I think one too many award speeches thanking God (how exactly did he/she lend a hand in the album’s production?) and the astonishing amount of air time Sarah Palin has been receiving recently, has pushed me into some sort of subconscious loathing of religion, which has manifested in me reading Richard Dawkins’ highly acclaimed book ‘The God Delusion’.
When I started it a few days ago I thought “this’ll be good – not only will it give me a sense of smug self satisfaction that, as I predicted, all religion is bollocks, but it will also give me new facts as to God’s non-existence with which to berate religious adversaries in future confrontations, as and when they arise.” However, having reached the half way point in the book, in spite of abundant in depth scientific discussion and logical reasoning, it is all beginning to sound like a monotonous (for want of a better word) incantation: “God isn’t real”.
I was sure ‘ol’ beardy’ was a fraudster before I began reading the book and I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of Dawkins’ readership are at least agnostic. I can’t imagine Pope Benedict XVI reaching the end of the book, solemnly shaking his head, with tears soaking his vestement and declaring “Fuck, I’ve wasted my life on this shit!”
So what exactly is the need for the anti-preaching and who is it aimed at? Due to the natural complexity of the text I can’t imagine too many creationists coming to terms with it and as I’ve said, as an atheist I find many of his points blindingly obvious.
The book has been lauded as ‘a very important book’, ‘desperately needed’, ‘a resounding trumpet blast for truth’. It’s probably even received the highest acclaim of all, that being the critic favourite: ‘a tour de force!’ I am in no doubt that it is indeed a marvellous accomplishment, I just can’t also help feeling that despite it’s success, it’s appeal lies merely as a bible for the non-believer and will do little to change the demographics surrounding the issue of religion. If Dawkins wants to change people’s faith he’d be best off bringing out subsequent editions of the The God Delusion in the form of a baseball bat with ‘Wake up you morons!’ emblazoned down the side.