I bought the book by Richard Dawkins last night and decided to re-read it. I admit that the first time I read it I opened the book expecting to disagree (due to Menaz' staunch references to it in making very ignorant and ill informed statements) and so I didn't really soak up what it was that Dawkins was saying. It occurred to me that sometimes it is necessary to read a book twice, or perhaps even a third time, to catch those things which were not caught the first time around. Sooo, I am on page 43 now and have encountered two problems already with Dawkin's book, which are as follows: 1. Dawkins, on the first page of the Preface (the last paragraph) says, "Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine 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 shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing gullible people of their money ('God wants you to give till it hurts'). Imagine no Taliban to blow up ancient statues, no public beheadings of blasphemers, no flogging of female skin for the crime of showing an inch of it . . ." 2. His constant references to Thomas Jefferson as "a man of reason" and "one of the great thinkers and founding fathers of the United States." Now, for the best interest of logic and reason and intelligent discourse, I will refrain from discussing his view of God (mainly because I agree with what he says on page 37, "And I shall not be concerned at all with other religions such as Buddhism or Confucianism. Indeed, there is something to be said for treating these not as religions at all but as ethical systems or philosophies of life," making it crystal clear that he sees no problem whatsoever with my approach to life as it is very similar to Buddhist in both theory and practice). His view of God has been debated enough. What I will focus on in his hypocrisy and self-contradiction. I will do so by number below. 1. First off, this argument is a fallacy. It is an appeal to emotion. He is asking human beings to imagine a world in which religion never existed, which is impossible since it was religion which helped human beings to evolve (mentally) in many ways. If one were to take religion out of the equation, many of the faculties which human beings possess would be instantly lost. Not to mention that the statues which the Taliban would be blowing up, would simply not exist. There would be no pyramids, there would be no sphinx, no Michaelangelo paintings, no grand statues to be destroyed. How much has come into existence, how much of our creativity would be lost to us, as human beings, had religion never existed? He conveniently ignores (or simply does not consider) this question. If one were to erase religion, no, the Taliban would not exist to blow up statues, but neither would the statues themselves, the great works of art, the amazing architecture around the world and countless other aspects of our lives which came into existence because of (not in spite of) religious views. One cannot keep the beautiful things that have come from religion if they throw out religion because of the abuse of religion. Corrupt minds will corrupt any institution, regardless of whether that institution be theistic or atheistic in nature. Also, he refers to the Indian Partition and that leads to number two. 2. His constant praising of Thomas Jefferson is quite ignorant. He is promoting Jefferson's good ideals and using Jefferson to fight off the bad results of religions who repress and harm the lives of human beings around the world, all the while forgetting that it was Jefferson who brought about the Trail of Tears, who was responsible for the massacre of countless Native Americans. It was Jefferson who signed several "peace treaties" with the intention of breaking them a few weeks later. It was Jefferson who owned slaves and used religion as his right to do so. One cannot use Jefferson's quotes against forms of religion that he did not hold and change the context in which they were spoken, to speak against all forms of religion. Jefferson was a part of the very institution that Dawkins is claiming to fight against. That is hypocrisy. These are two flaws in Dawkin's book, which I would like to open for discussion. I agree with Dawkins that the religions of todays world are completely out of control and destructive. They are not praising life, they are not showing the beauty in existence or the glory in the beings that we call humans, they have been reduced to ONLY intolerance, money squandering and violence. Of course corrupt minds have always manipulated the group of religious people, using their religious beliefs as the excuse, to harm others . . . but there WAS ALWAYS a balance. The religions also provided enough beauty and unity, celebration and love to balance out the negative aspects. Now the positive side has been lost and all that remains is the negative side. So yes, I agree, there is a problem and that problem is religion. Religion is the problem. The goofy religious concepts of God (or the gods) has got to go. Science has explained the natural phenomenons which gave birth to these gods and goddesses. Science has explained them and so now those gods and goddesses are unnecessary. They served their purpose in human growth. They helped us to question our environment. But, like a pair of shoes that one wears at five and outgrows . . . they must be discarded, for they no longer fit. BUT, this is not the way to go about it. Contradicting yourself only opens up attack from those who wish to maintain their goofy beliefs. Why quote anybody from the past? Why do their views give validity to a scientist? If scientists make statements only on what can be observed and proven in the present, what possible need is there to persuade people by quoting famous names? The truth does not need a spokesperson. The truth can be proven at any time. The reliance on old men's quotes is a sign of persuasion and if you must persuade a person to accept your views, then you are not asking them to gain "knowledge" but simply to "believe" because persuasion only begets belief (if successful) and never knowledge. Knowledge is gained through experience. And, if you are indeed asking them to believe, then you are no less religious than the people you claim to be fighting. I repeat: This thread is not about God, it is about the contradictions . This thread is NOT about God. Do not come in here and discuss whether or not God exists or whether you think Dawkins was right or wrong on his view of God. That is not the concern of this thread.