Saturday, 18 August 2007

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

A stimulating read from a master of his craft. His craft being logical argument backed by evidence.

Prior to starting this review I glanced through the reviews already on LibraryThing and would recommend that you do the same - a wide range of dis/approval ratings are apparent. Some very eloquent reviewers seem completely blind to their own prejudices. While they happily agree that such and such a religion is bad and then go on to loftily point out that of course their own religion is not bad or at least not as bad and so Dawkins doesn't know what he is talking about.

Personally I enjoy his science writing much, much more but that is because his usual subjects are set in a stimulating and fascinating world and I find that fact is always stranger and more interesting than fiction (religion).

There are no mysterious atheist spells laid on this book - true believers will not be in danger from reading it - they are of course immune to logical evidence and conscience anyway. It is those that are not fully immersed in the non-logic and non-thought of faith who may be prompted to examine their own beliefs.

Dawkins covers the subject matter methodically and with step by step sections which, while ultimately the only way to organise such a comprehensive case does prevent a real narrative/polemic flow from building up. His turn of phrase and gift for the English language are just as evident as usual but its just that pointing out the errors, inconsistencies and dangers of religion is not as inspiring as describing the intricacies of evolutionary theory. But then I have been an atheist for a long time so most of the arguments were familiar to me and I suppose that covering the dangers of unfounded belief is simply not as inspiring as understanding how the natural world developed.

A must read for anybody. 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. :)

    As you are well aware, an alternative (and more detailed) perspective can be found on my blog!

  2. Hi Paul,

    Nice of you to be commenting on me for a change :-)

    I take it you are using the word "alternative" in the same sense it is used in "alternative medicine" i.e. without supporting evidence.

    BTW I am slowly cobbling together a reply to your latest Oolon post - but don't hold your breath - very busy at work at the moment.

  3. Hi Paul et al,

    I have finished my response to your "review" here.