Richard Dawkins: ‘The Root of All Evil?: The God Delusion’ (Online Video)

From “The Root of All Evil?“:

Richard Dawkins describes his astonishment that, at the start of the 21st century, religious faith is gaining ground in the face of rational, scientific truth. Science, based on scepticism, investigation and evidence, must continuously test its own concepts and claims. Faith, by definition, defies evidence: it is untested and unshakeable, and is therefore in direct contradiction with science.

In addition, though religions preach morality, peace and hope, in fact, says Dawkins, they bring intolerance, violence and destruction. The growth of extreme fundamentalism in so many religions across the world not only endangers humanity but, he argues, is in conflict with the trend over thousands of years of history for humanity to progress – to become more enlightened and more tolerant.

Video: Watch “The Root of All Evil – The God Delusionhere

John Latter / Jorolat
Evolution Research:
http://evomech5.blogspot.com/

26 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins: ‘The Root of All Evil?: The God Delusion’ (Online Video)”

  1. First of all let me make clear that I favored evolution as a means or a process or a reason on why all of us and things that surrounds us are here today, my system can accept that we all came from Hydrogen atom.

    Yes I believe in science, but after reading the scenario “that our car will start in the morning” example, it made me pause and think for a while, this only shows that though I favor science, my mind is still open for new ideas, this time on faith. I agree that no one knows 100% if our cars will start the following morning & again you are right to say that we like to think that it will start but is it really ‘faith’? or the fact that we do not have a choice but to turn the key and see what happen. It also has to do with the ‘knowlede’ that I maintained my car well and it always start in the morning with out fail say in the past 12 months.

    But the faith on a promise of life after death for example is entirely a different story, compare to our car example, I know of no one who can prove that really there is life after death.

    root_ac@yahoo.com

  2. First of all let me make clear that I favored evolution as a means or a process or a reason on why all of us and things that surrounds us are here today, my system can accept that we all came from Hydrogen atom.

    Yes I believe in science, but after reading the scenario “that our car will start in the morning” example, it made me pause and think for a while, this only shows that though I favor science, my mind is still open for new ideas, this time on faith. I agree that no one knows 100% if our cars will start the following morning & again you are right to say that we like to think that it will start but is it really ‘faith’? or the fact that we do not have a choice but to turn the key and see what happen. It also has to do with the ‘knowlede’ that I maintained my car well and it always start in the morning with out fail say in the past 12 months.

    But the faith on a promise of life after death for example is entirely a different story, compare to our car example, I know of no one who can prove that really there is life after death.

  3. “Dawkin’s contradition is criticizing educational institutions for avoiding teaching evolution, while not criticizing current public school systems for avoiding teaching intelligent design.”

    ID might sound like an alternative, but it’s not; the only alternative to evolution is ignorance, plain and simple.

    Criticizing public schools for not having enough options in science classes is ridiculous, because why would you want ID, alchemy or astrology taught in a *science* class?

  4. If Anonymous (posted at 17:00) is correct in his statement of Dawkins’ position (and I am not certain that he is — I think he is trying to make Dawkins sound more acceptable than Dawkins’ own diatribes suggest that he really is), the problem is that Dawkins sets up a false dichotomy between science and religion. While it may be true that some religions are not based on rationality, not all are rationality-free. As a Christian, I am pleased to say that Christian teachings is based on a long line of rational thinkers dating back to St. Paul in the First Century A.D. (Romans being a work of tremendous rationality). St. Thomas Aquinas may have been the greatest philosopher over the past 2000 years.

    Science does have a different approach, but not really. It does accept certain models and theories as the “generally accepted” views, and does not lightly accept challenges to these viewpoints changing only ponderously over several years. In that way, it is very much like Christianity which also accepts certain viewpoints as being the “orthodox” or “Christian” positions and changes them only very slowly over several years. But make no mistake — Christianity does change over time as it reassesses what it knows and understands both from the texts of the Bible and from God’s general revelation as discovered through science.

    In fact, the only real difference between them is the fact that Christianity believes that some knowledge is the result of a pre-existent God who has revealed them to us. Scientists, meanwhile — when acting as scientists and not mouthpieces for neo-atheists dogma like Dawkins does — take no position on the issue of whether God exists or not, but try to limit their claims of knowledge to what is testable using the scientific method.

    BK

  5. Do not confuse “religion” with the Bible. If a person wants to make broad statements such as, “and the unhealthy, destructive and irrational religious thinking” then that person needs to keep it broad. The Bible mentioned in the paranthetical statement is specific to Protestant Christian and Catholic beliefs, and not to other religions. Protestant Christianity deviates from Catholicism in that it is specifically -not- a religion and this is no secret to people who actually learn the pertanent subjects. If a person wants to be specific to the Bible, okay, but then statements such as “which is static, governed by interpretation of the bible, and contains predetermined truths” are ignorant of the truth, Luther’s 95 thesis for example.
    Dawkin’s contradition is criticizing educational institutions for avoiding teaching evolution, while not criticizing current public school systems for avoiding teaching intelligent design.

    If “rational thinking” leads to beliving evolution over creation, I don’t see the cause for such fear of the idea of exposing the option of creation. Unless these rational Scientists believe the majority of people are irrational, which puts them just as much on a pulpet waiving their fingers at others they deem to be lesser than themselves about what to believe as any other preacher.

  6. Anonymous #1 and #2 are correct in their statements. It is ironic to hear Dawkins disparage faith. However, it is not true that Dawkins thinks science is going to disprove God.

    This isn’t the point #1 was trying to make however. The irony is the faith that Dawkins puts in his concept of science. To pick one field for example, evolution as pointed out to him in the video, which was quick to interrupt, is the theory of evolution. It is not without unanswered questions, missing pieces. It is not a complete theory that is proven to be fact. Dawkin’s faith is that in time the theory will come to fruition in that all the holes will be plugged, the questions answered, and it will be referred to as the Law of Evolution.
    The “truth” is everybody works on faith, individuals like to think they know alot, but truly we know very little. We like to think we know our cars will start in the morning, but the truth is we do not know what events have taken place overnight that may prevent the automobiles function. When we turn the key with such confidence, we believe it will start as a matter of faith, not knowlege. If we did not put so much faith into so many things throughout everyday life, we would be paralized unable to make any choices or any actions due to all the things we do not know.

    Dawkin’s great contradiction is his adamant profession that reasonable people don’t have faith, don’t believe in God, and certainly don’t believe in Creation. He views the teaching of anything other than Evolution an attack on science, and considers “religious” schools that teach Creation rather than evolution as dangerous to children, that they are having views forced upon them without choice.
    Yet if Dawkin’s could have his way, every school would teach evolution and only evolution, which is the exact same optionless position he has a problem with in the private religious schools. If he were consistant and “rational” he would promote teaching of all supported ideas, aswell as teaching students -how- to think, rather than -what- to think, to equip them decide for themselves what is reasonable and right.
    Sincerely,
    seijirou302@hotmail.com

  7. I think you have misunderstood Dawkins’ use of the theory evolution, and the role of “faith” in his argument.

    I don’t get the impression that Dawkins directly rejects the general concept of “faith,” but, more importantly, discusses the differences between scientific/rational thinking (which is dynamic and allows for revision with the progression of time bringing us closer to the truth) and the unhealthy, destructive and irrational religious thinking (which is static, governed by interpretation of the bible, and contains predetermined truths). Dawkins use of the theory of evolution in that discussion was not to address the general issue of “faith”, but to demonstrate the progressive nature in the scientific method.

    I also fail to understand how you think Dawkins contradicts himself. Just because Dawkins criticizes educational institutions for avoiding addressing the theory of evolution, you cannot assume that Dawkins wants ONLY evolution taught in schools. His main concern is that religion and its irrational way of justifying itself should not be imposed on young impressionable minds that would continue the unhealthy system of thinking behind religion.

  8. It’s ironic to hear Richard Dawkins disparage faith considering he ‘believes’ that science will prove there is no God. He has no proofs to back up this belief and yet he has mounted a one man campaign against a belief in God. He also makes the astonishing claim that religion discourages independent investigation of truth. Most of the great scientists in history have been religious so this misstatement is easily refuted. He really should go back to doing science and leave religion alone since he doesn’t really understand or care to understand it. He is just taking today’s headlines and exploiting them for his personal agenda.

  9. OK , I admit it – I was the person who left out the question mark!

    It is quite an important question mark of course, but its omission was due to a moment’s inattention rather than ‘convenience’.

    Both in the original post, and on the webpage containing the inline video, the question mark is included.

    As an aside, Dawkins specifically said on “The Colbert Report” that you can’t disprove the existence of God (here)

    John Latter / Jorolat
    Evolution Research
    http://evomech3.blogspot.com/

  10. – No, Dawkins does not think Science will prove there is no god. Basic logic: you can’t prove a negative proposition in the absence of complete knowledge.
    – He was not happy with the title of the series: he does NOT say religion is the root of all evil. Channel 4 wouldn’t change it, the best he could do was get a question mark in the title (which is conveniently left out here).
    – as for the arguments about scientists etc… just go read the book? The classic example was Einstein, who used “God” in a pantheist non-Judeo-Christian sense, and spent the rest of his days fighting the way his name was used to justify religion. Yes, he did say that in so many words.
    – understanding of religion… nope, he’s quite familiar with the way religion in England has enlightened theologists, and has had many rewarding discussions with Archbishops & Cardinals. Don’t think he was quite ready for that Haggard character, though – now we know more about him, don’t we?

    The book is far better and more complete than that short TV series, made over a year ago. Read it before bashing it, eh?

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