The God / Dawkins Delusion

polymorphic

Spatt Mendlove
Anyone read Dawkin's book (The God Delusion) and/or the McGrath response (The Dawkins Delusion) ?

I enjoyed The God Delusion immensely whilst being subconsciously aware that I'd always kinda wanted to have my own thoughts confirmed by some academic smarter than thou !

I'd always been curious that these arguments hadn't been addressed before (of course they had but I had never bothered to read up on them, perhaps not by such an populist esteemed writer anyhow).

Seems to be a popular theme to bash religion at the mo - the Hitchen's book being released around the same period. Guess it's a sign of the times..
 
The McGrath book is a very poor thing full of "strawman" type arguments - criticising Dawkins for things he doesn't actually say.

Probably comforting for slightly thick religious people but anyone thinking as they read will find themselves seeing lots of holes very quickly.
 

swears

preppy-kei
A lot of people are agnostic now, or say things like "I believe in God, but I'm not religious." Most don't seem willing to actually come to terms with being an atheist, it's not something they want to think about.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I personally cannot stand Dawkins on religion - he certainly is one of those people who polarises opinion - though I like what I have read of his scientific work.

I think his focus on religion as cause of the world's ills is a little dangerous, I think, because it serves to occlude the real and complex roots of conflict situations. There's more to the world's conflicts than religion - there's questions of resources, geopolitics, ethncity, history, economics. His Roots of Evil - quick whistlestop tour through the world's hotspots and pointing the camera at some of the most fanatical people he could find - was a good example of this.

Having said that, I think there are reasons behind his his extreme and uncompromising stance - I suspect this comes from his professional work - evolutionary biology, which brings him directly into contact with creationist fundamentalists.
 

jonny mugwump

exotic pylon
Dawkins is a complete fool who manages to blame every ill on the world on everything other than the possibilty that human beings might in themselves be 'the problem' and that 'problem' shouldn't be perceived as something that can be overturned so that we can reach a norm together and hence arrive at some utopian ideal. 'humans' clash, its 'the way of things' (sorry, couldn't come up with anything better- some asshole has been poisining me with kaiser chiefs and my brain melts to guacamole) and if it wasn't religion it would be something else. As for the selfish gene, has he no comprehension, as i've said before, that we are ourselves might be the contagion.

i'm not interested in reading the dawkins delusion but am still lauging hysterically at the quote "Dawkins makes me embarrased to be an atheist". I don't want ot read it cos i'm sure it can't deliver on that wonderful byline.
 

swears

preppy-kei
I think people attribute a lot of opinions to Dawkins that he never had in the first place.
"Science should replace god and is the absolute key to all truth..." etc.

Also accusing him of being a racist bigot because he attacks Islam, when in fact he has probably directed more energy overall into attacking American Christian fundamentalists/creationists.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
Dawkins is a complete fool who manages to blame every ill on the world on everything other than the possibilty that human beings might in themselves be 'the problem' and that 'problem' shouldn't be perceived as something that can be overturned so that we can reach a norm together and hence arrive at some utopian ideal. 'humans' clash, its 'the way of things' (sorry, couldn't come up with anything better- some asshole has been poisining me with kaiser chiefs and my brain melts to guacamole) and if it wasn't religion it would be something else.
OTM.
 

rhi

Wild Horses
In mute support, The Dawkins book is really rather good and along with a number of the other pro-a texts makes a strong case against fundamentalism and the horrors of social-political thought founded on religious and theological thought. They tend to focus on the mono-theistic traditions but the logic works just as well on the equally horrible polythesisms as well.

The failing of these works is that they don't sufficiently address areas of theology such as process-theology and the idealisms of people such as T.J.Sprigge. (Whose book the god of metaphysics is worth checking out if you want to have a defensible faith...)

As for the thread title 'dawkins delusion' ... humm well I can read and will now dissappear into the great silence.... thinking of the idiocy of the bishop of carlisle....
 

swears

preppy-kei
Dawkins is a complete fool who manages to blame every ill on the world on everything other than the possibilty that human beings might in themselves be 'the problem' and that 'problem' shouldn't be perceived as something that can be overturned so that we can reach a norm together and hence arrive at some utopian ideal. 'humans' clash, its 'the way of things'
Is that what he's really getting at, though? I want quotes!

I have only read The Selfish Gene and a couple of essays, so if you are going to critisize him, please provide quotes spoken by himself in context.
I can't help but feel that liberal westerners are squeamish about bashing religion, as if doing that is calling millions of people idiots.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
I can't help but feel that liberal westerners are squeamish about bashing religion, as if doing that is calling millions of people idiots.
A good example of how the religion-bashers overestimate the role that religion plays in conflicts is a comment that I heard Hitchens make regarding the conflict in Palestine. He basically said that agreeing on a settlement would be child’s play were it not for religion. I think he’s wrong.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
this guy may be educated about a lot of things but sounds like an ignorant fucking TWAT when he talks about religion.

as my friend put it very accurately - he's a materialist fundamentalist. but an absolute fundamentalist just the same.

this current trend of religion bashing is just completely fucking retarded.
 
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I think Dawkins is clearly a hugely important scientific theorist, he updated Darwin to create the theory of evolution most universally accepted among today's scientists. Calling him a complete fool is unfair to say the least.

But I think in one respect he is foolish - it's a terrible shame that he's been sidelined into writing all this anti-religious stuff when he could be using his mind to come up with more first-class scientific work.

I can understand how he is goaded into it and I share his conviction that there is no god but I am amazed that he hasn't worked out that it's a waste of time trying to convince people that he is right on this one, because they don't want to be convinced. With issues such as religion that go so deep into peoples' personalities, they will ignore the evidence and go with believing that which allows them to function and accept their place in the universe.

Truly being an atheist is obviously very hard to come to terms with because of the extreme nihilism it can tend to lead to and the absence of the hope given to billions by their religions.

And also he is SO uncharismatic, almost makes you wanna sign up for some religion because when you see him on TV, you really don't want to agree with him.

I think he is right about religion in some ways, specifically in that it is a delusion.
But it's obviously not the root of all evil and the world's problems would not go away if we were all atheists. I think it is perhaps this mistaken belief that drives him to denounce religion so vociferously - that religion is causing all the suffering and it must be stopped.
His intentions are good but the premise is wrong and he's wasting his talents.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
what i actually said is that he is an ignorant twat WHEN he talks about religion.

i'm not discounting his other work at all.
 

DRMHCP

Well-known member
Isn't it accepted even by most evolutionary biologists that Dawkins is a complete charlatan...Stephen Jay Gould for instance making it obvious what he thought of him for instance

And regarding his materialist fundamentalism isn't it very likely if he'd been born in the middle ages there's a good chance he would have been one of the most intransigent religious fundamentalists causing all the kind of problems he himself blames on religion.

Ironic that these two books are coming out now when at the cutting edge of certain scientific disciplines (quantum physics etc) there's more consideration for some kind of non-materialst explanation for certain phenomena than possibly at any any time since the early 19th century....
 

swears

preppy-kei
Isn't it accepted even by most evolutionary biologists that Dawkins is a complete charlatan...Stephen Jay Gould for instance making it obvious what he thought of him for instance
In what sense a charlatan?

And regarding his materialist fundamentalism isn't it very likely if he'd been born in the middle ages there's a good chance he would have been one of the most intransigent religious fundamentalists causing all the kind of problems he himself blames on religion.
I don't think so, he's not that much of a conformist. The mainstream now is more of a wishy washy agnosticism in the UK and Christianity in the states. Also, he has never advocated any form of violence towards believers. (Unlike religious fundamentalists.)

Ironic that these two books are coming out now when at the cutting edge of certain scientific disciplines (quantum physics etc) there's more consideration for some kind of non-materialst explanation for certain phenomena than possibly at any any time since the early 19th century....
So what? I'm sure he's well aware of these developments, they still have nothing to do with any supernatural idea of a supreme being.
 
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