A preeminent scientist -- and the
world's most prominent atheist -- asserts the
irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm
religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to
With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
A 6,000 word excerpt of the entire text of Chapter 1 starts after the
1. A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER
2. THE GOD HYPOTHESIS
Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America
The poverty of agnosticism
The Great Prayer Experiment
The Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists
Little green men
3. ARGUMENTS FOR GODS EXISTENCE
Thomas Aquinas proofs
The ontological argument and other a priori arguments
The argument from beauty
The argument from personal experience
The argument from scripture
The argument from admired religious scientists
4. WHY THERE ALMOST CERTAINLY IS NO GOD
The Ultimate Boeing 747
Natural selection as a consciousness-raiser
The worship of gaps
The anthropic principle: planetary version
Whatever your personal beliefs there is surely one thing that the majority of us can agree on, which is that whether we believe in one God, or many, or in none at all, we can agree that any deity worthy of our belief is not only robust enough to be able to cope with us questioning our beliefs as a process of gaining a greater understanding, but would actually welcome this process as preferable to blind acceptance. If you agree with this statement, then The God Delusion is a book you should give strong consideration to reading or, at a minimum, read the very extensive excerpt at BookBrowse.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1178 words).
Richard Dawkins was born Clinton Richard Dawkins in March 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya. When
he was eight his family moved to England where he attended Oundle School, and then
Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a second class BA degree in zoology in
1962, followed by MA and DPhil degrees in 1966.
He describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing", but started to doubt the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He later reconverted persuaded by the argument that a designer had been necessary to create the universe. However in his teens, when he better understood evolution, he came to the conclusion that evolution could account for the complexity of life and that a designer was not necessary.
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