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208 of 242 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In 100 years I sense this will be seen as a timely book, 18 Jun 2007
This review is from: The God Delusion (Paperback)
The other reviews of this book demonstrate what a touchy subject this is! Whatever your views I would recommend reading this book. It's fluent, well argued and engaging - although he is sometimes so angered by religious people that the fury starts to seep through and you can sense his knuckles whitening on the pen.

As with many theses the nuggets are sometimes tucked away. He casually reflects at one point how "believers" are actually atheistic about many gods (Apollo, Ra, Vishnu, Odin etc) - they dismiss almost as many gods as he does.

His scale of believing/not believing is interesting too: this isn't just a case of yes or no, there are many graduations on the way through - so, which are you? Quite atheistic but vaguely think there might be a God? Find out where you are on this handy, easy-to-read scale!

Seriously: this is a book that puts religious belief into perspective. If you are fifty like me, Christianity was probably a big part of your childhood education, and you challenged it at your peril. Like everything else your teachers believed in (corporal punishment, fair play, fitness, mind/body balance) in later life you have to assess the value of those ideas. Are you going to try to pass them on to your children? Are you sure that's right?

My tip - don't read the intro when you start: it's the angriest chapter, as it recounts the polemical (and sometimes downright horrid) attacks which have been made on Dawkins about the subject, so he's cross.

My own beliefs? Why should you care! This is an amazon review. It's about the book and whether it's worth reading. Enough with the ranting already.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jul 2011 09:04:31 BDT
Chris says:
I really liked your comments. 3 thoughts - one is that we should care about your beliefs - Dawkins, on his own admission, isn't writing an purely academic book, which will pass on information, instead he's clear that he wants religious people to become atheists through his work. Were you a believer in God when you picked it up, and an atheist when you put it down? You say that it puts religious belief into perspective, this isn't surely quite true, it puts it into a perspective, but it is possible to disagree, even without ranting!

What is the evidence for your sense that this is a timely book, or will be seen as a timely book?

and thirdly I would work the opposite way to the idea of believers are atheists about most deities. We admit that the material world exists, and have good reason for believing in this, but is there good reason for believing that there is anything not material, and is there any reason for believing in anything spiritual or supernatural.

Posted on 8 Jan 2012 18:42:10 GMT
burttoli says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 4 Sep 2012 08:51:16 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2012 08:52:47 BDT
"Take a look at web site [ reasonstobelieve.com ]"

Reason to believe what?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 23:50:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Sep 2012 23:52:04 BDT
In the Bible, Noah builds an ark to save all the different species of animals from extinction, because he cares about God's wonderful creatures. By contrast all the stupid, narrow-minded, moronic, imbecilic, religious extremist Dawkins seems to care about, is inciting hatred against those infidels who refuse to worship the god of Evolution as devoutly as he does.

If you are a devoutly religious science-believing atheist, who wants to learn new ways of inciting hatred against infidels, then this book will be right up your alley. If you are more interested in reality, you might note that Europeans behaved in a vastly more civilised manner when the Bible held sway up until the mid 19th century, than since.

Of course the Bible if full of very silly stories; if it was not, then it would have been an excruciatingly boring read, and would have been unable to shape Western civilisation. However it also contains valuable wisdom, like the concept of treating your neighbour as yourself. Dawkins claims that it possible to behave in a christian manner without being a Christian, but even his own behaviour clearly disproves that, as he certainly would not appreciate it if large numbers of people were to mock the nonsense he believes in, as I do on my Squish Theory website.

In a hundred years time people may well resent the fact that our generation exterminated all the gorillas, tigers, elephants and giraffes; but they sure as hell will not give a damn about Dawkins' hate-mongering trash.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Sep 2012 14:22:07 BDT
William Newtspeare:

"Of course the Bible if full of very silly stories; if it was not, then it would have been an excruciatingly boring read,"

It is less that the Bible is "full of very silly stories"; it is that the language is different from the one we use today. Thus the writers (of the Hebrew Bible) used SYMBOLS to explain reality. Unfortunately, most modern Christians (espcecially in the US) still believe in the LITERAL translation of the Bible, like the fact a donkey talks in Numbers, for example.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2012 01:33:29 BDT
Honrus:

Doubtless parts of the Bible have lost something in translation, but it does not make sense to claim that this has changed the meaning of a large part. I find the story of Eve and the serpent insightful, as I treat it allegorically; unfortunately Dawkinists and some Christians are unable to appreciate the wisdom, because they feel a religious duty to take the talking snake literally.

The problem I have is with things like Jesus turning water into wine, which is clearly impossible and not meant allegorically. Also I fail to see the relevance of Jesus' magical powers, to the fact that forgiveness and turning the other cheek can lead to more harmonious societies. However normal human brains clearly work very differently to mine; and the evidence shows that unless people are taught to believe that Jesus is the son of God, it is virtually impossible to get them to behave in a christian manner. Given the choice between having people believe in the divinity of Christ, and behaving in a civilised manner; and having people believe in nonsense like time travel and Equality, and behaving like savages; then I certainly favour the former.

I agree with your sentiments that in 100 years, the world will likely be a very different place. But I think the greatest danger lies not in conflict with countries like Iran, but rather that the religious extremists in western governments are so intent on filling their countries full of foreign savages, that rape, murder, and civil war will be rife.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2012 09:32:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Sep 2012 09:33:14 BDT
William Newtspeare:

"Doubtless parts of the Bible have lost something in translation, but it does not make sense to claim that this has changed the meaning of a large part. I find the story of Eve and the serpent insightful, as I treat it allegorically; unfortunately Dawkinists and some Christians are unable to appreciate the wisdom, because they feel a religious duty to take the talking snake literally."

The (Hebrew) Bible is written in a code. It pertains to the creation of the human conscience, which seems to have happened some 6,000 years ago when RECORDED history began. The Hebrew writers who wrote the Old Testament (circa 300-400 BC) were drawing from the Sumerian (and others) myths to describe how we got here into our consciousness, not into our bodies (though of course, that is relevant too). (See Job 3:13-15)

Scientists know little about the human consciousness works. It has a lot to do with memory, which of course the Bible explores; many of the Hebrew words are symbols which relate to memory.

I suspect we will not be around in 100 years time. The countdown to Armageddon is already on; it may be just months away. It will probably happen suddenly, like 9/11 (which is in the Bible). Though, of course I could be wrong. Maybe God is telling me that I won't be around too much longer, which is why I am not currently making any predictions. It's pointless!

I am stuck between idiot atheists (who simply want to have an argument) and "Christians" who believe everything that they are told by "Christian" writers, who only pander to their beliefs (to make money). See my rewiew of the The Boy Who Went to Heaven and Back. This review is getting much negative points from Christians because it does not fit the false ideas which are fed to them every week. They WANT these stories to be true.

The Sumerian/Babylonian myth is CORRECT: we (as gods) came down (expelled) from "Heaven" and are seeking to control nature (so that we can control our own destinies). We are very close. However, Genesis 3 and 11 (and others) state that God will prevent this. Expect society as we know it to collapse soon! Like it did before. Most people, I suspect, will return to dust; God does not need a load of liars, thiefs, fornicators and murderers. If they do not learn in this lifetime (WHY these things are wrong) I suspect they will not learn in COUNTLESS lifetimes!

All things go round and round, as Solomon said (though of course he didn't as he did not exist; it's a symbol) in Ecclesiastes.
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