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The Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith – Richard Dawkins

Religion|14 Aug, 2012|20 Comments |
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The second part in Richard Dawkin’s incredible look into the plague that is faith and religion in our modern society. A stark look at the place of religion in the enlightened modern day. This documentary has a particular focus on the effect organized religion has on children. Well worth a watch.

The Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith - Richard Dawkins, 3.6 out of 5 based on 13 ratings
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20 Comments

  1. James says:

    I think it is wonderful that these types of documents are available. My wife and I get into these religious topics all the time because we have learned in just 6 years what normal Christians do not learn in all their lives. Hmm… sounding arrogant there so let me explain.
    Prince of Peace but his followers are anything but. They claim Peace but do just the opposite to bring Peace about. They have the Bible which says that Jesus was concerned most with poverty, yet they vote Christian values which are homosexuality and abortion. Funny Jesus never mentioned anything about those two items. They say Jesus was perfect yet He forgot to mention abortion and homosexuality? I know there are verses in the Bible about these subjects but what does Jesus say about them? We are not known as Paulians or Biblians but as Christians. So we follow Christ yes, no?
    Most Christians align themselves politically but the Bible says do not place allegiance in man made traditions. Politics is of man. It says in the Bible to respect the authority placed above you for they keep the law and keep chaos from occurring (the majority of the time anyway). But yet they speak out with violence and anger toward anyone who differs with them. They say the most hateful things about a man they know nothing real about (the president). There is no intelligent conversation with them. They just hang up the phone. Or they walk away.
    Ugliness in the heart, hateful feelings toward fellow Christians even, and homophobic attitudes are the Christian norms these days. Boy do they need help. If they would stop for a minute and think about what it is they are doing. They are crucifying every one who is different from them. From the outside it looks a lot like they are continuing the Pharisee and Sadducee tradition of condemning everyone while proclaiming their own holiness. Their vague answers are designed to skirt issues rather than answer honestly. Maybe they have no honest answers?
    Anyway in closing, With all the division they are causing throughout the world and especially in the USA , they seem to be doing the works of the one they state opposition to. Meanwhile they seem to moving steadily away from the One they profess as King and Savior Jesus.
    This is how they look from the outside looking in and from the inside stepping out and wearing the shoes of the ones they persecute. The alienated among them whose search for Truth moves people away from the church.

  2. tom says:

    essentially he’s right if the republican or democrat party took kids to pary meetings and indoctrinated them in the absolute definate belief, say govt should be big or small you would rightly be enraged yet this doesn’t apply to religion. Why not without it are athiests killing each other in a blood bath of heathenistic satanic pleasure….NO. Religion is political, the catholic church has been at the heart of oppression, war, hate in the western world since the romans leeft. It has created a whole myth of graphic stories most of which have been appaulingly mistranslated as the bible was essentially translated in an age (700-750AD) in Charlemagnes France where there was but a few men who understood enough of the original language of the bible, all monks working under them merely copied the writing out and so you see we can not afford truth and allegiance to a phrase or secinct message taken from the bible as it is a tapestry of mistranslation and misconception. Does it do any harm, no many people of faith do some of the best work for charity of all social groups, however we must look at human development and understand all the things it is important for humanity to strive for in the modern age, such as the development of renewable energy and technologies that are as uunimaginable today as the aircrafft or cruise liner would be in ancient Egypt. What Dawkins perpetuates is the way to acheive these ends should be through a collective endeavour of humans to gain knowledge and use technology to free each oher from work so that eventually no servitude through labour exhists and life would revolve around the pursuit of human goods not mere monetary goods. Religion opposes this a every step, ie abortion we learn that we can trace the development of a foetus and even stop this process, this challenges the traditional view that only god can give and take life. We must in order to develop as a species at a rate faster than our natural propensity for destruction in order to ensure the survival of this great human experiment. Therefore we must shake the strangle hold religion has over us, as it merely exists from a bygone day where due to a lack of understanding of how the sun the moon the stars the outside universe all fitted together ie. the sun (son of gods) assention further and further into the heavens after easter or the spring equinox. It is also important to emphasise this doesnt prove there is no God but we must admit our conceptions of him are fundamentally flawed in that it is prone not just to human error but to a continuous string of human error for the past 2,000 years. However yes he can be a bit rude lmao.

  3. John says:

    How can religious people be so closed-minded? The world is only 5000 yrs old? Not giving their children the right or option to choose what they believe?.
    I don’t believe in anything except my family and hard work. God or any other religion is not going to put food on my table. Believe me god has never shown up in my house
    Religious people answer me this.
    I think I will start a religion about the belief of “John”.

  4. tommo says:

    i just want to say i agree totally with Dawkins. some people say he is a bit preachy, but hey its about time us athetists preach back!!

    i dont have FAITH in evoloution i have EVIDENCE that the theory of evolution is the best explination as to how he got here.

    Why we’re here? ….who knows

  5. Ed Petersen says:

    …if people would understand that religion is only the beginning of an individual’s journey towards understanding life, regardless what religion that might be, there would be no monotheism. People would realise that in principal all religions point to the same direction and also they are an interpretation of the facts of science. Religion is changing with the times ie. today no religion saying that the world is flat. Science and religion meets in the universe; showing that we all come from the facts of science, from the same place therefore we are all the same regardless of belief or faith. We are all one. So just leave religion alone if you do not believe in it today… may be one day, it will come handy.
    All religions are important in the human world. It prepares people for life spiritually and intellectually. Most of the people who becomes religious have gone through a tough time in their life and found refuge in their belief. It basically conforts them and it probably have saved them from an even bigger disaster in their life may be even death. I believe that if you look for flaws in the story, yes you will find them in the details. But if you look in the meaning of the story you will find all the truth that you need.
    We don’t need one religion or belief for all humanity in the world, we just need to understand and to respect others and their individuality. Their freedom to believe in what makes them feel better.

    cheers,
    Ed

  6. Ed Petersen says:

    …as I mentioned in my book,
    It is easy to be atheist in a religion made western civilisation, where every individual has the right to be human; communicate their ideas and feelings. That is what religion has created, not atheism. Communism was built on atheist ideas, also was fascism. How “good” they were to the world? Mr Dawkins, get it right or go and live in a communist country for a while and learn. Religion comes naturally to humans because it is built-in in their brain. Of course sometimes nature goes wrong and creates a short in the wire system but religion fixes even that. So I sagest that you are missing out my friend. It is not too late…
    The knowledge and enlightenment awaits you. You don’t have to stop at religion; you can continue the journey further and see the world for what it really is… not what you want it to be.

  7. Ian says:

    I actually worked in the same place as Dawkins. Considering he is supposed to be an unbiased scientist he sure does have an axe to grind. Still I guess he makes a good living from it. He’s probably banking on repenting on his deathbed…

  8. ella says:

    seriously guys… an old book saying there’s a guy up there, somewhere…….. do not, i repeat, do not, offend all scientists hard work (which is by the way why you can actually watch movies on this site, science developing..), all people that are open-minded enough to question and analyze everything, and especially do not offend the nature itself by claiming that the beauty that took 4.5 billion years to occure, would be the product of some guy playing around for a couple of days..

    Seriously, get real, some of the opinions here are actually making me lose a bit of faith in that everyone can be compassionate and smart, without being “religious”.

  9. Hungry says:

    I would like to know how many people this guy ever helped in his life, of whom he knew that they would never be able to repay him. He has missed the whole thing about religion. Religion is important in our society. It teach us how to get along with one-another and how to be tolerant of things that we don’t agree with and so on. (Offcourse some people get it wrong) If you look at the meaning of the story instead of the story itself you find the purpose of religion. The story is basically a vehicle of the meaning. Some people have to be taught by example and that is what the story is all about. Teaching by example. Being true or not, Jesus existed or not, has nothing to do with anything. You can disregard the story but learn the meaning and live by it and you will be saved. Meaning, you will not destroy yourself. You will know what to do in your toughest hour and make the right choices with compassion towards others. Religion has helped and given to more people in this world than science. These scientists have such a big mouth while they live and work in a society that was built on religion. Just look what science done to our planet. Destruction everywhere. Killing animals, trees, people, economies all in the name of science. Everything that is human; culture, art, music, etc. has been given to us by religion.
    You see, usually religious people are not taught to retaliate and stick up for themselves because they supposed to be tolerant. Usually they lose it and throw a bible at ya, but I’m not religious but I believe God and the meaning and importance of religion, I find it a better thing to follow then a blind and empty scientist who has attracted a brain disease from all the study of science.
    Mate… all these years of study, YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING…

  10. estrella says:

    an argument is only as strong as its strongest refutation.

    thus, it appears quite biased and in some kind of sense lazy to base his views on the most fudamentalistic representatives of abrahametic religions. after enlightenment and with reference to the results and progress of natrual science it is not difficult to oppose to the ideas and believes of any conservative, religious sect!
    the religious studies taught at universities within the department of humanities however are totally different from that. they (have to) work, teach and think interdisciplinary. outcomes of natrual science and liberal, religious faith don’t have to be diametral after all – rationally and phenomenologically, theistic as well as atheistic positions can be made equally plausible, but not in this totally superfical approach!!! i guess his attempt to make people awear of possible manipulation and prejudice (especialy in education programms) is quite creditable, but this narrow-minded, one-sided and shallow way of examination lacks scientific method and proceeding. thus, it is probably not going to affect any person who reflects, conceives or thinks only a little further then to the obvious. this documentary is quite disappointing.

  11. Tim says:

    Being of a very similar viewpoint to the maker of this film, I find it surprising how little I liked these two documentaries overall. The attitude he displays when addressing either the viewer or a religious person does not really provide for any useful or positive result. And while I understand its not easy to back up arguments with lots of facts in a documentary, he uses very little if any, seemingly assuming the audience already knows all the facts he bases his claims and conclusions on, which is not in my mind the sign of a productive film.
    I believe this film can only go so far as to have people who already agree with him give a thumbs up. For those he should be trying to reach, whether devout or unsure, his arrogant attitude only serves to push them away and anger them.
    Do I agree with him and understand why he feels the way he does? Yes. But do I think this film is productive or that he will make any progress in what needs to be done? Not at all.

  12. Richard says:

    How sad it is that religion has inspired people to do good and create such beauty on one hand and inspired people to execute mankinds’ most heinous and the ugliest deeds on the other. Shockingly, all based on a fairy tale.

  13. kerri-ann bennett says:

    What a sad display of intolerance! How much different is his attitude from that of the religious leaders he so obviously and palpably despises? Everyone has a freedom to choose the life which best suits them. Some choose religion, some choose other things. Crimes have been committed in the name of religion. Crimes too have been committed in the name of science…

  14. e148 says:

    The God of the Old Testament is a cruel God. Eye for an eye for example and a death for a death would follow from that. God was not loving to the Egyptians. He was not loving to the Jews (his chosen people) for at least 40 years, at the time of Moses.

    God is a jealous God is explicitly stated several times in the Bible. (Thou shall have no other God . . .). But God is Love and one of the tenants of love is not to demand to have your own way. A contradiction. Granted the former is Old Testament and the latter is New Testament. But still a contradiction in the overall picture.

    Jealousy is a human trait. Are we made in his image or the other way around?
    By the way how can God be called he or father? These say that God has some limitations but “he” does not. A male/man has limitations does he not?

    All religions claim that killing is wrong. Thou shalt not kill. But more deaths have been attributed to religion than for any other reason. WWII, for example, was fought because Hitler wanted Europe under one religion (his–Astrology based). He wanted Jews and others exterminated/purged from Europe. Some others include the Crusades, the witch hunts, Spanish Inquisitions, any war over the Godless Communists, etc.

    Brainwashing our children from birth is wrong. God gives us a choice but apparently religion does not.

    By the way Hell is just the grave, nothing else. It is not a place your soul goes to but a place where your body goes. But religion ties to paint it as a physical place where the Devil lives and where people burn for all eternity.

  15. yin mik says:

    Unfortunately it appears that Professor Dawkins is fighting a losing battle. It is clear to me, and I believe most rational minds, that ALL religious belief, especially blind faith, is a form of mental disorder. I have NEVER heard a logical and convincing argument in defence of religion, that does not have to resort to the ‘faith’ argument. I am afraid I despair that otherwise seemingly intelligent people can believe in a God. Devout Muslims, Catholics, Jews etc….. all of them, are mentally ill and the fact that they indoctrinate their children is simply a form of child abuse which is instilling their madness in to the next generation and perpetuating the ‘disease’.

  16. Patrick says:

    I beieve many of the biblical examples Dawkins used to show how the Christian-Judean God is cruel were presented in a biased way.

    For example, in the book of Judges 19:24, it does indeed revealed how it was traditional to protect a guest at all cost… even if it meant allowing your daughter to be perpetrated by perverts. But just because it is stated that this was so, does not mean that the Christian-Judean God condones it?! Dawkins incorrectly assumed that this passage is reflective of the character of the Christian-Judean God when it is clearly not. These two men (in this passage) have clearly disobeyed God’s law by allowing deliberate abuse and murder of women and are certainly not role models of the faith.

    It is my beleif that the bible is consistent in its portrayal of a loving God who ultimately showed his ultimate love through the sacrifice of his only son Jesus Christ. Dawkins needs to read the bible more carefully before makng such bold statements

  17. Sara says:

    He is so close-minded and hypocritical! I have to laugh at how he keeps using words like”rational” and “objective” to describe his own hatred of faith, all the while advocating an education system that would teach children only his atheist views! It’s amazing and deeply disturbing how blind he is to his own hypocrisy!

  18. David says:

    I like very much the end conclusion ,

    The video was good , I find the narator a litle bit selfish He gives no chance to his victimes ( bishops …etc ) he’s only open to one side.
    We found more religion in poor countries , the narator doesn’t see to have been in …
    Moderne thinking about life and religion donsn’t come easly , but the merderne stype of life impose it ,

  19. rafael says:

    Nice video. I am surprised though that he never interviewed a Muslim person nor quoted from the Quran where similar awful passages can be found in abundance. Why is that? And what about Hinduism? Buddhism? Pagan religions? Does he mean faith as a virus only for the Judeo-Christian tradition? I would totally agree with that.

  20. Sean Teller says:

    People who share religious views keep trying to force everyone else to believe in those particular views. Most religiouns have some sort of “recruitment process”, you can see that in this video. All Christians just kept their faith and religious messages to themselves as the bible SAYS they should. But religions trying to legislate their warped views (e.g. termination/abortion, homosexual marriage and contraception) affect every single one of us. Keep your religion to yourself!

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