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A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love Paperback – October 27, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
But as chaplain, Dawkins notes that while wasps and caterpillars can do nothing about such amorality, we can. "At the same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human affairs." There is no inconsistency here any more than in the physician who studies cancer, but is bent on eliminating it. And as devil's chaplain, Dawkins urges us to use our evolution-given brains, reject the pacifiers of faith in immortality, and rejoice in our short lives because they are all we have.Read more ›
Not that I agree with everything he says. Indeed, that is part of the fun. Dawkins is adamant on some subjects, religion being one of them. A goodly portion of this book is devoted to letting us know exactly how he feels about the "God hypothesis," "liberal agnostics," and the so-called miracles recognized by especially the Catholic Church. The title of Chapter 3.3, "The Great Convergence" (of science and religion), for example, is used ironically. He sees no convergence; in fact, he calls such a notion "a shallow, empty, hollow, spin-doctored sham." (p. 151)
Clearly Dawkins is not a man to mince words. But his insistence on a restrictive definition of "God" as "a hypothetical being who answers prayers; intervenes to save cancer patients...forgives sin," etc., is really the problem. He considers the "religion" attributed to scientists like Einstein, Carl Sagan, Paul Davies and others (and even himself!) to involve a misuse of the term, calling such a definition "flabbily elastic" and not religion as experienced by "the ordinary person in the pew." (p. 147)
But what Dawkins is really railing against is the illegitimacy of believing in the supernatural and science at the same time.Read more ›
He employs his analytical passion to raise some mind-blowing questions and does not back down from challenging what many people consider as fundamental truths. He analyzes very intricate topics and situations through a scientific lens and is able to do it with clarity and simplicity. Although he has been criticized for some strong anti-religions standpoints and instances were his bias affects his writing; I believe that his work, even if you don't agree with it, is worth reading for he definitely makes some very valid points.
I believe Richard Dawkins is one of the elite essayist because of his ability to take on such complex beliefs, brake it down systematically and with the use of some philosophy prove his point; all while keeping a clear and simple style. He displays mastery in several subjects including, but not restricted to physics, biology and philosophy.
This book is divided into seven sections, each with a preamble. These sections are themselves made up of short and varied articles enabling reader is also able to jump from section to section and read different pieces since the order is not overly central. This complemented by his concise style making for a very easy read.
This book is not only a great read but it could change the way you think about some of the most basic things in you're life and will force you to re-analyze several aspects of today's society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am glad to have the book and it did give some insight into Richard Dawkin's approach to life but I had expected something more comprehensive. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dennis Davey
I enjoy much of Dawkins writings but I would be hesitant to recommend this book. It is literally a collection of his book reviews, eulogies and the occasional speech. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
Dawkins' writing touches upon so many subjects in this volume. There's plenty here for the scientists, but also something for the humanities and the philosophers. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Garrett Mccutcheon
Basically a rehash of everything Dawkins has in is outbox....nothing new, too, too personalPublished 16 months ago by David Miller
Another great book by my favorite author. I especially enjoyed the section on Stephen Jay Gould, Dawkins's review of the Fashionable Nonsense book, and his letter to his daughter... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Naturalist
Nice read. Not as good as Dawkins other book THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, but still worth the read in all.Published 20 months ago by eddie king