Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss Speak About The Unbelievers on CNN

Earlier today, Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss appeared on CNN to talk about their new movie The Unbelievers:

The film premieres in Toronto tonight.

I don’t know how many Christians are going to line up to see it, but the more pro-science material — in various formats — atheists can get out into the public, the more some of it might actually seep through religious peoples’ brains.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Veronica Abbass

    The film premieres in Toronto on Monday, April 29 @6;30. Ticket are sold out for the premiere and the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. I have a ticket for Wednesday.

    Info at

  • Veronica Abbass

    CFI Canada is presenting Brunch with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on May 1. Please see for details

  • Jorah Lavin

    I’m very glad that they had a few seconds to respond to the idea that humanitarian thinking is necessarily faith-based…

  • Anna

    I wasn’t aware this documentary was going to have a theatrical release, but that’s good news. I hope it gets wider distribution. I definitely plan on seeing it, hopefully in a theater, but if not, on DVD.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    She seemed a tad uncomfortable doing the interview.

  • corps_suk

    I agree they corrected her, she had an agenda with trying to sound off that way. The idea that helping starving children requires an imaginary friend to tell you to do it is absurd and should be laughed at…why can’t we just help starving children because they need it and be proud that YOU did it freely not because your imaginary friend told you to?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I once heard a Pastor on the radio say this: If I didn’t have God in my life I don’t know what would stop me from killing people.
    I wish I was making that up but I’m not and I’ve heard other Pastors say things along those lines. If they didn’t have God they would do horrible things.

  • DougI

    There’s one movie that won’t be showing in my town. Sure, we get Ben Stein’s awful movie, but this one won’t show (unless it’s making millions upon millions, then the cinema monopoly will show it).

  • ctcss

    “the more pro-science material — in various formats — atheists can get out into the public, the more some of it might actually seep through religious peoples’ brains.”

    Ahem. Being pro-science doesn’t necessarily mean anti-religion, nor does being pro-religion necessarily mean anti-science. Hemant, you really need to start hanging out with a better class of theists, namely, those whose religious beliefs are not tied in any way to, nor dependent on, material concerns. Honestly, there are better things to do in life than to argue about the other person’s spiritual outlook. Promote science for science’s sake, not for anti-religion’s sake.

  • Seamus Ruah

    CNN = Useless idiots.

  • Garret Shane Brown

    I’m assuming it’s not going to theaters so how can we watch it?

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    In my own experience the more naturalistic my view has become, of reality, the less interest I have in socializing with theists. Invariably religion comes up, weather it is some seemingly harmless ritual or by some other means, inevitably I have to explain my Atheism.

    As an Atheist I am inherently Materialistic, IMHO, the two are one in the same. What else do we have, sure I am happy that my atoms will be recycled back into the universe, but that is the only afterlife that we have. I have no need for spiritual concerns and I’ll bet Hemant feels the same.
    Apologists will always say there are valuable concessions that can be made between science and religion, of this I disagree, science will eventually explain every aspect of the universe. Every question that the theists believe cannot be answered by science will be answered, it is a beautiful inevitability. The very essence of the universe is data, that can be speculated over, most often observed and almost always tested and verified. We or an adaptation of ourselves may not have the tools to do that now, but like biological and cosmological evolution, mechanical evolution will make that goal come to fruition. The singularity is coming.
    Science is a threat to religion, because science is beginning to answer the questions theism thought would always be exclusively in its realm. At least here in the USA science is at war with theism, because the theists are relentlessly lobbying our federal government to inject their morality into scientific research. Any opportunity for the scientific community to tell their side of the story is best for both the theists and the general public. If religion is a casualty due to the promotion of science then oh well.

    Honestly there are better things to do in life that to continually flog a dead horse.

    Astrology is a casualty of promoting astronomy and no one is pitching a bitch about that.

  • Greg G.

    Being pro-science doesn’t necessarily mean anti-religion, nor does being pro-religion necessarily mean anti-science. 

    But there are very few people who are anti-science who are not religious. They are anti-science because they are religious and not for any other reason. Plus they want to use politics to impose their views on the rest of us.

  • DavidMHart

    It’s true you can be a scientist and a religious person, or a religious person who supports science, but it’s important to remember that you can do so only by compartmentalising. (Isaac Newton was famously both one of the smartest physicists in history and a kook who believed in alchemy – compartmentalisation can happen to the brightest of us)

    Religions almost invariably make claims that are are ‘scientific’ in the
    sense that they are about the nature of reality – claims such as that this
    universe was created by an intelligent supernatural agency, or that the human mind is to some degree dependent on an immaterial essence called a soul, that can survive the physical destruction of the brain. Science gives us no reason to think that these claims are true, and the parsimonious response is to provisionally reject them as false unless and until some good evidence in their favour turns up – religious people can be scientific only to the degree that they do not focus the spotlight of science on their religious beliefs.

    Now if you’re talking about ‘immaterial concerns’ by which you mean the value of human companionship, solidarity, love etc that do not depend on how much cash you have or what your shoes are made of, these are still things that can be studied by science (though not as precisely as we would ultimately like, for the time being, because our neuroimaging technology is still relatively new). They are actually material concerns of a different sort, because they depend, so far as we can tell, on the material structure of our brains, which are the physical organs that generate our minds and our emotions. But if you are talking about ‘immaterial concerns’ and using the phrase to mean supernatural things (read that link by the way if you haven’t seen it already, it’s the best distillation I’ve seen of what the ‘supernatural’ really seems to mean) then we are definitiely in the realms of religion treading on science’s toes and asserting the truth of things that science gives us no good reasons to think are true, and some good reasons to think are false.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    She wanted to close out on a note of superiority, without having earned it. I’m glad they had time to respond.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Dawkins’ tie looked interesting, I would have appreciated a better close up of it.
    The visual format was confusing. They showed clips from the movie on the right, and the two people on the left. Frequently the movie clip was of Dawkins talking, while in the live session, it was Krauss doing the speaking.

  • Gus Snarp

    The point they hit on about radicalization is exactly the core of the problem with religion and I like the way Krauss described it, that if you think you have “absolute truth and God is on your side, then anything you do seems reasonable, and that’s the real problem.” It’s also exactly the way this problem should be talked about with regard to Islam. Krauss and Dawkins both make the point, first and foremost, that the root of the problem is in religious thinking in general, and Krauss just mentions that LATELY we seem to see a lot of violence from this related to Islam.

    I was also glad that Dawkins didn’t let her get away with claiming the golden rule for religion, but of course to certain religious viewers, that will be seen as anger and hatred from militant atheists, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

    And as a complete aside, I’ve never heard anyone pronounce corollary the way Krauss did at the beginning. Is that a common alternate pronunciation, or was it a different word that I’m not familiar with?

  • Gus Snarp

    Yes, clearly she wanted to end it by talking about how religion can be good too and it’s all just a different viewpoint, and Dawkins didn’t let her get away with it. Very nicely done.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    In which cherry-picking and nebulousness are held up as being a “better class” of religion.

    Just what fraction of theists do you think there are “whose religious beliefs are not tied in any way to, nor dependent on, material concerns.” ? Why do you think it is admirable to hold such beliefs without evidence?

  • Gus Snarp

    The bits with Dawkins talking in the film clip were very confusing indeed. There was one where it made me think they were showing him trying to say something different while Krauss was talking, but it was really the film clip.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Neil

    Which is ironic considering it’s having a god in a person’s life that may well start them killing other people.