I have said in the past that I do not like Dawkins very much and I stand by that statement. I think that his attitude does more harm than good. I could be wrong here, so please let me know would you think.
Anyway, here is an excerpt from the book “The God Delusion” that I found interesting while I was reading last night. You might be wondering why I am reading a book written by someone I dislike. The answer is that his status as a jerk does not detract from the validity of his thoughts. 🙂
“If there is no God, why be good? Posed like that, the question sounds positively ignoble. When a religious person puts it to me in this way (and many of them do), my immediate temptation is to issue the following challenge: ‘Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought.’As Einstein said, ‘If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.’ Michael Shermer, in The Science of Good and Evil calls it a debate stopper. If you agree that, in the absence of God, you would ‘commit robbery, rape, and murder’, you reveal yourself as an immoral person, ‘and we would be well advised to steer a wide course around you.’ If, on the other hand, you admit that you would continue to be a good person even when not under divine surveillance, you have fatally undermined your claim that God is necessary for us to be good.” (Chapter 6, p. 226)