Freethought Today · August 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Well, this is an Unpleasant website

FFRF is excited to announce a new online resource for those who would like to see or showcase how unpleasant, to put it mildly, the god of the Old Testament is.
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."

To document his claim, Dawkins asked former minister and FFRF Co-President Dan Barker to provide a list of biblical passages backing up that claim. The result is Barker's 2016 book, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction.

A year later, the Unpleasant Companion website was born, built in part by FFRF Digital Product Manager Tim Nott, who came up with the name of the site. The site is a browsable, searchable, sharable database of the biblical verses from Dan's book.

The full sentence from Dawkins' book is: "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."

That sentence has prompted more criticism than anything else Dawkins has ever written, which is saying a lot.

In Part I of Barker's book, "Dawkins Was Right," there is a chapter for each of Dawkins' 19 unpleasant God 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 the Unpleasant Companion, he adds homicidal.

So whether you use the website as a complement to the book, or just use it to see what incredibly vile things "God" has done or endorsed in the Old Testament, it is a handy site.

"It makes for an enhanced experience for readers of Dan's book because, while you can read the content in the book, here you can search for it, find it, share it with other people and get that information out to a larger audience," Nott says. "And if you didn't read the book, the quotes are still great. The homepage lays out why the book was written, why the Dawkins quote is there, and all that content is still supportive of the concept that God is the most unpleasant character in all fiction."

Barker says the name of the site — Unpleasant Companion — has a double meaning.

"It's obviously a companion to the book, but also God is an unpleasant companion himself," he states. "The takeaway is: Don't worship the god of the bible."
We hope you'll enjoy — and share — the site.

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