Richard Dawkins at TED 2002: Laying the ground work for the atheist/rationalist movement

A reader, Stuart, recommended that I post the video of Richard Dawkins at TED 2002. While many readers will have already seen this footage, it is highly recommended for those that have not (particularly for those not particularly up-to-date on the issues behind the push for secularism and reason in all corners of human contemplation). At TED 2002, Dawkins gives what appears to be one of his first major presentations in America in which he encourages outspoken atheism, warns against being “respectful” of religions (i.e., treating people with religious convictions with far more delicacy than one would treat the same people if they held other beliefs for which they could not provide a reasonable case for), and calls upon the scientific and rationalist community to stand up, organize, and defend reason, science, intellectual honesty, secularism, and the nonbelieving community, and to stop bending over backwards to accomodate the systemic irrationality that we call religion. Because this was an early presentation, Dawkins goes into extra detail in fleshing out a number of his points.

Feel free to post comments on the video in the comment section. Given that Dawkins is an international leader in secular, atheist and rationalist activism, its important to reflect on the messages he delivers, the way he delivers them, and on the lessons that we should be taking from him.

One Response to “Richard Dawkins at TED 2002: Laying the ground work for the atheist/rationalist movement”
  1. Stoobs says:

    Ahhh. I saw posted 2007, but somehow missed recorded 2002. Ah well. It was new to me, and it’s entirely possible it’s new to other people. I found it pretty inspiring, anyway. People are way too respectful of religious folks – if someone said in a public forum that they believed in leprechauns, they would be mocked by pretty much everyone. I find leprechauns slightly more plausible than the content of most religions, since stories about leprechauns are at least internally consistent.

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