and believe so strongly in some cases, that they are prepare to kill and die for it, without the need for further justification.
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Do you really mean the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward? That's not morality, that's just sucking up.
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I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.
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Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.
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Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.
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Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.
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I shall not make an argument ad hominem. My argument is ad bullshitem. - Richard Dawkins Quotes
I shall not make an argument ad hominem. My argument is ad bullshitem.
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We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very, very improbable.
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Science has eradicated smallpox, can immunise against most previously deadly viruses, can kill most previously deadly bacteria. Theology has done nothing but talk of pestilence as the wages of sin.
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It often turns out on closer inspection that acts of apparent altruism are really selfishness in disguise.
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Those who wish to base their morality literally on the Bible have either not read it or not understood it.
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For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.
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Sometimes in life it is a good idea to stop,sometimes it is a good idea to go on. The trick is to decide when to stop
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It is raining DNA outside. On the bank of the Oxford canal at the bottom of my garden is a large willow tree, and it is pumping downy seeds into the air. ... spreading DNA whose coded characters spell out specific instructions for building willow trees that will shed a new generation of downy seeds. ... It is raining instructions out there; it's raining programs; it's raining tree-growing, fluff-spreading, algorithms. That is not a metaphor, it is the plain truth. It couldn't be any plainer if it were raining floppy discs.
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Cheetah genes cooperate with cheetah genes but not with camel genes, and vice versa. This is not because cheetah genes, even in the most poetic sense, see any virtue in the preservation of the cheetah species. They are not working to save the cheetah from extinction like some molecular World Wildlife Fund.
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We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.
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It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).
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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.
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Leaders who forbid their followers to use effective contraceptive methods express a preference for "natural" methods of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation.
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If you're willing to answer yes to a God outside of nature, then there's nothing inconsistent with God on rare occasions choosing to invade the natural world in a way that appears miraculous.
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I think what I'd really like to see would be a mass consciousness-raising movement so that we would all become vegetarian.
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The time has come for people of reason to say: Enough is Enough! Religious faith discourages independent thought, it's divisive and it's dangerous.
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The whole point of religious faith, its strength and chief glory, is that it does not depend on rational justification. The rest of us are expected to defend our prejudices. But ask a religious person to justify their faith and you infringe 'religious liberty'.
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What are all of us but self-reproducing robots? We have been put together by our genes and what we do is roam the world looking for a way to sustain ourselves and ultimately produce another robot child.
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On one planet [earth], and possibly only one planet in the entire universe, molecules that would normally make nothing more complicated than a chunk of rock, gather themselves together into chunks of rock-sized matter of such staggering complexity that they are capable of running, jumping, swimming, flying, seeing, hearing, capturing and eating other such animated chunks of complexity; capable in some cases of thinking and feeling, and falling in love with yet other chunks of complex matter.
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Isaac Asimov's remark about the infantilism of pseudoscience is just as applicable to religion: 'Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold.' It is astonishing, moreover, how many people are unable to understand that 'X is comforting' does not imply 'X is true'.
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Organizing atheists is a bit like herding cats; They are on the whole too intelligent and independent minded to lend themselves to being herded.
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