"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."
Richard Dawkins
(1941-) British evolutionary biologist, author, and media commentator
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Reader comments about this quote:
OOPS ! ! ! That is the big fat imaginary bogyman those without extra-corporeal faith would paint because of lack of their spiritual substance or existence. With a Greek or contemporary understanding of faith - not a biblical or Hebrew understanding), it takes more faith to believe in the lack of evidence (evading the need to think and evaluate evidence) in evolution than other alternatives. I can't speak to other religions understanding of faith but, to Christianity, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. So, to this one religion, there is substance and evidence in faith, making the bogyman absurdity a complete falsehood.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Atheism is nothing more than a competing religion, its goal is to destroy anything NOT atheistic (sound familiar). It takes more faith to believe in evolution than a Creator intelligent design since most of Darwin's assertions have been disproved.
    All Darwinists are forsworn racists because Darwin believed that the Negro race was subhuman and his thinking sparked the eugenics movement that culminated in the final solution in Germany just prior to World War II and heralded by none other than Margaret Sanger in the United States who had her own ideas about a master race and how to deal with the people she referred to as "weeds."
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    ... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
     -- Robert, KY     
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    Faith being belief without evidence, Dawkins is right.
     -- Jim k, Austin     
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    Richard Dawkins, a great thinker, spoke / wrote in haste. He SHOULD have uttered this truism: "Faith can be the great cop-out...," emphasis on CAN BE. There ARE those who use faith as a cop-out, but also there are those who use the word "faith" as a synonym for considered opinion or belief, nothing deeper.
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
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    absolute hate speech
     -- James, ft myers florida     
    hate speech--- why would this respected resource lend such influence and credibility to such an anti Semite Antichrist anti social as -- Richard (retard) Dawkins shame!
     -- James, ft myers florida     
    I can have faith the tooth fairy will come. But that faith would prove false. Someone else came with the quarter under the pillow. What you put your faith in is critical. I have faith my wife will support me if I can’t work. That may prove false, but I base my faith on a history of facts where we have supported each other in the past. I have reasonable evidence that our bond will continue. Historically and logically Christianity has stood up very well to reason and evidence. (See Lee Strobel for a short but well organized apologetic discussion.) After establishing a reliable history and foundation to build faith on, it becomes reasonable to extrapolate with faith in the other claims. Without a base (tooth fairy) there is no logic to continue with that belief. Faith and reason go hand in hand.
     -- SCSURFR, La Mirada     
    " NOW FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. for by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. " ( Hebrews 11:1,2,3,6. ) I suspect with all gravity and persuasion, one of our Founding Fathers by faith forsook England, not fearing the king, for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible ! The Day Star does appear from time to time ! NO DOUBT ! Semper FI
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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     -- Torrey, Fairfax      
    The overtly religious obviously take offense to this quote. The overtly reasonable don't seem to have a problem. 'Faith' in this context can be faith in anything -- not just religious faith. Faith in the government to solve our problems, faith in an investment, faith in marriage. When faith becomes a cop-out, the faithful will have to bear the brunt of the consequences -- that is their choice!

    To have faith in a principle is noble, but it does not add one iota to its truthfulness or even worth. But if that is what I want to do with my life, I am willing to bear the results and either learn from them or not.

    Faith, hope, trust -- all are noble qualities, but that doesn't automatically make the objects of their faith noble or true.

    Hey, you, Christians who obviously take offense -- what about Muslim faith, hmm? Sorry, but when faith trumps reason and even conscience, it is time to re-examine.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Spot-on, Dawkins; especially his "perhaps because of" the lack of evidence. Curiously, there is this need to believe in something other than what plainly is. Why? Life as it is is beautiful and ample.
     -- Jim, Sutton, NH     
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    This is a PERFECT definition of faith. It is indistinguishable from superstition. And applies everywhere, not just religion. Faith in science, politicians, government, & the list goes on.
     -- Stew     
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