Considering yourself a "truly rational" individual is a delusion in itself
None, of us are truly rational individuals, when we try to portray ourselves as such we are only denying the qualities of being human, we're in self-denial. Our understanding of life is affected by our subjective experience of it. Our biases and our passions have the potential to create, for all of us, elements of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. In my experiences with believers and unbelievers this quality doesn't care about one's religious beliefs. In fact a denial of our biases is delusion in itself. The God Delusion attempts to promote a "rational" scientific worldview, that we should look at the world as scientist supposedly engage the world, as impartial observers, impartial to where the truth may lie, just that we pursue it. And he concludes that disbelief can lead us down this path. What Dawkins fails to realize is that, in being humans we have an emotional engagement with the world as well, in that we can never be impartial in our worldview. We have a desire for certain for outcomes, and have a desire for the truth to lie, were we desire it to lie. Dawkins own worldview, in analyzing religion is far from impartial, his misanthropy and passionate distaste for it prevent him from being an impartial observer. In fact Dawkins analysis of religion is far from anything that we would remotely call science. He resorts to anecdotal evidence, and confirmation bias lead him to believe unsupported claims. One such example of this in the God Delusion is Dawkin's deceptive use of study in the journal Nature:
"A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientist considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a Fellow at the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7% believe in a personal God. The overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost exactly the opposite of the profile of the American population at large. "
(you can find me going over more of these supposed similarities in this thread: (http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14997#comment-187747) I mean what hooey? But yet you find such a passionate support for these sort of erroneous conclusions. As I pointed out with Dawkins, I don't believe that this was intentional deception by Hawkins, but that his own passionate engagement with the subject, doesn't allow him to be impartial, but deludes him, with confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. He had an emphatic support for MacDonald, but an impartial anaylsis of MacDonald clearly reveals the hooey of his thesis, that's not even hard to notice, as the above example shows. These sort of "delusions" are rampant among believers, and unbelievers. We are not impartial observers of the world, but since we are part of the world we live in, we are passionate observers of it as well. Our dislikes, especially our passionate opposition, creates biases and delusions. If we are liberal such delusions emerge when we are examining the conservative viewpoint, and vice versa, particularly when have passionate distaste for the other side. In the same vein the religious mind has difficulty comprehending the non-religious mind, as the non-religious have in examining the religious mind, especially when we have a passionate distaste towards belief, or non-belief. Our passions create a dilemma for us, in that they desire a particular outcome to be true, so that we are not impartial to where the truth may lie. From here cognitive dissonance sets in, and we fawn over anything that supports where we desire the truth to lie, and become overtly skeptical, and many times in denial of that which is contrary to what we desire to be true. There is no such thing as a truly rational individual, as humans our engagement with the world is passionate, and we can never be as impartial as we desire to be. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. We all have our biases, and a grounding for potential self-deceptions.
"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)