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Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Allow me to start by saying that I truly believe that Richard Dawkins is one of the greatest popular science writers around today (and, of course, one of the world’s leading thinkers and scientists). But he’s not so good as a writer on religion. And I’m saying this as someone sympathetic to his cause.

The points in his book are not bad per sé, it’s just that the book reads like 416 pages of obsessive rant rather than considered explanation. I don’t like being preached to, and (somewhat ironically) that’s how this book feels. He doesn’t really manage to say an awful lot more in 416 pages than he managed in a single article for Prospect.

That said, the book does provide some food for thought. But, when all is said and done, Dawkins claims his purpose for this book was to convince religious people that God didn’t exist. I don’t believe this book will achieve that aim. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worth a read.

This 1,026th post was filed under: Book Club.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / May 2020, 10 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / April 2020, 13 minutes long

A €38m lesson with my latte / March 2020, 11 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / March 2020, 14 minutes long

Interesting… isch. / February 2020, 3 minutes long

Some random old posts

Behind the scenes with Richard and Judy / April 2005, Less than a minute long

MPs reconsider anti-terror bill / March 2005, Less than a minute long

More on the Guardian’s redesign / July 2005, 5 minutes long

Review: The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer / October 2012, 4 minutes long

Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot / July 2003, 3 minutes long

Blair: Tory spending plans ‘ludicrous’ / January 2005, 1 minute long


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