The descriptions of life aboard an 18th Century Navy warship are fascinating. Russell inserts nautical terminology in such a way that you understand what is meant without any explanation. You really get a sense of what it would be like to be there.
I generally listen to audiobooks while I drive in the car. I found myself taking extra trips so that I could get back to the story. The story didn't necessarily keep me on the edge of my seat, but was so engaging that I just wanted to keep hearing more. It is well written and very interesting.
I have listened to over 130 audiobooks and Nick Boulton is the best narrator that I have heard. The voices that he gives to the characters really make them come alive. I get lost in the story and actually feel like there are different people talking. While some narrators struggle to assemble a large number of unique voices, particularly ones of the opposite sex, Nick Boulton accomplishes this with an natural ease.
The only problem with the book is that it ended rather abruptly, with a clear setup for another sequel. I look forward to the next novel in the Charles Hayden series.
As a Christian, I began listening to The God Delusion with a certain amount of trepidation that my faith might be substantively challenged. I have concluded the book with the contrary perspective that my faith has been substantively strengthened. If this book represents the best arguments from one of the brightest minds, then Christianity has nothing to fear from atheistic secular humanism. Dawkins has been referred to as Darwin's bulldog, but Darwin's pussy cat might be a more accurate appellation - for his arguments lack any teeth. I expected a scientist like Dawkins to provide conclusive facts and proofs in support of his position. Instead, what I encountered were a slew of opinions, theories, and fallacious arguments. By fallacious arguments, I mean that virtually all of his arguments exhibited one or more fallacies in structure or content - fallacies that almost anyone could spot. The worst fallacies in the book are in the categories of faulty generalizations (cherry picking, composition, false analogy, circular reasoning and hasty generalization), red herring fallacies (including straw man, argument from silence, association fallacy, and chronological snobbery), propositional fallacies (existential fallacy and proof by example) and most commonly, the fallacy of judgmental language. (You can look at the list of fallacies in wikipedia and find a good number of them represented in Dawkins' book). Dawkins argues religion against science and uses specific instances from not only across all of Christendom, but across all religions in the world and generalizes the specific instances to be representative of religion in general. He refers to anyone who agrees with him as enlightened, intelligent, thinking, reasonable, etc., and all (including some specific distinguished scientists) who disagree with him as ignorant, delusional, unreasonable, unthinking, abusive, etc. etc. Regardless, Dawkins has been rendered irrelevant by fellow atheists Foucault, Derrida and Rorty.
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