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 (2,954 Responses)
  1. Anthony

    Oh, by the way, it's interesting how he ignores ALL of the teachings of Christ. And it's absurd to think that teaching religion to a child is child abuse. We teach our child beliefs, moral codes, and mores all the time. Even atheism is a belief.

    September 30, 2013 at 6:14 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      I would agree. If one does not know the harms that are in a religion, then just like the teaching of other unknown harms through other alleged moral codes, I cannot see this as child abuse. But it is harmful nonetheless.

      September 30, 2013 at 6:37 am | Reply
  2. Pablo

    So, is there a moral compass remaining, once you dismiss religion? The whole concepts of decency and good taste are disappearing from our society. Actually, any religion is very difficult for me to accept, but the dilemma is what hope is left. The idea that religion provides hope, comfort and a reason to live to millions make me feel that it has value, even if only a placebo.

    September 30, 2013 at 6:44 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      It depends on what you call "decency" and "good taste." Religion does reinforce, through weekly meetings (Christians) their moral code, but unfortunately it reinforces the immoral code as well (bigotry, discrimination, etc.). That is one failing of atheism is that they don't meet to discuss moral codes, and if you notice the incivility in a few of the posts here, you kind of wonder exactly what kind of morality they are practicing if they can't even be civil in an anonymous conversation.

      September 30, 2013 at 7:45 am | Reply
  3. Realist

    Society has become a far better one since we are more aware of the truth. There is greater transparency. In the past, many crimes went unreported. People were let off due to connections and lack of good media,

    Today, with social internet app we see far more. There are more groups today helping each other than ever before.

    The world is finally improving (negative people won't see it that way,, but, oh well. We've always had to put up with negative people.)

    September 30, 2013 at 7:16 am | Reply
    • Realist?

      I, for one, am looking forward to the day religion goes away.

      'Cause then – I can open my brothel, sell drugs to your kids, extort people, create an organized crime ring, start a human trafficking network, strip mine the earth for more money, and basically do whatever my "conscience" tells me without any guilt! Thanks Atheists for removing that barrier to decency!

      I am recruiting atheists to work as enforcers to create a more "civilized and secular" society, one based entirely on human reason and desire. Something to take the place of religion when you guys finish up your work. Send your application to "reasonfails@endoftheworld.com"

      September 30, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
      • bwilmott

        I agree religion should go away because it was created by men. Now a personal relationship with God, thats something we all need 🙂 Religion can go to hell. I agree with you 100 percent

        September 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Bo S

        If that's who you are, you do need a religion. Good luck with your life.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • WhatsamattaU

        You're confused. Society doesn't need religion to justify suppressing criminal behavior. The things that you list occur right now, in and amongst the presence of all sorts of religion. How can you explain that, other than to admit that religion, except in hate crimes, is irrelevant to how we conduct ourselves?

        September 30, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • EuphoriCrest

        Ah, but you still have those pesky government laws to contend with. Nice try, though.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "I can open my brothel, sell drugs to your kids, extort people, create an organized crime ring, start a human trafficking network, strip mine the earth for more money, and basically do whatever my "conscience" tells me without any guilt!" In the name of Jesus!

        Oh. So your a Tea Partier... why didn't you just say so...

        September 30, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • CosmicC

        I think you are confusing religion with law. In fact, if you look at your list of evils and compare it to the dictates you will find in the bible, I think you'll find that every one of them is supported, not banned.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • howam00

        You just described everything that is legal in Nevada to a "T" Congrats!

        September 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  4. No more voodoo

    Secular society has always set the moral and ethical compass for religions. Religions still don't get it right.

    We can thank our founding fathers who didn't want religion interfering with our government, their wisdom from the the horrors of religion in Europe.

    Thanks to them, USA law is above all religious rule. In fact we govern religions in the USA. How? We keep religions in check. And thankfully so, or it'd be like the middle east here,, except with christians.

    In the USA, religious rules are no different than kids tree house rules. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!!!

    September 30, 2013 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • Silly Atheist

      **sigh** Let me say something to all you "lets be done with religion" people out there – and please believe me when I say this – were it not for religion the world would be in complete chaos. Why, you may ask? Because, there are millions of people like me, who were it not for religion – would trod you fools under my boot just because I could. Without the "compass" to follow (the one Mr. Dawkins says doesn't exist) what is there to stop people like me from creating entire generations of Hitlers or Stalins or Musselini's? Absolutely nothing. You may say – "The people will stop you – the SECULAR society". That is laughable. Securlar society will support the folks like me to the ends of the earth. Secular society is evil. Hateful. Greedy. Lustful. I give people what they want, and destroy you in doing so. The ONLY THING that prevents many, many people like me from doing this – is God. The real one – who knows me, and sets rules for me to follow that transcend "secular" society. You atheist idiots should be very grateful for the real God – because without him – your god would be me. And if you didn't like it – I would put you in the ground.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
      • Zargoth

        Thanks for being so perfect in your reply as to make starkly obvious all of the problems with religion....

        September 30, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • TCC

        Lao Tzu said it once, I've said it once, and I'll say it again: "Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law." You clearly do not.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • classicbookreader

        The fact that you need a book to tell you to be a good person is sad to me. You should be a good person because you know it is right, not because a book dictates that to you.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • mk

        So before religion, people had NO morals? Huh.

        Seems "do unto others" would be common sense. I guess not for everyone, including you and your god.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • mk

        "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed" – Einstein

        "Religion gives us bad reasons to be good, when good reasons are actually available" – Sam Harris

        Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you're told.
        Religion is doing what you're told regardless of what is right

        September 30, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • phil

        Europe is largely secular. Europe has a much lower crime rate than the US, especially violent crime.

        Reason is what gives atheists a compass. Why do we need to make up fairy tales to guide us?

        Reason replaces religion. Use your mind. If you'd weren't brought up to believe what you do and were introduced to the ideas of religion, would you buy it? Or would you toss it along with all the silly other religions?

        September 30, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • hyperboleman

        Assuming you're not being hyperbolic just for the sake of argument – you might want to go get checked out. If the only thing keeping you from killing your fellow man is something dubious written in the bronze age, you may be a psychopath. That's not an insult, it's just the inability to feel bad about doing harmful things to people – Feeling bad about harming another human is the basis for a non-theist moral compass by the way. I could take it further and say, in the old testament I'm pretty sure you do have a duty to do harm to people who don't share your faith. What's stopping you? Why not get rid of that part of the bible, if it conflicts with Jesus' part?
        Most people, religious or not, when they get past the selfish age of four or five and realize that it's far better to treat people the way one wants to be treated, with kindness and respect. If you help others, it encourages them to help you and so on. Empathy can be learned, but it's pretty well built in as a survival mechanism in a species that depend deeply on cooperation. It's ok if you don't have it though, I don't hate you for it. A long time ago somewhere near or in Africa, and DNA evidence will back this up, we had a common ancestor. We are related sir. We are blood. And as a fellow human being, I love you.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • closet atheist

        You, sir/madam, scare me greatly...

        September 30, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • JoshGNY

        Actually that's what my guns are for!! If a secular or religious fanatics tries to impose my guns do the talking. Moral compass comes from good people not 2000 year old stories. I had great family with great moral compass but they didn't say do the right thing because catholics say it is good. just do it to be good. Oh and all of those horrible dictators were religous. I know Hitler was a christian. You can believe what you want but most bad societies have a bad religion behind them. That is why sharia law is so good for women or being a rib of Adam is so good for women right.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • Flying Spaghetti Monster

        Dear "Silly Atheist"
        You are obviously ill. Hope you feel better, take care.
        Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • Hal

        Sounds more like you need to be locked up in a padded room for the criminally insane, than religion. Have you ever seen a Psychiatrist for your psychotic tendencies? You should give it a try!! Modern medicine has come a long way and there are many medications that will help you.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Colo001

      No where did the Founding fathers not want religion. What they said was the new Government will not promote a religion. They will not endorse a religion. You are welcome to practice the religion of your choice. But they still held prayers at official functions. You are grossly misstating what the forefathers meant

      September 30, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • donna

        Colo001, you either can't read or you were deliberately twisting No more voodoo's post.

        They said:
        "We can thank our founding fathers who didn't want religion interfering with our government..."

        Not what you claimed:"No where did the Founding fathers not want religion.'

        It's so pathetic that you people are so desperate you will lie and blatantly misrepresent what people say just to try to make a point.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  5. John Sharp

    I love how these conversations are becoming more prevalent. It is about time we put the shackles of religion behind us.

    The sooner we as a people are not guided by an imaginary friend the better.

    September 30, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      it's not so much the imaginary friend, rather the last squeals of the dying out religious.

      They last ones just get louder and sillier.

      September 30, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
  6. Anjum Hameed

    Strange man Dawkins..he has made atheism a religion..does he even realize that??...

    September 30, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      How do you define "religion?"

      September 30, 2013 at 7:46 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      it would be nice if he could.. It would allow atheists to put up signs helping children by stating 'Mom and Dad are lying to you about god.. Ask them to prove a god. They can't',, and the atheist would be protected by religious law.

      Yes,, it would help immensely if atheism were a religion. They could promote next to religious schools and churches. All children need is a little doubt making it easier to break away as an adult.

      September 30, 2013 at 7:46 am | Reply
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Dude – what's with the harsh tone? Remember, when you write there are a lot of people who read and don't comment, and your comments reflect poorly on us (atheists). Are you trying to persuade, or vent?

        September 30, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • No more voodoo

        I'm a Realist.. not an atheists. The difference is that Atheist will argue the god. A realist will view god discussions no different than discussing the existence of Santa.

        It would be to the Atheiest advantage to be declared a religion,, the Atheist would now be protected under federal law. ie they could post signs in the religious right states without worry. If people start tearing down the signs, then it would be viewed as a hate crime.

        In the end, it will force the religious back into their caves,, children will become more willing to question and become free of the shackles.

        It is a positive thing.

        September 30, 2013 at 7:59 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Well, I'd say you need to check your moral compass because stuff like this, "In the end, it will force the religious back into their caves,, children will become more willing to question and become free of the shackles," is written to be offensive. Is that they way you wish to be taken?

        September 30, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • No more voodoo

        should we go back to allowing the inquisition?

        No difference.. they are doing the same by destroying small children's lives. That's OK with you? I say back into the caves and away from our children, then poof.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        I'm pretty sure no one is proposing to go back to the inquisition. What you and are discussing is civility in conversation in order to persuade. Honey and vinegar, right...which attracts more? What is the purpose of your tone?

        September 30, 2013 at 8:16 am |
      • No more voodoo

        the discussion is pure silliness.. Moral compass now??? You actually would engage in such foolishness?

        People do good deeds,, religious or not.. No one has a corner on that market.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • pat

      So is philosophy a religion?

      September 30, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
      • CosmicC

        No, but most religions have a specific philosophy.
        How did this question help the discussion?

        September 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Is science a religion?

      September 30, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
      • No more voodoo

        why argue that point with them. Their comments declaring science a religion is them indirectly portraying religion as evil.

        They are confused,, let them be confused.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Conversation and persuasion require an exchange of ideas. This is a discussion, not an argument.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:11 am |
      • No more voodoo

        having a discussion with people who are unable to evolve due to implanted fears is just silly.

        Again,, I'm not an Atheist. I'm a Realist. Much different. We demand children be allowed to explore this universe with open minds.

        You think dragging a kid to church, demanding they pray, scaring them with a place where they will be subject to PAINFUL 3rd degree burns and with SCARY MONSTERS??? Is OK???? Is HEALTHY??

        That's where Atheists and Realist differ.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:35 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        I don't know where any atheist says those things are ok, and, regardless of how you want to package yourself, you're an atheist. You can argue whether you're an agnostic one or not, but you're an atheist.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • No more voodoo

        that's where you are wrong,, Atheist define themselves within their own boundaries and will engage in god existence.

        A realist views the discussion of a god,, as simply foolishness.

        A Realist understands a society MUST protect its children,, because it is children who are traumatized who are at the greatest danger to themselves and society. WE MUST PROTECT CHILDREN.

        You can play the silly game of religion vs atheists.. that is just silly.

        You can play the game of who establishes 'm oral compass' if you wish..

        A Realist goal is to protect society,, ensure children are safe and given the best chance to success,, positive evolution.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • tepeters

        God is a metaphor for that aspect of reality humans do not know and/or over which we have no control. That is what the god concept always has been in human history. Religion is man's attempt to know the unknowable and control the uncontrollable through the right beliefs, ritual, prayer, or sacrifice. Religion is also belief that reality is defined by some absolute external or "supernatural" reality that is unchanging and thus becomes a coping mechanism for a changing world because we fear a reality that is impermanent, impersonal, and immanent (that is where at least the Buddhists have it right) so in religion we try to create a world that is permanent, personal, and transcendent. Because people try to impose what they want to be real instead of understanding what is real, there is division and conflict; prejudice and evil acts because each and everyone, community, nation, religion etc. believes they know what is good and evil, what is and what is not, what should be and should not be.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • kerry

        Anything based on a belief is a religion whether the existence of a god or not a god or science. All religions or the same in one respect. They are a way of living not just a belief is something or not something. To say religion should go away is an oxymoron because no matter what you believe would be defined as religion. People by nature are not moral we are moral by virtue of laws. We have these law because we are by nature immoral. If we were moral we would have no need for laws to force us to be civil.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • JON

      Just because you choose to believe that does not make it so. Richard Dakins has not made a religion out of atheism. He has stated that many times in the past. Atheism is simply the non-belief in any deity due to the lack of evidence. Anyone who believes in only one religion and does not believe in any of the others is an atheist to those other religions. Richard Dawkins has simply taken it one step further and does not believe in yours.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • DWE44

      I am sure others will cover this response. But no, Dawkins has not made atheism a religion. There are important and fundamental differences between religion and rational, scientific thought. If Dawkins were to encounter good, valid and replicable data of evidence contrary of his beliefs, he'd change them. No religious zealot can say the same. Provide evidence of creationism; provide double-blind placebo controlled evidence that intercessory prayer has an impact, and my guess is that you'd get Richard Dawkins to scratch his head, and ultimately change his mind as the data build and build. Alas, such studies are unlikely.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Doug

      Where do we meet every sunday? What strict laws do we follow? What groups of people do we dislike or treat unequally for reasons beyond their control? What statement can you make which applies to *every* atheist, other than "they do not believe in god"?

      September 30, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  7. No more voodoo

    religious tolerance exists until you begin destroying children;'s lives. Religion should be treated as p–or-n
    and kept away from children until age 18. If at 18, they want to join, let them.

    Religions don't like that because the destruction to the child's mind must begin when a child, or the brainwashing won't last.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
    • DBMO

      You were raised catholic, weren't you?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • CosmicC

      That is not universally true. I'm an atheist. I'm also a Unitarian Universalist. We raised our children as UU's. They received "religious eduction" in that they learned about what people all over the world believe. Then, as they reached high school they went through a coming-of-age class in which they decided what they believed. My kids are more or less agnostic. Most kids who go through our program decided they are atheists. They still consider themselves UU's. We are non-dogmatic and our only sacriment is coffee (free-trade, of course).

      September 30, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
  8. Stan

    The worst crimes in the past century were committed by atheists – Hitler with Nazi Germany, Stalin... the list goes on. This is logically consistent with atheism that views human beings as a more evolved order of animals. How does Dawkins establish the possibility of morality emerging from naturalistic processes? How can he prescribe such morality upon all people – even if it seems logical to him? This is utter nonsense, you have to start with a transcendent ethical and moral basis to even question the ethics and morality of the Bible – Dawkins doesn't have this basis to stand upon.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Pain and suffering are strong influences that lead to the development of moralities. And your points about Hitler (who has many references to God in his book, Mein Kampf), and Staling (who was taught in a seminary and ruled a religious country) were thoroughly refuted by Christopher Hitchens on numerous occasion (can be seen online on Youtube).

      September 30, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
      • Megan

        But doesn't Dawkins come from a very religious background (maybe both he and Hitchens? Or just one?)? And doesn't he often reference God and the bible in his own writings? Why are you willing to look at Dawkins with different color glasses than Hitler? Or Stalin?

        September 30, 2013 at 8:51 am |
      • Jay

        Because Dawkins references Gad as "there is no God" which makes him an atheist.

        Hitler said "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

        – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

        Along with many other quotes acknowledging a God, which would pretty clearly make him not an atheist.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:08 am |
      • christian fai

        The problem is not God or religion. The problem is what people make of it. Charles Darwin was taught that life and everything that exists on earth is because God created the earth the heavens or sky around it in six literal days. Even though he was taught that God created everything, he later discarded such idea in favor of evolution and many other people have done so even though they have been well exposed to the teachings of a an all powerful God and Creator. Jesus taught about Himself to be pre-existent and be one with God before the world was created. However, He was killed because the religious leaders of His time said that is assertion was a blasphemy that should not be accepted. Nonetheless, Jesus introduced a new moral compass where we should learn to love and pray for our enemies. His last words stating "father forgive them, because they don't know what they are doing" has set a new moral compass where violent fight against an enemy is not longer seen by many people as an option to settle differences. Even more: former drug addicts, thieves and cold blooded assassins have acknowledged that they were living an error and thanks to their new faith in Jesus have become different people who are not longer a threat to society. Stalin or Hitler may have been given religious instructions but they were never able to claim that they were believers in Jesus Christ and that they wished all other people to follow Jesus moral compass of praying and loving one's enemies. People could say many nasty things about religion with some degree of accuracy. But never they could say that what Jesus taught and lived for could be any kind of threat to any peaceful society.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        @Megan – But I'm not looking at them through different colored glasses, they are just different colors. You are not honestly proposing that Dawkins is like Hitler or Stalin, are you?

        September 30, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • CosmicC

        Hitler considered himself to be Catholic. Stalin was clearly an atheist. They were evil people. Stalin did not commit attrocities in the name of atheism. Hitler did commit attrocities in the name of god.
        Before you pull this card out, consider carefully what you are saying. It allows those of us with a grasp of history to point out that no one directed an army to commit genocide in the name of atheism, but plenty of people have done so in the name of their religion.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • JON

      According to you.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • Gene

      STAN! Hitler was catholic!!! Read a book, for cryin' out loud!

      September 30, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • ggargoyle

      For the record, Hitler was a Roman Catholic.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • Doug

      Prove to me that Hitler was an atheist. Can you? Stalin, maybe, do you know for sure? Either way, what does that have to do with anything. If you're religious or atheist you know it's wrong to kill. If you're religious and you kill one person, then you're going to hell, what does it matter if you kill 1 million, hell is hell. *If* they were atheists, were they commiting these atrocities in the name of religion? NO, Hitler thought the german race was superior, there were plenty of religious germans, he had no problem with them. That has nothing to do with atheism.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
  9. End of the Road

    Let go of the Ego, a world of self serving people will collapse in short order.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Doug

      We can work towards a better society for everyone without the fear of god in us. Is a better world not motivation enough? Being a good person feels good regardless of what you believe.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
  10. Franco

    We are born with a moral compass, religion provides a guidebook to live a better life. Unfortunately religion has been hijacked by the nuts.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Ok, if it has been hijacked, then what do you propose?

      September 30, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • kerry

      No one is born with a moral compass. Morality is learned. Nobody ever had to teach a child to lie it just comes naturally.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • donna

        kerry, there is a great deal of evidence for biological adaptations such as compassion, empathy, altruism and nurturing, all of which contribute to our concepts of morality.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Jessica McGwin

    Religion can be like life on earth confusing at times. I think it does provide me at least with a foundation for my moral compass to rest upon. In my own life I have been witness to horrible human acts. Reading the historical account found in religious books does not justify to me the acts are correct, only that through out time un Godly human caricature can be found. I am not alone, long before my conception the world has been full of both good and kind acts as we as bad. Religion helps me see there is nothing new under the sun. Anything I may go through others have endured. To survive and live past the events of evil I found I can not do it with out a God. It is a two way street, I witness his works every day and God witnesses mine. Some say it is all physiological, others say it is hokus pokis maybe so. I need my imaginary friend. The beauty of this country is we can each choose for our self's what works. It is my right to decide that deeply personal and privet relationship.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      You are right, it is your right to choose. And religion does convey some moralities, but unfortunately it conveys some immoralities as well, and those are unfortunately stressed. As a former Christian, I feel a great deal of freedom to move beyond those immoralities, to cast them away, if you will.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Aldewacs2

      Jessica: religion is not required, and often interferes with the process, to do the things you say are needed.

      Humans do not require the shaky rules of religion(s) to behave morally. As a foundation, religion is at best unnecessary, and at worst quicksand.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
  12. Franco

    Doe Richard D. ever smile? Then Richard D is just as bad as the religious nuts, since he seems to be proclaiming to know it all.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • Aldewacs2

      VERY desperate, Franco.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • Doug

      What does smiling have to do with anything? Richard Dawkins has said on almost every occasion that he is 99% sure that there is no god, he is not sure of anything, and he is willing to adapt to new information. This is something that religious people need to learn to do, adapt to new information.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • donna

      Yes he does smile, it's very telling which photos people chose for their articles...

      September 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  13. usindiefilms

    No more Invisible Sky Monkey madness, please. Humans are born knowing right from wrong, and to believe that some mythic deity is the only thing that instills morality is a form of madness, in and of itself. This falls under the same blindside arrogance that animals are emotionless beings. Anyone that's shared space with a dog, cat, bird, etc., knows that's not true. Can we please move forward and think for ourselves? Yes, we can and were, then along came Islam and we've started to regress to the 7th century.

    September 30, 2013 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Don't you ever get tired of that "Invisible Sky Monkey" rant? It's so old, tired, and worn out. Gosh. And know, humans are not born knowing right from wrong, that's why we teach children.

      September 30, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply
      • Bob

        He's just a poor, bitter man. It's really sad. At least he should try to be a happy atheist.

        September 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Well, I mean the "Invisible Sky Monkey" rant being tired for all atheists. I've seen it so many times; it's like a broken record.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:04 am |
      • no

        When people stop looking up (is something up there I can't see?) when they pray (sky) and praying to a 'god' in their own image (next you'll say we don't look like monkeys). Then we will stop saying it like that.

        November 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  14. w


    September 30, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      ^^ more proof of evolution.. a post from this poster will be soon born.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
  15. flip

    A lot of smart people out there who are on both sides of this debate, but in the end Jesus stands out at as the one we all should pay attention to. He believed in God, in fact he was crucified for associating himself as the Son of God. He is the most excellent person to walk on this planet, I'll go ahead and take his word for it that there is a Father in Heaven. From there we can examine and think critically all that entails. Logic and reason can take us far but only so far and then we need to come to a conclusion, and equally intelligent people have come to different conclusions, e.g. Dawkins and C.S. Lewis.

    Btw, is patronizing those of us who believe in God morally good? Or is it part of the some "playbook" that it is ok to demean believers?

    September 30, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      go back into your cave and stay AWAY from children..

      September 30, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • flip

        Sorry, brother, for all the horrible things that have been done in the name of Jesus. Nothing makes me angrier. I think we both can agree that we need to protect children. Take care.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      So, you are saying that the Old Testament should be ignored?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
      • flip

        Not really sure where you get this question from my short blurb, no time to go there. Love the OT, perplexed by parts of it but a lot if good, interesting stuff there.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Because the Old Testament paints God as a vengeful being, and that's why I ask you if you it should be ignored. It's the holy book, right? It contradicts the New Testament.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • flip

        Maybe God has always been passionate about his creation, humans in particular. So passionate that he appears vengeful. Perhaps he actually is still vengeful when his creation rejects his provision for their salvation, i.e. His son. Maybe when we choose to live our lives without regard to the most beautiful and excellent life ever lived, we get exactly what we want and get to die like the mosquito you squashed this summer. Maybe we humans are not like that mosquito, but we are actually the pinnacle of God's creation (what the OT teaches) so much so that God Himself would come and sacrifice Himself to bring us to God (what the NT teaches). Maybe God is the highest Good for humankind and outside of Him there is vengence and wrath (what both the OT and NT teaches). . . . don't see the contradiction, I don't think Jesus saw any contradictions with his teaching and the Law.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • Soundwave

        No the OT should not be ignored. However it was fulfilled in Christ. It remains as a point of reference. The New Testament is in place as the new law for Christians to follow given to us directly by Christ.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Science

      Hey flip

      You might want to read this for more facts = truth.

      Where do morals come from?

      (not from the bible/religion)

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      April 12th, 2013

      04:00 PM ET


      September 30, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
      • flip

        Not saying we get morals from Jesus exclusively. You are probably a better person than me as an intelligent, western person would define morals. I'm all for teaching truth, i.e. science. I'm not afraid of science and its findings, however science will never be able to difinitively prove or dis-prove God's existence. What I am saying is that Jesus was the most excellent person to walk on this planet. Maybe, just maybe, we should take seriously his theistic beliefs, and when it comes to spiritual truth shouldn't he be the one we consult on such matters?

        September 30, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • Science

        News Release

        MnDRIVE – New Enzymes – 300×225 – A

        3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

        University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube


        September 30, 2013 at 9:35 am |
      • flip

        Obviously you're smarter than me, but I can't let you off the hook that easily. Dr. Francis Collins, I'm guessing might affirm your findings, but he is a theist. There are Christians who affirm evolution but are theists.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • Science

        Hey flip ...............flop to life it is fun !!!

        Find a chondrite they are OLD !

        Do not forget the talking snake ?

        Origin of Life News


        September 30, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Doug

      Don't use the term "in fact" when speaking of Jesus, How many of the words in the bible( written well after his death) can be called facts?

      September 30, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
  16. hdrkid

    Atheists believe in evolution and science. Basically, that teaches the law of the jungle where only the strong survive. Weak must die away. Survival of the fittest is what science preaches to us. Jesus says – love your enemies.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Oh, my, no. Morality is part of evolution, and that's what makes it awesome!

      September 30, 2013 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Doug

      Modern medicine(brought ot you by science) actually helps to keep the weak alive. Think of the magic we can create today, we kcan keep people live, with good quality of life, these people would have been dead in the blink of an eye in biblical times. Yo ucan thank science for helpingg the weak survive. Everything you know is wrong.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
  17. Disillusioned

    When programmers are able to create a robot with consciousness, and they will, realize that this will be actual evidence that its possible to create a sentient being from nonliving material-with an intent. It will not happen randomly. It will happen because of the power of actual intent. IT will be more evidence for a god that did the same making life here, not less. These robots will be able to fix themselves, think,
    , give power to themselves, make more of themselves, and replicate. It's evidence of a creator that did the same for us.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      actually,, it is evolution which created us.. and if we make a robot like us,, that too would be evolution..

      ie.. why not create a complete robot today,, right now?? Oh,, the correct answer is that we have NEVER created a single thing.. That right!!! Never, everything we have innovated is from discovery with a blend of chaos.

      When we discovered a stone that might have a purpose as a wheel,, why no Mercedes Benz the next day??

      Please don't insult what human intelligence exists.. You god evolved from man's brain as a need to create a short cut to explaining,, some might call it the lazy way out.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • Robert

      Wasn't there a movie about that?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Disillusioneds

      Making a sentient being, with intent to make one, a robot or whatever, will show that conclusions based on verifiable evidence can be duplicated,, with intent, under lab conditions to create consciousness. That's a big scientific necessity in showing a higher intent could do the same with our existence. Its A huge step in proving a god exists.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        You cannot seem to grasp the concept that god can use science too, in the form of evolution, to make creation. Not all believers are literal biblical translators either, you know. god can use evolution and science to make creation. Let me repeat that. God can use scientific laws to make creation. Just like we make computers , discard the obsolete ones, then make further generations, to ones that will have consciousness. See how evolution with intent works? Just like with our own technology.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  18. frespech

    There isn't an atheist or scientist alive that can prove how life began. Period, not open to discussion.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Actually, there's a great deal of proof pointing toward evolution and how life began, but the work is not finished. However, there is absolutely no proof that life was "created." Some are problems are so big that when we have reached the limits of our knowledge, we choose to invoke creationism. But the youtube video in my name by Mr. Tyson shows how even the greatest minds in science did this throughout the centuries – invoked creationism because the problem was beyond their understanding.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • Science

      Hey frespech

      Evolution in a test tube!

      MnDRIVE – New Enzymes – 300×225 – A

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Media Note: To request high resolution images of Dr. Seelig and/or of a 3D structure of the evolved enzyme, please contact Matt Hodson at mjhodson@umn.edu.

      Contacts: Matt Hodson, University News Service, mjhodson@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552
      Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, rinar001@umn.edu, (612) 624-0774


      September 30, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
      • Disillusioned

        Of scientist Make life in a test tube, it will show that it took intent to do so and make it. To me you're saying that it the took intent to make our life and existence. In other words, it was not random like atheists like to believe. That's what you're showing.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • Science

        Scientists Discover Cosmic Factory for Making Building Blocks of Life

        Sep. 15, 2013 — Scientists have discovered a 'cosmic factory' for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, in research published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.


        Chondrites ?

        September 30, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Disillusioned

        Finding building blocks of life, and making real and actual life transform out of unalive elements, are two different things.

        September 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Disillusioned

        But if and when they are able to produce actual life, with intent, like this, it will be a wonderful way tocprove that life is made by manipulation of scientific laws as a creator would do. Life, with intent to form that life, is is again wonderful evidence to prove that god exists.

        September 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • No more voodoo

      you are an insult to what intelligence human beings have.

      Thankfully, most achievers didn't give up as easily as you.

      FYI All humans don't share the same level,, religion is the substi-tute to help those handicapped.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Rich

      your point?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Science

      Hey frespech

      Origin of Life News


      September 30, 2013 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • donna

      The major difference between science and religion:

      "Period, not open to discussion."

      One embraces discussion of evidence, one rejects it.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  19. Robert

    I am amazed at how people who are considered intelligent cannot grasp the concepts in the Bible. He complains about people taking out one or two verses to suit their needs and he does the exact same thing to support his statements of error. The Bible must be considered as a WHOLE, in its entirety. Yes people were stoned in the old testament, but Christ brought the new testament and made it clear that His role was to fulfill the old and be a sacrifice for all. Christ specifically taught that those among us without sin should cast the first stone.

    The Bible is a superb moral compass. Would any sane man argue against killing, telling lies, stealing? Of course not. IF you are going to pull one verse from the Bible, pull the one that say that the sum of this is to love the Lord Your God with all of your heart and soul, keep His commandments and love your neighbor as yourself. IF we could do that as a species, there would be no wars, no hatred, no judgment of one another.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Ok, Noah's Ark, true? Come on. Dinosaurs on the Ark? Or, do you now wish to put that one aside and not take the Bible as a whole?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • Robert

        The Bible does not say this was the God's first work of creation. As a matter of fact, the Bible implies just the opposite when it states that the seeds brought forth trees, implying that the seeds were already here. I, like you, question why a 25ft tall man-eating lizard wasn't mentioned and the obvious conclusion is that the Bible refers to the period of time we live in now and does not exclude previous life forms that existed before us. I'm not trying to be combative, and I'm not a Bible thumper by any means, I just suggest that all written works must be considered as a whole. If you do not do this, one might think that the Origin of Species is just about a hummingbird.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Robert – Oh my gosh, look at what you've just said! Now you making up reasons to explain what was meant to be the plain language of God to man. That is an evolution of Christianity, just as Christianity was an evolution of Judaism.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Robert

        I'm not making up anything. I'm saying you must read books as a whole, not in portions.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Robert – If you read the books in whole, heck even in parts, they contradict each other. My guess is that the people who gathered the various parts of the Bible, if they could see into the future, would never have included the Old Testament because it is so ridden with cruelties, contradictions and immoralities. They'd have a much stronger position if they had just had the New Testament. But even in that we can find problems with the lack of proof, and strong comparisons to other religions with symbolic births and deaths.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • No more voodoo

      like Marvel comics,, huh. No different. Lots of great stories with heroes. In fact when people are suppressed, they create super heroes. We see this every day.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  20. Robert

    Not like marvel comics, which is only a hundred years old or something, but more like a story that has existed since the dawn of man. Religion, a knowledge that there is a God, has been with man since his creation. Yours is an unfair comparison, I think.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Well, as we all say, the greater the claim, the greater the evidence needs to be. And that is the problem, there is absolutely no proof, not even and reasonable indications, of the existence of God.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • Robert

        So you think 95% of the world population suffers from some sort of delusion? The world is replete with testimony of actual persons indicating a direct involvement of God in their lives. Will you really call every single one of them crazy? If you won't accept first hand accounts and observations, then there is no convincing you. To have a rational discussion, you must me at least willing to be proven wrong, as I am. Prove to me that there is no God and I'll join your ranks.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        I think you'd agree that 95% of the world does not have access to information as readily as we do, and in the places where some do, they are prohibited to entertaining these kinds of discussions are they are deemed blasphemous. The fact that 85% of this nation's leading scientists, people who do have access to that information and the freedom from religious persecution do not believe in a personal God says a great deal to me. And as Neil DeGrasse Tyson says in his presentation, "The Perimeter of Ignorance," what is remarkable is that 15% of the leading scientists do believe in a personal God.

        And I don't accept first hand accounts because we have tons of those for aliens visiting this planet, which is something else for which there is absolutely no proof. Honestly, science brings tons of arguments through experiments, fossils, living fauna and flora, but still I have not even the slightest evidence of God.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • Disillusioned

        Atheists will be the first to say they need evidence to back their beliefs. And when people give personal accounts of evidence of god, they then dismiss it. I understand skeptical. I don't understand taking people's evidence And dismissing it outright. Do you know how many crutches and braces and other supports grace the Halls of shrines around the world? Probably millions. People believe what they want. Is what it does don to. Including atheists

        September 30, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        @ Disillusioned – Do you know that there are people all around the world who have no knowledge of God, they get sick, and they get better by themselves. And if you mean like any of the people I've seen on the televangelist shows throwing their crutches aside...now, come on!

        September 30, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Disillusioned

        Tell me one culture on the planet that does not have a spirituality or religion of some sort or another to get better by themselves. They may call that higher intent something besides god, but they have relied on a force beyond themselves to heal.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Disillusioned

        No, I'm talking about crutches amd braces left behind for the last thousand years in various churches and cathedrals. . Before televangelists. My background is catholic, so I m talking about the happenings at Fatima. Guadalupe. Lourdes. ,at many other places. We don't really do the culture pf televangelism there so much.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        You are conversing with one right now.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Ok, here's an even stronger argument to your point. Think of all the people that do go to those places that are not healed. That's proof. That's evidence. What does that say? And I have to say, as a former Catholic, I can't accept "the Lord works in mysterious ways" as an asnwer. I would need proof of that as well (besides stories).

        September 30, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Disillusioned

        And you heal yourself of ills beyond a sprain or a cut? I'm not talking your basic rejuvenating of injuries. Im talking about people over the thousamds of years literally unable to walk before entering these places, and then walking right out of them afterwards. Leaving behind Thousands amd thousands of Letters upon millions of letters of testimonies left in these shrines about how people were by their terms miraculously helped when nothing else worked.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Disillusioned

        I am not a follower of strict faith healing by any means. I totally see benefits and successes of medicine and surgery. As god has given us the intelligemce to make medicine to heal ourselves, of course people should use it. But I do believe that sometimes there are forces we do not quite comprehend that can also help people.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • No more voodoo

      there was human life welllllll before the bible was ever created. In fact the bible is young by comparison to human existence.

      If they wrote marvel comics back then,, it'd be called the bible today by the lunatics, and interpreted to fix the many errors..

      Primitive man writes a bible which proves zero about any god. A god that existed back then,, and no sign??? Oh,, and the religionist have to make up excuses for his failures..

      How about this.. Your god isn't perfect. Instead of resting on his tired 7th day after creating this gigantic universe,, he should have been cleaning up his mess.. Yep, meteors are flying around because he was lazy. Or he should have created an 8th day..

      Oops.. man needed to create the bible with a 7 day story because that defined the week. And a god got tired ,, because man gets tired.

      You and atheists actually discuss this crap???

      September 30, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • Robert

        Wow! you are so far off from rational discussion that it's not even funny. The Bible we read today applies specifically to our time, our existence, or lives. There have been many previous epochs of time and those may or may not have had their Bibles. God only asks three things of us: to love Him, obey His commandments and treat one another as we would like to be treated. IF we did that, regardless of motivation, would we be better or worse off?

        September 30, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • No more voodoo

        no problem,, intelligence is hereditary,, more proof of evolution.

        Your family genes still have time to develop,, though unless some virus intervenes,, your family tree will never catch up. Evolution,,

        September 30, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  21. bwilmott

    This dawkins man, he's just riding his train to fame on the back of your insecurities. Please stop making this guy rich, hes truly laughing to the bank on stances that he cannot backup. Its all garbage.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      please replace 'Dawkins' with 'religions',, there you have it. Then again, you would have never posted that if conflicts didn't exist in your brain about the validity of religion.. You know how some know that about you???

      September 30, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
  22. Jenny

    Check out the I.Q.'s of all the different countries. There are several sites for this.
    Countries with the lowest I.Q.s are invariably the most religious.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Robert

      I took you up on your offer and I also learned that countries with the highest I.Q.s have the greatest moral decay and the shortest periods of existence. Odd, isn't it?

      September 30, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Robert, how do you define moral decay? That can mean anything. The morality of which group of Christians, for example.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • No more voodoo

      correct,, also, religion is bought today by third world countries for the same reason the primitive bought it here.

      Indians sold us tobacco and we sold blacks religion. Religion is a great tool to make you feel content that those in control will always control you and have more.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
  23. Steve

    Funny, never seen an atheist backpack ministry feeding needy kids. Or food bank. Or disaster relief. Or blood drives. Or immunization clinics. And we do it for everyone regardless of belief. Lack of moral compass? wow.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Well, I'm curious. How do you know what Atheist do with their money, and how they spend their time?

      September 30, 2013 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • Franklin

      There are plenty of atheists that do charitable work. The reason you may not "see" them is because they do not do work under an "Atheist" banner. They are just people. Bill and Melinda Gates come immediately to mind (The Gates Foundation). Their foundation gives away a billion dollars per year to many different charities.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        And I'd add that they don't feel a need to toot their own horn, except that they recently did so because of this very claim that atheists are not involved.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Elliot

      Or raping children, or flying planes into buildings, or blowing up schools, or shooting in malls, etc... Are you really that dense?

      September 30, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      mostly done from US tax dollars,, That's right. Even Catholic charities uses tax dollars to operate..

      USA,, made up of atheists, religionist and Realist.

      In fact USA laws govern religions here.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  24. MickeyOregon

    And atheism has given us NAZIism, Stalin, the travesty and travesties of communism, the horrors of the French Revolution, Cambodia's killing fields, infanticide, eugenics via abortion/euthanasia/forced sterilization. Atheism ultimately makes humankind a commodity without individual inherit worth. Atheism is not just the absence of God or religion. Atheism, ultimately, is the destruction of humanity to being anything other than a resource to be managed and exploited. Ultimately.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      No. For the wars, a lack of morality gave us those (Hitler was a Christian, Stalin was taught in a seminary and ruled a religious country). My gosh, the Bible has infanticide in it when God killed the first born in Egypt! I do have problems with abortion, but I believe that's a woman's personal choice. Your arguments do not support your claims.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
  25. Aldewacs2

    The religious compass is more of a wind direction indicator.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      from the buttend of the pope

      September 30, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
  26. Presto

    Astonishing numbers of people are ferociously determined to believe anything but the truth. Posters assert that the without the "moral compass" of religion there would be rampant crime, drugs, slavery, oppression, Hitler, Stalin, etc. etc. Of course, over the past 3000 years, religion has consistently condemned and prevented all of these things. The profound evangelical religious fervor or the Southeastern USA prevented them from embracing slavery, and following the abolition of slavery allowed them to immediately embrace free people of color as equals. Long ago I realized the truth. It is appalling that so many reasonably intelligent people still cling tenaciously to transparent ancient fairy tales for so-called adults.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • No more voodoo

      religions and dictators are quite the same

      1) they both love to control
      2) the create stories
      3) they use fear to make others believe them

      ie christian, muslim, stalin, mao

      this unified group has destroyed so much of man's advancements,, including the destruction to innocent lives..

      September 30, 2013 at 10:18 am | Reply
  27. Abu

    The soundest of the scientific theories can easily be poked and made into Swiss cheese. Creationism is always the remainder. Furthermore, and more importantly, if you have not done an in-depth study of Islam (which requires understanding of the Arabic language) then you are doing yourself a disservice. You atheist speak without knowledge; what you see the minority do is enough for you to discard the majority. Silly billies, LOL. Take the challenge: learn and study Islam, and if you are truthful to yourself (without the fear of what others might think) you will come to recognize it as the truth. But because most of you atheist fear the stripping of your animalistic desires; having to curtail them, and are outright weak and fear the lost of what you have gained, then I know for sure that most of you after seeing the truth will still reject it. And that is okay. Someone has to be fuel for the hellfire. Although you deny Allah, Silly Billies, you don't disprove Him.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Why would anyone want to spend their time reading Islam, which is an evolution of Christianity, which in turn is an evolution of Judaism? The stories change to this very day. When a religious person says, "we take this to mean...," watch closely because evolution in religion is at work again, helping it to survive.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
      • Abu

        Perfect excuse not to read and do the research yourself. Not surprised. Evolution as you call it is acceptable in science but not in religion? The scholarly approach would be to do the research for oneself. But again, there is no surprise that you will not. And that is perfectly fine.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • No more voodoo

      well maybe a a 6th grader from another dimension is catching hell for creating this.. You know, a dimension where intelligence is far past us

      After all,, they don't even have to look like us, need water,, or even food. Lots of possibilities.. But just as a god, we don't bank on 'possibilities' and then preach the trash to kids. We call theories, theories.. Nothing i absolute from our tiny perspective..

      And if you want to create a god,, you'd better hope he's a good one. Because indications are that he'll turn on you.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • Abu

        Good smoke screen. But you are aware that the smoke always clears and the truth remains? The scientific theories (especially the most weak of all – evolution) are taught as truths to students in school. Actually what you say is not done is exactly what is done in schools – bank on possibilities of obviously weak theories and then lead them to believe such fallacies. Again the challenge from Islam to mankind is there in the Qur'an – it simply asks to disprove it. Why will you not try to take the challenge on your own?

        September 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  28. Don

    I will die. That is a fact. I have a living spirit in me that will live after the death of my physical body. There are many, many evidences of spiritual existence - in my life and in other persons I have observed. Spiritual evidence is often seen when individuals come to the end of life. I greatly prefer to die like the Christian rather than the non-believer - I have seen both. Belief in God is NOT religion!!! Ask God if He exists.. If you ask sincerely – He will answer.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      You are talking about near death experiences, when the brain is starved of oxygen and the body is in trauma? Why don't these same experiences happen when we sleep? You see, there's no proof. There are even people who are awake, who see aliens, have been abducted by them – that's not proof either.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • Don

        No – not near death experiences, I have never been near death. Yes – near death experiences– some see monsters, some see heaven. These can be evidences - good and evil in spiritual realm. Yes,- there are dreams – at least 3 kinds, ate too much chile -or from evil -or from God - there must be spiritual discernment.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  29. Mr Duckworth

    The great PT Barnum would love to meet Mr Dawkins – both these Con men would have a ball together. Dawkins is doing a great job at making money by selling his Science Fiction – that's all it is. Fooling people into thinking he has something new here to see or buy – when there's nothing new in his tent at all – just an old carnival trick – come in the tent to see my thing (and it's a hoax). He has a belief system just like religion is a belief system, he has no scientific evidence where the universe came from he has no proof there is no God – he's recycling old anti-religous rants from 100 years ago – why? So people follow him and he makes his money. PT Barnum's gotta be smiling now...

    September 30, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Ok, and where is your proof, or what is your evidence that Dawkins is a hoax?

      September 30, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
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