The God Delusion, Channel 4

Richard Dawkins struggles to reason!

If you’ve ever read any of Richard Dawkins’ books (e.g. The Selfish Gene) you know that over the course of time and slow analytical reasoning he is very convincing in print. However, The God Delusion, Dawkins’ Channel 4 televised summary of his book of the same name, show his limitations in face to face confrontations with people with opposing views.

The basic tenant of the book was to scientifically disprove the existence of any and all Gods and this has translated into a TV programme that struggles to cram the length and breadth of this into 2 hour long shows. Richard obviously asks a lot of pertinent questions and makes an equal amount of bold statements, but when faced with an interview with a devout believer he seemed to crumble behind a wall of arrogance, on-edge comments and hasty retreats. That’s not to say that the basic ideas that he was struggling to get over crumbled for a second, it’s just that the zeal of his targets end up leaving him indignant and unable to convey his insights with any real poignancy.

One of the most interesting points that was highlighted by the programme thanks to probing questions from Dawkins and venomous answers from the religious interviewees was that without religion there would be no reason for morality, implying that the main reasoning for religious people to do good is the fear of hell fire and brimstone. I personally don’t believe that at all; religious and non-religious people do plenty of good without weighing up the influence it will have upon their supposed afterlife. However, surely it is the non-religious do-gooding that should be most celebrated most as it is without influence of benefits in Never Never Land.

While the programme struggles to pack everything into its short timescales, in as much as Richard Dawkins struggles to get his points appreciated, it is an interesting introduction to The God Delusion on the whole and a brief stand on the part of science to challenge the doctrine of highly persuasive religions and their influence on society.

The God Delusion TV production review: 3.4/5

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