The God Delusion - Wikipedia
And there is a real need for a spokesperson for the atheists when the other party has so many very vocal ones. But that does not mean that he should call for educated agnostics to brand themselves as atheists just to add religious fervor to the brand. All that is still no reason to call for making atheism an organized religion too. There are too many paradoxes and unknowns in nature which science is more and more throwing up its hands in utter confusion towards.
What if the universe truly is 'queerer than we can suppose' as J. Haldane puts it? Dawkins manages to explain most phenomena with natural selection but dismisses the larger conundrums and paradoxes with the great sweeping idea called the 'Anthropic principle'. The Anthropic principle might be a good tool to stall an argument but is no authentic scientific theory as he pretends it to be. It would be the equivalent of saying that the clock is telling time correctly isn't it, so that explains its form and function and hence it needs no designer.
I just paraphrased above the argument Dawkins uses to prove that atheism is absolutely valid. Well, unless we resort to such rhetoric devices, it is not. And in the 'belief spectrum' ranging from radical theism to complete atheism, the only position we can take without resorting to faith is one of doubt - agnosticism.
In conclusion, my opinion is that pure atheism is not possible under present scientific knowledge and that is why agnosticism is the only reasonable position to take - without slipping into blind belief in science after climbing out of blind belief in religion. Nov 02, Alex Telander rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-read-in Having an open mind is actually one of the New Ten Commandments Dawkins cites. And yet religion — especially Christianity — remains stagnated in the ideas of men from thousands of years ago.
As the book progresses, Dawkins seems to grow more impatient with religion and its whole-hearted certainty in a book and a god.
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He does an impressive job of going from chapter to chapter in defending different stances on science, always providing the evidence — a facet, he says, religion is lacking. One point Dawkins makes that I really found fascinating was his evolutionary reason for the existence of religion, in that it was a component of our very early societies in helping to unite communities and keep them together as a whole. As human beings, we strive for companionship and the evidence speaks for itself when we look back to the time when there was a shift from the nomadic hunting and gathering societies to settling down in groups and communities, which started farming, large scale food production, and ultimately leading to technology, writing, law, art and so on.
After this, Dawkins tackles the question of morality and makes it a very big deal that everyone understand we keep this separate from religion and not think them one and the same. So he goes back into our ancestry to the days of Cro-Magnon, in the time when all humanity cared about was trying to survive. He posits that this was when we began to develop a sense of morality, because in being good to others, families and groups were formed, which helped improve survival.
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Mar 24, Nick rated it did not like it Recommends it for: People with a critical mind. Ok, we get it. Religion is bad. Christianity is evil, Islam is maniacal, and all other religious zealots are out of their mind. I guess Dawkins is right I wish we still practiced 'exposing' infants i. Although there seems to be correlation between violence, homocide, and arrogance wit Ok, we get it. Although there seems to be correlation between violence, homocide, and arrogance with organized religion, is a state without a god any better say, Maoist China? I think Dawkins has forgotten the most important axiom of science in his contentious ramblings and methodical deconstruction of ancient texts, history, and religion of which he is no expert Dawkins is only emboldening the religion of science at the exprense of the world's major belief systems.
I just hope humanity will resist a "brave new world" in which organized religion is replaced by other systems that devalue human life in the name of progression and knowledge. View all 32 comments. Nov 22, Manny rated it really liked it Shelves: linguistics-and-philosophy , life-is-dante. I thought the very best point this book made came right at the beginning. Dawkins reports on surveys carried out in the US, where subjects received a description of an otherwise sympathetic political candidate, and were asked whether they would still vote for them if one extra feature were added.
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Would it still be OK if they were a woman? Well, we have hard evidence on that now! Most people still say yes.
Half the population says no! Considering tha I thought the very best point this book made came right at the beginning.
Thinking About The God Delusion
Considering that many of the Founding Fathers had deep reservations about religion, this should sound warning bells. If we going to claim we believe in religious tolerance, surely that should include tolerance for people who don't belong to any religion and think it's all nonsense? Everyone bends over backwards to show understanding towards Christians, Muslims, Jews and what have you. Why not atheists? Dawkins just says what he honestly thinks, and doesn't see why he needs to be ashamed of it. Why should he? I didn't like this book as much as The Selfish Gene and The Ancestor's Tale , but that's more because they are positive books celebrating the amazing beauty of the new universe that science, and in particular evolutionary theory, have opened up to us; this is a negative one, attacking the ugly and constricted world that many self-described "religious" people still choose to live in.
Sometimes you need to be negative, though, and many deeply respected figures in the history of religion were negative about the prevailing orthodoxy.
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If Martin Luther had been a nicer guy, he'd probably never have offended so many good Catholics with all those unpleasant theses, and I bet the money-changers weren't particularly thrilled when Jesus threw them out of the Temple. As far as I'm concerned, Dawkins is in pretty good company. I'd love to think that I'd started it, but of course Dawkins gets all the credit.
Still, I would like to expand on my initial review, and clarify my own position. I admire this book, and Dawkins's stand in general, because I think he is being decisive about pointing out a very serious problem in the world today. Religion is in a state of crisis. Once upon a time, its job was both to explain to people how the world is, and also to tell them how to live in it.
The first part of that mission has now been taken over by science. Dawkins is a scientist, and if you have scientific training it is impossible to take creationism and similar ideas seriously.
Without proof, should a scientist be an atheist?
It's very tiring even to discuss them. If someone told you the Moon was made of cheese, you wouldn't want to endlessly go back and forth over whether or not you'd thought about the fact that it could be Mozzarella, or possibly Vacherin, and that maybe that would solve the technical problems. The Moon obviously isn't made of any kind of cheese. Similar arguments apply to creationism. Religion has to get its act together and acknowledge that, on this particular ground, it has been supplanted by science.
If this were the only problem religion was facing, it wouldn't be so bad. Mainstream religion is, however, also being hijacked by some very unpleasant characters. I've been brought up in the Christian tradition, so it's easiest for me to talk about Christianity. I'm no theologian, but it is impossible for me to believe that most of the things you regularly hear from spokespeople of the Christian Right follow from the teachings of Jesus.
For example, I once spent 30 unpleasant minutes leafing though Ann Coulter's Godless at a bookstore. This hysterical, bigoted stream of hatred has nothing to do with Christianity as it was conceived by its founder. Indeed, in most respects it is diametrically opposed to it. The scary thing is that the book was a major bestseller. I don't know Islam at all, but every now and then I chat with a moderate Muslim.
It sounds like they are even more concerned with what's being done in the name of Mohammed. So, it would be easy to conclude that religion is obsolete, and we should only rely on the teachings of science. I don't think that's correct.