It's good to hear someone big-brained with a love of language speak beautifully, isn't it?
The most striking example of this I've ever heard, in the flesh at least, was from Steven Pinker at the LSE in 2010.
Near the end of the fifteen-minute Q&A session which followed his talk he was falteringly posed a long question which could be better expressed as: "You're an atheist. Aren't you, in calling for religion to be eradicated, just as bad as the religious zealots who want to force their religion on unbelievers?"
"As a thorough-going atheist I would not have a desire to eradicate religion. I think it's important to come to the best collective understanding that we can about the nature of the world and the nature of morality and justice -- and that will often require overturning long held religious beliefs. But religions themselves, as social institutions, have obviously evolved, thank goodness: the way all of the major religions are practised now is very different from the way they were practised a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, two thousand years ago: thanks to the enlightenment, thanks to the pressure from secular reason. There's no reason why that couldn't occur and all of the things that are valuable about religion -- that they are places for people to meet, they're forums for ethical discussion -- can continue to exist; but as long as it doesn't entail that we indulge propositions about the world that our best reason indicates are incorrect, or moral arguments that our best moral reasoning indicate are indefensible."- - -
I'm looking forward to reading The Better Angels of Our Nature; Pinker's 2007 essay, A History of Violence, on the same subject -- the decline of violence -- is a compelling, and compellingly optimistic, primer.