Monday, January 23, 2017

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

The God DelusionThe God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dawkins comes down hard on religion in this. There were a few good points and some novel ideas in this hence the three stars.

My main problem with it is that he's very heavy-handed in not differentiating between religion and fanatical religions and even defending his failure to differentiate. In this, Karen Armstrong's In Defense of God was way more sophisticated, which makes sense because Armstrong is an expert in religion. (Dawkins dismisses expertise in religion as nonsense basically.) Even if, as he claims, fanatical Christians are more numerous than liberal Christians in the US, this doesn't excuse his conflation of the two groups to make his arguments more palatable. Yes, evolution means the Bible isn't literally true regarding the age of the Earth or the timeline in Genesis, but that doesn't disprove God or the value of any and all religions.

Dawkins discusses some physics, but these arguments also left me a little cold possibly because he's not a physicist but an evolutionary biologist. Physics is so deeply weird that nothing has persuaded me more of the possibility of things I might otherwise assume are impossible.

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