To be honest, Hitler or not, that quote has plenty of truth to it. That, indeed, is the difference between science and faith, and that could well have been said by a modern atheist. I'd say it would rather have been Hitchens, though, but that's a minor detail.
Regarding Dawkins, he's a bit of a shit anyway. He had a go at a journalist for being Muslim (more specifically the flying horse bit, to which there's evidence in the Koran that Mohammed was actually hallucinating but w/e) and that because of that he shouldn't work at whatever magazine it was (either the New Statesman or the Economist, can't remember which) because of these beliefs. Regardless of the fact that he was basically encouraging religious discrimination, the journalist in question simply responded by saying it was a shame that Dawkins was having a go at him like that, considering how it had been his idea to have Dawkins guest-edit one of their issues.
Dawkins can seem like a snobbish inbred Brit, and I think his manner of speaking and general appearance actually annoy people more than his message. Which, incidentally, few religious people care to listen to well enough to be able to offer much counter-arguments. But he's also rather well-mannered and polite in his questioning, and if you heard his words with less prejudice and spoken with a different, voice, I'd bet he would not sound intrusive.
Also, it seems that even on this board, some people seem to allow religion more freedom in such questioning. Had it been a bishop or a rabbi challenging the same journalist on the same issues, only with the reasoning based on the common religion of the questioner and the journalist, no-one would probably bat an eye; it's somehow considered outrageous if atheists dare question anything that relates to religion in any way, even while religion is being used as a "get out of jail free" card, or an excuse for demanding more leeway in various things. There either are rules, or there aren't. Cherry-picking the useful parts seems to be allowed.
Also, are you sure he was encouraging religious discrimination, which would be against my idea of his usual attitude? And not questioning the personal compatibility of the person's faith and the things he does at work? I'd bet the latter, but I don't know the exact case. Do you have a link to a video, perhaps?
As an example, you could consider a random case, say, a hypothetical Muslim working for a porn mag. The devout fellow would follow his prayer routines to the max, avoided pork and observed Ramadan, did his pilgrimage, his wife would wear a burkha, and yet, he'd be peddling smut. That would not be illegal, none more unethical on general level than anyone else doing it. It would certainly be extremely amusing. But first of all, it would show a complete disregard for the tenets of his own religion and culture, and would certainly betray a fundamental conflict of interests and ideologies that could not be unintentional. So, maybe, if Dawkins was talking to a supposedly devout Muslim, and he worked for The Economist, he could have been pointing to the fact that he's be working on a field that requires
interest rates and deep knowledge of them, and interest on a loan is something that is explicitly forbidden by the Qur'an; it's not that he'd be taking interest from loans himself, but he'd still be supporting and benefiting from a system that is entirely based on a concept that Mohammed personally banned. That, for example, would fit my idea of Dawkins' reasoning, which often is based on the conflict and subsequent hypocrisy of the supposed devout religious folks.
In more down-to-earth news, as an example at work, I'd consider a daily break for prayer as bad as a regular break for smoking, which I absolutely dislike. Why should someone be allowed more breaks at work, just so that he can destroy his health, and have more days off due to, say, bronchitis? And why should someone's imaginary friend have enough importance to cut two times fifteen minutes from the working day, just to do a bit of mooning towards Reykjavik, or whatever rituals the different branches of the various fairytales hold so dear?
Sure, I like the long Easter weekend, for example, even though I believe in neither gods, nor the Easter Bunny. Even atheists can enjoy a few extra days off. But that's not hypocrisy, it's equality. I could well have any other spring weekend extended, since I do not have any religious burdens that would dictate that I should pick that specific weekend for my extended beer sipping and mutton munching. But in order for me to excercise that option, I would need to get my kids' free days moved to another spot as well, and from the schools' point of view, that's virtually impossible.
Very few atheists actually have a beef with people's personal beliefs. As long as the fiath remains everybody's own business, and does not lead to any
disturbance, ridiculous rules for others, inequality in public life, or redirection of tax money, etc., I will shut up. But the fact remains that even though I'm not a member of any church, a lot of things still irk me a lot:
- A small fraction of the profit my work helps to create for the company I work for goes to the Lutheran church of Finland through an archaic and silly tax scheme. That needs to be stopped, I don't want to be supporting such mumbo-jumbo.
- The schools and daycare centers where my atheist kids go have repeatedly failed to protect the children against the harmful radiation from religious rituals. The second daughter has been dragged to various things along with the rest of the class, despite strict instructions to the opposite. The other kids have been left out of those functions, but have instead been forced to sit alone in class and do extra homework or something, thus turning the experience into a form of punishment. NOT fair, when the religious kids are supposedly celebrating in their chosen form of joyous worship and getting the exhilarating feeling of being saved and dipped in pure euphoric grace.
- The parliament has an opening church service when they open the season, paid for by tax money, the tax funded local public/national broadcasting company shows church services on Sunday mornings, the schools have religion as regular classes paid with tax money, and so forth. There are massive amounts of different money drains and time consuming little things that need to be terminated.
The above is a list of minor items, in the big picture, considering the rather secular society we have in the Nordics, but that will no doubt change. I'm talking about Islam, specifically, and the fact that it will establish a strong beachhead soon, and start demanding things. I do't want pork removed from the school lunches, I dislike the idea of anyone wearing a burkha or any other blatantly religious garments or symbols in Finland, I will not allow a bus driver an extra break for prayer in the middle of a route, I definitely will not allow a bus driver to refuse to drive a bus with an atheist ad on the side, and whatever. Spending the yearly vacation days during Ramadan is more than OK and helps to organize the summer work schedules when others want to have their vacations, but it should not result in any extra days off. Before those demands start to get wind in their sails, it's high time to remove ALL privileges from Christianity, in order to avoid (justified?) demands for equality.
Please note that I do make a distinction between racism and dislike of cultural and religious ideologies. But that's something for another discussion altogether.
There were a few users here who considered the bus ads of the atheists in London offensive, and considering how friendly and humorous they were when compared to the average Christian spamming, I found a remarkable double standard right there.
Also, if an atheist pope is ever elected, I'll definitely be running for that office. All those who will vote me will now edit their signatures to say so, so that I can start compiling a few lists for... purposes.