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Thread: Favorite Dawkins Quotes

  1. #1 Favorite Dawkins Quotes 
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    "I'm an ape, are you bishop? Well I'm an ape. I'm an African ape. And I'm very proud to be an African ape and so should you be."
    -addressed to an evangelical minister in Africa

    "Science is interesting..and if you don't like it you can fuck off!"
    -In response to Neil Degrasse Tyson's comment that he sometimes rubs people the wrong way with his teaching methodology


    "One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all."

    "Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility."

    "You sir are an absolute ass. Your famed intelligence is nothing more than the fart of God. You suck. Go burn in hell. Satan will enjoy torturing you. (Dawkins reads Screenname) ChristianLivingforGod."
    -reading hatemail in the documentary The Genius of Charles Darwin


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Matthijs's Avatar
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    "What if you're wrong?" (Look for the video with this name on youtube, the South Park parody is very funny)


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    On why he doesn't debate creationists:

    "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine".

    This is actually so true.
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  5. #4  
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    "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
    -The God Delusion

    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one."

    "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."

    "American political opportunities are loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest."

    "Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?"

    "My objection to supernatural beliefs is precisely that they miserably fail to do justice to the sublime grandeur of the real world. They represent a narrowing-down from reality, an impoverishment of what the real world has to offer."
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
    -The God Delusion

    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one."

    "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."

    "American political opportunities are loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest."

    "Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?"

    "My objection to supernatural beliefs is precisely that they miserably fail to do justice to the sublime grandeur of the real world. They represent a narrowing-down from reality, an impoverishment of what the real world has to offer."
    Six quotes from Dawkins!
    The third one is quite striking and makes one think about these "unborn ghosts".
    Probably the fourth quote is fair enough altho' I have never been convinced by the attitudes, toward politicians generally, of the "they are all the same" brigade.
    I agree with the fifth and sixth quotes. The sixth is "spot on".
    Taking the first quote-so what! Even if the God of the Old Testament did exist his nasty character was still made up by humans.
    As far as the second quote is concerned I agree that many of us, including myself, should be much more grateful for existing. However, for me, the desire for a second life is a perfectly natural feeling and falls into the same category as wishing for a much longer one. Something which will happen for future generations. The worst that could be said about such a feeling is that it might be considered a little bit greedy.
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    Taking the first quote-so what! Even if the God of the Old Testament did exist his nasty character was still made up by humans.
    I agree but Dawkins is trying to make the point that the highly religious (people who adopt a literal biblical interpretation) are wrong for following in the footsteps of a tyrant. God doesn't have to be an asshole. God can be the wonder of the mysterious unknown..or one can chose to see God in the beauty of the natural order of things as Einstein did. Or one can choose atheism, as many of my friends have done. No matter what worldview one chooses to adopt one should never discount science in favor of religion. The supernatural involves only the unseen and unheard. Science involves empirical evidence. Empirical evidence gets results. Empirical evidence saves lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspeiler
    God can be the wonder of the mysterious unknown..or one can chose to see God in the beauty of the natural order of things as Einstein did.
    As the necessity and frequency of the deception there, about Einstein, shows, such an insight is not a deity.

    The term I have picked up for the tendency to label as "God, and in particular my God" any profoundly appreciated beauty or insight into grand pattern of the universe is "kudos capture".

    If that was from Dawkins, does anyone know the quote? I trace it back to the book "Systemantics", by John Gall, and the observation that a deity is a system, but have a nagging suspicion that Dawkins sharpened the reference.
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  9. #8  
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    No that last part was my own and I in no way implied that Dawkins said it. Only the first sentence of the paragraph applies to my interpretation of Dawkins' quote.
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  10. #9  
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    As the necessity and frequency of the deception there, about Einstein, shows, such an insight is not a deity.
    What the hell? I'm against fundamentalists as well but it annoys me sometimes how anything religion-related on here is lambasted and ridiculed for no good reason. I'm not decieving anyone and you know it. People can make up their own minds.

    Einstein said, "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings."

    Source:http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/spinoza.html
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    “biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose” - Blind Watchmaker (1987)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    “biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose” - Blind Watchmaker (1987)
    I used to wholeheartely agree with such sentiments. In fact, when I began this thread I was an atheist. I was an atheist for 2 years (two miserable years, I might add). My two best friends are still atheists. Yet since religion and science don't have to clash unless one takes everything the bible says literally, I'm going to change my position now. I like the Catholic acceptance of evolution especially and that is my new denomination. You may think me naive and call me a fairy-tale worshipper but I don't care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    No that last part was my own and I in no way implied that Dawkins said it.
    My apologies for a confusion: I was referring not to the quote but to the term "kudos capture" as a description of the common rhetorical or sophistical technique.

    This is especially common among theists finding their deity in whatever. The question of whether Einstein "believed in God" is not settled by the details of his various dissemblings under questioning, but by his overall history of response - and the answer is apparently no. This allegedly "Spinoza" entity of Einstein's is not what people mean by God: it is not, say, an animate, thinking, conscious, communicative entity that one can pray to.
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  14. #13  
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    The question of whether Einstein "believed in God" is not settled by the details of his various dissemblings under questioning, but by his overall history of response - and the answer is apparently no.
    Oh, I definitely agree that a single quote proves nothing. I don't know what his personal beliefs truly were; only he did.
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