Part 2 is far more intersting than part 1, overall very thought provoking. Oh how man is often duped into believing 'The written word' must be the 'truth'
Most enjoyable and recommended reading for all broad minded people.
Geez, this book is more about how much Dawkins thinks everyone else is an idiot and he is brilliant, than it is about the empirical underpinnings of atheism. I kept trying to concentrate on the real arguements in favor of atheism, but the surfeit of invective Dawkins injects into the book finally overwhelmed me. This book felt like I was walking in on a couple of well educated school boys having a slanging match - there was so much animosity and name calling going on that the discussion lost all credibility. Too bad, because there is a good book out there using the material Dawkins collected. Frankly he really needs a tough editor to box his ears and get him to focus on the subject and not on his detractors.
This book addresses and answers nearly every argument the true believers of our world make to convince us that imaginary beings are in charge. Great ammunition when confronted with aggressive proselytizers.
Typically, it would be humorous to propose scientific evidence from a work of science fiction. In the same way, quoting Wikipedia in an academic paper produces a comedic effect, and to encounter a complicated philosophical issue with a piece of armchair philosophy is silly. However, this sort of thing is sometimes submitted with grave sincerity, and then it becomes something worse than an innocent jest. It turns into something of an insult to the intelligent men and women who do serious work in the field.
Richard Dawkins is undoubtedly an intelligent man, and like most intelligent people, it is equally clear that he holds his opinions on whatever subject to which he devotes his attentions to be rather important and insightful. He's a man who doesn't idly waste his own time. Unfortunately, professional philosophers have seen his work and some of them have even tried to correct him, saying with a unanimous conviction that "Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course." It really is quite bad. For instance, he makes strident declarations (twice, I believe) that lead to epistemological skepticism, but perhaps we've misunderstood his intentions.
It is questionable how seriously he expected anyone to treat this work. It is not written in his usual style, the first-person frame of reference gives away the fact that he is not speaking as a professional, but simply as someone with an opinion, like any of his readers. The book is not organized into an obvious progression but addresses a variety of topics of broadly varying quality and importance. He skips over rather controversial material without a word, neglects to define his terms, doesn't seem overly interested in engaging the arguments of those who intelligently disagree (I'm not even sure he believes they exist), and generally writes as though he is addressing those who already share his position. It seems that Dawkins intended the book simply to provide an outlet for expressing a collection of thoughts that he felt his more avid readers would enjoy perusing. In that case, unfortunately it acts merely as an artifact of belief perseverance for both sides.
The book confirms ideas I had growing up about god and religion: which is just a thick soup full of superstion!
I find courage to break out from my deeply religious background. IF indeed there is life after death, I will seek out Jesus and this god and DEMAND for explanations; they've got a lot of explaining to do!!!!
By the way Mr. Dawkins, I know how the magic trick of catching live bullets with one's mouth is done :)
An extremely informative and real look at all aspects and arguments for religion. As well as a very intelligent writing on why they are not to be believed.
this book is a perfect example on comparing Apple to onion to prove that orange is not like tomato. don't get me wrong, the author is pretty talented and he puts his finger on a very critical and sensitive questions, but I don't trust his approach in convincing me. another thing I don't like about is how he quotes famous scientists when they make "somewhat" atheist statement, then he move on on putting words into their mouths. so you will hear things like " what Einstein really meant is.." or "perhaps what X wanted to say is.." . if that looked familiar to you then you guessed it right; that what most religions leaders do in order to convince their follower about the meaning behind saint's X action (s).
being a follower of Islamic religion, I can assure that the author knows little about Islam, and most of his knowledge based on what others wrote about it.
at the end; read the book, its amazing to see how people think.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
They don't call Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for nothing, he truly destroys "Design Theory". His tone is fervent nearly the point of hostility. Agnostics don't start religious wars, so why the call them "Namby Pamby Fence Sitters?" The good: The voice and timing of the narrators are excellent. He notes how we "pick and choose" selected passages(cited chapter & verse) and ignore the evil ones (allowing you to kill your children for talking back). His argument that our morals have developed independent of The Bible is powerful. He has a point that inculcating children into abstract religion is nonsensical. The bad: He never acknowledges the simple truth, pointed out by others: 'You can't prove a negative'. His 'meme' theory was a tad confusing. Oddly this scholar resorts to quoting a comedian's book to help make two of his points. Finally, I would like to hear far more Bible absurdities than the four or so that both Sweeny and Dawkins chose as the most egregious examples of evil documented and apparently condoned by The Bible. (Such as the avid consent of Lot for his daughters to be raped.)Surely there must be many more, in such a long book, to quote to the radically religious that it is NOT quite the "Good Book" they claim. If you don't want to delve so technically in non-belief get Julia Sweeny's "Letting Go of God" instead. It is probably more persuasive in its brevity and humor and covers nearly all the main topics than 100 pages of Dawkins undoing the logic of those who have "proven God's existence". Lastly, he fails to address the issue that IF there IS a God he/she/it would NEVER let us PROVE God's existence because that knowledge would destroy our free will. A certain threat of a Hell held over our head would change anyone's behavior. If humans create good everywhere with no threat we achieve God's aim, Heaven on Earth.
There are plenty of reviews detailing this book. Due to so many who will be disturbed by it, I'd like to focus my review more on cautioning the reader in certain respects.
This book represents an ideology; meaning that it seeks to explain everything in the world in light of a stringent set of dogma - the main one being Natural Selection. To make a somewhat crude analogy, Natural Selection is "God" for Dawkins and Charles Darwin is its prophet.
Ideologies have always been rigorously defended, almost as if the ideology was the lifeblood of the defender. The person is a "Christian" an "Atheist" an "Agnostic" and so on. And this is what gets people into trouble. The identification with the ideology, by default, blinds the person to anything else that might truly serve him. It stops him from asking true questions instead of questions that are merely restatements of what he already believes.
Like all ideologies that catch on and have a lasting effect, Darwinism, too, will eventually fade and pass away. In the interim however, it will certainly have a profound effect upon society and the world in general. Some of those effects will be beneficial and some, I have little doubt, will bring unimagined horrors to mankind in the same way Christianity has.
If anything is consistent in this world, it is the mind. It operates in a congruent fashion. Actions spring from beliefs and are inspired in no other way. Yet the believer, the ideologue and defender of those beliefs, seldom evaluates the darker side because he is too preoccupied with making himself "right" and "good" while at the same time, trying to make everyone who doesn't agree with him as "wrong" and "evil."
Like a true ideologue, Dawkins has in no way presented the darker side of Darwinism. He's convinced it's a "consciousness raiser."