Provocative examination of the case against Religion
Rating: 5 out of 5
With his indomitable spirit & lucidly argued analysis, Richard Dawkins comprehensively demolishes the deeply held beliefs buttressing the rationale for religion.
He skillfully exposes all the claims made by the various religious movements & society in general that Religion is the arbiter of morality & bedrock of morality. This is convincingly proved to be totally fallacious.
By means of hundreds of vignettes & pearls of wisdom he builds his case. Detracting from this “demolition derby” is his tone which is at times shrill, carping & intolerant. This is totally unnecessary as Dawkins convinces by means of his erudition & strength of his cogent arguments without it.
One such example of an enlightening vignette is the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II who is purported to have stated that it was divine intervention that the bullet missed vital organs & only resulted in a six month recuperation. Surely, Dawkins contends, if divine intervention could move the bullet fractionally to prevent it killing him, then why didn’t god make it miss him altogether. Surely god would feel duty bound to protect the head of the Catholic Church!
His measured but devastating indictment of religion goes for the jugular throughout The God Delusion.
How is it possible that all religions claim to be peace-loving yet pain, suffering & death will be inflicted on those who disagree with them or belong to a different religion? The reason is obvious: THEIR GOD is the only one true god. By implication, members of all other religions in spite of their piety & clean-living lives are a priori assigned to an eternity in hell.
Another aside in the form of a quote which I found illuminating was this one from the Catholic Encyclopeadia, “Formal dogmatic atheism is self-refuting.” Like all religions arguments are buttressed by jargon without substance or fact.
Richard Dawkins through his powerful advocacy of atheism makes the point in The God Delusion that atheists do not kill theists because of a disagreement about the veracity of doctrines or the existence of god yet millions of people throughout the world become ostracized by their families & communities for adopting a different religion or even a different version of the same religion. Here one can think of Catholics versus Protestants, Sunni vs. Shias, Orthodox versus Reformed. Such persons are treated as infidels, heretics & blasphemers. In this category are not only the religious wars but the misery caused by intolerance of differing religious views.
How ungodly but in the name of religion worse is tolerated
In summary, The God Delusion is a veritable tour de force and is destined to become the definitive book on this topic.
For all those who believe that religion is a benign force in society & should therefore be humoured & tolerated, Richard Dawkins presents a forceful case for the opposite