Most popular passages from – The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Rather than argue the case for or against this popular book, i’d refer to this:
Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. Milton, “Areopagitica,” 1644
The word ‘truth’ has it’s origins in the word Tree; the notion of “steadfast as an oak, from same root ‘drutas’ “firm,” Welsh drud, or “strong,” Welsh derw “true,” old Irish derb “sure.”
‘When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.’
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one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.
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The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
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I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.
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Seneca the Younger: ‘Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.’
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‘We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.’
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‘The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.’
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Deists differ from theists in that their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the pantheist’s metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.
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Remember Ambrose Bierce’s witty definition of the verb ‘to pray’: ‘to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy’.
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Carl Sagan put it well:’… if by “God” one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying … it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.’
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