had been president for the past six years, I doubt that Dawkins would have penned such a powerful polemic against the infusion of religion into nearly every nook and cranny of public life. But here we are, and like Goldwater, Dawkins is sick and tired of being told that atheists are immoral, second-class, back-of-the-bus citizens. The God Delusion is his way of, like the Howard Beale character in the 1976 film Network, sticking his head out the window and shouting, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."Im Grunde ist es ganz unmöglich, dieses Buch nicht unter diesem Aspekt zu lesen. Aber dann zeigt sich auch Shermer - nunja - in gewisser Weise "konsterniert":
When I received the bound galleys for The God Delusion, I cringed at the title, wishing it were more neutral (why not, say, The God Question?). As I read the book, I found myself wincing at Dawkins's references to religious people as "faith-heads," as being less intelligent, poor at reasoning, or even deluded, and to religious moderates as enablers of terrorism. I shudder because I have religious friends and colleagues who do not fit these descriptors, and I empathize at the pain such pejorative appellations cause them. In addition, I am not convinced by Dawkins's argument that without religion there would be "no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as 'Christ-killers,' no Northern Ireland 'troubles'…." In my opinion, many of these events--and others often attributed solely to religion by atheists--were less religiously motivated than politically driven, or at the very least involved religion in the service of political hegemony.
I also never imagined a book with this title would ever land on bestseller lists in the United States. But I was wrong. The data have spoken. The God Delusion is a runaway bestseller, a market testimony to the hunger many people--far more, I now think, than polls reveal--have for someone in a position of prestige and power to speak for them in such an eloquent voice. Dawkins's latest book deserves multiple readings, not just as an important work of science, but as a great work of literature.