Skip to Content

Arts & Humanities: Literature: Re: [jeanne53] What are you reading now?: Edit Log

Here is the list of edits for this post
Re: [jeanne53] What are you reading now?
Jeanne: et al.

<<overall, it has proven to be sheer foolishness. I will finish reading it because I have found several sites and people mentioned in it that will be useful to me. I also have have heard so much about it and how great the book and author are. Honestly though, I am almost sorry I checked it out of the library. It is like reading a fairy tale and proves the statement of Paul in Romans 1:22, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." >>

Strangely, for a Christian evolutionist, I agree here with Alf’s assessment of Dawkins’ unnecessarily hostile and overtly biassed attacks on a caricature of ‘religion’ in The God Delusion.

His style and polemic in this particular book is quite different from previous scholarly, well researched and more restrained works.Even the title itself is insulting, the inference being that he looks contemptuously upon ALL religious people as ‘deluded’. This becomes progressively clearer to the reader as one proceeds through the text.

[Selected passages from The Dawkins Delusion]
To quote him: ‘God is a delusion - a ‘psychotic delinquent’ invented by mad, deluded people.’ That is his take home message. Although Dawkins does not offer a rigorous definition of a ‘delusion’, he clearly means a belief that is not grounded in evidence - or, worse, that flies in the face of the evidence. Faith is ‘blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence’. It is a ‘process of non-thinking’. It is ‘evil precisely because it requires no justification, and brooks no argument’.

These core definitions of faith are hardwired into Dawkins’ world view, and are obsessively repeated throughout his writings. It is not a Christian definition of faith, but one that Dawkins has invented to suit his own polemical purposes. It immediately defines those who believe in God as people who have lost touch with reality - as those who are deluded.

While this embittered book is written with rhetorical passion and power, the stridency of its assertions merely masks tired, weak and recycled arguments. I am not alone in feeling disappointed here. The God Delusion trumpets the fact that its author was voted one of the world’s three leading intellectuals. This survey took place among readers of Prospect magazine in November 2005. So what did this same Prospect magazine make of the book? Its reviewer was shocked at this ‘incurious, dogmatic, rambling, and self-contradictory’ book. The title of the review? ‘Dawkins the dogmatist’.

Dawkins insists that Christian belief is ‘a persistently false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence’. The problem is how to persuade ‘dyed-in-the wool faith heads’ that atheism is right. when they are so deluded by religion that they are immune to any form of rational argument. Faith is thus essentially and irredeemably irrational. In support of his case , Dawkins has sought out Christian theologians who he believes will substantiate this fundamentally degenerate aspect of religious faith. In earlier writings, he asserted that the third century Christian writer Tertullian said some particularly stupid things, including, ‘It is by all means to be believed because it is absurd’. This is dismissed as typical religious nonsense. ‘That way madness lies’.

He’s stopped quoting this now, I am pleased to say, after I pointed out that Tertullian actually said no such thing. Dawkins had fallen into the trap of not checking his sources, and merely repeating what older atheist writers had said. Its yet another wearisome example of the endless recycling of outdated arguments that has become so characteristic of atheism in recent years.

[The Dawkins Delusion, by Alister McGrath].

I am sorry. I am irritated by the repeated idea that I and all atheists are fools. And that it is okay to say so no matter what forum we are discussing a topic in. And that I am often asked to explain myself and answer questions but rarely have my questions answered.

I really sympathize with you here Jeanne. It is clearly unacceptable to promote one’s own arguments by insulting the intelligence and mental integrity of the people with whom you disagree.

As you can see though, Richard Dawkins does it all the time. No wonder Alf's opinion of Dawkins' book was that ‘overall, it has proven to be sheer foolishness’.

I had forgotten what a refreshing and intelligent read it is. Dawkins is my least favorite atheist writer, although I have several of his tomes.

As a 'reasoning' atheist Jeanne, Richard Dawkins is not a good role model for you, I think.
I have always found you to be reasonable and respectful of the belief systems of others, while standing resolutely by your own conclusions. Dawkins is anything but that. I suggest you read The God Delusion again but temporarily put aside you own settled conclusions, (which may be broadly in agreement with his atheistic standpoint), and read his words as delivered not by an expert in religious matters, but as a mere hater of all things ‘religious’, (an unpleasant attitude that you appear rightly to want to distance yourself from).

Do you doubt that Dawkins has read and researched the topics of his books with intelligent fervor? If you do, then do not read his book.

It would seem that according to Prospect Magazine and Allister McGrath, Dawkins, far from having ‘read and researched the topics of his books with intelligent fervor’, it appears that he stands accused of being ‘incurious, dogmatic and rambling’, and ‘repeating older atheist sources’, without checking his facts. When an author engages in anti religious propaganda making unsubstantiated or even demonstrably false statements, it is the responsibility of those who can identify the errors in his reasoning to point them out to the less informed, who might otherwise be taken in by the ' apparent ' authority of the author. I should say therefore that those of us who disagree with Dawkins and suspect his scholarship, have all the more reason to read what he writes, in order to correct his errors and reveal his dogmatism for what it really is, mere arrogant prejudicial hostility.

Regards Chris.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

Last edited by:

rdrcofe: Apr 5, 2016, 2:44 AM

Edit Log:

  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on Apr 5, 2016, 2:44 AM