Emerging from “The Science Delusion” I obviously had “The God Delusion” in mind, and I couldn’t resist reminding you of this splendid passage at the beginning of chapter 2:
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, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can become desensitized to their horror. A naïf blessed with the perspective of innocence has a clearer perception. Winston Churchill’s son Randolph somehow contrived to remain ignorant of scripture until Evelyn Waugh and a brother officer in a vain attempt to keep Churchill quiet when they were posted together during the war, bet him he couldn’t read the entire Bible in a fortnight: ‘Unhappily it has not had the result we hoped. He has never read any of it before and is hideously excited; keeps reading quotations aloud “I say I bet you didn’t know this came in the Bible… or merely slapping his side & chortling “God, isn’t God a shit!”’. Thomas Jefferson – better read – was of a similar opinion, describing the God of Moses as “a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust”.
It is unfair to attack such an easy target. The God Hypothesis should not stand or fall with its most unlovely instantiation […]