Enough Richard Dawkins bashing: Let us praise a hero of science and atheism

Oct 6, 2015

By Jeffrey Tayler

The religious and their apologists have no fury more ardent than that which they reserve for those who would expose the truth about their faith-generated delusions. Abrahamic scripture justifies, even sanctifies, such fury, ordaining hellfire and damnation for those who diss their make-believe divine master – aka Yahweh, God, Allah, the Lord, and so on. Thus it has ever been with that consummate bane, monotheism – the innately totalitarian (as the late Christopher Hitchens put it) ideology concentrating all power in the hands of one (jealous, wrathful, and entirely imaginary) “Big Brother in the Sky.”

 It cannot be otherwise: one master, many slaves (or dupes, given that said master does not exist). Those who believe in this bogus despot far too frequently shall not suffer truth-tellers to live — at least figuratively, but all too tragically literally as well, of course, as history and current events show.

Time and again this has proven true with Richard Dawkins, at least in the figurative sense. The groundbreaking British evolutionary biologist and New Atheist icon has long suffered the slings and arrows of the faith-deranged and those sad-sack apologists eager to assassinate his character, all often servants of political correctness, working in cahoots with them. Dawkins has made (delicious) light of the former, selecting NSFW excerpts from their mail to him and reading them aloud for Internet videos that attract millions of viewers (see here and here, but religion is involved, so make sure no minors are around). The perception persists, as The Guardian put it in a lengthy piece, that “his controversial positions” – on, e.g., sexism and abortion of fetuses with disabilities, as expressed on Twitter – “have started to undermine both his reputation as a scientist and his own anti-religious crusade.”

This is pissant flapdoodle presented as concerned commentary on a noted public figure. Dawkins established his reputation with singular scientific achievements, not as a modern-day Mencken. We owe to him (and his 1976 opus, “The Selfish Gene”) the idea that genes are central to evolution, for instance, and much else that was revolutionary about the phenotypic effects of genes I cannot begin to parse. Such achievements will keep him safely housed, for all time, in the Pantheon of Great Thinkers.

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50 comments on “Enough Richard Dawkins bashing: Let us praise a hero of science and atheism

  • 1
    voiceofarabi says:

    I will be the first to give my thanks and comments on Richard Dawkins achievements. I have two things to thank him for… and they are…

    The Selfish Gene….. ( I was not God free 100% until I read that book.. always had my doubt since I was a child, but this book made me grow up.)
    Getting introduced to the book the RED STRANGERS by Elspeth Huxley thanks to suggestion from Richard Dawkins (not personally, but via one of his books)… This book is fantastic on its on merits, but the reason it was specially meaningful for me is… since I was a child, my dad called the British occupiers of my land “Humran”, which is plural for “Ahmer”, which is the colour red in Arabic.

    It is when I read the book Red Strangers I really understood what dad was talking about…

    That aside, Richard Dawkins left a huge mark on the world, and it took guts to achieve what he did… I do wonder however, why is it that people who grow up in Africa (of white decedent mainly) manage to be so open minded and so smart, was it the water or was it the being chased by lions 🙂 . (I joke )

    Whatever it is that made you think this way, I am grateful that I had the opportunity and luck to read some (I think all) your books.

    Last… I think your fight against religion is great work, but I think the bigger threat is people leaving religion, and finding an alternative “super natural” for comfort…. I am looking at you football fans…

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  • “This is pissant flapdoodle ”
    That is exactly what I thought!
    Jeffery must be British. My apologies to Jeffery, I’m going to have to steal that phrase it use on Americans……

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  • Indeed, this article is a joy to read as are all of the others by Jeffrey Tayler that are published on Salon, every Sunday. Check out his others. The forcefulness of his writing style and the vocabulary in full effect remind me of our late, great Hitch. I hope we have more of Tayler’s articles here in the future.

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  • I thought I’d share this letter I wrote, which adequately expresses what I think of this wonderful man – and the response, which I will cherish always. The letter, to Ms. Blumner, was written in April, 2015.

    Hi, Rachael,

    I hope you will take the time to read this e-mail. (I just joined the site, by the way. I have never joined anything before.) Professor Dawkins has given me such inspiration. His lectures, debates and interviews have sustained me during a very difficult time in my life.

    I lost my beloved father recently (last August) after his year long battle with two cancers: prostate cancer (which was diagnosed too late, had already metastasized and spread to the bone), and cancer of the ureter. I lived with him during that time, assisted in his care, and offered much needed emotional support. It was very difficult, but I am glad I was able to be there for him.

    During that year I discovered Richard Dawkins. Every night after my father went to sleep I would (religiously, as it were) watch him on YouTube, watch his lectures and debates. This was a source of great solace. I grew to revere the man and still do to this day and always will. This nightly ritual of sorts sustained me during this harrowing time.

    I know this is asking a lot, but I don’t suppose you could forward this to him. It would mean a lot to me and perhaps he would enjoy reading this as well. I would like him to know that I think he is a wonderful human being, a truly humane, brilliant and enlightened man. He is living proof that one does not religion to lead a “righteous” and “virtuous” life. Religion does not own these qualities; they belong to us all and yet are rarely exhibited by anyone. Prof. Dawkins (like my father Frank Rosengarten who was a great scholar and was also a non-believer), is truly altruistic. He has given me and the world so much. His charm, humor, and great ability to communicate his vast knowledge, and his generosity of spirit and courage, are truly laudable. I am tempted to say: God Bless you, Mr. Dawkins. But I will just say: thank you.

    Warm Regards,
    Dan Rosengarten

    P.S. I am now reading Dawkins. He writes extremely well, and very, very clearly, like Asimov. I know he is proud of this quality in his writing and he should be. I read The God Delusion which should be mandatory in schools. I am now reading The Extended Phenotype. I am enjoying it very much indeed. I bought The Magic of Science for my eleven year old niece. She has not yet read it but I am reading it and am enjoying that too.

    Richard Dawkins’ response:

    Dear Mr Rosengarten

    It is impossible for me to exaggerate how touched I am by your letter, forwarded to me by Robyn Blumner, and I hope she will forward my reply.

    Truly. Every word of your letter moved me very deeply indeed.

    My condolences on the loss of your father. I am pleased if my words could afford some sort of solace to you.

    With my very best and most sincerely good wishes.


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  • But we live in the age of instant, potentially worldwide chitchat and
    viral videos, and lemming-like banding together for the purposes of
    vituperation, no-holds-barred Internet-shaming, and the dissemination
    of rabid nonsense.

    I agree! That was a refreshing article, with the above quote thrown in for frosting!

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  • Dawkins-Bashing is a fact of life.

    We live in a world where bullies are praised if they represent the majority, which bullies usually do.

    The majority of humans are not atheists so anyone can rehash the same old arguments on a blog or article, and feel good about themselves because they can boast that christians and muslims alike commented on how much they agree.

    only the slightest bit of contorversy (e.g. suggesting when family planning might be a good thing, or suggesting his own experience of sexual abuse as a child should give us cause to see things as often more than simple binary situations) will bring out the haters because even if they’re non-religious, they can lead the online angry villagers for a while.

    That’s the whole point of a good “bash”. we all remember playground days where even the smallest most timid child would be encouraged to have a kick while the new kid’s being held down.

    There’s nothing like guaranteed approval to bring out the laziest of journalism and comment. There’s no need for us to worry about Richard, he’ll always write articles forcing us to question our views but for the bashers, this isn’t about Richard, it’s about them. They need copy, they need validation, theyr’re stuck for something original and most importantly they care greatly what the world thinks of them. They are the journalistic equivalent of the BBC test card that we had to stare at because no one had made anything better to fill that bit of the schedule.

    Dawkins-Bashing is just a reminder why we need Richard

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  • SaganTheCat
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Dawkins-Bashing is a fact of life.

    We live in a world where bullies are praised if they represent the majority, which bullies usually do.

    One of the features of this site (which has diminished since the moderators weeded out theist troll posts more energetically), is the know-it-all bombastic troll who has come to bully “those ignorant atheists” with his delusions of superior YEC “knowledge”, – only to be picked up, kicked off the field of play, and put down, by intellectuals who out-class him beyond his wildest comprehension.
    The would-be bully then goes off whimpering about “persecution” by those mean “closed minded” conspiring scientists and historians who he challenged to a fight – having arrived at this site full of DK confidence, but intellectually unarmed!

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  • LaurieB
    Oct 7, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Maybe Richard will give us a bombastic troll to play with.

    I have played with a few over the years, but it tends to be rather like a cat playing with a mouse.
    They twist and dodge every which way, but really have no idea of their way around science, history, reasoning, or reality!

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  • There is a value to the intellectual exercise. Outsiders watch the debate unfold. Statements are made that may have no effect at the current time but sit there just below the surface of consciousness until some new stimulus brings them forth from the deep. The positions we stand for and communicate here are the best chance of immortality we have in this life, except of course for our own genes.

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  • I agree Laurie, and I think Alan probably does as well. With the reinforcements and stimulus provided by many of the members of this site seeping into the collective and hopefully individual subconscious, all the elements of an epiphany await. We’ve all read the stories shared by some of those here who are late to come to this epiphany. As someone who has never been a believer (just not wired that way I suppose), I almost envy them their enlightenment.

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  • @OP – The groundbreaking British evolutionary biologist and New Atheist icon has long suffered the slings and arrows of the faith-deranged and those sad-sack apologists eager to assassinate his character, all often servants of political correctness, working in cahoots with them.

    Such people are usually so ignorant of the fact that scientific authority is recognised on the basis of merit and evidence-based detailed work, rather than celebrity image, or media promotion.

    The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded for discoveries in DNA repair.

    Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar were named as the winners on Wednesday morning at a news conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Their work uncovered the mechanisms used by cells to repair damaged DNA – a fundamental process in living cells and important in cancer.

    Prof Lindahl is Swedish, but has worked in the UK for more than three decades.

    The prize money of eight million Swedish kronor (£634,000; $970,000) will be shared among the winners.

    The derogatory babblings of air-head ignoramuses, are of no consequence in evaluating scientific conclusions!

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  • Steven007

    I almost envy them their enlightenment.

    Interesting but paradigm shifts frighten me too much to envy anyone who is cruising naively toward one!

    A friend of mine (a shrink) asked me as a personal favor to not rock her husbands RCC delusional boat. She said she can’t deal with the distinct possibility that in middle age he would suffer a mental collapse due to my socratic method investigation of Christianity that I bring up with him.

    “You got to know when to hold em. Know when to fold em. Know when to walk away. Know when you’re done.”

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  • Yes Laurie, I deliberately added “almost”. I’d much rather sail along without the soggy baggage of religiosity burdening my reason. But moments of epiphany are few and far between, hence the (likely juvenile) desire. But no, happy with my reason; I do not crave ignorance.

    As for your friend, that’s an ugly “favor” to ask. And a rather unfair request as well methinks.

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  • Steven007

    an ugly “favor” to ask

    I suppose that’s true. Most of my female friends are uncomfortable with confrontation of any kind. A confrontation with her husband would put her right in the middle. This would not bode well for our friendship (of 20 years). Pick your battles.

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  • I am an evolutionary biologist and have a doctorate from UC Berkeley in that field. I have been an atheist since the 1950’s. but never so confidently until I read Dawkin’s book The God Delusion. So I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to Richard Dawkins for writing that book. It clarified many thoughts I previously had but he expressed those thoughts most elegantly and thoughtfully. I have some differences with a few of his ideas, however I believe those differences if expressed may actually support his overall thesis.

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  • 22
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hello All,

    I am surprised by the energy and thought process you all posses… you seem to have identified an enemy, and you are all gong-how out to get it… I almost don’t understand.

    For me, being an atheist, means leaving all fantasies behind.. (not just leaving god… god is just one fantasy amongst many… It is about growing up…

    At also means gaining back my moral compass that religion and god stole away from me, and shaped it to suite the religion and help its growth.

    Religion is gaining grounds in so many countries in the world because of unjust and despicable behaviour demonstrated by many countries that some of you belong to, mainly because the occupied and the disadvantaged wants to fight for their freedom and independence…

    To give you examples, Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood fanatics) are only popular because they (average are not devout Muslim) want to free their country from Israeli occupation, and Hezbollah (the Shia’a fanatics) are only gaining grounds as they fight the Saudi/American/Israeli influence in controlling Lebanon… etc etc.

    My point is… stop celebrating, and start taking action to free this world from fantasies… Fantasises like… USA is a force for good… The west wants to give the rest of the world democracy (in reality, rape the world with the help of intellectuals, similar to people on this site)… etc etc..

    I have just finished watching the Battle of Algiers (the movie), and it struck me how France being occupied by the Germans during WWII continued to occupy and guillotine Algerians until 1962… but I guess, reading through this… that’s what you call being in denial.

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  • V of A

    you seem to have identified an enemy,

    What enemy? -clarify please

    At also means gaining back my moral compass that religion and god stole away from me

    This is a process that many are going through along with you. It’s not the general rule with atheists though. Many here were never indoctrinated as children. They didn’t suffer through a period of detachment from their religious system. Everyone has their own story to tell here.

    Religion is gaining grounds in so many countries in the world because of unjust and despicable behaviour demonstrated by many countries that some of you belong to, mainly because the occupied and the disadvantaged wants to fight for their freedom and independence…

    Ok, listen to me my friend. I’m absolutely with you on the devastating effects of colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa. I am married to an Algerian who has two older brothers, both veterans of the Algerian Revolution. We are proud of them and every other Algerian who fought in that war. As an insider to that country I can tell you that the citizens have suffered from that colonialism and the war and the reconstruction period that has followed it. Any Algerian will also tell you that there are a multitude of problems that are not the fault of the French. The corruption in that place is intolerable and now they have endured a civil war with the Muslim fundamentalists that was an absolute devastation. There are bullet holes all through the walls of my in-laws apartment building and my husband’s first cousin was murdered for opposing religious fascism. Please don’t tell me that murderous Muslim psychopaths are caused by French colonialism. There are many bad factors involved with this. At what point would you be willing to ask the formerly colonized people to get their act together and change their own country for good? One decade? Two? Five? Stop bitching about the past and take action NOW.

    I can see that bitter resentment takes up too much space in your mind. I’m American and don’t want to be lumped in with the American zionists. You take the easy way out when you see all 300 million Americans as zionist oppressors. Give me a break! I don’t support the actions of my country in that part of the world. But you didn’t ask me about that – you just assumed that all Americans are zionist, colonialist fascists, right?

    I really want to support you V of A. We need more freethinkers from the Middle East – desperately. I’m asking you to stay here and engage with us to figure out how to find a way out of the mess we are all in together. But if you insist on dragging bitter resentment of colonialism into every conversation then we’ll never get anywhere and your fellow atheists will lose patience with you. I don’t want that to happen. Can we improve our relationship here?

    Also, by the rules of this website we are supposed to stay on the topic of the articles that they post here. I have gone off topic to answer your off topic comment. I apologize for this.

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  • I have to agree with the whole theme of the article. Journalists have to write something every week / day. No doubt there are many good journalists who will research their articles thoroughly. There are others who look for the quick fix article i.e. Richard’s avatar from the Daily Mail, “Is This Britain’s Most Dangerous Man?” I forget the names, but there was that pissquick from the Daily / Sunday Telegraph who implied that, because of a slave owning ancestor in the West Indies, Richard Dawkins was a hypocrite. Was it Charles Moore, Christian windbag, who almost caught Richard out, live on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, asking him, out of the blue, the full name of Origin of Species. There was a silence, and an interruption, but Richard got the full title out, having lost the debating point. No doubt criticism of religion ‘brings forth the furies of the human breast‘.

    My congratulations to Richard Dawkins for his consistently pro-science viewpoint. And especially for upsetting philosopher Mary Midgdely, and her anti “scientist” views. What a bloody confusionist she was ! As to the patience Richard showed whilst ‘debating’ with the likes of so-called Christian giants like gasbag John Lennox and Alistair, (I used to be an atheist), McGrath, I would have been reaching for my battery powered tree pruner ! ( Something useful to do, not to stop them waffling !)

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  • 25
    voiceofarabi says:

    Sorry guys (which includes gals)… I guess I got too excited…… Please accept my apologies…..

    We can all make a difference by voicing our disapproval of what is happening in the middle east… It is your tax dollars that’s spent…

    I am still on the topic… and I guess, what I was saying is… if you want to honour Richard Dawkins, and advance his achievement, then stop what is driving people into religion in my part of the world.. I say this because I know… there are more religious people in the middle east today than the sixties, and that’s mainly because someone is using religion to rally to the troops to fight the “foreign” meddlers.

    and, finally… I don’t buy the idea that corruption is a middle east problem.. it is world wide, and evident in USA more than some other countries in Europe… That said, it is helped tremendously by foreign influence in my country just as they did in South Vietnam.

    Yes, we need to take action, and I urge you to unite against the people who are creating unjust wars and troubles in the world, to help reduce the influence of religion and brain washing. People get driven to religion when all hopes are gone… and hopes have gone long time ago in my part of the world.

    Ok… now I said my peace… I will stop using the internet after watching emotional movies like the Battle of Algeria.. 🙂

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  • Love the last paragraph VoA 🙂

    Have you not seen RD attack ‘merica’ often? Unfortunately, his attack on Islam seems to be a gift to some as a redirect, quantifying and absolving. I mean, look at Maher, prime example.

    I get your frustration and I have to tell LaurieB, only because she must have missed it, that VoA has specified, at times, the administration and not all Americans, but then so did I when I joined and seemed to go unnoticed. It is hard to look at oneself and be too critical without feeling hopeless as to what you can actually do to change your own government. You can pay lip service to it but then you go on with life. Corruption is rife and handy when someone more stable wants to destabilise another even more. One way people listening to you can help is by remembering the things they agree are injustices by their own countries, however painful. You can help by not basing everything you say on it… the same way you say they created problems, you bombarding them will be just as counterproductive. Just slip one in every now and then 😉

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  • I thank God for Richard Dawkins. He’s woken the church up from its complacency and apathy. Because of TGD Christians around the world are discovering that they need to decide what they believe and why they believe it. He has enabled the church to shed its weakest members, and in the process has made it far stronger than it was prior to his arrival on the scene. Romans 11:33 says: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

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  • CumbriaSmithy
    Oct 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I thank God for Richard Dawkins. He’s woken the church up from its complacency and apathy. Because of TGD Christians around the world are discovering that they need to decide what they believe and why they believe it. He has enabled the church to shed its weakest members, and in the process has made it far stronger than it was prior to his arrival on the scene.

    Hi Smithy!

    Do you mean that with its reducing numbers, it is being pruned down to the hard core of unshakable believers?

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  • the administration and not all Americans,

    Alright then. Duly noted.

    VoA – You can see that I agree with most of what you say but it’s important for us to be truthful about what problems are leftover from colonialism and what problems come directly from Islam. I admit that there are some gray areas on that but we must be tough on those who blame everything on colonialism. This hurts our case.

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  • Anyway….HELP!!!

    I am in Cyprus trying get my right to vote in another corrupt system. I have met some truly wonderful hard working people who are helping us but….. Allah is everywhere. I am coping with the Ezan five times day but god is called to do this and that at every turn. I dare not tell I am an atheist. Even the guy li have been lobbying with for a decade wants to use religion as a tool for ‘unity’. I have said many times I will not waver from my task but am beginning to. Bit of a crisis at the moment for me.

    BTW, these are all highly educated generous people who I won’t mention by name or group.

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  • Olgun,

    trying get my right to vote in another corrupt system.

    Oh, let me guess…you have the right to vote but by the time you file all of the paperwork the election will be over. Did you go around to every petty power hungry clerk in the tri-county area with a suitcase full of every single document you can think of in triplicate? Then the vindictive bastard points out that you forgot to give him your third cousin’s fifth cousin’s birth certificate and it’s all over for today. Come back tomorrow. In (N.African) Arabic this is translated to Radua in shah Allah – tomorrow, if Allah wills it.
    Right V of A ???

    Ya habibi al boukira…

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  • @voiceofarabi
    Your next task! –
    Read “The Blind Watchmaker”. I am still reminded of it whenever some scientist (usually an astronomer) postulates that, golly, there must be millions of civilizations out there…
    Perhaps not, according to Prof. Dawkins, who does some math in this book.
    But few people have ever picked up on this theory. Perhaps most of us wish to (as we do with religion) desperately believe there is something out there, whether a god or another civilisation.

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  • Wow! Is that what I’ve got to look forward to 😉

    The diaspora hasn’t got the right to vote here. We have an expert that tells us we do, it’s written in the constitution and needs a few tweaks but that has to be proven yet. That will come on time. That is not my urgent problem. My atheism is. I have to live a double life or get out of the working group. It’s getting harder by the day.

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  • 38
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hi LaurieB and Olgun,

    Thanks for your understanding, and I agree, there is no point dwelling on the past, and we should only look forward into the future….

    That said, I am only getting upset with actions that the “free world Governments” and not people are taking today to destabilise people and countries.. Example, Whats happening in Syria right now (USA is arming rebels who are giving away US arms to ISIS – you can’t write this stuff even in movies – as if, all those military experts don’t know this will happen.. I was trained on using a gun, and the first rule is, be careful taking a gun to a fight as it may be used against you!!)… anyway, I am waffling now.

    If the “free world is a democracy”, then the average American/European should be able to stop all those meddling wars.

    let me give another example. Turkey is controlled by the “Muslim Brotherhood”. They are trying to convert Turkey from secular country to another Khilafa, just as the Ottoman empire did few hundred years ago… So, who and where is Muslim Brotherhood based. Off course, the answer is, They are based out of the UK, and supported by the UK. The UK and USA Govs wanted them to rule the middle east, and they succeeded for a while in Tunisia and Egypt, and thank good they are now being pushed out with the help of the Russians (being western educated, I never thought I would one day look at the Russians as a force for good)…..

    Muslim Brotherhood created more religious nut jobs than the prophet himself… and that’s why there are more long beards in the middle east today (they are a milder version of ISIS, – as in they will still behead people, but they will not tape it or put it on youtube.)

    We need everyone’s help on this website to stop their governments aiding fanatic governments like Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, Jordan, etc, etc)… So we can slow down the mad spread of religion, and in this case, it is not even the harmless religion.. it is the mutated one that wants to kill all of us. in the process, you will be helping the one and only Richard Dawkins.

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  • is that what the house apes mean when they say “bloody hell, Sagan’s brought another half eaten theist in the house”. The Roman’s knew what they were doing; throw the christians to debate with the lions

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  • You need to read more on the energy crisis in Europe to understand VoA. Turkey signed an energy deal with Russia because the promised pipe line from Israel still has not come through. Turkey is being destabilised for the same reasons Syria has been, because they are playing the two super powers against themselves. A dangerous game that Syria lost and Turkey is just holding onto. Fracking, wind farms and nuclear will go wild in these regions now. Russia building in Turkey. Solve the power crisis and all these wars are over.

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  • Hey CumbriaSmithy!

    Genuinely missed you mate. Glad you’re back.

    Nice try on the our diminishing numbers are evidence of our strength ;).

    I’d agree with you that RD has made many question their beliefs and leave as a result. The question is what is the specific reason/s for thinking he is wrong that make you continue to believe.

    As a strong member of the church who fairly well schooled in the thinking of Atheists (and I do not mean that in any ironic way – you show far more gumption than most of you contemporaries in coming on here are arguing with us all and I for one genuinely appreciate it) anyway back to topic – what is it that makes you able to believe? How do you get around the enormous evil promoted in the bible? I’d really like to know – soul in the balance here here’s your opportunity to evangelize.


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  • 44
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hi Reckless Monkey and CumbriaSmithy,

    @Reckless Monkey, I hope you don’t mind if I ask CumbriaSmithy an additional question that I have been asking myself for a long time. (Also, it is good to see your posts again.. I really enjoy them.)

    @CumbriaSmithy… If God is all knowing and all seeing etc etc… Why does he continue to test us?? wouldn’t it be complete and utter waste of time to test us for something he/she/it already knows the results of (in addition to making our lives hell, so to speak)?? please help me understand??

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  • What a lovely letter to Richard Dawkins and of course, his humble and sincere reply is just wonderful. I have been an atheist for many years – I can remember thinking, when I was quite small that “none of this makes any sense”. What has been marvellous for me was becoming aware of scholars, scientists and academics like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens (there are others but these guys are my favourites). They have confirmed exactly what I’ve always believed and furthermore, reading their books and watching their interviews has provided me with an enormous amount of information and methods of argument for those times when I engage with people who think that as an atheist, I’m something of a pariah. Their position is indefensible, naturally, so most revert to “well, it lives for me” but I feel quite comfortable now with the way in which I can respond. Thank you Richard Dawkins.

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  • CumbriaSmithy
    Oct 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I thank God for Richard Dawkins. He’s woken the church up from its complacency and apathy. Because of TGD Christians around the world are discovering that they need to decide what they believe and why they believe it. He has enabled the church to shed its weakest members, and in the process has made it far stronger than it was prior to his arrival on the scene.

    The Vatican seems just as out-dated and confused as ever, with the various factions now simply becoming more visible!

    Roman Catholic bishops have finished an often fractious synod on the family by reaching a compromise on divisive issues.

    Doctrine towards divorcees has been softened but there is no change in the church’s stance on homosexuality.

    In comments afterwards, Pope Francis appeared to criticise conservative bishops.

    The church, he said, should confront difficult issues “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand”.

    At the synod, the name given to the meeting of Roman Catholic leaders, bishops voted on 94 articles dealing with how the church treats the family.

    The most contentious, dealing with whether divorced and remarried believers should be allowed to play a full role in the church, only just passed.

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