The God Delusion will probably just leave me lying awake at night seething, but I’ll give it a shot

12 Apr

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AUTHOR: Westerfeld, Scott.
TITLE: The last days : a novel
BARCODE: 2051763577
LOCATION: Kenmore Teen Fiction
PICKUP BY: 04-19-07

AUTHOR: Dawkins, Richard,
TITLE: The God delusion
CALL NO: 211.8 DAW
BARCODE: 2052448087
LOCATION: Kingsgate Nonfiction
PICKUP BY: 04-19-07

3 Responses to “The God Delusion will probably just leave me lying awake at night seething, but I’ll give it a shot”

  1. facty April 12, 2007 at 2:33 pm #

    Hmmm I wonder why you are reading the God Delusion – what if it makes all kinds of sense and you decide to quit church? Your faith makes you feel happy and fulfilled, why stir the pot?

  2. Wade Rockett April 13, 2007 at 7:50 am #


    Like The Da Vinci Code before it, The God Delusion is influencing the way Christians and non-Christians talk about religion and faith right now. I know that a lot of people on my cultural radar are reading it and cheering, and maybe a lot of my friends are, too. So I ought to be familiar with its contents, maybe.

    My main concern is that it’ll be a waste of my time (also much like The Da Vinci Code.) I’ve read excerpts from the book, as well as interviews with Dawkins, and I’m underwhelmed. It seems like a pretty superficial critique, the kind that I could find by visiting any active discussion forum on the Internet.

    If it makes all kinds of sense and I quit church, it would be very painful and throw my life, and the lives of people around me, into profound disarray.

    But would it still be the right thing to do? Should people examine their beliefs and, when they discover new truths, act on them? But how much questioning is too much – when does analysis become paralysis?

    On the other hand, should people hold fast to whatever makes them happy and fulfilled, orders their lives, and helps them become positive contributors to society?

    In any case, if all it takes to shatter my faith is for a biologist who’s dabbling in religious studies to point out that the Bible has some nasty stuff in it, and that the Crusades were bad, then it probably deserves to be shattered.

    What will probably happen is that some stuff in the book will be irritating nonsense; some of it might seriously rattle me, and cause me to explore my religion in search of answers. Some of it might be stuff that I feel is wrong, and I’ll have to think more deeply about those issues so I can articulate why I feel they’re wrong.

  3. Janet May 11, 2007 at 12:50 pm #

    I ordered it too and for the same reasons as Wade. I enjoyed Terry Eagleton’s very negative review of it in TLS (easy to google it) though it irritated the heck out of many scientists. I was interested that a brilliant Marxist lit theorist like Eagleton would have been reading so heavily in medieval philosophy but he’s clearly deeply moved and engaged by it, and engages Dawkins on his lack of knowledge of theology while he’s disproving God’s “existence” as if God were a table or chair — the Great (but ineffable) Cosmic Muffin, as one scientist quipped.
    Now, I’ve heard Dawkins speak and heard his arguments debated and summarized, and he is not about to shake anyone’s faith! He’s pretty dreadful. A closed-minded Brit trained in analytic philophy of the naivest variety. Totally innocent of cultural studies (hence Eagleton’s umbrage).
    BUT if you want to read a truly great and wonderful thinker on the same subject of let’s do away with God, then read Daniel Dennett’s _Breaking the Spell_. I’m currently reading Dennett’s great book on Darwinian biology, and I’ve read his cognitive science and linguistics stuff in the past. He’s a wonderful thinker and while he doesn’t make me question my faith, he certainly does show me that all the standard old arguments about the presence/absence of God in nature are totally passe. Science is so utterly changed and changing and so burgeoning that every day there is a fascinating new paradigm to think with that never existed before. The old apologetics is thoroughly outdated, but so is old-school scientism.

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