I suspect that I'm the friend that Space Cadet is speaking about. I too am reading The God Delusion. So far, I'm satisfied with the factual treatment and position that Dawkins takes. As for his tone, I am a little less satisfied. I agree that the logical and factual free ride that religion has had up until recently has to end. All "truths" must to be questioned. One of my favorite all time quotes is this one by Thomas Jefferson:
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, thanMaybe there is a need for Dawkins' tactics. He could possibly be the Bad Cop in a Good Cop / Bad Cop approach. However, I think that his tone is likely to piss off the ones that are most likely to be persuaded by his arguments. Once they are pissed off it is unlikely that they are listening any more. Once that has happened any further discussion is at best masturbatory. Ideas are not subject to respect, but individuals are. I am perfectly capable of translating Dawkins' harsh statements into the velvet covered bat that will make them palatable to someone else, I just think Dawkins' failure to do so means to that his message will go in one ear and out the other of those with whom it will make a difference. If that is the case he is left preaching to the converted, or unconverted in the case of his message. By tailoring his message to get through the filter that people have erected in their minds to protect their sacred ideas, he has a better chance of undoing the work of the meme that has taken hold.
that of blind-folded fear.