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."
This could have been a amusing book. Mr. Dawkins locks himself in the box of a purely scientific perspective and then attempts to deal with a subject almost entirely outside of his particular box. He is then forced to create psuedo scientific methods to attempt to make his point.
Any humor soon is lost due to Dawkins' manifest hatred for anything and anyone spiritual or religous. This anger is so powerful that it wrecks any chance that he would have to make logical arguments.
It is very difficult to write about a subject when you can't deal with it honestly.
He should have said god can't be measured, therefore god doesn't exist.
If you're spiritual and you've ever asked yourself ;"how do I know if my god is the right god," this book is for you. If you do not believe in a higher power and you've ever asked yourself; "what if there is a god," this book is for you. If you're spiritual and you've ever asked yourself; "how could an atheist be moral," this book is for you. If you've ever asked yourself; "where does all the hate in the world come from," this book is for you. Richard Dawkins is passionate about his work, so much so that he doesn't bother with even the most apparent of rebuttals to some of his remarks towards gods and their followers, but that's okay because he spends a lot of time illustrating scientific explanations to the root of the causes. Also, if you're a spiritual person with doubts, you may want to listen to Bill Nye's "Undeniable" before trying to take on Richard's seemingly militant take on the subject of god v. science. Bill is much more diplomatic with his tactics.
What an exquisite book! Fantastic tools to contradict the lunacy of 'belief' for the sake of belief, and the merciless enslavement to our cultural conditioning of infants and children generation after generation.
Although the points made in many cases were perceptive and compelling, the tone of voice for the delivery was often far more snarky than necessary to make the point. While I understand the authors' anger, I think they could be more effective in helping people receive their viewpoint if the manner were more respectful.