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ISBN/ASIN : 055277331X
Manufacturer : Black Swan|
Release data : 21 May, 2007
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Not much new in this tome.
A long-winded repetitious run through of what most of us covered ourselves before leaving secondary school. I am an atheist.
The God Illusion
In his latest work Professor Dawkins sets out to prove god does not exist. Does he manage it? Almost, but not quite. This maybe due to the fact that he admits to being not 100% atheist himself. It may also be due to the fact that proving that a delusion does not exist is as difficult as proving it does.
He wisely sets his case against western religions, as most people in this hemisphere will be ignorant of most things african or oriental, although his brief spot on cargo cults is illuminating and a little hilarous, but proves his point regarding most Judeo Christian beliefs. Not that Islam gets away scot free either.
His most telling contribution is in the theory of the "God of the gaps". A timely riposte to the if it can't be explained by science it must be god argument. What he does well is to point out that whereas religion has had thousands of years to promulgate its theories, science has only been questioning its existence for 150 years. This is a timely and cohesive argument.
His less scientific side is perhaps, rightly, reserved for religious exremists, of whatever colour. This is sometimes a little repetitive but none the less welcome. His idea that religion can be a cause for evil is succintly put. All you have to do is study the history of my home town to realise the truth of the statement.
So does he achieve his goal? Not quite. As I said proving something does not exist will be an difficult task for anyone, and given Professor Dawkins "baggage" it proves almost impossible.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes. With the caveat that they draw their own conclusions. This I believe is the real aim of the book. To make you think for yourself, in that it succeeds. I recommend you read it and decide for yourself.
Careful with that axe Richard
I'm torn when I read this book. On one hand I'm inspired by the atheistic determination and arguments that very much echo my own gut feelings but I'm also a little disturbed by the unwavering passion and uncompromising approach taken.
However on balance and speaking as an individual who emerged choking from a background saturated in fundamental Christian belief I have to thank Richard Dawkins for his frankness and the strength of his argument as it is no more vehement in the manner of its delivery than the various myths peddled by many fundamental theists and is therefore perhaps an effective antidote.
Open the book with an open mind and I'm sure you'll find it a worthwhile read regardless of the religious perspective you bring to it.