The God Delusion

I don’t think Richard Dawkins’ latest furore into popular fiction is aimed at me.  Reading it seems a little like he is preaching to the converted, and to be brutally honest it’s almost condescending, but I think that is almost the point.  One of the exercises that you’ll see Amanda over at Pandagon partaking in regularly is the use of the Regender Engine; taking highly sexist quotes, articles and comments and regendering them in an effort to show how hypocritical they are.  If you do this with Richard’s new book, replacing every reference to ‘God’ with ‘Tooth Fairy’ or any other mythical or mystical being you’ll get the general gist of how he feels about religion and the people who push it.

Through 10 chapters he slowly guides you on a journey laying out history, fallacy and fact, he expertly explains to the layperson some intricate fundamentals of biology, cosmology and statistics, rendering each and every argument for the existence of a Supreme Being void whilst he does.  The book centres on the existence of a supreme being, a creator, a personal god who cares for the individual, who answers prayers and punishes sin being, in fact, the ultimate regress.  In essence, who created the creator?  If abiogenesis, evolution, intelligence and consciousness are so remarkable and complex that they cannot possibly have occurred by ‘chance’ and must have been created or designed, then the creator or designer must be so incredibly complex in a way that is so far beyond what we know and understand that must it not too also have had a creator?  With this established he neatly shows how biology, cosmology and statistics can indeed explain our existence, and that this in no way belittles our lives, or removes from us our morality but instils great purpose. 

I’ve been asking for quite some time why, if life is so precious and remarkable, we waste so much of it with our heads in the sand, worshiping a god who almost certainly does not exist when there is so much to discover?  Next time you watch a sunset, do not bask in the glow of God’s glory, but marvel at the fact that we live on a lump of rock, billions of years old, travelling at 108,000 km/h, around a giant fusion reactor that is one of 10 billion stars in our galaxy among 10 billion galaxies in the cosmos.  Tell me this is not more incredible, wondrous and inspiring than a personal god whose main concern is what the population of this tiny part of the universe does with their reproductive organs?

Read this book and not only will you find yourself able to counter every argument for the existence of a personal god or ‘intelligent designer’ with well thought out, logical, and factually correct assertions, but you will hopefully experience a raising of your consciousness such that you will never need rely on religion again.  It is unlikely to convince the hardcore believers, but those who are wavering but just didn’t "know that they could" embrace atheism as a way of living will find this the final push.

As a final note, it’s worth reading just for the numerous references to his wife Lalla Ward, who I had a huge crush on when I was younger, oh and the fact that PZ Myers gets his own mention!

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