The God Delusion

Atheist Chic

By: Steven Plaut, JEWISH PRESS

I suppose I should begin by explaining why I bothered to read the book The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Bantam, 2006). Dawkins is Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, and a zealot with a mission: to wipe out religious belief of all sorts. The God Delusion is his call to arms.

My reading of the book was largely in response to a triple dare made by a friend, Dr. M., a true Zionist Israeli, an outspoken Jewish patriot, and someone who describes himself as a militant agnostic. Dr. M. has long found it incomprehensible – indeed, a downright insult to his intelligence – that a nice educated fella like myself does not share his staunch agnosticism.

With a mixture of pity and annoyance, Dr. M. has been trying to enlighten me. Convinced that no one could read Dawkins and come away unpersuaded, he sent me the book and challenged me to read it.

The God Delusion – not to be confused with The Dawkins Delusion, an attack on Dawkins co-written by Alistair McGrath, a molecular biologist also from Oxford University – is one of a growing genre of books designed to market militant atheism to the reading public. (A recent entry that has sold rather briskly is God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, who used to be a left-wing Israel basher and is now a quasi-right-wing Israel basher.)

“Promulgating atheism,” the Wall Street Journal reports, “has become a lucrative business.” Los Angeles-based radio host and popular columnist Dennis Prager recently wrote, “In my opinion… the arguments put forth [in such books] are far more emotional than intellectual, and even secular liberal journals have written devastating reviews of the Hitchens and Dawkins books…. The secular indoctrination of a generation that has grown into adulthood is bearing fruit….”

What exactly is Dawkins’s thesis and why is his book a bestseller?

August 31, 2007 | 6 Comments »

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6 Comments / 6 Comments

  1. I would take a slight exception to what Bill wrote:

    As for the atheist Dawkins stating that his morals and ethics are independent of religion, that is poppycock.

    Morals and ethics, I would say, have their source in religious texts. Religious people ascribe a divine origin to these texts. Wise non-believers recognize the value of those texts, but not their divine origin. They respect the legacy of religion but not its supernatural authorship.

  2. Hmmmm…. all this fundamentally useless discussion on something nobody can even guess about.

    What if God exists and we don’t?

  3. If God does not exist, all the world believing he does will not bring God into existence. If God does exist, then all the world denying his existence will not extinguish his existence.

    As for the atheist Dawkins stating that his morals and ethics are independent of religion, that is poppycock.

    As much as Dawkins may deny God and therefore religion, he was nurtured and acquired his sense of right and wrong from parents and a society that took that same sense of right and wrong from their religion.

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