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 Post subject: The God Delusion
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:32 pm 
Has anyone read it? If so, what are your thoughts? Critiques?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:44 pm 
I was not pleased with the book. It is anti-religious polemic (although another word comes to mind). I nevertheless recommend reading it (don't buy it retail--get it used or borrow it from the library!) for no other reason that to heed the warning from Sun Tsu: "know yourself and know your enemy, and in a hundred battles you will never be defeated."

Anyhoo, here are some reviews:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/arti ... hp?id=7803

The link isn't available yet, but Marilynne Robinson has a review in Harper's titled, "Hysterical scientism: The ecstasy of Richard Dawkins."


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:57 am
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If I had realised that it was a Dawkins book, I'd have predicted that it would be anti-religious polemic -- or, more specifically, anti-theistic polemic. As the reviewers (particularly the first one) pointed out, Dawkins is ignorant and arrogant when it comes to this subject. Believing the views of his opponents to be fundamentally meritless, he does not waste his time attempting to understand them.

Rather than read this book at all, brush up on your critical thinking skills. Reading "The God Delusion" is likely to have the opposite effect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:53 pm 
Personally, I doubt that anyone would actually be converted to atheism by reading this book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:41 am 
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It's a book for rational thinkers. If you consider yourself rational and sitting on the fence or agnostic then this book may help you make up your mind. For many people their religion and culture are very much connected, I don't think this book is intended for that audience.

Out of all the criticism that I've read, I have yet to find any real answers to the points that Dawkins raises. Most seem to start with some form of peronal attack on how qualified he is to write about the subject - which comes across as being a weak defense at best.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:57 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
joe72 wrote:
Out of all the criticism that I've read, I have yet to find any real answers to the points that Dawkins raises. Most seem to start with some form of peronal attack on how qualified he is to write about the subject - which comes across as being a weak defense at best.

It's usually important to have a basic education in a field before you start offering criticisms in that field. That way you can get an appreciation of what's been discussed by previous great thinkers in the field: which questions have been answered and which are still considered open. I ran across a similar situation in a thread on Slashdot and was prompted to ask, "Why is it that some people consider ignorance such a virtue when it comes to philosophy?"

I could go on about this at length, but that would be tedious. Instead, how about you summarise one of the points that Dawkins has raised, and I'll address it for you.

Before you do, however, you may care to read my article "Dawkins' Dangerous Idea". This provides a criticism of a Dawkins viewpoint which rests outside his area of expertise. I argue that his position is riddled with self-contradictions which he has completely failed to notice, thus demonstrating the difference between "rationalist" and "one skilled in the art of reasoning".


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