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The God Delusion Hardcover – October 18, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
The antireligion wars started by Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris will heat up even more with this salvo from celebrated Oxford biologist Dawkins. For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins has written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who believe. But Dawkins, who gave us the selfish gene, anticipates this criticism. He says it's the scientist and humanist in him that makes him hostile to religions—fundamentalist Christianity and Islam come in for the most opprobrium—that close people's minds to scientific truth, oppress women and abuse children psychologically with the notion of eternal damnation. While Dawkins can be witty, even confirmed atheists who agree with his advocacy of science and vigorous rationalism may have trouble stomaching some of the rhetoric: the biblical Yahweh is "psychotic," Aquinas's proofs of God's existence are "fatuous" and religion generally is "nonsense." The most effective chapters are those in which Dawkins calms down, for instance, drawing on evolution to disprove the ideas behind intelligent design. In other chapters, he attempts to construct a scientific scaffolding for atheism, such as using evolution again to rebut the notion that without God there can be no morality. He insists that religion is a divisive and oppressive force, but he is less convincing in arguing that the world would be better and more peaceful without it. (Oct. 18)
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From Scientific American
Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, tells of his exasperation with colleagues who try to play both sides of the street: looking to science for justification of their religious convictions while evading the most difficult implicationsthe existence of a prime mover sophisticated enough to create and run the universe, "to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously." Such an entity, he argues, would have to be extremely complex, raising the question of how it came into existence, how it communicates through spiritons!and where it resides. Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand. No one who has witnessed the merciless dissection of a new paper in physics would describe the atmosphere as overly polite.
George Johnson is author of Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order and six other books. He resides on the Web at talaya.net
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Top customer reviews
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The author is very insightful and I like his style of writing, often times times sarcastic, but always very smart and appealing to logic and reason.
I found this book very educational and super interesting and has helped me solidify my beliefs with stronger arguments.
The book is full of wonderful phrases to help reinforce the fallacy of faith, and long on Darwinism to support his thesis. Some of this rings so true in the times in which we now live. “The Darwinian still wants to know why people are vulnerable to the charms of religion and therefore open to exploitation by priests, politicians and kings.”
A quotation from the author Gore Vidal serves as a worthy conclusion to this short review. “The Great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are literally patriarchal-God is the Omnipotent Father-hence the loathing of women in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.
well reasoned, well written book. This one really is, a must read,
for seekers inquiring into reality.
I can see how some people could (as has been done ad nauseam)) accuse the author of ranting about the topic, but then again it IS a divisive topic by it's very nature, and any believer would probably feel at least a minor sting to their pride when reading.
All in all, the work has an air of solemnity and shows that Prof. Dawkins really worries about the subject. Divisive or not, one certainly cannot accuse him of dishonesty! XD
I must admit that the lack of a concluding, summarizing chapter left me slightly perplexed. But then again, the aithor has meant it more as a book for reference, and the reader can easily jump to any chapter they might like/need.
I call Dawkins and Evangelical Athiest, and I have my moments when I am the same. This book is good at disputing creationist ideas without being overly confrontational or derogatory. I try to get my creationist friends to read, but no success yet. Provided me with many good points for use in a friendly debate.