The dinner brought the two bestselling authors together for the first time--a chance for them to collaborate on responses to their common critics (see image right, courtesy Jurvetson). For example, just two hours earlier following his address at Kepler's Bookstore, Dawkins had been asked , "Weren't the worst atrocities of mankind perpetrated by atheists like Stalin and Hitler?"
Dawkins had responded that not only is there substantive debate regarding the faiths of Stalin and Hitler, but there are good and bad atheists and good and bad believers--there is no historical correlation between atheism and atrocity any more than there is correlation between faith and atrocity (and probably less so). A stronger correlation can be shown between heinous dictators and mustaches. Is a flexible worldview based on evidence and reason, Dawkins asked, more or less likely to incline someone to murder than a religious approach based on a holy book from a divine authority? "The question answers itself."
During dinner, Hitch (as his beautiful wife endearingly calls him) offered an additional rebuke: faith and church aligned the German and Russian populations behind Hitler and Stalin, while a skeptical , evidence-oriented population would have likely resisted the quasi-religions of their atrocious leaders.
The dinner capped off a successful event at Kepler's Bookstore in Menlo Park, where Dawkins once again filled the house. Watch the video of his address, and the Q&A session that followed.
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