Clif Hostetler's Reviews > The God Delusion

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
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Feb 10, 08

bookshelves: religion
Read in July, 2007

The goal of this book is to promote atheism. I am a Christian, and I agreed with much of this book. How can that be? Well, I agree with Paul Tillich's statement that, "Atheism is a correct response to the ‘objectively’ existing God of literalistic thought”. (Tillich is a famous theologian for those that didn't know.) My complaint with this book is that it simplistically portrays two choices; (1) Belief in the traditional theistic concept of God, or (2) Atheism. There happen to be some other concepts of God between these two extremes that are ignored by this book. The book dismisses the more liberal concepts of God as irrelevant because they don't reflect the commonly understood meaning of the word God. Sadly I acknowledge, that may be true. Thus, most of the readers of the 1.5 million copies sold of the English version (it's been translated into 31 languages) are not aware of any choices other than the two aforementioned. I believe strong atheism's insistence that there be no God is analogous to the world-of-words saying that there be no poetry, to the world-of-sounds saying that there be no music, and to the world-of-sight saying that there is no graphic art. Why limit the creativity of the human mind in its quest to find meaning its own existence?
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim I think there is a general failure by churches to engage with the idea of God in a sophisticated way. In my experience of mainstream Protestantism, churches are often dominated by older women who feel that the mission of the church is to form committees. The floral committee is of particular importance. In mainstream churches, theology can be an awkward subject; in fundamentalist churches it is simplistic and rigid.

I suspect that the reason for Dawkins's simple choice (fundamentalist theism or atheism) is down to Dawkins being a bit of a fundamentalist himself. His stated refusal (both in the book or in subsequent interviews) to accept that religious belief might be more varied than he has presented it borders on solipsism. It's interesting to read some of the reviews written in UK media, as many of the most pointed critiques of Dawkins's methods come from fellow scientists.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I find this review very interesting. Could you expand upon what you mean by different conceptions of 'God' or suggest books that reflect what you mean?


Clif Hostetler David wrote: "I find this review very interesting. Could you expand upon what you mean by different conceptions of 'God' or suggest books that reflect what you mean?"

Here are links to reviews of two books I found interesting:

"In the Beginning...Creativity" by Gordon D. Kaufman

"Jesus and Creativity" by Gordon D. Kaufman


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