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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 12 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 12 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 wrote 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 12 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  • Factual information might be outdated.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 1,027th post was filed under: Book Club.

More posts worth reading

The public health rules (published 23rd February 2019)

Swan in the marina (published 22nd February 2019)

Cortado (published 20th February 2019)

For anyone that thought the new Microsoft logo was boring I can’t imagine what this must be like (published 4th September 2012)

John Humphrys: Beyond Words (published 22nd June 2007)

‘Not in my name’ says Toynbee (published 8th April 2005)

Fixing the design errors of the past (published 9th January 2013)


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