Author Richard Dawkins was a guest on 'The Late Late Show' to talk about his latest book 'The God Delusion'.
In this excerpt from the show Richard Dawkins sets out his views on religious belief and blind faith.
According to Dawkins religion has been given a free ride for way too long, describing it as dangerous nonsense.
If you believe in God, you are deluded.
Pat Kenny opens the discussion by asking how many of the studio audience believe in God. As the majority of the audience raise their hands, he refers to them as deluded according to the theories of Richard Dawkins.
Rather like the phenomenon of the imaginary friend that children have and that comfort them and console them but there's actually not the slightest shred of evidence that any kind of supernatural being exists. So, I'm sorry to say "deluded" yes.
Dawkins says that people are very frequently deluded and compares this collective belief to a time when everybody believed that the world was flat. He points out that the specific God you believe in is directly related to chance of birth in terms of geography. In the majority of cases such beliefs are harmless however, for Dawkins, there is a minority of people, extremists, for whom these beliefs are dangerous. He further argues that the moderate believers are in a sense paving the way for extremists as they encourage faith as a virtue. The belief in something without any evidence can be dangerous, where as the societal view tends to be that,
The less evidence there is, the more virtuous you are.
Providing an alternative view on faith on the programme is UCD Philosopher Dr Gerard Casey.
This episode of 'The Late Late Show' was broadcast on 8 December 2006.