Andrew Brown at The Spectator has some interesting comments about the money making potential of being Richard Dawkins:
But the $85 a month just touches the hem of rationality. After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive ‘Darwin Circle’ and then the ‘Evolution Circle’, he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins, and a reserved table at an invitation-only circle event with ‘Richard’ as well as ‘all the benefits listed above’, so he still gets a discount on his Richard Dawkins T-shirt saying ‘Religion — together we can find a cure.’
The website suggests that donations of up to $500,000 a year will be accepted for the privilege of eating with him once a year: at this level of contribution you become a member of something called ‘The Magic of Reality Circle’. I don’t think any irony is intended.
Go here to read the rest. As GK Chesterton famously observed: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” People seem hard wired to worship. If they choose not to worship God, they will usually worship something: a political party, a person, sex, money, a sports team, you name it, all pathetic substitute religions they seize on in a futile attempt to fill the God-sized hole in their souls. Charlatans of all sorts of course understand this impulse and are eager to make money out of it. I do not acccuse Dawkins of this. I believe that he believes that every word he utters is the truth and the light, and that level of grandiose delusion is at least innocent of the charge of simple mercenary chicanery.