Select Quotations While Reading John Lennox

“Even if they cannot be herded, cats in sufficient number can make a lot of noise and they cannot be ignored.” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p.27]

“Those considering atheism as a new doctrinal commitment, however, will not find plausible the alleviation of anxiety it is said to afford. If the great concern occasioned by atheism is God’s indignation, then given the very tentative way in which his inexistence has been affirmed, it might seem that atheists have drawn their worries prematurely to an end. Whatever its other benefits, atheism is not generally counted a position calculated to assuage the worst fears of mankind; and as the work of prominent atheists indicates, those who have stopped worrying have done so only because they have stopped thinking.” [David Berlinski, Fixed-Point Foundation,]

“I have stepped into the public arena in order to add my voice to those who are convinced that the New Atheism is not the automatic default position for all thinking people who hold science in high regard. [p.15]

“I am not an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief is positively harmful.” [Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian]

“Religion poisons everything.” [Christopher Hitchens, God is not Great, p.13]

“I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right.” [Christopher Hitchens, A Bitter Rift Divides Atheists, 2001 NPR Broadcast,]

“The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion… Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.” [Steven Weinberg, remarks at Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival, 2006,]

“…the objective of the New Atheists is not simply to complete the process of secularization by banishing God from the universe; but it is to put something in place of God. And it is not simply that society should replace God with something else; it is that science should do so. Apparently no area of human thought or activity other than science is qualified to contribute anything useful. Science is king.” (p. 20)

“A fiction does not die, an illusion never passes away, a fairy tale does not refute itself… You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition. God, manufactured by mortals in their own quintessential image, exists only to make daily life bearable despite the path that every one of us treads toward extinction… We cannot assassinate or kill an illusion. In fact illusion is more likely to kill us – for God puts to death everything that stands up to him, beginning with reason, intelligence and the critical mind. All the rest follows in a chain reaction.” [Michel Onfray, In Defense of Atheism, pp. 12,13]

“…God is not to be regarded as an enemy of reason. After all, as Creator he is responsible for the very existence of the human mind; the biblical view is that human beings are the pinnacle of creation. They alone are created as rational beings in the image of God, capable of a relationship with God and given by him the capacity to understand the universe in which they live.

“Consistent with this, far from being anti-scientific, the Bible positively encourages science. It could be said that it gave science its initial mandate… According to Genesis, in the biological field it was God who initiated this process by telling humans to name the animals. Taxonomy thus got underway.” (p. 28)

“Again it was a theist, not an atheist, who had the idea that led to the current widely accepted Big Bang model of the origin of the universe. Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), a Belgian priest and astronomer challenged the theory of an eternal universe that had held sway for centuries, and which even Einstein held at the time…” (p. 29)

“It is rather ironical that in the sixteenth century some people resisted advance in science because it seemed to threaten belief in God; whereas in the twentieth century scientific models of a beginning were resisted because they might increase the plausibility of belief in God.” (p. 30)

“In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life-satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes toward suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout religious belief and practice probably outweigh the risks” (p. 77) [Professor Andrew Sims citing the American Journal of Public Health‘s analysis of epidemiological studies on the psychological effects of religious belief. From Is Faith Delusion?: Why Religion is Good For Your Health, 2009]