Dawkins and God

Is it just me or does Richard Dawkins sound just exactly like what he criticizes?

jim, i doubt "he sounds exactly like what he criticizes" in that it is impossible to "sound" like a well-established religion that can (say) withhold birth control and help devastate a continent with aids, or drive people to blow themselves up in crowded places. i think the review is pretty mediocre, as most NYT reviews have been for sometime now. [dennett's review was far worse - it was malicious and stupid. dawkins lucked out.] i hope you pick up a copy from the library and see if dawkins does a good job. [i happen to think so, but i am an annoyed atheist with good knowledge of two religions...]

Posted by oz on October 23, 2006 at 04:51 PM JST #

religion is something that no one can truly write about with out bias. Mr. Dawkins is no exception. He seems to truly hate those who believe blindly, and I can more or less put myself in his group.

You can't write about something you have a strong opinion about without putting bias down in your words.

At least Mr. Dawkins has put considerable thought into his belief. There are far too many atheists, and far too many of faith who haven't put any thought into their decision. On a base level, most people believe just because that's what they were taught, not because they truly contemplated each side and made a decision. Most people use argument to prove the side they were brought up to believe.

I don't know if Richard was brought up religious or atheist, but he certainly seems to have thought it through.

Posted by jeremiah johnson on October 23, 2006 at 04:53 PM JST #

Can't agree with you. First, unless you have read the book, how can you comment on what he sounds like? As is often the case, scientists that are writing outside their fields are not nearly so precise as they are when writing within their specialties. I have always found Dawkins to be a excellent writer and he generally provides well thought out compelling arguments for his positions. If that is less true in this case, it is understandable. Even reading this article, I found that Mr. Holt seemed to have missed the point of some ofDawkins arguments. I look forward to reading this book. Once I do, I'll let you know how much of it relies on faith.

Posted by Brian Utterback on October 23, 2006 at 04:54 PM JST #

I haven't read his latest book yet, but I read some of his previous works (The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker notably) and read or watched some of his recent interviews. I think he usually comes out as a moderate, very reasonable atheist. Of course he is also very forthright about what he believes (or refuses to believe). The point here is that many commentators think that atheists should try to appease the reasonable theists in order to make common front against integralism. Dawkins seems to think, and I agree with him on this, that this strategy might win us (atheists, skeptics, scientists, you name it) a battle, but it will ultimately cost us the war against prejudice and superstition.

Posted by Ugo Cei on October 23, 2006 at 10:37 PM JST #

Very interesting comments. Thank you all. Sorry I'm late in checking in. I realize I'm reacting to a review and not the actual book, and reviewers can certainly persuade with their prose. I don't think this review is over the top at all, though, and it cites some pretty strong quotes from Dawkins -- quotes that demonstrate to me that he's far too emotional about this subject to be taken seriously. That's a shame because I enjoy the subjects of evolution \*and\* religion and don't see them as necessarily mutually exclusive no matter how hard the extremists on both sides try to cut each other down. I fascinated with science, I know many scientists, I see the value of science, and I also see the holes and politics in science. And I can say the exact same for religion. I'm drawn to both quite equally and I question both just as equally. Also, both science and religion have done great harm and great good to this world, and the proponents of each need to come to terms with that. To me, this subject is sort of like politics -- I can't stomach the Democrats or the Republicans anymore because both sides are just too shrill for my taste. It's probably just me, though.

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on October 25, 2006 at 06:26 PM JST #

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