The God Delusion - Book Review
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and writer. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.
Besides The God Delusion, he’s written many books. His writing career took off in 1976, when he published The Selfish Gene, which popularized the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982, his book The Extended Phenotype explored the concept of evolutionary biology and the concept of phenotypic effects of a gene. The idea being that the genes influences are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can actually affect the environment, including other organisms. The Blind Watchmaker, published in 1986, argues against the intelligent design concept using the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms.
Dawkins is also known for being a vocal atheist and speaking out against the idea of any God-like figure responsible for the creation of the universe and man. A man of science, he presents is findings with scientific mindedness. Unflappable in his adherence to the scientific method and value of provable evidence, he provides an effective counterbalance to theologians who argue for belief in God on faith alone.
Dawkins takes a logical, analytical approach in an attempt to prove his point that there is no god, and those who believe in one, are delusional. Employing scientific elements like the scientific method, logic, reason, and evidence brought to light from figures such as Charles Darwin, Dawkins leads the reader through a detailed rendering of what the world looks like when fact and reason replace faith and belief.
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries”
“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”
“Do those people who hold up the Bible as an inspiration to moral rectitude have the slightest notion of what is actually written in it?”
What makes this book Unique or special….
Dawkins isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he doesn’t really care if offends you. He writes in a way that bluntly informs the reader most things religious are really disguises for unholy things designed for nefarious purposes. Where once it meant death for speaking out against God and his doctrines, Dawkins takes liberty with society’s current free speech reality and beats up on the age old accepted belief that God is immutable and indisputable.
He points to specific logical fallacies, misdirections, and flagrant lies religion has told over the past few millennia to disprove any deity and directs the reader to the logical alternative of Science. In his mind, religion and God are untenable when examined under the scrutiny of the scientific method and logical reasoning.
Although English, most American readers won’t have a problem following his narrative style. Occasionally he’ll refer to something clearly English, leaving the reader somewhat displaced by his analogy or reference. For the most part he is easy to follow and isn’t overly verbose. There are sections, however, that do seem to lag on, delving too far into what I felt were digressions not exactly necessary to prove his point.
Definitely worth reading. If you expect to be offended, you probably will be. If you have an open mind, you’ll find his ideas and progressions refreshing and stimulating.
Thanks for Reading.
Question and comments are welcome.