Nicholas's Reviews > The God Delusion

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
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's review
Apr 03, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: religion

** spoiler alert ** 350 pages of Richard Dawkins shitting all over religion. He gives no quarter. Basically he thinks that any good that religion does could easily be replaced by something that does not have all the associated evil.

He also gets really mad at the special respect religion garners. Which is awesome.

Then he goes on to talk about how raising your children religious is child abuse because they never got to decide for themselves and they're too young to resist.


If you don't understand how something works, never mind: just give up and say God did it. You don't know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don't understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don't go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don't work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries, for we can use them. Don't squander precious ignorance by researching it away. We need those glorious gaps as a last refuge for God."

"I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lost their value because they are not everlasting. Many a man has borne himself proudly on the scaffold; surely the same pride should teach us to think truly about man's place in the world. Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own."

"Polls suggest that approximately 95 percent of the population of the United States believe they will survive their own death."

"Why don't people talk like that when in the presence of the dying? Could it be that they don't really believe all that stuff they pretend to believe.?"

"The knowledge that we have only one life should make it all the more precious. The atheist view is correspondingly life-affirming and life-enhancing, while at the same time never being tainted with self-delusion, wishful thinking, or the whingeing self-pity of those who feel that life owes them something."

"Why didn't the fear of God restrain them when earthly policemen were temporarily removed from the scene?"

"Amazingly for a rite that could have such monumental significance for a whole extended family, the Catholic Church allowed anybody to baptize anybody else. The baptizer doesn't have to be a priest. Neither the child, nor the parents, nor anybody else has to consent to the baptism. Nothing need be signed. Nothing need be officially witnessed. All that is necessary is a splash of water, a few words, a helpless child, and a superstitious and catechistically brainwashed babysitter."


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