Thursday, June 14, 2007

The God Delusion

After my comments yesterday about my difficulty in getting to grips with polemical novels, I've started reading Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion(!). Its a book that has been sitting on the shelf since Christmas so I thought it was time to read it and also I fancied a change from reading novels.

I haven't got far in and I am deliberately trying to appraise this book and Dawkins' arguments with a critical eye. I am not sure I entirely support his general hypothesis suggested by the books title, that a belief in God or religion for that matter, is for delusional people. That I find rather insulting and a little too obvious a statement to make. Apparently the book came about after Dawkins did a Channel 4 series called The Root of All Evil, although he carefully distances himself from the suggestion that religion can be characterised in such terms. The opening passages I read last night seemed to be a staunch defence of atheism as a 'belief' system and I am not entirely carried by that idea. I also wonder how he will deal with what appears to be an obvious paradox that by denying the existence of God (or any God) there is some form of tacit agreement that God (or a God in some form) must exist. Personally, as I've got older my feelings, which were largely atheist have moderated. I am not sure whether I do believe in God or not or if it really matters whether God does exist. Sometimes I feel that the commitment of belief is enough, to know whether what I believe is true or not, is not necessary. And maybe I am also attracted to the idea that there are at least some mysteries left, some truths that are unknowable.

I will see in the coming weeks whether Dawkins manages to convince me otherwise...

1 comment:

Carla said...

I've read this one and Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith by Sam Harris. If you've finished by the time you visit next weekend, we might be able to talk a bit about it. I admit when the science stuff got boring to me, I skimmed it. I really enjoyed his discussions of Scripture and so forth, though.