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The reviewing lawyer must decide whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute and whether it isn’t in the public interest. The Prosecutors s1e2: The Proof, BBC 2016
We are furnished with so little evidence for so horrible a proposition. Christopher Hitchens v Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, debate New York 30th January 2008
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. Christopher Hitchens
What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives. Sam Harris
When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn’t. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies. Sam Harris
A kernel of truth lurks at the heart of religion, because spiritual experience, ethical behaviour, and strong communities are essential for human happiness. And yet our religious traditions are intellectually defunct and politically ruinous. While spiritual experience is clearly a natural propensity of the human mind, we need not believe anything on insufficient evidence to actualize it. Sam Harris
Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music. Sam Harris
People who harbour strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next. Sam Harris
I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs. Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide that proves they should value evidence?
If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument would you invoke to prove they should value logic? Sam Harris
Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yoghurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever. Sam Harris
Why is believing something without evidence good? Bill Maher, Religulous, 2008
Once a belief or expectation is found, especially one that resolves uncomfortable uncertainty, it biases the observer to notice new information that confirms the belief, and to discount evidence to the contrary. This self-perpetuating mechanism consolidates the original error and builds up an overconfidence in which the arguments of opponents are seen as too fragmentary to undo the adopted belief. David Marks & Richard Kammann, Psychology of the Psychic
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Thomas Huxley
Science frees us from superstition and dogma, and enables us to base our knowledge on evidence. Richard Dawkins, Enemies of Reason: Slaves to Superstition, Channel 4 2007
Reason and a respect for evidence are the source for our progress. Our safeguard against fundamentalists. And those who profit from obscuring the truth. We live in dangerous times when superstition is gaining ground, and rational science is under attack. ibid.
Rather than adapt to evidence, many of us it seems remain trapped in ways of thinking inherited from our primitive ancestors. Irrational belief, from dowsing to psychic clairvoyance, has roots in early mankind’s habit of attributing spirit and intention to natural phenomena such as water, the sun, a rock or the sea ... Even in the twenty-first century, despite all science has revealed about the indifferent vastness of the universe, the human mind remains a wanton story-teller creating intention in the randomness of reality. ibid.
Reason has built the modern world. It is a precious but also a fragile thing which can be corroded by apparently harmless irrationality. We must favour verifiable evidence over private feeling otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth. ibid.
When one report, now widely discredited, wrongly linked MMR vaccine with autism, an innuendo circulated that the establishment was conspiring to risk our children’s health. It led to hundreds of thousands of parents failing to protect their offspring from the threat of Measles, a serious disease that in Afghanistan kills thirty-five thousand people a year. This is the world of private hunches and no respect for evidence. ibid.
Today a war is being fought against Reason. Science is treated with suspicion perhaps borne of fear. And medical advance is challenged by the march of irrational belief. Professor Richard Dawkins: Enemies of Reason: The Irrational Health Service
A third of us now spend over £1.6 billion a year on superstitious alternative remedies which as far as the evidence can show don’t work. If any remedy is tested under controlled scientific conditions and proved to be effective it will cease to be alternative and will simply become medicine. So-called alternative medicine either hasn’t been tested or it has failed its tests. And some alternatives are funded by us taxpayers. ibid.
Science is about testing, comparing and corroborating this mass of evidence, and using it to update old theories of how things work. Professor Richard Dawkins, The Root of All Evil? The God Delusion, Channel 4 2006
Evangelicals like Haggard are foisting evidence falsehoods on their flock. The evangelicals are denying scientific evidence just to support bronze-age myths. ibid.
Obviously what we believe is affected by our upbringing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change our minds. We all have the right to see the evidence and re-evaluate our beliefs. Professor Richard Dawkins, The Genius of Charles Darwin III, Channel 4 2009
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. Professor Richard Dawkins
The fact of evolution is uncontroversial ... There is a massive amount of evidence. Professor Richard Dawkins, interviewing Wendy Richards, Concerned Women for America
My passion is based on evidence; theirs flying in the face of evidence as it does is truly fundamentalist. Professor Richard Dawkins, lecture I’m an Atheist But ...
The other thing I cannot help remarking upon is the overweening confidence with which the religious assert minute details for which they neither have, nor could have, any evidence. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion p34
Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth p8
Evidence is the only reason to believe something. Richard Dawkins
There are truths. And truths are often made up by facts. And facts on the ground are terribly important ... As a reporter, if I am to draw a conclusion, as I do in my films, that conclusion must be based on evidence I’ve uncovered or I’ve seen substantiated or I’ve witnessed personally. John Pilger, In Conversation