- Hardcover: 118 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books; First Edition edition (May 25, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 083083446X
- ISBN-13: 978-0830834464
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 145 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine Hardcover – May 25, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
When authors write books that criticize other books, they have usually already lost; the original book has set the agenda to which the critics respond, and the outcome is foretold. Not in this case. The McGraths expeditiously plow into the flank of Dawkins's fundamentalist atheism, made famous in The God Delusion, and run him from the battlefield. The book works partly because they are so much more gracious to Dawkins than Dawkins is to believers: Dawkins's The Blind Watchmaker remains the finest critique of William Paley's naturalistic arguments for deism available, for example. The authors can even point to instances in which their interactions with him, both literary and personal, have changed his manner of arguing: he can no longer say that Tertullian praised Christian belief because of its absurdity or that religion necessarily makes one violent. The McGraths are frustrated, then, that Dawkins continues to write on the a priori, nonscientific assumption that religious believers are either deluded or meretricious, never pausing to consider the evidence not in his favor or the complex beliefs and practices of actual Christians. They conclude disquietingly: perhaps Dawkins is aware that demagogic ranting that displays confidence in the face of counterevidence is the way to sway unlearned masses. (July)
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"McGrath identifies Dawkins' flawed arguments with surgical precision. McGrath spotlights Dawkins' embarrassing biblical ignorance and exposes his religion-as-virus-of-the-mind theory as sociological naivete. This intelligent, yet accessible book is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject or for those with friends sucked under by the new current of atheist literature." (New Man, November/December 2007)
"The McGraths expeditiously plow into the flank of Dawkins's fundamentalist atheism, made famous in The God Delusion, and run him from the battlefield." (Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2007)
"Combining scholarship with a popular style, the McGraths examine Dawkins's arguments and find them wanting. They show the inadequacy of his argument on the major points, contending that Dawkins's critique of religion is based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence rather than on hard research and that he employs rhetoric rather than rationality." (Library Journal, August 2007)
"One could hardly think of a better apologist for theism than Alister McGrath. This atheist-turned-Christian, also of Oxford, is a professor of historical theology. But as a student of molecular biophysics, he possesses the dual credibility in science and religion that Dawkins lacks. Like watching one schoolboy do another's work, McGrath's true gift is pointing out what Dawkins is obliged to show in order to make his case." (Christianity Today, November 2007)
"Alister and Joanna McGrath offer a meaty book without all the gratuitous gristle, clearly making their points." (Jim Miller Review, June 2007)
"You cannot help but be impressed with the depth of scholarship which the McGraths bring to this discussion--something markedly different than Dawkins." (Deinde blog, deinde.org, August 18, 2007)
"You cannot argue with the McGraths' credentials or the content of this book. It is very well done." (Does God Exist? November/December 2007)
"Alister McGrath provides an excellent rebuttal to Dawkin's arguments against God and religion. Scholarly, yes but also very readable for lay people." (M. F. in Libraries Alive, February 2008)
"[T]he McGraths' book is an effective response." (Mark D. Barret, Esq., in Lay Witness, March/April 2008)
"While not exhaustive (by design), the McGraths have offered us a well-reasoned critique of the atheistic arguments of Dawkins, and left us with a cogent description of the inherent weaknesses in The God Delusion. I recommend it to my friends on both sides of this debate." (Cliff Martin, Outside the Box (cliff-martin.blogspot.com), June 14, 2008)
"[H]elps theistic people respond more intelligently to the current religion-bashing that has become a source of schadenfreude for some (though certainly not all) nonbelievers." (David von Schlichten, Lutheran Partners, July/August 2008)
"This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raised--including all the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning." (Enrichment Journal, Fall 2008)
"This book will be warmly received by those who are looking for a real assessment of The God Delusion." ("What's New on the Bookshelf" with Shirley Updyke, WRGN)
"Alister McGrath invariably combines enormous scholarship with an accessible and engaging style." (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)
"The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why." (Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, Florida State University)
"Richard Dawkins's utopian vision of a world without religion is here deftly punctured by the McGraths' informed discourse. His fellow Oxonians clearly demonstrate the gaps, inconsistencies and surprising lack of depth in Dawkins's arguments." (Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and author of God's Universe)
"With rigorous logic and exquisite fairness, the McGraths have exposed Dawkins's very superficial understanding of the history of religion and theology. Because he is so 'out of his depth' in these areas, Dawkins uses his fundamentalistic scientism and atheism to constantly misjudge the possibilities for dialogue between religion and science. Thank God for scholars like the McGraths who are committed to finding truth in both." (Dr. Timothy Johnson, physician, journalist and author of Finding God in the Questions)
"Addressing the conclusions of The God Delusion point by point with the devastating insight of a molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism." (Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project)
"In this crisp and cogent book, Alister and Joanna McGrath note, among other things, how fundamentalist scientism fuels antiscientific Christian fundamentalism. They also remind us of well-documented associations between an active faith and measures of health and well-being. A must-read contribution to today's debate other whether religion spreads dangerous falsehoods or benevolent wisdom." (David G. Myers, Professor of Psychology, Hope College)
"McGrath has distinguished himself . . . as an historical theologian, [and] a generous, . . . witty writer who brings to life topics that would turn to dust in others' hands." (Publishers Weekly)
Top customer reviews
McGrath is no extremist. He is fair and willing to admit when Dawkins has a good point.
To be fair, it's not hard to demolish The Dawkins Delusion. Dawkins is an excellent writer, and is great with words. His books on evolutionary biology are said to be excellently written. However, when talking about theology, he is out of his league. Fellow atheist Michael Ruse said that Dawkins should at least try to learn something about Christianity before he criticizes it. When Dawkins writes about religion one wonders if he has ever actually read the bible or studied anything at all about Christianity or Christian history or psychology or philosophy - yet he writes as if he were an expert on all of them.
Dr McGrath systematically and fairly addresses all of Dawkins' objections.
It's not a difficult read, it's well researched, and fairly presented. Tons of footnotes and references.
Great book. I highly recommend it.
Dawkins' blindness to his own irrationality is amazing given that his intellectual discipline demands solid, scientifically derived facts for any claim made. McGrath easily shows how Dawkins has completely thrown this training away when it comes to the concept of God and those who believe in him. Though McGrath doesn't go into "why" Dawkins does this, the reader with any wisdom can discern that Dawkins doesn't really know whether God exists, but he desperately wishes that he doesn't, and believes if he makes his argument loudly and stridently enough, then his wish will come true. It is the behavior of a person who is acutely aware of his own sin and wants to continue in his sin without accountability. Dawkins' irrationality, then, ultimately derives from fear of ultimate judgment.
I only gave 4-stars because of the section discussing health-benefits of religion in a person's life (when Dawkins seems to mean there isn't any possible benefit). I may have missed it but I didn't see a citation to any studies (they may be there and I missed it?) But I have read studies in a health psychology course a few years ago so I know the studies exist, I would have liked to have seen them included.
Anyone familiar with Richard Dawkins must give this a read! See who's really deluded about our dear God.