The God Delusion

by XU 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • XU

    Let's not turn this into an argument thread over religion vs. atheism, OK? I just bought the book and it's really refreshing to read his thoughts. I need a dictionary though because his vocab range is broader than mine. Has anyone else read it or any of his other books? The search option doesn't work does it? Because this has probably been talked about. That new 07 WT makes me sick. There is a chapter in the book about childhood and religion. There wasn't any mention of JWs. We should hook him up with some info. Anyways, has anyone else read this book and just wanted to cry because there are people sticking up for science and what man has come up with to explain this world? I love it.

  • slimboyfat

    Good book: I enjoyed it too.

    There are quite a few threads on this already if you want to go through the history.

    Here was mine:


  • XU

    Thank you. I figured as much.

  • RunningMan

    I've just purchased "The Blind Watchmaker". I haven't read it yet, but expect that I will enjoy it very much.

  • slimboyfat

    I think The Blind Watchmaker is Dawkins' best. River out of Eden is good too.

  • stillajwexelder

    Yes great read. Just finished it this week. I am not an atheist yet, but a really mind expanding book

  • Abandoned

    I'm going to have to take a look at these books.

  • Dansk

    Brilliant, thought-provoking and makes you wish you had had the info before being captured by the Borg! Still, better late than never.


  • Big Dog
    Big Dog

    Some review blurbs regarding the book.

    • "He is spectacularly inept when it comes to the traditional philosophical arguments for God, such as the cosmological, the ontological and the arguments from design. (...) Dawkins is so dismissive and often so skewed or superficial that he doesn't make much contact with Christians like me. Real challenges to theism certainly exist, but he tends to skate over the top. He is at his best and most likeable when his deep love for science and enthusiasm for sharing it, his evangelical zeal, I'm tempted to say, come to the fore." - Barney Zwartz, The Age
    • "Mr Dawkins is an atheist, an evolutionary biologist and an eloquent communicator about science, three passions that have allowed him to construct a particularly comprehensive case against religion. Everyone should read it. Atheists will love Mr Dawkins's incisive logic and rapier wit and theists will find few better tests of the robustness of their faith. Even agnostics, who claim to have no opinion on God, may be persuaded that their position is an untenable waffle." - The Economist
    • "In The God Delusion, in lively, even provocative style, Dawkins sets out to demolish God; to assess the costs of religion and the evils to which it can be put; and to re-orient the debate on the whys and wherefores of life and humans within it. This is not a wholly destructive enterprise. (...) The God Delusion is a fascinating book, designed to tease as well as please. It is written in more than one style. (...) Both are expressed in sparkling language, which makes the book not only a pleasure to read but also a stimulus to thinking across this widest of spectrums." - Crispin Tickell, Financial Times
    • "It is a spirited and exhilarating read. In the current climate of papal/Islamic stand-off, it is timely too. There is no hesitancy or doubt here. Dawkins comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments, laying into fallacies and false doctrines with the energy of the polemicist at his most fiery. (...) This book is a clarion call to cower no longer. Primed by anger, redeemed by humour, it will, I trust, offend many." - Joan Bakewell, The Guardian
    • "Dawkins does not admit sympathy for believers, or acknowledge the extent to which religion may constitute their sense of identity. He disregards the risk that attacking a people's religion may amount to an attack on them as a group. Some comments and quotes in this respect are reckless. The most shocking quotes, though, are all from the Bible. His greatest polemical asset is having that particular God on his side." - Marek Kohn, The Independent
    • "That I must give a howling boo to much of The God Delusion is a recommendation. Again and again, it forces the reader to ardent thought. (...) As a critic of faith, Dawkins is thus pretty lame; as the bard of materialist myth, his only rival is Philip Pullman." - Murrough O'Brien, Independent on Sunday
    • "Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. (...) As far as theology goes, Dawkins has an enormous amount in common with Ian Paisley and American TV evangelists. Both parties agree pretty much on what religion is; it’s just that Dawkins rejects it while Oral Roberts and his unctuous tribe grow fat on it. (...) There is a very English brand of common sense that believes mostly in what it can touch, weigh and taste, and The God Delusion springs from, among other places, that particular stable. At its most philistine and provincial, it makes Dick Cheney sound like Thomas Mann." - Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books
    • "(A) very uneven collection of scriptural ridicule, amateur philosophy, historical and contemporary horror stories, anthropological speculations, and cosmological scientific argument." - Thomas Nagel, The New Republic
    • "In spite of the evidence that holding religious belief has become part of human nature through natural selection, Dawkins looks upon it as superfluous and the root of much violent evil. But however clever his reasoning (and it is clever), The God Delusion sounds like a personal vendetta, complete with elitist undertones and some uncomfortably dictatorial passages. In the preface, he expresses the hope that religious readers who open the book will be atheists when they put it down. That is academic arrogance -- and shows negligible insight into the way humans behave." - Margaret Cook, New Statesman
    • "Dawkins is, of course, quite right to express horror at Biblical fundamentalism, especially in the neocon form that centres on the book of Revelation. But it is not possible to attack this target properly while also conducting a wider, cluster-bomb onslaught on everything that can be called religion. Since this particular bad form of religion is spreading rapidly in the world, we urgently need to understand it: not just to denounce it but to grasp much better than we do now why people find it attractive. It is not enough to say, as Dawkins does, that they are being childish." - Mary Midgley, New Scientist
    • "Here he has marshaled his full case against the existence of God, and the result is compelling, fairly familiar and often entertaining.(...) (U)ltimately, he makes an interesting case for dumping our "overweening respect for religion" and demanding that religious people justify their faith." - Emily Bobrow, The New York Observer
    • "What Dawkins brings to this approach is a couple of fresh arguments -- no mean achievement, considering how thoroughly these issues have been debated over the centuries -- and a great deal of passion. The book fairly crackles with brio. Yet reading it can feel a little like watching a Michael Moore movie. There is lots of good, hard-hitting stuff about the imbecilities of religious fanatics and frauds of all stripes, but the tone is smug and the logic occasionally sloppy. (...) Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins’s failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience." - Jim Holt, The New York Times Book Review
    • "Dawkins' tone ranges narrowly from strident to snide. (...) Dawkins is deluding himself if he thinks The God Delusion would impress any reasonably informed theist. He seems completely unaware, for example, of the works of the great mystics, or of seminal works such as Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy. His characterization of God and religion amounts to caricature." - Frank Wilson, The Philadelphia Inquirer
    • "It has been obvious for years that Richard Dawkins had a fat book on religion in him, but who would have thought him capable of writing one this bad ? Incurious, dogmatic, rambling and self-contradictory, it has none of the style or verve of his earlier works." - Andrew Brown, Prospect
    • "The God Delusion is a fine and significant book, and this is largely due to Dawkins' willingness to employ the sharp edges of his intellect to cut through a paralyzing propriety whose main effect is to stifle conversations -- about religion, about intellectual responsibility, about politics -- that we very much need, at this particular moment in our history, to be having. (...) Dawkins is at his best in his exposure of one of the big lies of our time: the claim that there is simply no conflict between religion and science. (...) Indeed, it should be said that while it deals with matters of the utmost gravity and urgency, The God Delusion, particularly in its early chapters, is a very funny book." - Troy Jollimore, San Francisco Chronicle
    • "Richard Dawkins' new book about religion is unapologetically Benthamite in approach, and consequently is long on contempt (though it is rarely good-humoured). It is also sophomoric, repetitive and, on occasion, startlingly poorly written (.....) Dawkins is both sublimely indifferent to what a religious conception of human beings actually involves and altogether more confident than most moral philosophers are that secular sense can easily be made of the idea that every individual human being is precious." - Jonathan Derbyshire, Scotland on Sunday
    • "But it's not anger that fuels this work. If anything, it's exasperation, the frustration of a man who sees himself directing people to their own noses. And a surprising and controversial thing about The God Delusion is that fanatical religion is not its target, though he does spend time imagining a world without it. Dawkins rejects all belief in the supernatural, even at its mildest. (...) The God Delusion is unevenly weighted, often repetitive and less eloquent than Dawkins's previous works. But that doesn't mean it fails. It takes flight when he moves beyond the yes/no argument about God to explain why evolution has created an abundance of religion." - Jon Casimir, Sydney Morning Herald
    • "Exasperation is the dominant note: it irritates our author beyond endurance that religion is so often given a respectful hearing. And theology infuriates him even more. (...) Despite the hyped-up praise on the dustjacket ("my favourite book of all time"; "a heroic and life-changing book"), this is a deeply disappointing effort, when compared, for example, with Dawkins' brilliant earlier work, The Selfish Gene. Some of the earlier energy and ebullience remains, but the book is too hectoring, too insistent, too one-sided, and too irritable to change the views, let alone the life, of any fair-minded reader." - John Cottingham, The Tablet
    • "Dawkins is Britain's most famous atheist and in The God Delusion he gives eloquent vent to his uncompromising views. (...) The moral of the story is that if you want an understanding of evolution or an argument for atheism, there are few better guides than Richard Dawkins. But treat with extreme caution the pronouncements of any one who takes his political cue from an ex-Beatle." - Kenan Malik, The Telegraph
    • "I'm in awe of Dawkins, and of the ease with which he makes tricky science clear, but I'll eat my Sunday hat if this book persuades even the most hesitant half-believer to renounce religion -- not because he fails to make his case, but because to defeat an enemy you have first to understand it, and Dawkins is just too baffled and disgusted by faith even to try to see its point." - Mary Wakefield, The Telegraph

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