Thursday, July 10, 2008

Video: Dawkins on militant atheism

I just realized I've never posted Richard Dawkins' fantastic 2002 TEDTalk in which he advocates not atheism, but militant atheism. Dawkins, in my opinion, is eloquent, immensely funny, correctly righteously indignant and, most importantly, right. The only thing I disagree with in this talk is Dawkins' contention that Darwinism leads to atheism: as a matter of life-history it often does, but it need not do so logically. (That is, Darwinism does not logically entail atheism, even if it lends support by deflating the argument from design and making it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist).

The video is embedded below, click here for the direct link.


  1. We've talked about this before, but for the record on the blag-o-tubes, I think you're imposing a different sense of entail than Dawkins, and that he likely wouldn't disagree with you once it's disambiguated. You're using entail like a good philosopher, and by those rules correctly pointing out that deist and other possibilities are left open even if natural selection is recognised as the main explanation for the form of living things. I think he means entail in the sense of "to cause or involve by necessity or as a consequence" (

  2. Samuel Skinner
    Evolution rules out a God who is inteventionary and cares about us. Of course, that covers most of the religions on the planet.

  3. Doc Spurt, I agree that's possible but I'm not so sure.

    Sam Skinner: I'm rather convinced evolution *doesn't* rule out a personal God. While I think it's far more reasonable to be a deist than, say, a Muslim, I don't think evolution is the key bit of evidence.