Asked “whether an absence of religion would leave us without a moral compass,” Dawkins responded: “The very idea that we get a moral compass from religion is horrible.”

This is the crux of the issue for Dawkins and other anti-religion activists — that not only do we not need religion or God for morality but that we would have a considerably more moral world without them.

This argument is so wrong — both rationally and empirically — that its appeal can be explained only by (a) a desire to believe it and (b) an ignorance of history.