39 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Ward is the philosophical/theological heavyweight to Dawkins' populist pugilist,
This review is from: Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins (Paperback)
There may not be any conclusive knockout blows in the ring of popular opinion (few will have their minds changed), but if it's a philosophical fight I know who my money's on.
In other words, you might not appear to win many casual arguments with Ward's considered and subtle approach but the genuine seeker of truth will recognise he's thought things through fully, whereas Dawkins beefs himself up with belligerant and irate rhetoric and is often lacking in depth (especially when it comes to philosophy or the understanding of spiritual experience).
Is this the ultimate counter-argument to Dawkins' 'The God Delusion?'
No, mainly because (sadly) it just won't sell as many copies. It's audience is more select, I suspect - those who desire a cogent argument against religious fundamentalists and creationists (Dawkins fans) probably outweigh those who are looking for an open-minded, rational quest for insight into ultimate reality.
The vast percentage of the book is written from an essentially non-religious, Theistic perspective. It's only towards the end that Ward mentions his own Christian beliefs. Personally, this is where I depart from Ward's beliefs but I am still interested in how Christians rationally and intelligently defend their faith.
It would undoubtedly be fun if someone could rip into 'The God Delusion' with the ferocity that Dawkins regularly displays.
But personal reactions aside, the truth is - none of these arguments (from either side) have the grounds for dogmatic certainty. Ward acknowledges this with grace - the title of his book is just an attention grabber in many respects - what he really means is - his 'certainty' is no less (and arguably much more) rational than Dawkins' own claim. So..not as explosive or controversial a claim as Dawkins makes, but in my mind a more reasonable, realistic and intelligent one.
I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on consciousness, the evolution of mind/spirit and the distinction between interior/exterior aspects of contemplation and personal experience of spirit (and the subsequent philosophical and ontological implications), but this was still an enjoyable and welcome book that can be read in one or two sittings.