A Voice of Reason on the Problem with Religion

dogmaticCURE brings together images and music with the words of atheists (in this case, Richard Dawkins). This is from a conversation Dawkins had with Alister McGrath in which he speaks about the problem with religion. Even without the vivid imagery in the video, it’s very compelling to listen to.

Check it out:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • DG

    Dawkins is proof that just because you are a scientist, doesn’t mean you are a brilliant plumber, or architect, or artist, or philosopher, or theologian, or dancer, or auto mechanic, or interior designer, or any one of a million things.  Written 2000 years ago?  I almost fell off my chair laughing.  Please Rich, stick to your area of specialty.  You can have your opinions about religion, but based on the substance of your apparent knowledge of religion, they seem to be about as valuable as Pat Robertson’s opinions on indoor plumbing. 

    Oh, and if you want to prove something is bad, you can always do so by focusing only on the bad, ignoring the good, and lumping everyone into one group based on the worst elements of that group.  It’s always worked like a charm.  Glad to see it’s still a celebrated method for concluding who the bad guys really are.  I thought the 20th century might have made it go out of fashion.

    • BenofSoCal

      Heinous!  A generalization about the age of biblical authorship!  He might as well have said “The Universe is 14 billion years old” when he should damn well know it’s actually closer to 13.7 billion years old.  How could he make such a glaring mistake?  I’ll bet he’s one of those cretins that runs around saying the Earth is round!  Clearly, its a oblate spheroid!  Good Dog, only a raving maniac would suggest otherwise.  Good thing we’ve all got a Sky Daddy to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong…

      • DG

        And if he was all about saying, “You know, it’s my own belief that God doesn’t exist, but I can respect those who disagree,” then that would be A-OK.  But since his basic premise is that religion is a vile force, an evil form of abuse that should be eradicated from the planet for the good of humanity, it would help if he didn’t base it upon demonstrably false statements.   Of course since most bigotry is based upon ignorance playing to ignorance, I can see why some would dismiss such thinking as trivial.
        FWIW, the “Bible” is not really a book at all, but a collection of texts written over the course of many centuries.  Again, generalizations by those interested in debate is one thing.  Generalizations by those interested in eradication of the other side is another.

        • Glasofruix

          The bible is a recollection of whatever was believed to be true hundreds of years ago (oh i don’t know why water is falling from the sky, must be gOd), (mis)translated and reinterpreted countless times. As a historical/teaching document it has absolutely no value.

          • DG

            That is, of course, your opinion.  But it’s worth noting that you are closer to the facts than Mr. Dawkins, so your opinion carries more weight. At least IMHO.

            • Glasofruix

              It’s not an opinion, the bible had a shitload of authors who added a lot of chaos to already messed up book, events are all over the place sometimes there’s about 200 years that separate events that happened the same year or in a different order etc… Adding to that dozens, possibly hundreds of different translations, each translator pouring his own opinions in his work (or plain and simple modicifcations) it makes a highly unreliable document.

            • BenofSoCal

               C’mon DG, fess up.  It was a trivial observation and a trivial plaint.  Dawkins was making a generalization during an informal conversation.  His point is that there is no rational justification for so much deference – much less reverence – to the written folklore of bronze-age nomadic goat herders who were largely illiterate and wholly ignorant.  And I agree with him on his point about faith.  There is absolutely nothing virtuous about belief in the absence of evidence.  Especially, when that unfounded belief is forced upon non-believers.

        • Hanson05

          Agreed! If someone is going to be a leader in this movement they need to get the facts straight.  People merely reading on these sites but don’t really know for themselves are allowed to state anything they want as if it is truth. 

          • Glasofruix

            Except that there’s no leaders and no movement. You have the common ignorant xtian misconception that atheism is as organized as a religion and that we, atheists, sail under the same ideological flag. Atheism is not a faith or a belief system.

            • freethinker1

              exactly….. i am, we are atheists because of what we DO NOT believe in…. we do not frighten children with 13th century retelling of 2nd century tall tales of fire brimstone and eternal damnation for not believing, unlike the  ”moral” theists do.

        • freethinker1

          Correct DG, the bible is a story book just as the quran and torah are…. your missing the larger point which is how theists indoctrinate children into an unquestioning belief in those story books under fear of “burning in hell for all eternity” if they do not believe.  Any adult  that threatens children with “eternal damnation deserves to be ridiculed at the very least! 

        • alconnolly

          You implied in your prior comment that Pat Robertson has authoritative view on religion. Is his attitude the mirror of the one you wish Dawkins to take i.e. “You know it’s my own belief that God does exist but I respect those who disagree” Or is it to proselytize and work very hard to make sure your children and others KNOW God exists, and to promote the biblical doctrine that only a fool says in their heart there is no God. (Not a way to promote respect as far as I can tell.

  • Tinker

    I had tears in my eyes seeing those children that are obviously afraid of the boogeyman their parents have taught them about.

    And DG? We don’t expect you to get it. You were obviously corrupted very young and we feel sorry for you.

    • DG

      Since my religious conversion happened as an adult, I can see where your statement is as accurate as that of our good Mr. Dawkins. 

      • Au_catboy

         DG, every time I’ve seen a religious apologist claim that they used to be an atheist, they soon reveal that they were lying all along, they don’t even have the slightest idea what an atheist is.  You’ve made it obvious on several threads that you have no idea what you’re talking about.  You can drop the act.  Everyone knows you’re just another dime-a-dozen brainwashed death cultist lying through your teeth. 

        • wickedethicist

          From where I’m sitting, every time you see a religious apologist claim that he used to be an athiest,

          • Au_catboy

             Yes, some people convert to christianity as adults.  But in order to do so they have to actually have NOT been christians at some point, and thus they have to have at least SOME minimal level of understanding of what non-christians believe.  DG does not possess this understanding.  DG’s comprehension of atheism consists of nothing more than regurgitated christianist strawmen.  The fact that he clearly does not have even the slightest idea what an atheist is demonstrates that he never was one, which means his claim to have been one is a lie.  This is the same pattern I have seen from every single person I have encountered who has attempted to defend religion and used their claim to have previously been an atheist in a futile attempt to prop up their failing arguments.  They always show that they have no idea what being an atheist means, and if they’re lying about that, then nothing else they say can be trusted.  Any person who was ACTUALLY an atheist and later converted would know that claiming to have been an atheist is not going to convince anyone to listen to their drivel. 

  • Christopher Auer

    Is there a version of this video without this pathetic background music? Anyone? Please!?
    I don’t need such music to know what to think of the arguments and to interpret them. I mean, this is not a pathetic Hollywood romantic comedy or is it? This is about (supposed to be) scientific arguments about religion. It least I thought so.


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