Sunday, October 01, 2006
Not long before he died, Graham Greene told me in an interview of his nagging doubts about God, sin, angels and Satan. When I asked him why he continued to regard himself as a Catholic, he replied: "Because I've reached a stage where I doubt my doubt."
Richard Dawkins, Charles Simonyi professor of the understanding of science at Oxford, appears equally haunted by religion, but doubt is not an option. It is his conviction that faith has been the principal source of violence and suffering throughout history. The world, in his view, would be a lot better off without it. That is the theme of The God Delusion (Amazon UK | US) - one which could not be more apt for our time - and he pulls out all the stops to demonstrate the force of his thesis in this passionate new book.
He begins by questioning the respect that religionists demand for their faith: "Many people have noted the contrast between the hysterical hurt professed by Muslims and the readiness with which Arab media publish stereotypical anti-Jewish cartoons." [Roman, Creationism, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Sunday Times Book Review]
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