Dawkins: Religion no moral compass
September 27th, 2013
05:53 PM ET

Dawkins: Religion no moral compass

By Jason Miks

GPS digital producer Jason Miks sits down with renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, author of the Selfish Gene and An Appetite for Wonder, to discuss readers’ questions on religion, its role in society and whether children can be described as “Christian.”

A number of readers noting your skepticism over religion’s role in society ask whether an absence of religion would leave us without a moral compass?

The very idea that we get a moral compass from religion is horrible. Not only should we not get our moral compass from religion, as a matter of fact we don’t. We shouldn’t, because if you actually look at the bible or the Koran, and get your moral compass from there, it’s horrible – stoning people to death, stoning people for breaking the Sabbath.

Now of course we don’t do that anymore, but the reason we don’t do it is that we pick out those verses of the bible that we like, and reject those verses we don’t like. What criteria do we use to pick out the good ones and reject the bad ones? Non-biblical criteria, non-religious criteria. The same criteria as guide any modern person in their moral compass that has nothing to do with religion.

So the moral compass of any person is very much a part of the century or even the decade in which they happen to live, regardless of their religion. So we live in the early 21st century, and our moral compass in the early 21st century is quite different from 100 years ago, or 200 years ago. We are now much less racist than they were, much less sexist than they were. We are much kinder than non-human animals than they were – all sorts of respects in which we are labeled with a moral compass. So something has changed, and it certainly has nothing to do with religion.

You’ve been travelling to the States from the U.K. for a number of years. Have you noticed much of a change in the place of religion in the two countries over that time?

Notoriously, the United States is the most religious of the Western advanced nations. It’s a bit mysterious why that is. In Britain, Christianity is dying. Islam, unfortunately, isn’t. In Western Europe generally, Christianity is dying. Even in America, the figures show that religious adherence is being steadily reduced, and the people who now record themselves as having no religious affiliation is something like 20 percent. Many people don’t recognize what a high figure it is, and so politicians here who feel they have to curry favor with religious lobbies should maybe take a look at those statistics and realize that not everyone in this country is religious.

You say it’s a bit of a mystery why America is so much more religious than other advanced countries. Do you have any thoughts on why it might be? Tied to that question of disposition, several readers also wondered if there is a genetic predisposition toward faith?

There probably is, but I don’t think that really explains why America is so different from Britain. The least implausible suggestion that I’ve heard is that Britain and Scandinavian countries, which are also very non-religious, have an established church, and that kind of makes religion boring. Whereas in America, there is constitutionally a bar against an established church, and that could be one reason why religion has become so popular – it has become big business, it has become free enterprise, rival churches vie with each other for congregations and especially tax free ties.

Some readers see you as very evangelical in your atheism. Do you feel it a duty, just as some Christians might to share the word of God, to spread an atheist point of view?

Duty is a funny word. But when you say evangelical, I like to think that I don’t shout or shriek, but employ a quiet, sober voice of reason. And reason is on our side.

You’ve talked about feeling uncomfortable with the impact of religion on children. In fact, one reader asked whether you would prefer to see no under-18s at church. What’s your take?

I certainly wouldn’t wish to prohibit parents influencing their children. However, for the rest of the world, to label a child a Catholic child simply because its parents are Catholic, seems to me to be a form of child abuse. The child is too young to know.

You can see the absurdity of talking about a Catholic child of four when you think what it would be like if we talked about an existentialist child of four, or a logical positivist of four. In other words, we wouldn’t accept the labeling of a child based the parents’ belief, so why do we accept it when it’s religion? Why does religion get a free pass when it comes to labeling children in this way?

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Topics: Religion • Science

soundoff (2,952 Responses)
  1. fenchurch

    With xianity on the decline (and other kinds of inanities on the rise, like Islam), the world sorely needs a dose of critical thinking, free-thinking, secular humanist values to guide us morally and philosophically.

    Too many people hold the naive notion that you need a belief in a "higher power" to aspire as humans, or to believe in "something greater", and so keep turning to outdated and immoral old books to fill this odd requirement of their own making.

    To shed all such bronze-age nonsense and trust in evidence is an enormous comfort: no miracles required!

    September 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Billy

      YO! wat dis guy said!
      WORD.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Will

      Yeah. With you.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  2. Throw the yule log AT uncle john

    Religious people are becoming more fanatical as they realize that religion is losing it's foothold. A baptist woman was touring a catholic church and had the gaul to vehmently prosthelytizing (lay people don't do that in catholic churches mind you) that, "God wants us to judge people!" I thought God wanted us to love people and that judgement comes when we meet God. It would not surprise me if most of the Obama-hating, gun-toting people in this country consider themselves Christian too. Hypocrites. Being Christian is just a hide-behind for hating progressives.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Billy

      Hell! Hell! Hell!
      we're all going to Hell.

      oh well.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Toms435@aol.com

        If you want to go there, you will.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • deep blue

      I thought God wanted us to love people and that judgement comes when we meet God.
      If judgement is wrong, why does God judge?

      September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Pest

        He's the original "do as I say, not as I do" parent. He even knocked up his own mom, if you believe the mythology.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Wastrel

        Judgment is wrong for people because it's what god does; it's above a person's pay grade and it's not his job.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Toms435@aol.com

        Sheesh, why is it that people comment on a New Testament belief system without having ever read and understood what those passages actually claim?

        September 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • sheshie

      "A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word darkness on the walls of his cell."
      -C S Lewis

      September 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • Pest

        Nice assertion. Too bad you have zero legitimate evidence to back it up.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Toms435@aol.com

        @Pest: Neither have you any proof that God does not exist and is not what THE BIBLE says He is. You poor lonely being with no hope but "lights out".

        September 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • A little truth please

        The glory of god only exists in the mind of the believer. Beyond that, there simply is no god. Sorry but it's true.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Colin G

      Yawn

      September 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Toms435@aol.com

      You generalize too much.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  3. tony

    Religion is just a belief in magic.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Billy

      ...and still getting to live after you die 🙂

      September 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • i12bphil

      Magic is nothing more that the unexplained. All of the devices and technology we have today is magic. Man has learned to manipulate atoms and particles in ways never thought possible. Bring someone from 200 years ago into today and the would consider all of us sorcerers. There is absolutely no reason to think that we are the highest intelligence in this universe, so yeah, religion is the belief that something out there can do more than us. The unexplained. Magic.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • tony

      Magic is the supposed process of bypassing the Laws of the Universe in some way. Not just technology more advanced than the understanding of the observer.

      Turning an ounce of lead into two ounces of gold by a quick wave of a wand, without any other technological help would be magic. Religious folk believe there is a god who can do similar acts.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  4. darwinspitch

    I don't want to make any money folks,I just love to sell books, heh,heh,heh.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      Don't confuse Darwin and Dawkins

      September 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • darwinspitch

        Correct,caught that to late,my bad. Dawkinspitch

        September 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Paul

      Yeah, I'm sure Pat Robertson feels that way!

      September 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  5. Colin

    I love are hard Dawkins. He is my favorite writer. Thank you CNN for including this article about him.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Love are hard = love Richard .. Stupid computer.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • ScottCA

        Freudian slip? (just kidding)

        I love Dawkins too for his courage and Bravery in speaking rationally amongst so much utter delusional lunacy.
        He is a hero for all humanity.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Meghan M.

      I like Sam Harris, well spoken, intelligent, makes you think and question things... (unlike religion!)

      September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • ScottCA

        Sam Harris is also great, he is not afraid to differentiate between religions, both have their place in this struggle, and both are very logical men. History will reserve a place of honor for them both.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • rhobere

        ahh the late Sam Harris. All the great ones leave us too soon.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Sam Harris is very much alive and well. I believe you have confused him for someone else.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  6. ScottCA

    So well said, Sir. Thank you Richard Dawkins, for speaking rationally amongst so much lunacy.

    I very much look forward to the day when the educated intellectuals, the very ones best suited to lead society, who more often than not are also atheists, do enter into politics, and when we have a secular society that is prepared to accept them.

    As is, by not accepting atheists, society in America has barred the most highly educated from politics and from making the type of decisions they are best suited to make.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • i12bphil

      I see you've bought into the narrative that atheists are the intelligent people and no one else is, or can be. That of itself is proof that you're not.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • ScottCA

        straight from the pages of "'I know you are but what am I" when your best arguments are those of children, you have already conceded the point.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Yes I have actually graduated from university with my degrees in psychology.
        And I know that statistics prove the higher one is educated the less faith based religious those people statistically are.

        Your obtuse ignorance of this well established fact, changes nothing, but only disservices yourself.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Karin

        Atheists use logic and reason to dismiss religion on its own merits. Religion has absolutely no evidence to call upon when asserting their grand claims. Thus atheist use intellect over and beyond folks with whom are religious. As religious folks hold beliefs via faith based reasons and dismiss intellectual reasoning for why they believe what they believe. Or, they simply could care less what is true or false.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • American expat

        Good post!

        September 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jason R

      ScottCA says it better than I could.... although I think it all ties back to the economy. When people have a lack of opportunity, they turn to magical, fantastical thinking to give them comfort, hope, and a sense of self-worth.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • albie

      nicely put – great comment

      September 29, 2013 at 2:18 am | Reply
  7. Paul

    Yes, athiests are incapable of love, caring, etc because we don't believe in the invisible guy in the sky. Are you that ignorant of how people work and/or function. I guarantee you that NONE of your religious kook friends act out of religion – they act out of self-interest and use religion as an excuse for anything they do. Ahh, religion. It can be used to do anything, right or wrong. Now, reality is not quite so flexible. You might try it sometimes.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      "reality is not so flexible"
      Is logic reality? I thought it is just abstract self-consistency?

      September 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
      • tony

        Not if you expect to get the right change at the supermarket.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Sane Person

      That's not logic, that's called math. They are actually two different subjects. Even have their own courses and everything.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  8. Alan Tindell

    For 2,000 years now atheism has hammered away at the anvil of Christianity without making the slightest dent, although the hammers certainly wore out.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • American expat

      Good post!

      September 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Atheists have made huge strides against religion. Take Jessica Ahlwuist for example. No hammers worn out here. We are just getting started!

      September 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • i12bphil

        Here's to continued failure.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Just picking up steam. We are growing faster than any religion is growing. And we are no longer afraid to admit who we are. The religious used to burn us at stakes. We have beaten them back into submission to rationality, and they no longer wield the power to supress us with their cruelty and insanity.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
      • darwinspitch

        Wow,that says it all.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • bat100

        Someone should let the Texas School Board know this. The ones in charge of picking out textbooks for America's children. Have you seen "The Revisionaries"?

        September 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • eja

      No, not really. Its the other way around. Religion has dominated culture in one form or the other for most of history.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • ScottCA

        Secularism and the ideals of Classical liberalism have been the central focus of society since the 18th century, and these ideals stand in gross opposition to religion. Classical liberalist governance has been responsible for the greatest degrees of human freedom, dignity, liberty, and the greatest declines in violence ever experienced. None of this is due to religion, but despite religion that stood in gross opposition the whole time. It is rational deductive reasoning that made all our advances possible without it there is no understanding whatsoever.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • test sample

      seems like there are plenty of other hammers making inroads. what is the fastest growing religion?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Reply
      • Jeff Williams

        Are you referring to the one where its adherents breed like rabbits and then indoctrinate their little rugrats and severely punish anyone who strays from the ideology? Now THAT's how you grow a religion.

        September 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • albie

      we will see how much longer religion can last within an information society – young people who grow up with access to the truth are turning away from religion in droves – religion is decreasing in the most educated of first world countries. Unfortunately in america, the disease is still quite strong. But, people are starting to get fed up, so there is light at the end of the tunnel

      September 29, 2013 at 2:22 am | Reply
  9. albie

    Dawkins is a hero, one of the brave few who is willing to stand up and call it like it is – wish I was as brave

    September 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Mopery

      I understand your trepidation, throughout most of history Atheists have been beaten, stoned, tortured, and burned alive by believers. Even today if you're in the wrong country(or wrong part of the country) believers often show their true colors when their beliefs are questioned by Atheists. I have to wonder if a believer attacking an Atheist over a mere argument would be considered a Hate Crime? If not, then it should be. I'd say the same for Atheists attacking believers but seriously, when has that ever happened?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  10. American expat

    This fellow (Dawkins) thinks he the measure of all truth. That, in itself, is evidence that he is not. Poor fellow.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      False: he never makes such claims. You are just being a dick.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • i12bphil

        Wait, so he's acting like an atheist?

        September 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • i12bphil

        ...and yes, he is essentially claiming that. He's written books asserting that.

        September 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • ScottCA

        When one has to argue against rational deduction (otherwise known as science) they are reduced to lying and spewing outs senseless hatred. This is the recourse of the religious, who cling to insane ideas with no anchor in reality.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • donna

      No he most certainly isn't. Regarding this issue, he acknowledges there is a possibility that a deity exists. He is a good scientist.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  11. Buddy

    Fanatical anti-theism will never be more than a tiny and irrational cult. There is no reason for politicians to court such a tiny group of individuals.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • American expat

      Agreed!

      September 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Our numbers grow year after year. You are laughable.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • ScottCA

      Stats are proving you very wrong about this. Atheism is growing far faster than any religion is, and I meet more and more of them daily. People are coming out of the closet sort of speak, and we are not afraid to say we are atheists.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • American expat

        You said what I was thinking... atheism is not growing so much as atheists are "coming out of the closet".

        September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • ScottCA

        We are growing in number thanks to the increasing intellect and education of the people. and we are becoming more vocal because of our growing numbers and the suppression of faith based religious based bigotry and cruelty.

        You cant burn us at the stake anymore to protect your insane irrational beliefs, anymore than you can prevent medical science from progressing anymore, as the religious once burned scientists for studying medicine and examining bodies.

        The world is becoming a better place despite religion, in no way because of it.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • REVOLUTIONnOW

      Is this a joke, contrary to popular belief people are becoming increasingly educated. Meaning such delusions as religion are fading out. Therefore, the survival of ANY political party will be dependant of RATIONAL and LOGICAL voters, not fanatics that believe in myths. This small group that you speak of, includes the religious.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • REVOLUTIONnOW

        Clearly, I misunderstood that. Sorry.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  12. sheshie

    "A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word darkness on the walls of his cell."
    -C S Lewis

    September 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Yes! Praise Allah!

      September 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Really fun

      you can replace the word God, with Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy... and the word worship with believe and it all comes down to the same thing. People who believe don't care what you say, or what you show them, they just need to believe. "Don't ruin a kids Christmas by telling him there is no Santa."

      September 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • tony

      Have you also read the rubbish in his Lion, Witch and Wardrobe fantasy?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  13. deep blue

    "I am the wisest man alive for I know one thing and that is that I know nothing" – Socrates
    I may know nothing, but I've got a lot of really good guesses.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  14. naw

    please do not refer to people as atheist.. The correct term is Realist.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • donna

      There are atheists who are not realists though. Atheism refers to the singular issue of the belief about a deity. You can believe ghosts, magic, dragons, fairies and unicorns and be an atheist.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • Jeff Williams

        """You can believe ghosts, magic, dragons, fairies and unicorns and be an atheist."""

        I understand your point but frankly it's a point not worth making. If you could find an atheist who actually believed in any of that, be sure to let us know.

        September 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • donna

        Jeff, I know atheists who believe in ghosts. I know atheists who believe in karma. I know atheists who are deeply spiritual.

        Though yes, the only atheist I know who believed in fairies was my daughter, but she grew out of that.

        September 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  15. Really fun

    I always enjoy debating a believer as they tell me that there has to be a beginning origin and they ask me how the universe started.. and then they smile and tell me there just had to be a creator... and they look all smug and tell me it HAD to be God. I look at them and say that they have a good point, and that if there needs to be a beginning for everything, then they can most certainly tell me where God originated. That is when they look you straight in the eye, with the look of a deer in the headlights and tell you that God is the only exception to their rule.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      For as much as they love to think we atheists believe the universe is totally random, they pose the most random crap as if it were fact. Lolololololol.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • Really fun

        So true. They are easy to dismiss our beliefs based on science and ask us to put facts away and lead with our heart.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Disillusioned

      Sort of like thinking the universe started with nothing and became matter. That's pretty funny to believers.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        Or a pool of proteins magically transformEd into life with a bolt of lightning.all by itself. Prove that, scientists. Still waiting on that one.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  16. sheshie

    How very sad to have such an empty soul.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Yeah, when are the people going to accept Allah into their souls? I feel so bad for these empty hearted Christians. Ey don't even let the Flying Spaghetti Monster in either. And he's so cute. I don't know why they don't like cute things.

      September 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • tony

      Bewtter than an empty brain.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • American expat

        That makes sense.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mopery

      What is this "soul" you speak of? As far as I know there's no evidence for such a thing.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Will

      No, actually. It feels pretty darn good. Love me my empty soul.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  17. Disillusioned

    I truly do not care iif people are atheists. Go for it, I believe in floating your own boat. It does drive me crazy with the intolerant remarks of atheists that all believers are utterly stupid and conservative. Lies and bias and intolerance on their part. There are liberal Christians too, that have fought your battles too, on gay rights, and choice, and no war, and tolerance. And science. So remember that.

    September 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • donna

      You are a HUGE HYPOCRITE! You have been here for quite a while spreading lies about biology and atheists, and you're going to claim here in this post that you are taking some high road? Please.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        What Lies have I spread about biology? Tell me exactly what I said. You're a fat slanderer. I gave facts on biology so tell me otherwise.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • ScottCA

        They are children clinging to delusional fantasies, they know nothing of rational deductive reasoning, and obtusely refuse to. It is sad, they are reduced to lies and tantrums.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • donna

        Disillusioned:

        I have already explained in detail what you have been lying about and I"m not going to waste my time explaining it again here for you to continue to ignore.

        In a nutshell you are lying about the biological process of Natural Selection. You are lying about it's definition and you are making wild claims that it is somehow a philosophy that people live by.

        You are ignorant and uneducated. You don't know biological, so you should stop spreading falsehoods about it.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • donna

        *biology not biological.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Thanks Donna for that very necessary rebuttal.

        The problem with these faith based religious people is that they do not understand the logical process of rational deduction or how it works and they obtusely refuse to study this process to understand it.

        The sad consequence of not understanding this, is that it leaves one behaving irrational and without logical reasoning–in other words very much prone to behave insanely.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        I know the process of natural selection and nature allow its course is used socially to apply to manifest destiny. To aryanism. To hitlers wars. Wipe out the defects of society because nature justifies it.. If nature allows it its right then, right? I'm saying we are more than that. We are not only chemicals and elements. We have a mind and a spiritual consciousness. Please close it about biology teachers. If you told the truth you would see I ever mentioned one word against them.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Disillusioned you have fallaciously linked the theory of evolution with "social Darwinism" which is not in any way connected to Darwin's theory of evolution.

        Evolution acts on the DNA of the individual not on groups, in fact social Darwinism is in gross opposition to Darwin's theory of evolution.

        You are also greatly mistaken if you believe an argument that something is natural makes it morally acceptable.

        I suggest you read Harvard Psychology Professor and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker's excellent book "The Blank Slate 'the modern denial of human nature"" As this will help alleviate a great number of your fallacious beliefs and ignorance of this topic.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
      • donna

        Good reply ScottCA. Love Pinker, that's a great book.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Colin

      You absolutely care! You've been sitting here bashing atheists the whole time this article has been up. Atheists don't think all Christians are conservative. I know many liberal Christians. But they are delusional, even the best among them. Stupid....ehh... Maybe the ones like you... But I have some pretty intelligent Christian friends when it comes to talking about things other than this. We appreciate those who fight along side us, but that doesn't mean we have to treat them like they are right about everything.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • tony

      Believing in a religious fantasy is far from stupid, if it is a belief rammed into you at an early age by people you expectedt to be trustworthy. Instead it becomes aasumed to be a fundamental fact, which often takes years of hard thinking and nagging doubt to gradually remove.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Thank you Donna.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • donna

      "I know the process of natural selection and nature allow its course is used socially to apply to manifest destiny....If nature allows it its right then, right?"

      NO. And you make it repeatedly clear that YOU DO NOT know what natural selection is. Each of your "definitions" have been overwhelming wrong.

      Answer these very simple questions if you "dare:"

      Do you agree that 1) People have different genes that give us some different traits and
      2) Do you believe that people who reproduce pass on those genes and that those who do not reproduce do not pass on those genes?

      Two simple yes or no questions. If you aren't a hypocrite liar, show my by answering these.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        I told you what I believe.i believe natural selection and evolution is a natural process that can be used to socially justify wiping out defects in society. I know people have done it before, and thppthat certain ruthless pigs of society still believe in doing ths to our poor and weak. I know that most atheists are not the natural selection buffs when it comes down to REALLY acting on such a scientific principal in light of social consciousness, and I'm calling them out on that they believe in such things as a soul and a meaning to life and compassion. Whether they admit to it or not. Otherwise your blowing smoke up your a s s to start something and take offense when you have no idea of the perspective I was writing about.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • donna

        So you are refusing to answer two simple yes or no questions? Go it.

        You are changing your story now of what you've been saying. But that's ok- at least you are getting closer.

        People use physics to build bombs, does that mean that physics isn't real? Or that we shouldn't "believe in it"?

        Anything that deals with life is dealing with biology. You seem to want to blame the existence of life for the fact that some people harm living things. Do you see how absurd that is?

        September 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        in other words athests are hypocrites. Your beliefs and morality come from a system already in place from religious times and you don't want to admit it. If you're all about science then why don't you follow it to its natural conclusions, when it comes to taking over and destroying the planet and other people to further your own interests. That's thecanswer I want. Ether asmit that there are higher ideals besides chemicals and reasons to care about beauty and love and altruism, or admit you're a simple animal with no souls that is taking up resources on the planet.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        You lying puppetteering waste of words. Where did I say anything that you accus me off, take your puny brain and actually quote me, instead of flapping your running lips.quote me. ,right now.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • donna

        Disillusioned you are again being a major hypocrite!!

        You just said that YOU believed that natural selection evolution were biological processes. Now you are saying that people who believe that, obviously think we should let people die.

        You are irrational and immature. There are no "natural consequences" to understanding science.

        I suppose if I taught you how a microwave worked, by your logic you would feel compelled to put everything in the microwave and let nature take it's course? Right? Because if you understand the physics of microwaves, the natural consequence is that you would use it as your moral guide?

        And you have never asked me where I think my moral code comes from. I have degrees in history and anthropology and I guarantee you I understand the development our society's moral codes better than you do.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • donna

        Disillusioned, quote you about what? We have too many comments here for me to know which one you are referring to. I will be happy to oblige if you specify which comment of mine you are referring to.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        Don't tell me what you think I said, blithering fat mouth. Show me MY words where I said biology teachers don't care about life that you are lying about. Otherwise shut your slandering stupid hole. My biology teacher was a nun. I never would have said that about any biology teacher slandering liar.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        An intelligent biology teacher at that, who realized that scientific processes and the belief in god are not incomparable with each other. Unlike a lot of uninformed atheists here.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • donna

        I can tell by your name calling that you are getting very emotional and upset that I'm showing you how wrong your thinking has been. Don't be embarrassed, everyone makes mistakes. 🙂

        "Show me MY words where I said biology teachers don't care about life that you are lying about."

        I was referring to your claims that people who believe in "it" meaning natural selection will base their moral code on the biological process of natural selection and you've made that claim several times.

        "If atheists believe this [natural selection}, then why dont they advocate for the eradication of our sick and elderly that can't contribute to our society and use our resources."

        Your false definition of natural selection "It is letting nature take its course on the sick and weak."

        "I know the process of natural selection and nature allow its course is used socially to apply to manifest destiny. To aryanism. To hitlers wars. Wipe out the defects of society because nature justifies it.. If nature allows it its right then, right?"

        September 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        What's the matter dear? Are you a bored and blithering housewie and thinking it would be a pleasant afternoon spreading lies on the Internet about people saying that biology teachers don't care about life? Liar.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • donna

        Let me translate for you Disillusioned, in other words you meant

        "You proved with my own words that I don't know what I'm talking about and that I'm a hypocrite, instead of having the integrity to admit I was wrong, I will just insult your gender."

        Typical. Good bye, you are not worth a second more of my time.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        It's bizarre that you should think peopłe who understand biology would want to kill old people. your words. To me. You're a lazy and stupid liar. Too bad you give atheists a further bad name. As a liar and unbelievable poster. I'll remember not to beleive any word you say in further posts. If I bother wasting the time to think you have actually something to say.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        I'll do my own translating, liar. Clearly you have no idea what I'm saying and lie to try making look like I said things I did not. But if I think I'm saying you're a slanderer and lazy liar, ill happily go with that.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • donna

      This quote of yours is also worth pointing out, as empathy and compassion are products OF natural selection, not in opposition to it. Natural Selection heavily favors humans helping each other.

      " I m saying that the natural course of natural selection would mean the death of most of the human species with a destroyed planet to be ruled b a few warlords that are ruthless enough to continue, if we don't engage some basic values of empathy and compassion that go beyond who can live the longest by being a warlord"'

      The bottom line is that you don't know what natural selection is.

      September 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        The bottom line, idiot, is that the processes of natural selection proceeding further to social Darwinism are clearly linked. That's why it's called social DARWINISM. Get it? If biologically natural selection favors the few that can make it, then why can't people,cim their logic, in the name of nature kill their weaker and defective that can't compete? Without some belief that human life is important amd more than a soulless flesh lump, what is to keep people from following a natural progression of thought that to,e and again people have done to others by the millions to kill and eradicate? What don't you get about this? You cannot be this dense. Truly.

        September 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        The processes of a natural selection and social Darwinism are linked by people that would love to justify killing and crippling those weaker than themselves with this philophy. . History, that you claim to have some clue of, clearly shows this pattern. Over amd over. Manifest destiny. Hitler. The klan.c Simple as that. What can you not possibly derive from this. How can you be this clueless. I'm saying that without some checking mechanism of humans, like religion and a sense of soul, of which few exist today, people will proceed further with this the strongest win philosophy to our detriment , without the belief that humans and have importance and
        worth besides scrabbling on others to conquer. Crap? Doi need to hold your hand on my relatively simple perspective? Two degrees for you? Really?

        September 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  18. Disillusioned

    And probably while most of the self righteous atheists were standing around picking your noses loudly claiming how bad those no war, for gay erights, war protesting chistians were in the wrong for practicing religiously taught compassion for their fellow man.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Mopery

      Yes yes, compassion for our fellow man say the believers! So tell me where does god, or jesus, or anyone in the bible denounce human enslavement as immoral and wrong?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        The bible was written by a group of men with their own biases and cultures and agendas played out as gods literal words. Some believe literally, and other don't.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  19. tony

    Is there really was a god, we wouldn't have any human religious leaders, or atheists.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  20. ben

    Politicians should NOT "court" anybody! That's the PROBLEM! Politicians should be focused on doing what's good for the country, NOT whats good for any individual group of people. The solution to our screwed up mess isn't to spread the mess around to other places.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  21. IpseCogita

    There are not enough of the evangelical atheists to matter. The Dawkins types are a small minority, it would be like politicians courting left handed, redheaded tuba players. There are a lot of us Atheists, but to the vast majority it is just not the overwhelming politician issue it is to Dawkins.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  22. Disillusioned

    No I siaid atheism doesn't bother me, I said crapping on believers that are not stupid and not conservative bothers me. You do not have the science or logic to prove that there is no god. I pointed it out. You said blah blah blah, natural selection. I did not say that I did not believe in evolution- I said that the logical conclusion of such, with that only being the driving force of human nature, is such that most of you scientific so called atheists could not really bear it out to its real conclusion.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      Let's accept your premise that the laws of nature only promote self-preservation and that there is no moral law. Hobbes used such a premise. From that, he derived the social contract and wrote up a very good system of morality. You should read it. Even if we are only concerned about self-preservation, game theory suggests that acting exclusively in our self-interest produces a sub optimal outcome for everyone, so logically a social contract is needed to set up better rules of society..

      September 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        Ok but that does not explain why we still take cae of and don't kill our sick and invalid elderly that do not contribute to our society in any way

        September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        In fact we spend money and actually hurt ourselves to do so.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """You do not have the science or logic to prove that there is no god"""

      Do not bring "logic" into the conversation unless you understand how to use it.

      It is not up to atheists to DISPROVE anything that you have failed to PROVE.

      September 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  23. naw

    why is it that the religious can never defend their opinions?? As they begin to start losing,, they then use 'well how can you get something from nothing'.. They just can't accept that we we one day figure that out and no god has ever been proven to exist..

    More so, if they end on their claim of something from nothing,, that alone leaves the door wide open for, if you have a god he might not be a nice one. In fact it would seem he wouldn't be nice with all the perils he 'created'. Love me by scaring you. Nice god.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      I guess you are going for

      Premises: God is good, God is omniscient, God is omnipotent, and there is evil in the world

      Conclusion: God knows there is evil in this world and could stop it, but he doesn't, but God is also good. This is a contradiction, so our premises must be false.

      I have a problem with this logic. This logic implies that the world would be better if God fixed everything, or at least created a world that started out without problems. I'm not convinced that is the case. We need free will. We need problems to solve, so if there is a god, I wouldn't argue that his world sucks. I'm atheist, but not because of the problem of evil.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  24. Myopic

    This is just one mans opinion. That's all it is.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  25. Mopery

    Let's all bow our heads and pretend to be serious. Conformity for conformity's sake say the people who believe that a cosmic zombie(who was after all his own father), created us sick yet commands us to be well, wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood to gain immortality, will torture you for all eternity if you disagree, and who's symbol is itself an instrument of torture. Oh man.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Will

      Yeah. Definitely gets the "Worst Dad Ever" award! I mean really. Really. "Works in mysterious ways." Lol. Yeah, not me. My method of fathering is a little different than the almighty's. I try to make sure my kids understand why I do anything I do. But I guess I'm not an omnipotent tool.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  26. American expat

    To ScottCA.

    Just because my assessment of Dawkins is that he is off the bell-curve in eccentrism, doesn't equate to "spewing hate".

    By the way, I have a degree in science and I am a monotheist.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Bruce McClure

      Which mono?

      September 29, 2013 at 12:27 am | Reply
  27. JaneE

    It seems that the most vocal advocates for a religion are often the worst possible examples of moral behavior. The vocal members of the "Christian" right wing pretty obviously hate most everything that Jesus taught, and make their religion all about things Jesus never addressed at all. Some of the most successful televangelists directly contradict Jesus on almost every broadcast. How Christian is it to quote the Old Testament, or Paul (who never met Jesus) and totally ignore the actual words of Jesus Christ because they don't match your idea of what god wants. Sounds like making up your own morality to me.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • bat100

      I like Jesus, I do not like his followers because they are so unlike him. – Gandhi

      September 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  28. SciGuy

    Dawkins evidently understands next to nothing about the Scriptures.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • ScottCA

      He actually has read them, unlike the majority of faith based religious. Religion requires apathy in order to continue its senseless lies.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • American expat

        I'm glad all atheists aren't so rude as you.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Stating a statistical fact is not being rude, its being honest.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mopery

      Let's see, the scriptures were all assembled by an oligarchy in 5th century Rome, who cut and pasted what they liked and threw out whatever they didn't like and manufactured a story about events that had supposedly happened nearly half a millennium before their time. You know that most of the so-called disciples didn't even live in the time of jesus, right?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • SciGuy

        Your summary is woefully inadequate and wrong. For example, from the literally thousands of copies of manuscripts, scrolls, etc of the NT scriptures we have essentially the original autographs as penned by the apostles. Then we have quotations from those scriptures by men from as early as Clement of Rome around 96; Ignatius around 110; Polycarp, Hermas, Papius and others early 100's; Irenaeus, Diognetus, Justin Martyr, and others mid-100's; and many more too numerous to mention. Then there are the early canons such as that of Marcion around 140, the Muratorian about 170, the Barococcio around 206, and more; look them up. Then there were the councils–Nicea, Hippo, Carthage 1 and 2, all in the 300s and early 400s.

        September 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • karlblessing

      Though a lot of the scriptures have a particular flaw in the fact they were written by men, and men are fallible. And most who do know every word of the 'scripture' don't always seem to practice what they preach. Remember even the Devil knows the bible front and back (and probably any other book of scripture).

      September 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  29. Chuck

    Athiests, the Other One Percent, why should be cater to people that are bent on
    destroying our RIGHT to freely woeship God, Before we had Atheists we had Christians
    Jews etc.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Jason R

      Atheists aren't bent on destroying anyone's right to worship anything at all! If someone believes a magic pink unicorn lives in their closet, who am I to tell them they're wrong? I can think they're silly, ignorant and probably uneducated, but they have every right to pray to their pink unicorn.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • Mopery

        Who dares speak ill of the almighty Pink Unicorn?!

        September 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Jason R

      Oh and Chuck.. you do realize that Christianity is 2000 years old and Human Beings walked this Earth for hundreds of thousands of years before that. Please say you understand that...lol... this is why atheists, scientists, or really anyone with a form of higher education can't have an intellectual conversation with you people. Non-Christian's, whether atheist, druid, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever, PREDATED Christians by many millennia. Just introducing FACTS here.

      September 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • American expat

        You should know... you were there, right?

        September 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
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