Saturday, June 3, 2017

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, one of nonfiction's bad boys, is the author of The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True and other books. From the transcript of his May 2017 interview with NPR's Scott Simon:

SIMON: I want to - look, I respect atheists and atheism. But I want to pick up a nice argument we used to have every couple of years with Christopher Hitchens, your friend. And that's - you can respect atheism. I've covered a lot of wars, famines and tragedies. And it seems to me, truly, every theater of suffering I've ever been to, there is a dauntless nun, priest, clergy or religious person who was working very selflessly and bravely there for the good of human beings. And I don't run into organized groups of atheists who do this.

DAWKINS: Well, there aren't enough of them perhaps. I mean, of course, I don't deny that there are a lot of religious people who do good things, including in the ashes of war. There are a lot of good people in the world. Some of them are religious. Some of them are not.

The Center for Inquiry, which I'm now associated with - my foundation is now associated with, does an enormous amount where it can. For example, we have a program called Secular Rescue, where we go in there and, literally, rescue people in danger of their lives because they are threatened because they're apostates or blasphemous and are threatened.

You know, there are many countries in the world where apostasy and blasphemy are punishable by death. I think it would be very unfair to suggest that there's any imbalance between the number - the amount of good that's done by religious people and the amount of good that is done by non-religious people.

SIMON: I wouldn't want to suggest that. But I do wonder, am I just not seeing the world correctly to see large numbers of well-motivated atheist lending their lives to trying to better the world? Or they're - if I might put it this way, are they more concerned about just being right intellectually?

DAWKINS: Oh, I don't think so at all. Now, I think maybe, if I may say so, you haven't looked hard....[read on]
Richard Dawkins is Lee Child's hero (outside of literature).

Learn about Richard Dawkins's five favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue