I cannot describe how happy I was to read the following words, which I rather expect Prof. Dawkins to be eating in the near future:
Sam Harris doesn’t mess about. He writes directly to his Christian reader as ‘you’, and he pays ‘you’ the compliment of taking your beliefs seriously: ” . . . if one of us is right, the other is wrong . . . in the fullness of time, one side is really going to win this argument, and the other is really going to lose.” But you don’t (as I can personally understate) have to fit the ‘you’ profile in order to enjoy this marvellous little book. Every word zings like an elegantly fletched arrow from a taut bowstring and flies in a gracefully swift arc to the target, where it thuds into the bullseye.
If you are part of the target, I dare you to read this book. It will be a salutary test of your faith. Survive Sam Harris’s barrage, and you can take on the world with equanimity. But forgive my scepticism: Harris never misses, not with a single sentence, which is why his short book is so disproportionately devastating.
– Richard Dawkins, Foreword for the UK edition of ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’
Dawkins is vulnerable enough in his own right, but his public adulation for Harris makes it like fishing in a small pond with oversized depth charges. This isn’t handing someone a stick with which to beat you, it’s handing them a Dragonstrike mace and then taking off your helm.
As for surviving “Sam Harris’s barrage”, it’s about as difficult as surviving a stampede of ducklings. I predict that in three years, people will find it hard to take Dawkins seriously in his scientific capacity, given his predilection for public target practice on his own feet.