The God Delusion has gotten many different reviews, both extremely positive and extremely negative. So in light of the theistic world it has been vigorously stated to be a terrible, christian bashing book, this is inaccurate. It is aimed at religion as a whole, but as Dawkins states he uses Christianity as the most frequent example because he is most familiar with it. In the non-theistic world this book has received fantastic reviews and has been considered a brilliant piece of work.
I would like to propose that, from both stand points, this book should be considered a brilliant piece of work. It angers many theists, which is understandable because it is quite possibly the strongest challenge of faith presented by a book. However, the indisputable facts are presented time after time in this book and whether one wants to believe it or not is their choice. But believing them or not does not change that they are facts.
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is quite simply put: a phenomenal work of literature in which the many faces of religion and Christianity are examined and then deconstructed through the combination of the religion’s own holy book, the Bible, and science. However, it does not only examine Christianity, but directly mutilates the idea of there being a god, whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish.
Dawkins is relentless and pays no lip service to any of the three religions and many times uses Islam as a prime example of a primarily violent religion, and notes how religious sects try to gain justification for their immoral acts from higher beings.
Some of the most notable and memorable chapters are those regarding morality (Chapter 6 and 7). Along with other important chapters like Chapter 3: Arguments for God’s Existence and Chapter 4: Why There Almost Certainly is No God.
Many of the points made are completely undeniable and should be taken very seriously. I suggest that you keep a Bible on hand when you dive into this book so you can look up some of the references yourself. You maybe astonished at some of the things that Dawkins’ brings to light in the ‘good’ book.
The God Delusion is extremely well articulated and deals more blunt trauma to religion than the average theist can shake a stick at. (Or a Bible at in this case.) Not only does this grand analysis of God, Religion and Christianity deal with the existence of God, it also deals with why we can examine the world around and see how it is truly broken down, so that we can further conclude that God may not be there. Making it seem completely absurd to think that such an existence simply appeared out of nothing. The basic principles of Evolution and the Origin of Life are set out in a well formulated, easy to understand explanation.
While many may argue that Dawkins’ view on life is bleak without a god to provide meaning, he address that also. One must create a meaning for his or her own life and not expect that he or she can blame others for their problems and have them assign meaning to their life. He continues to point out that there are just as many (if not more) theists who suffer from discontent, anger, depression and sadness than there are atheists.
Dawkins also states that he believes that not only religion is non-beneficial for society and civilization, but that it is truly dangerous. Through examples of fundamentalism and religious radicals of Christianity and Islam he detests religion to the furthest degree. One must note that he is able to do this without even having to discuss the Crusades as an example of injustice created by the Catholic church.
An important subject that Dawkins attacks vigorously is religious indoctrination. When reading the sections regarding this you can almost feel the passion in which he detests the idea of brainwashing children into believing as their parents and assigning titles such as “Catholic Children”, “Muslim Children” and “Protestant Children” to those who are too young to decide for themselves.
Though The God Delusion is a serious analysis on religion it does have many moments that it can invoke laughter for both the theist and the non-theist. However, Dawkins only jests for a couple moments here and there before obliterating the next topic.
The reason for this book getting 4/5 stars is due to one problem: Some sections are hard to push through, or may lose the non-devoted reader do to some information being tedious at some points. One section in particular that comes to mind is the discussion of Memes and possibly a bit of the Quantum Mechanic ideas in the very last chapter. However, when one focuses on these ideas they are fascinating and notably, informative to any person, scientist or not.
Overall there is not really anything to complain about in this book. Having read Sam Harris’s, Letter to a Christian Nation*, directly before The God Delusion, I was pleased to see many of Sam Harris’s ideas put into light once again.
*I highly recommend Letter to a Christian Nation, it is an easy and quick read. It is likely to raise awareness of almost any reader.
The God Delusion is a book that every theist and atheist should read, even if its just a study of an atheistic argument or simply for enlightenment. The God Delusion holds literary merit of its own before its scientific merit even need be mentioned. This book truly is a towering model of a deconstruction of God, Religion and Morality.
A book that was later written in response of this book was written by none other than Alister McGrath, titled, The Dawkins Delusion, which I have read and reviewed here: The Dawkins Delusion? Review