What do you think of Richard Dawkins?

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  1. Arthur Windermere profile image73
    Arthur Windermereposted 10 years ago

    What do you think of Richard Dawkins?

    Dawkins has become the fearless leader (so to speak) of atheists by forcefully attacking religion in all forms. Some atheists love him, some don't, some ambivalent. Believers are certainly not keen on him, as he can be rude and brow-beating towards them. What do you think of him? His views? His approach? Does he go too far? Is he a hypocrite, leading an atheistic cult? Is he a hero and champion of rationality? Answer as you like.

  2. jabelufiroz profile image65
    jabelufirozposted 10 years ago

    He was the first person I ever heard say that if an alternative medicine has been proven to work, it is no longer alternative medicine, it is just medicine.

  3. Torch Harrison profile image78
    Torch Harrisonposted 10 years ago

    I've had the honor of hearing Mr. Dawkins speak in person...and deal with religious people who consider him 'the devil'.

    No question about it...Dawkins is confrontational.  He's rude.  He's in your face.  He doesn't apologize.  Neither does Ann Coulter (yet another person I've seen speak).  But you know what?  At least Dawkins will allow a person who disagrees with him to present their views BEFORE attacking them.  There is a mind behind his viewpoint....not the mindless screaming mean-mad emotionalism that is Ms. Coulter...and she's not above THREATENING people who disagree with her with violence, unlike Dawkins.

    I have seen Mr. Dawkins stumped on a few occasions when debating with professional philosophers, people capable of presenting valid arguments to his rationalism.  Most of the religious who attempt a serious dialogue with Dawkins fall down flat as Dawkins rips the floor out from under them...because they can't defend the concept of 'faith'.  To quote Richard:

    “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

    And I'd have to say, in this statement I feel he's justified.

    Mr. Dawkins has an ego...and his books clearly declare it.  He's proud.  Vain.  Smug.  And the people he puts on the defensive clearly can't defend their arguments against the framework he creates...and no wonder, since it's based on rational thought.

    He's not a hero, in my eyes.  He does verge on cult-like status among the atheists of the nation, just because he dared say what so many have thought for years.  But he is a well educated, intelligent, well-spoken man with a gift for expression that transcends into the real world outside academia.  And for that, he is recognized as a person of substance...unlike many in the religious realm.

  4. magx01 profile image61
    magx01posted 10 years ago

    He's a great scientist and someone who is trying his hardest to spread the meme of rationality.

    Humanity will look back on him and his ilk in a few hundred years and wish they had paid him more heed.

    I don't idolize anybody, but I certainly respect him and what he is trying to do. He's a beacon of rationality and reason in an ocean of illogic and ''faith.''

  5. Valcanhouser profile image59
    Valcanhouserposted 9 years ago

    I just posted a hub giving my opinion of Dawkins after reading his book "The God Delusion".

  6. xchrisricex profile image61
    xchrisricexposted 9 years ago

    Dawkins is not leading an atheist cult by any means. Their is certainly no hypocrisy in educating people and teaching that their isn't a God. To call it as such is similar to saying that any non religious group of like minded thinkers is a cult (one may find examples to back up a cult-status of nonreligious people, but lets not go there) He is an asset to not simply A-theism, but Anti-theism. Religious nations are pitted against one another and trying their best to fulfill the prophecies of revelation, and he is simply telling people "Wake up, there's no need to act ridiculous based on something that their is no proof even exists!"

  7. pjk_artist profile image64
    pjk_artistposted 9 years ago

    I liked him in the show Hogan's Heroes.  He did a good job hosting Family Feud too.

  8. profile image0
    Commonsensethinkposted 4 years ago

    I am an old man now, a British national living in Germany.

    I first became an atheist at the age of 17. I had been an atheist for 44 years before I ever heard the name "Richard Dawkins", and I had read many writers on the subject, some of whom I can still name (Lucretius, Diderot, D'Holbach (definitely worth reading), Bertrand Russell) and many whose names I have now forgotten.

    In 2010 I read "The God Delusion" - a good book, well-written and with a lot of interesting material. And that is where my interest in Richard Dawkins ends.

    It may be that I dislike the cult of personality. It may be that Americans tend to be much more confrontational when debating issues (on YouTube there is a video debate featuring Lawrence Krauss that the poster commends for its loudness - ugh!).

    The word "issues" though is important. Maybe we spend too much time watching politics where style is seemingly more important than substance. It shouldn't be, whether politics or atheism or even buying milk is involved. What we should be examining are the facts, in a reasoned manner and without letting emotions affect the outcome of the argument.

    Atheism, rationality etc. is not a cult and certainly should not become one. It doesn't need a leader or champion, it needs the continual presentation of ideas by many different individuals in a cool, rational, unemotional manner, so that the material and reasoning are clear, and not easily challenged. Displays of temper just distract from the argument - we lose the sense of what we are trying to achieve, and there is an inherent contradiction in trying to present reason in an unreasonable manner.

    If I must select anyone to present a discourse on scepticism, I would much rather watch Neil deGrasse Tyson (who I believe is actually an agnostic) or Sam Harris (whom I have watched in action coolly and rationally dissecting Islam, and destroying the whole concept of Islam as a "religion of peace"). 

    The idea though is to get to people to think and examine their beliefs - rationally! Not to get "in their faces" and simply generate a hostile response. Adopting a confrontational style is simply counterproductive.


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