Is God the Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction?

Publishing or saying this could be illegal in Ireland if the new blasphemy law is passed:

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, bloodthristy ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 2006


  1. Avatar
    Sean July 25, 2009

    (using blockquote tags for the first time, so apologies if this post ends up being horribly malformed)

    “Whilst your statement is true that this would become illegal, remember also that Dawkins himself is a bigger evangelist than any religious person.”

    Indeed. Dawkins is often knocking on my door or putting leaflets through the letterbox. Just the other day I saw him in town with a megaphone telling me that I’ll not burn in hell. He’s very direct in his criticism of religion, but I struggle to equate that to someone the likes of Jerry Falwell.

    “Surely a true atheist wouldn’t harp on and on about there being no gods, because that is a lot of hot air.”

    ‘No true Scotsman’ argument – look it up. The reason why atheists speak out is because other peoples’ religious choices are foisted upon us.

    Dawkins does actually have a religion. Science is his religion. Please don’t argue with the semantics of that statement because if you look into it, he has set up a church (foundation for science and reason) has defined his enemies (enemies of reason) and also places a lot of faith (for want of a better word) in theories that have not yet been fully proven or are not fully understood.

    We could also consider regular pub goers to be involved in some kind of beer religion. Are you referring to the theory of evolution? Proofs are used in mathematics, but not in scientific theories. I don’t think you really understand how science works, since it sounds like you’re unclear as the scientific meaning of the word “theory”.

    Evolutionary theory is better understood than gravity and has a lot more evidence for it because it’s one of the best tested theories in any of the sciences. Science does not claim to provide a full understanding of anything, and Dawkins himself says that he can’t say for definite that God doesn’t exist.

    Raze made a very good point. A blasphemy law is a wonderful tool for governments wishing to stifle criticism. Compiling the Ryan Report was like pulling teeth, mainly due to the stalling tactics of the orders, but imagine how much more difficult that would be if they could use the blasphemy card?

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    Jack September 05, 2009

    WTF spannertoole do you know english maybe you should look up the dictionary which defines religion as believing in a supernatural power. And about a true atheist an atheist is defined as a non-believer in god/s so he is a true atheist. Maybe the next time you take an oath or drive past a church board you will see it is infact christians who are strangling atheists with their views

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    Grant Privett January 03, 2010

    Dawkins has it pretty well spot on – where was he inaccurate in his assessment of the Old Testament?

    I’m bemused that whenever Prof Dawkins is mentioned the religious complain that he is a fundamentalist atheist. If I say something about Prof Dawkins I’m pretty sure he won’t encourage others to burn me at the stake, behead me, blow me up or kneecap me. He appears to be civilised, bright and thoughtful – contrasting strongly with several religions where it is clearly normal practice to leave your higher brain functions at the door.


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