Richard Dawkins answers a question

In keeping with the deliciously heathen & atheistic track I’ve been on as of late, I’ve been getting my daily dose of Richard Dawkins when I came across this video clip.

How much would it suck to be the student who asked this question?

For those interested, the other installments of heathens-‘r’-us, are:

Is organized religion still good for society?

Geology makes baby Jesus cry…

In defense of Atheism (with the complete, 2-part BBC documentary of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion)

Proof that organized religion stops critical thinking

Creationism is Bullshit! & The Bible is Bullshit! (with complete episodes of Penn & Teller’s television program Bullshit!)

5 Responses to “Richard Dawkins answers a question”


  1. 1 Rintrah 15 April, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Your title is “Richard Dawkins Ansewrs A Question.” The thing is that he does not answer the question. Turning the question on the questioner is not answering the question.

    The question asked, as I understand it, is “What if ther is a God?” The question is not “What if I am right and you are wrong?”

    What if all relgions professing belief in a God are right in their belief in a Divine but wrong on the details? The Devil is in the Details, so they say.

    Dawkins does not good whatsoever in diminishing individual people such as this student. He would do better to answer the question intelligently. He could andmit to being fallible and, as such, he would then be indicted on account of leading others astray. This offense would be looked down upon in a fantastic way. But since he does not believe he is wrong he has no worries and will continue to seek the truth he is after.

    But, alas, he does not answer the question. He merely ridicules the student. Dawkins is after truth and, as can be seen by the innocent way in which the question is asked, so was the student. Making them feel stupid does more harm than good.

  2. 2 Joseph Knight 15 April, 2007 at 3:32 am

    The sad thing is all the youth swayed by the fancification of his non-argument. It seems he’s high on the position of leading a procession of atheists vs believers and feeding on the peoples’ disgruntlement with the major flaws in organized religion. Yes religion is a meme-based glue that provides structure to societies, yes we’re growing out of our dependence on that order-enforcing idealism, and his work in explaining the psychology and evolution of religion is respectable. I have a problem however with taking so far as to say “there is no God” when such a thing cannot be proven or disproven so easily. Yes humanity has added so much embelishment to the basic concept of a diety in surely any religion in any country, but the common denominator between all these religions is:
    … that this is a system of atoms, energy, and events.
    … we are part in it and made-up of it.
    … all theistic religions hold in some way that there is a being on the outside of all of this, or even at the very core of all of this. Unless you can step out of the system, or become the entire system at once, you will not be able to prove or disprove God.

    I belive he had the chance there to influence that student, that humble student who was probably looking for simple comparitive knowledge, he had the chance to make a positive difference in here psyche, but instead he publicly humiliated and crushed her in front of considerable number of her peers. I have a few of his books and I respect the knowledge he has collected and shared, but now I consider him a major loser.

    The guy may be smart, but he seriously lacks wisdom and compassion. To sacrifice others for the sake of self is good definition of evil.

  3. 3 Julian Benson 18 April, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    “The guy may be smart, but he seriously lacks wisdom and compassion. To sacrifice others for the sake of self is good definition of evil.”

    I’ve been to church before. The way Dawkins approaches atheism is a lot the same a way a preacher approaches religion. A lot of rhetoric and not much substance (though as someone with such a high reputation in evolutionary biology, he probably could provide substance). If he’s “evil” so to is the preacher. So I wouldn’t go using such loaded words like that for either one of them, or we run the risk of fighting over-rhetorical arguments with even more rhetoric. That said, he really does have a very harsh style. I heard somewhere that his colleagues at Oxford university called him, “Darwin’s Rottweiler.” But, in my experience, overly educated Profs do tend to have a bit of a “holier than thou” atmosphere to them, no matter what field their from.

    However I think we should look past his harsh method (which will make him completely unheard to most, unfortunately) to what he’s actually saying (if we have the patience, that is). There is a philosophical argument put forth by numerous idealist philosophers like Descartes, George Berkeley and others that essentially is “we have nothing to lose by believing in God, and everything to lose if we don’t. So we better just shut up and go to church.” Like a lot of religious arguments this one relies on fear, but it’s been utilized for centuries to defeat philosophic opponents of religion and idealism. Dawkins, in his Rottweiler-esque way, does directly address this very argument here. Materialist philosophy is based on scientific merit along, and therefore through the scientific method, as long as the data is available, it is very hard to come up with two different answer to the same question. Not so with idealism. Since it is a philosophy based on projecting ones own thoughts onto the world (instead of the other way around) a billion and one different answers are possible to the same question. Therefore, “what if your wrong” (which is a classic idealist argument) as an attack against atheism/materialism, is a totally bunk.

  4. 4 HelloWorld 28 April, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Peace people

    We love you

  5. 5 Jamie 18 April, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Interesting you only posted this a couple hours ago, I came here on a Google looking to find out a bit about his other political views and yours was about the third hit down or something for “richard dawkins socialism”.

    I know in The Selfish Gene he mentions in passing having supported a socialist somethingorother back in the 70s, maybe the 80s, but that’s all I’m going on. Does anybody know?


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