Why not vbscript instead? Okay, we're not going to start any debate here (a forum should be a good place to exchange ideas). We choose Lisp because the language seems not to let us take side. Most great programmers of other languages will simply praise Lisp, even if they haven't code a single pair of lisp parentheses. We have seen how AutoLisp is very successful with AutoCAD. And not to miss mentioning Emacs.
Lisp is not a proprietary language. And it is natural for Lisp to have dialects. If we were to invent a new language then we can easily create controversy. Lisp is been supported strongly by academic institutions all over the worlds. We can easily find documentation, reference and tutorials about Lisp on the Internet. Most importantly Lisp was created by a non-programmer and has been nurtured by non-programmers as well. The term non-programmer is referring to a person who doesn't use a main stream programming language such as C/C++, C#, vb.net, Java, PHP, Perl, Ruby, and Python to program, as a profession, an application for others to use.
Lisp is an easy language for starters. You don't have to read a whole lot of it before you can get started. In fact you don't have to think like a programmer to start coding. The essence of Lisp is function, like the mathematical functions we used to tweak at high schools. We just need to think what function our code is supposed to do and type it down in Lisp expression. For instance, if we want to get the average of five numbers we will then write (avg 6.2 4.1 5.7 8.3 2.9). We don't have to worry about what module to include. And we don't have to compile the code! The basic idea for non-programmer is to write small code for the job. Once it is done the code will be forgotten. Here is where Lisp excels. Lisp allows us to express our code in unlimited manners where we have ample room to be creative or expressive. However, our code may become oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in as Larry Wall of Perl used to say. But then again the code is supposed to be forgotten!
Those who quest for intelligent will find Lisp interesting. John McCarthy the creator of Lisp maintains the artificial intelligent as his main research where he started long ago. And Lisp is being used widely in the subject. I wish one day somebody will maintain a nice web site for him.
Read Richard Stallman's My Lisp Experiences and the Development of GNU Emacs.