Crawfords444's Reviews > The God Delusion

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
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's review
Nov 22, 2008

it was ok
Recommended for: Those who want to atheism with only defensible arguments.

In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins begins, page 11, begins with a boy daydreaming in the grass who can go two ways. So the reader may place my comments in context, I will note the page. One way the boy can go is toward becoming an Anglican – not an Episcopalian – priest. The other is the conclusion to which Dawkins subscribes himself, becoming an atheist. Soon, on page 12, he quotes Carl Sagan debunking religion, “…My god is a little god and I want him to stay that way…” Dawkins ignores those who see science as man discovering God’s creation. Page 15 notes Einstein’s comment, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Again he quotes Einstein saying that Einstein’s god is not a personal god, ignoring the implication that there is some type of god. Einstein suggests a belief in something, perhaps Deistic when Einstein says,”it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world as far as our science can reveal it.” Dawkins does not tell us where this structure originated. Further Einstein is quoted as saying, “…there is a something our mind cannot grasp” on Page 19.

On page 20, I may have found something similar to the straw argument my daughter pointed out in Glory by C.S. Lewis when Dawkins dismisses discussing the god of Einstein and other enlightened scientist with whom he can not argue. Dawson sets up his book to discuss only the god with which he can argue. Although Christianity is much abashed later in his book, pages 25 – 27 sets up Muslims handling of the Danish Jyllands – Postem’s 12 cartoons as an example among many possibilities of the negative effects of all gods or religions. Here Dawkins totally ignores the positive effects belief in any god may have had in history. He goes on then in the book to mix truth, straws to oppose and falsehoods in a skillful and intelligent manner.

On page 31, forgetting the angry Jesus who violently turned over money changers tables and the courageous Jesus who faced hostile crowds, trial, and cru fixation, Dawkins calls Jesus an emotional adverb “insipidly” … “Gentle Jesus meek and mild.” This is not the Jesus I know and indeed a sappy image. Again, Dawson follows by defining the “God Hypothesis more defensibly and advocating an evolutionistic alternative view. So how did the universe begin?

Dawson goes on to polytheism’s recent tax exempt status in England and Scotland. On page 37 he omits Buddhism and Confucianism from his argument. On page 48 he chooses the view of agnosticism he defends. Is the other view a losing argument? On page 51 Dawkins quotes Galton’s research on prayer’s effectiveness extensively that supports Dawkins view. Much of the book relies heavily on Darwinism, a theory currently in doubt or disputed as scientists observe more. This dispute was recently aired on the Discovery Channel. The remainder of the book is too lengthy to debunk with this much detail. I leave it to the reader to skim with discresion, watching for the straws, misleading mixture of fact versus opinion and conclusions built upon one or more false premises.

I recommend this book for those who want to defend the idea of atheism and who need to separate defensible arguments from indefensible positions.

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