Unpleasant GOD: A Companion

Richard Dawkins

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving, control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

—Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Dawkins Is Right

In the first sentence of chapter 2 of The God Delusion, biologist Richard Dawkins calls the biblical god “the most unpleasant character in all fiction.” That sentence has prompted more criticism than anything else he has written. To document his claim, Richard asked former minister Dan Barker to provide a list of biblical passages for each of the characteristics in that sentence. The result is the book GOD: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction. Part 1, “Dawkins Was Right,” contains a chapter for each of those 19 descriptors.

In Part 2, “Dawkins Was Too Kind,” Barker adds another eight characteristics: pyromaniacal, angry, merciless, curse-hurling, vaccicidal, aborticidal, cannibalistic and slavemonger. And to this Unpleasant Companion, he adds homicidal, evil, and terrorist.

The Purpose of this site

The Unpleasant GOD Companion is a browsable, sharable database of the verses from Dan’s book. We hope you’ll enjoy — and share — them.

The site was built by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit established to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism. This site and FFRF’s many legal victories would not be possible without support from our many members and donors. If you agree that state and church should remain separate, please consider joining or donating.

Wood-engraved illustrations by 19th-century French artist Gustave Doré. Bible verses are mainly from the NRSV, RSV, KJV and NIV.

God The Most Unpleasant Character In All Fiction
God: The Most Unpleasant Character In All Fiction
Dan Barker
Dan Barker, CoPresident of FFRF