The God Delusion: Book ReviewMikey 21 comments
When it comes to the topic of biology and evolution, you would be hard pressed to find a greater authority than the articulate science communicator Richard Dawkins.
In his boldly titled book 'The God Delusion', Dawkins puts forward his case on the topic of religion, and more specifically why he deems it unnecessary for him to belong to any.
The tone of the book is set early on, but this is not an anti-religious rant. If it were it would lose all credibility. Dawkins, unlike most creationists, allows for the possibility he might be wrong:
"I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
~ Richard Dawkins
And with that sets sail his arguments towards the high improbability of God.
No particular religion is singled out, as Dawkins hypothesis is fundamentally solid: some religions are dangerous and other more popular forms are aberrantly flawed. Even Jonny Church-goer could agree with that.
For the atheists, Dawkins reasoning and examples of logic will be a reassuring testament to their lack of faith. For agnostics, the calculated arguments might just be enough to force a decision towards atheism (Dawkins already has a section on his web site called Converts Corner). And for the religious, your definition of 'evidence' will likely differ to Dawkins'.
One of Dawkins more interesting points is on the subject of morality, and suggests it doesn't come from religion and that it has a less clear origin. He speculates morals to be "a combination of genetic instincts" which evolved when people realised they could be more productive and beneficial through co-operation.
The subject of children is also raised. Dawkins says a child raised religious is a form of indoctrination and constitutes child abuse. He says it is wrong for people to simply accept terms such as 'catholic child' or 'muslim child', because a child could not possibly form unregimented opinions on transubstantiation or Jihad any more than they could affiliate themselves with any particular political party.
'The God Delusion' is not light reading by any means. If you want to some intelligent arguments and theories to challenge your religion, you could do a lot worse. If you want to offend your god fearing friend, it will make an apt birthday present.