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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 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

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

  • My views might very well have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; 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 1,027th post was filed under: Book Club.

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