Posted in: Theories

Richard Dawkins: ‘Religion Has Nothing To Teach Us’

Richard Dawkins continues his defense of evolution

Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins is a noted writer and thinker, but his household-name status arguably stems most from his unapologetic and often harsh opinions regarding religion, intelligent design theory (specifically, creationism), and the existence of God.

Richard Dawkins is probably best known for his internationally successful book The God Delusion, in which he argues that evolution unquestionably happened, that there is no “intelligent design,” and there is no higher power. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, his perspective has gone viral in recent years, and he can even be credited as the progenitor of the internet term “meme,” though the term’s internet definition is arguably out-of-context with his own philosophical definition.

In a recent interview with CNN, Dawkins continued his apologetic defense for evolution and the non-existence of God.

“There’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. It’s not that there are two different theories,” Dawkins says. “There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.”

When asked why people still cling to religion and theories of intelligent design, Dawkins responded:

“There are many very educated people who are religious but they’re not creationists,” he admits. “What you cannot really logically do is to say, well I believe that there’s some kind of intelligence, some kind of divine physicist who designed the laws of physics, therefore Jesus is my lord and savior who died for my sins. That’s an impermissible illogicality that unfortunately many people resort to.”

So where do we get our morals from?

“We get our morals from a very complicated process of discussion, of law-making, writing, moral philosophy,” Dawkins argues, “we are getting better as time goes on, and religion perhaps has a part to play in that, but it’s by no means an important part. I don’t think there’s a simple source of morality to which we turn.”

Dawkins also does a lot of speaking in America’s “Bible Belt.” He explained that he enjoys speaking in this area because there’s more support for his perspectives than people may think.

“I think it may be a bit of a myth that America is quite such a religious country as it’s portrayed as, and particularly that the Bible Belt isn’t quite so insanely religious as it’s portrayed as.”

Richard Dawkins will begin another US tour in October. What do you think of Richard Dawkins?

Articles And Offers From The Web

Comments

32 Responses to “Richard Dawkins: ‘Religion Has Nothing To Teach Us’”

  1. DREGstudios! Art & Design

    Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

  2. Billie F Smith

    You are entitled to your opinions, just as we are. I have a lot to learn yet of religion but I do believe in God! I feel sorry for anyone who cannot embrace his love for us. There is too much proof in objects found for the Bible to be fiction. Have a good day but do not tell people there is nothing to be learned….

  3. Lynn Sherrard Steigerwalt

    Whether you believe in a higher power or in evolution – isn't it possible that someone got the whole ball rolling? The Bible was written by human beings and I believe it's an excellent guide to how we should live our lives – I don't take the Bible literally but I do believe in God and that Jesus died for our sins – and as cliche as it sounds – I'd rather believe and find out there is no God than to not believe and find out there is. Whatever you believe is fine with me but I take comfort in my beliefs – they have gotten me thru many dark times in my life. And if you think my beliefs are out of fear – in a way that's true – I have a healthy "fear" (I prefer the word "respect") of my Father in Heaven as I did of my father here on earth – that was unconditional love for me.

  4. KL InIdaho

    If you have to believe a Big Daddy in Sky loves you, you have transferred the power to love yourself to a second party, and you have signed up for someone else's rules. Then you sign onto lots of other rules. You have been owned. You weren't born in sin and you can eat from the Tree of Knowledge anytime you like. You are whole by yourself. You are now free to live without the opinions of others and you can think for yourself, as long as you are fair to others and respect their rights to be whole people, you will be fine. Trust in yourself — you are worth it. You are lovable, because you were born lovable, all by yourself. As were all of us.

  5. Ryan Carranza

    I don't mind the Bible as a tool to learn how to live your life in the way that Jesus did. There is no better role model than Jesus. I am not saying I think Jesus existed, but does that even matter? What matters is trying to be like him. My problem with religion, especially Christianity, is that the followers hardly ever try to be like their God. Christians are hardly ever Christ-like and they judge the most out of any group of people I have ever seen. I do not read the Bible and take it literally… I am not delusional. I read the Bible to see how actual situations can be handled. Religion, in my honest opinion, is a great institution for people to congregate and learn how to become better people. Some churches and temples put their words into action and actually go out and help people. While others just "pray". Praying is hoping things were a different way. No need… Make yourself. If you want to believe that Jesus healed the sick, walked on water and made a blind man see, then I will not stop you from believing such things. But, realize I truly believe you would be focusing on the wrong part of what Jesus was trying to do. To take a book written by men, during an age where slavery was common practice, women were regarded as a lower class and where spitting on wounds actually was believed to heal, LITERALLY, is pretty silly and child-like in my opinion. If your religion preaches the historical accuracy within the Bible as fact… your religion is a cult, not a congregation to better the lives of the community.

  6. Bill Johnson

    Religion came in handy years ago, when we didn't know that the earth was round & the Sun didn't revolve around it. Religion is the MOST dangerous weapon on the planet! Ever since there has been "one true God", there has been killing in his name.

  7. Amelia Sivadon

    Hi Ryan, You have to understand, Christians are people too, they make mistakes just like everyone else. Many of them get in their own way and forget about the importance of love. It's tough. I will say though, it is an irrefutable fact that Jesus existed. His crucifixion was documented In other historical documents. The Romans kept a record of everything. He existed and was very influential in his time. The question is not whether he existed, but whether you believe that he is the son of God sent down to save us all from eternal damnation. That's the the thing, so many people get caught up on the damnation piece, but that's not what the bible teaches. When I read it, it specifically talks about love, kindness, faith, etc. in fact the bible has several verses instructing Christians not to judge. So, it's something that the church and these Christians you are referring to needs to check within themselves and make some changes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Amelia Sivadon

    Hi Bill, I'm sorry you feel this way. I will say that many wars were sparked in the name of religion, there is no refuting that. Once Constantine in Rome realized he was killing more people by crucifying Christians he made Rome into a Christian nation and started crucifying pagans. Once the church became a source of power it became corrupt. Organized Religion is absolutely dangerous in the wrong hands and some people try to use it as a source of control. If you actually read the bible, though, and study the life of Christ, this is not what he taught. He never said to kill people in his name. The old testament was a different time, where it spoke of wars, but the new covenant spoke of love, respect, kindness, etc. thanks for sharing your opinion.

  9. Ryan Carranza

    Humans will be humans, but when those faith based people decide to use their religion as tool to do exactly what their teacher told them not to do, it's hard to take that religion seriously. I appreciate your very nice and civil response. Whether Jesus was the son of God and everything is really irrelevant to me. I don't think I will going to hell for disregarding that. I would much rather try my best to be more like Christ than to believe in things I cannot prove. To me, it's all about being a better person. Good day to you Amelia.

  10. Jessica Padilla

    you should correct yourself, instead of religion, you should put christianity, b/c there are many religions that have never provoked wars. as far as i know, the only wars that have been fought based on religion were wars that christians and islamic people have started.

  11. Amelia Sivadon

    That's a great way to look at it. I think that we all have shortcomings and we all want to be better people. Everyone has different beliefs and we just have to learn to respect that and not try to force doctrine down someone's throat heh.

  12. Amelia Sivadon

    Hi Jessica, he has it right by saying religion. Wars have been fought over paganism, Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam. I'm not sure about others, but those four are most commonly spoken of. Also, there would still be war regardless. So, should we become a one world nation with one large government? That way wars can't be fought in the name of a country either.

  13. Bill Johnson

    Uh, Miss Silvadon, Constantine "converted" to Christianity, because he didn't want his empire to be ripped apart by the two religions, there were more Christians that Pagans, so he basically just backed the winning horse so to speak.

  14. Bill Johnson

    According to some reading that I've done, he stated that he saw a vision that had a cross in it & said "By this symbol, you shall conquer". Yeah, no kidding, since Christianity was in the lead by about 1000+ people. Don't take Sherlock Holmes to do the math on THAT one…JOHN Holmes could've figured it out!!!

  15. Bill Johnson

    The number one religion in the world…is the one that EVERYBODY thinks that THEIRS is the only one that will get you to Heaven…& some of them are MORE than willing to knock on your door at 8am on a Saturday to tell you ALLLL about it!!!!!

  16. Jessica Padilla

    yeah, Paganism not so much… Never has there ever been a war fought in the name on Pagans, even though we were slain just b/c we refused to convert to christianity… so no, you can't put a blanket over all religions and say such rubbish b/c its not true. Christianity/Catholicism have always started the wars onto other religions, never has Pagans or other religions that have nothing to do with jesus or allah or only 'one true god' started a war…

  17. Vicky Ruiz

    Most Christians start "feeling sorry for me" when I announce that I do not believe in God. Why? I'm happy and I know you mean well, but faith is a personal thing not to be used as a tool to ridicule or intimidate.

  18. Lloyd McCarroll Brown Jr

    Your logic has a serious flaw. To say that believing in the love of God somehow diminishes your ability to love yourself implies that children who believe that their Daddy loves them are incapable of self love. If self love and self knowledge are the highest attainable goals, children should not be disciplined, governmental higher power laws should be ignored and schools are institutions of oppression and the stifling of the self and should be avoided at all costs. After all, we cannot sign up for someone elses rules.

  19. Lloyd McCarroll Brown Jr

    Jessica: The Egyptians fought for Ra and the Divine Pharoah. The Assyrians fought for Chemosh and Dagon. The Babylonians fought for Ishtar, Tamuz, Bel and a host of others. Shinto wars of Japan relied on the Divine Wind or Kamakazi. The list goes on and on. Even though every war was not an Inquisition or Crusade, Every nation, including this one, fights its wars in the name of it's god.

  20. Lloyd McCarroll Brown Jr

    I think that disbelief in the Creator is a special kind of insanity. There is nothing on the shelf of any store that you can point to that wasn't made by someone. If you tell an Evolutionist that noone made the pencil that he was writing with, that it came into existance by random accidents and undirected happenstance, he would say you were stupid. Yet he believes that the graphite and the tree from which the wood was taken came from nowhere and was made by noone. If that is not insane, I'm not sure what is.

  21. Lloyd McCarroll Brown Jr

    What you see practiced today is a bootleg form of Christianity. They do a lot of thumping the Bible, plenty of shouting and singing and a whole lot of "Praising the Lord" but spend very little time actually reading it and nearly none applying it's councel. That does not diminish the value of the Bible. Nor does it change the existance of God. Just because you can buy a Cucci handbag for $20 doesn't diminish the value of the $2000 Gucci. Seek truth like you seek treasure and you will find it.

  22. Lloyd McCarroll Brown Jr

    “There’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. It’s not that there are two different theories,” Dawkins says. “There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.” That sounds like intellectual intimidation to me.

  23. KL InIdaho

    You missed the whole inter-connectedness of people, didn't you? " …as long as you are fair to others and respect their rights to be whole people". That covers what most laws cover. And you do sign over power to your parents when you are a kid, you are powerless — you have to to survive. Then when you are independent enough, you make your own decisions, and you have a choice & options, you have some power. And we see what happens to people when they don't get parental love when they had no power– they are not well-adjusted adults and they do have trouble loving themselves. Why do you think we have laws? Because people don't respect each other for the most part — why don't they? Because GOD did not love them enough? Because they don't pray enough? They didn't give enough money to the church to get saved? Religion has had enough time on Earth to prove itself, if it had any value. When people take responsibility for how they think, how they shape their kids and how they behave in general, instead of looking to the sky and another party, we'll be much better off. Do some thinking about power and how vulnerable kids are and how they get shaped into adults.

  24. Philip Edmondson

    Over a month ago I had a person tell me that the reason that Jesus was mistakenly called the Anointed one is because of self fulfilling prophecy, meaning that he was able to fulfill the old testament prophecies because he knew of their existence and as a result of that the world has been calling him the Son of God for over two thousand years making it the worlds biggest hoax in existence.

    Well I decided to examine the prophecies myself in the old testament to see if this was even humanly possible and to some extent it was possible, however there were several aspects of the prophecies that were out of Jesus and the disciples hands that was impossible to be fulfilled.

    There is a total of 40 or more prophecies in the old testament that I have found in reference to the First Coming Of the Messiah. Some may even say that the disciples and Jesus made sure that he fulfilled the old testament prophecies thus fulfilling them deliberately.

    This does not hold water! For how could Jesus or the disciples ensure that Jesus would be born of a virgin or as the Hebrew language puts it a moral unmarried maiden? Also born in Bethlehem, of the tribe of Judah and of the house of David?

    Another interesting Question is this! How could Jesus or the disciples ensure that Herod would have slaughtered all of the first born in Bethlehem when Jesus and the disciples were either not conceived yet or still in their mothers wombs themselves?

    When Jesus was put to death how could he control just how he would be beaten, mocked, spit upon, whipped and crucified on a cross or tree when crucifixion had not even been invented during the time of the prophecies that were written about the Messiah 2000 years before he was even born?

    And how could Jesus control how his robe would be gambled over by the Roman Centurions when they cast lots for it?
    Sure we have all heard of self fulfilling prophecy and to an extent it could be looked at in that manner but there were so many things that were out of the hands of the disciples that self fulfilling prophecy does not work in this instant.

    So that leaves just one thing left, if Jesus did use self fulfilling prophecy, the only way that he could have ensured that the events and situations that took place leading up to his birth thousands of years before he was even born and to ensure that the Romans fulfilled their aspect of it, could only take place if and only if.
    JESUS IS INDEED, THE SON OF GOD!

  25. Tony Mannucci

    Dawkins is more sure of certain "truths" than even a scientist is. The world contains mystery. I agree with comments here that focusing on the material inconsistencies in religion misses the mark. Religion has much to teach us.
    -Anthony Mannnucci

  26. Judy Thompson

    Oh yes religion has tought us a lot, war's, greed, false gods, how to kill millions of people, religion is just a camp fire myth that sould be put out.