Most of the reviews for Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion go to great lengths to mention how intolerant the good doctor is towards religious intolerance. The assumption is that we shouldn’t take serious a forceful argument about such a delicate subject because as we all know, theologians are just hothouse flowers and what’s this Dawkins fellow got against your Grandma and her sweet Sunday school demeanor any how? Which is utter bullshit.
Dr. Dawkins makes a first rate argument against religious belief, especially the belief in God and does so simply by applying the same basic level of critical scrutiny that all good scientists apply to any proposition. And that really is what has so many of the Religious apologist reviewers all atwitter. Dawkins is applying logic and the scientific method to something that, historically, has been given a pass I this area. Belief in God has been granted such special status in our culture by rigging the system. You can’t question God’s existence because it relies on faith, and it relies on faith and faith alone because God’s Priests say it does. So buzz off, why don’t you. And don’t look at the man behind the curtain, the one with his pants around his ankles and an altar boys ass in the air.
We’ve reached the point in our society where clinging to irrational superstitions is no longer a quaint pass time for soccer moms and armchair theologians, but is actually quite dangerous and not just to people in New York sky scrapers or hunkered down in Mesopotamian bunkers. Religious intolerance and the violence it engenders has become a major problem on all levels of society. And trying to vaccinate holy madness by cutting it with new age spirituality and moderate belief doesn’t work. It just creates a Petri dish for fundamentalism to grow faster. So yes, Dawkins is intolerant of religion. As well as we all should be.
His arguments will not really be news for anyone well versed in the ins and outs of Atheist thought but they are compelling, thoughtfully argued and backed up by rigorous science and scrupulous evidence. And that is the really revolutionary aspect of this book. There is evidence for why religious belief is dangerous. And it is presented here in a manner that is cogent, persuasive and compelling.
Reading the God Delusion, I was struck by the thought that animals that do not evolve and adapt to their environment become extinct. It’s an elementary concept that forms the foundation of evolution: evolve or die. And since the religious leaders who have appointed themselves custodians of our culture don’t want us to evolve, it should tell you just what it is they want us all to do instead.