Review of the Richard Dawkins film, The God Delusion

Sunday, March 18, 2007

  • Richard Dawkins

    Richard Dawkins

Written by Scott Gilbert

Professor Richard Dawkins is a controversial character. His approach is sometimes seen as abrasive, pompous, and inconsiderate. But his message is dead on – a literal interpretation of the Bible is not only ridiculous, but can be very dangerous.

Dawkins recently released his newest book called The God Delusion, where he advocates a rise in atheism and the development of strong atheist lobby groups around the world. As a lead up to the release of the book, he made a documentary film with the BBC on the same subject. The film, entitled The Root of All Evil? is in two parts, the first being called The God Delusion, and the second is The Virus of Faith.

The film is a dumbed down version of the book, and uses extreme examples and over-simplifications to get the point across. Dawkins himself agrees that the film does not do the subject justice, and fought long and hard with the BBC over the title. He feels that nothing can be the root of all evil, but the BBC was steadfast with that title. He was however able to negotiate the question mark at the end of the title.

Dawkins argues that “the process of non-thinking called faith” stands in fundamental opposition to modern science and rational thought. He says that the labeling of children as Catholic or Muslim is as inappropriate as pegging them to a political party – they simply are not old enough to make a reasoned decision, and are therefore being indoctrinated.

The film overall is well made, and well reasoned. It deconstructs the inconsistencies with many religious beliefs, suggests that the world would be better off without religion, and advocates atheism as a way of life that is more fulfilling, real and true.

Many criticize the film for not giving religion enough credit, and for not recognizing the benefits that religion brings to many. But Dawkins argues that all of the supposed benefits of religion would be possible without it, and suggests that we need to reexamine the place religion has in our society.

To view the film for free online, please click here

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