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23+ quotes from The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Quotes from The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins ·  374 pages

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“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“More generally, as I shall repeat in Chapter 8, one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Let children learn about different faiths, let them notice their incompatibility, and let them draw their own conclusions about the consequences of that incompatibility. As for whether they are ‘valid,’ let them make up their own minds when they are old enough to do so.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority. But a good first step would be to build up a critical mass of those willing to 'come out,' thereby encouraging others to do so. Even if they can't be herded, cats in sufficient numbers can make a lot of noise and they cannot be ignored.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“The only watchmaker is the blind forces of physics.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, distinctly heard the voice of Jesus telling him to kill women, and he was locked up for life. George W. Bush says that God told him to invade Iraq (a pity God didn't vouchsafe him a revelation that there were no weapons of mass destruction).”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Isaac Asimov's remark about the infantilism of pseudoscience is just as applicable to religion: 'Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold.' It is astonishing, moreover, how many people are unable to understand that 'X is comforting' does not imply 'X is true'.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“I mean it as a compliment when I say that you could almost define a philosopher as someone who won't take common sense for an answer.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“[God is] a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser , a misogynistic, homophobic racist, an infanticidal, genocidal, phillicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“If all the evidence in the universe turned in favour of creationism, I would be the first to admit it, and I would immediately change my mind. As things stand, however, all available evidence (and there is a vast amount of it) favours evolution.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Let us remind ourselves of the terminology. A theist believes in a supernatural intelligence who, in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to oversee and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation. In many theistic belief systems, the deity is intimately involved in human affairs. He answers prayers; forgives or punishes sins; intervenes in the world by performing miracles; frets about good and bad deeds, and knows when we do them (or even think about doing them). A deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws that govern the universe in the first place. The deist God never intervenes thereafter, and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs. Pantheists don't believe in a supernatural God at all, but use the word God as a non-supernatural synonym for Nature, or for the Universe, or for the lawfulness that governs its workings. Deists differ from theists in that their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the pantheist's metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“A god who is capable of sending intelligible signals to millions of people simultaneously, and of receiving messages from all of them simultaneously, cannot be, whatever else he might be, simple. Such Bandwidth!”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“The truly adult view [...] is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. And we can make it very wonderful indeed.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Though the details differ across the world, no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth consuming, hostility provoking rituals, the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“Jesus was not content to derive his ethics from the scriptures of his upbringing. He explicitly departed from them. [...] Since a principal thesis of this chapter is that we do not, and should not, derive our morals from scripture, Jesus has to be honoured as a model for that very thesis.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


“The atheist view is correspondingly life-affirming and life-enhancing, while at the same time never being tainted with self-delusion, wishful thinking, or the whingeing self-pity of those who feel that life owes them something.”
― Richard Dawkins, quote from The God Delusion


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About the author

Richard Dawkins
Born place: in Nairobi, Kenya
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