Atheist biologist Richard Dawkins said in an interview with an Irish media outlet on Sunday that he believes that it is self-centered for people to do good simply to “curry favor with God.”
Dawkins, who is widely known for his oft-times blistering critiques of religion, also told Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) host Gay Byrne that he believes that religion can, in some cases, corrupt otherwise good people.
“I’m interested in the cases where religion actually moves people to do horrible things … although they themselves might not be horrible people, they might be actually very righteous people,” Dawkins said. “They believe they’re doing right.”
That’s when he launched into an example surrounding the September 11 attacks to illustrate his point.
“I think the 9/11 hijackers all sincerely believed that they were doing the right and proper moral, religious thing,” he continued. “They were not in themselves evil. They were following their faith — and faith is pernicious because it can do that to people. It can do that to otherwise decent people.”
Watch Dawkins’ comments below:
Before making those comments, Dawkins took aim at people who do good simply to satisfy God.
“If you’re good because you want to curry favor with God, because you want to avoid going to hell, or if you want to go to Heaven, that’s a rather ignoble, self-centered reason to be good,” he said. “I fully accept that an awful lot of good deeds are done by people who happen to be religious, but I think it’s rather insulting to suggest that you need religion in order to be good.”
(H/T: Christian Post)
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