"Because it's a faith some people feel comfortable with." What kind of idiot thinks feeling "comfortable with" X is a reason to believe X?— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) June 30, 2013
Being afraid to die is not a cogent reason for believing you won't. If you want to join a religion, you need a better reason than that.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) June 30, 2013
"Feeling you need to belong to something" can't be a reason for believing anything. Only evidence can. If you want to belong, join a club.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) June 30, 2013
I've said most of these things at times to people I know, to little or no effect, of course. Partly as a consequence of that "to little or no effect" part, I'm still feeling lazy, and I wanted to try out the new Twitter method for embedding its message, so here we are.
I like this new Twitter message API, by the way. It works in Blogger, which the old one never did, at least for me. Thanks to Lambert Strether for pointing out how to use it.
UPDATE: Just saw this one on Dawkins' Twitter stream, and I really like it:
"What reason to believe in anything though? Whatever makes you happy." No, your happiness is irrelevant to truth. Believe only evidence.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) June 30, 2013
I'm not all that bright, at least not by the standards of a lot of folks who write opinions worth reading. As I've written a time or two, folks like Glenn Greenwald and Marcy Wheeler make me feel like a moron in comparison. One advantage I've had over a lot of people, though, is that I've never developed the habit of assuming that because I wanted something to be true meant that it was. I realized that there was no reason to assume the Christian god existed not long after I finally figured out that Santa Claus didn't. While I wasn't especially prodigious in figuring out about Santa Claus, I was way ahead of some very smart folks on atheism. That I learned early on that wanting something to be true didn't make it true was an advantage any time I needed to figure out what the truth was. It's one less way to lie to yourself.