The God “Conclusion”: Part 1

Richard Dawkins | 406 pages | Bantam Press, 2006[1]

14743As most of you probably know, Richard Dawkins is a famous atheist and prolific author with titles such as The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, and The Selfish Gene. He is also a professor at Oxford University.

Dawkins states that his purpose behind the book is “that nobody who reads this book will be able to say, ‘I didn’t know I could.,”[2] meaning that people shouldn’t be afraid of breaking away from their religious “indoctrination,” just because that’s what their parents believed. In a way, I agree with Dawkins’ point. He states it this way: “Speak of a ‘child of Catholic parents’ if you like; but if you hear anybody speak of a ‘Catholic child,’ stop them and politely point out that children are too young to know where they stand on economics or politics,” much less religion. However, I believe that children are able to understand simple religious truths, such as the Christian gospel. In which case, there is at least such a thing as a “Christian child.”

Chapter 1 is essentially an extended preface. In it we find the abuses of religion in modern culture. Basically, people employ religion as an excuse for breaking the law or committing atrocities. Examples range from a church in New Mexico obtaining hallucinogenic drugs to help them draw closer to God[3] to Muslims massacring many people all over the world over “offensive” depictions of Muhammed in an obscure Danish newspaper.[4] Dawkins is right; we shouldn’t get a free pass just because our religion says we should behead people or illegally intoxicate ourselves. Honestly, for me, what it comes down to is this: Men are able to do whatever their religion says, as long as they’re willing to pay the judicial penalty for their actions. For example, if it is illegal for a person to murder another in America (which it is), then a Muslim who does this in the name of jihad should still be prosecuted.

[1] The God Delusion cover photo from

[2] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 6

[3] Ibid., p. 22

[4] Ibid., p. 24-27


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