Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Book of the Month: The God Delusion


I read this one a couple of months ago, but the months simply don't pass fast enough for me to get every worthy book I read posted on a monthly basis. Perhaps I should go bimonthly. Anyway, I digress.

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, renowned evolutionary biologist from Oxford University, turns his incredible intelligence against religion. It could almost be considered the atheist's Bible, except it's not like the Bible at all. Instead of telling you how to live life and being filled with fanciful stories, Dawkins encourages people to think critically for themselves and uses solid, rational arguments against the existence of a higher power. He deplores the place religion has in society and sees it as a negative force in the world responsible for much of the world's suffering. More than anything The God Delusion is a call for people to open their eyes and throw off their irrational, harmful beliefs in favor of a secular, humistic worldview.

While I don't necessarily agree with Dawkins' call for the abolition of religion--I think everyone should be free to believe what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others--his great intellect and insight gives rational thinkers everywhere powerful ammunition in their struggles to articulate their beliefs. Dawkins destroys many of the unfounded assumptions frequently leveled at atheists and shows that we can all be good people without the comforting myths of religion.

I certainly don't recommend this book to die-hard Christians. They'll probably be too disgusted to read past the inside flap. However, doubting believers, agnostics, and atheists will find a sincere, rational look at religion from a nonbeliever's point of view, and might even look at the world in a new light afterwards. I certainly do.

1 comment:

Chris O'Connor said...

I want to invite you and your readers to join us in reading and discussing Dawkins “The God Delusion” during Q1, 2007. I’m working on getting him in a live chat session for some time in March 2007, but nothing is set in stone. If this chat happens you are welcome to attend.

We had Richard Dawkins for a live chat back in 2003 where we discussed “Unweaving the Rainbow.”

http://www.booktalk.org/

Chris O’Connor