The Dawkins Delusion? Paperback
World-renowned scientist Richard Dawkins writes in The God Delusion: ?If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.?
The volume has received wide coverage, fuelled much passionate debate and caused not a little confusion.
Alister McGrath is ideally placed to evaluate Dawkins? ideas. Once an atheist himself, he gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian.
He wonders how two people, who have reflected at length on substantially the same world, could possibly have come to such different conclusions about God.
McGrath subjects Dawkins? critique of faith to rigorous scrutiny. His exhilarating, meticulously argued response deals with questions such as: Is faith intellectual nonsense?
Are science and religion locked in a battle to the death?
Can the roots of Christianity be explained away scientifically?
Is Christianity simply a force for evil? This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raises ? including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 96 pages
- Publisher: SPCK Publishing
- Publication Date: 16/02/2007
- Category: Literature: history & criticism
- ISBN: 9780281059270
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by sirfurboy
In Richard Dawkin’s new book, “the God Delusion”, he alludes to the mantra of fundamentalist atheism that all wars are caused by religion, and that we would be better off without religion as then wars would cease. This tired argument from an eminent scientist demonstrates that when Dawkins speaks about religion and history, he is speaking well beyond his competence.In Dawkins’ Wikipedia article, there is mention that in 2004, a self selecting and unscientific poll by Prospect magazine had selected Dawkins as the leading intellectual in the world today (last year Noam Chomsky polled over twice as many votes as Dawkins on the same poll). As useless as such polls really are, it did lead me to a review of Dawkin’s book by a non religious writer in the same magazine. He said of Dawkin’s argument:"Yet under Stalin almost the entire Orthodox priesthood was exterminated simply for being priests, as were the clergy of other religions and hundreds of thousands of Baptists. The claim that Stalin’s atheism had nothing to do with his actions may be the most disingenuous in the book, but it has competition from a later question, “Why would anyone go to war for the sake of an absence of belief [atheism]?” as if the armies of the French revolution had marched under icons of the Virgin, or as if a common justification offered for China’s invasion of Tibet had not been the awful priest-ridden backwardness of the Dalai Lama’s regime. "Indeed, the same review starts off with this summary:"It has been obvious for years that Richard Dawkins had a fat book on religion in him, but who would have thought him capable of writing one this bad? Incurious, dogmatic, rambling and self-contradictory, it has none of the style or verve of his earlier works. "Is Dawkins speaking beyond his competence? McGrath points out (with clear examples) that Dawkins is embarrassingly ignorant of Christian theology. The writer of this review says: “One might argue that a professor of the public understanding of science has no need to concern himself with trivialities outside his field like the French revolution, the Spanish civil war or Stalin’s purges when he knows that history is on his side”.This is a man who has fallen into the same trap that we all fall into sometimes - of failing to properly research and critically evaluate the evidence - particularly when the evidence seems to support his thesis. If he is not researching and evaluating evidence, he is indeed speaking well beyond his competence.McGrath's polemic therefore ably exposes the weaknesses piee by piece in Dawkin's book. Will you be impressed? That will largely depend on what side of the argument you are already persuaded to - but an unchallenged argument is like an unstomped sand castle - very pretty, but not very strong. Read this book to hear the other side of the story.
Review by wendyrey
Reads like a very personal attack on Dawkins- why on earth should Dawkins know anything about the details of one paricular belief system?. So he doesn't know all about Christian theology - he doesnt know all about the theology of The Invisible Pink Unicorn either. On even days I am atheist and on odd days polytheist/pagan and another issue i have with this (thankfully short) rant is that it is agressively monotheist and christian at that- where are the other world views.Nastily personal rant against Dawkins
Review by xuebi
Although I have not read <i>The God Delusions</i>, I did find the McGrath's rebuttal to one of Dawkins' most famous and contested works interesting and useful in rebutting points that flow from or originate from readings of Dawkins' book. <br/><br/><i>The Dawkins' Delusion?</i> is much shorter than Dawkin's book, and in around one hundred pages succinctly rebuts and deconstructs Dawkins' arguments. The McGrath's book also rightly accuses Dawkins of turning into the very fundamentalist he loathes: for Dawkins has abandoned his rationality and impartiality that science brings to adopt an ironically fundamentalist viewpoint vis-à-vis atheism. <br/><br/>Of course, this book will be subject to its own controversy as any book about such a subject would. Nevertheless, this is a handy book to further debunk the already-stale argument that faith and science are not compatible.