Saturday, December 09, 2006

Richard Kirk reviews Dawkins’s THE GOD DELUSION

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Categories : Religion

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published: samedi 9 décembre 2006 6:15:48

Here is an excerpt from Richard Kirk’s review of Dawkins’s The God Delusion, which appeared in The American Spectator.

. . . When it comes to magnanimity, here’s a sample of the author’s generosity: “To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird.” This comment shows the contempt Dawkins consistently displays for ideas that don’t conform to his own — a bio-creed that includes the following affirmations: life emerged on earth due to random interactions of material elements; life evolved from its primitive forms to its current complexity because of natural selection; no god is needed to make sense of these (or any other) phenomena.

In truth, Dawkins’ entire book is an exercise in contempt — summarily dismissing Thomas Aquinas’ theological arguments and devoting less than 100 breezy pages to the whole issue of God’s existence. The rest of Dawkins’ book discusses — with the jaundiced eye of an H. L. Mencken in biological drag — how religious beliefs are given undue social deference, why Einstein’s references to God aren’t religious, why eastern religions aren’t religions, why religion developed (socio-biologically), how the Bible is a jumble of historical trash, how religion promotes intolerance and undermines science, how Hitler may have been Catholic, why Stalin’s atheism doesn’t matter, why society doesn’t need religion to be moral, why Jefferson was probably an atheist (the non-mentioned God-statements on the Jefferson Memorial to the contrary notwithstanding), why studying religion to understand literary references is okay, and why parents indoctrinating their children with religious beliefs are guilty of child abuse. (The depth of Dawkins’ political thought is shown by his failure to ponder for one second the implications of a government that can tell parents what beliefs they can and cannot transmit to their offspring.) . . .

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