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on 8 November 2013
This book was recommended to me by someone who disagreed with much that Dawkins has written. I found its arguments very clearly discussed and illustrated with much interesting detail. A very enjoyable read.
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on 5 September 2014
Both the scientific and the philosophical inadequacies of Dawkin's fundamentalistic scientism are clearly indicated
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on 21 February 2015
Well written critique of Dawkins' many strawman arguments, but also of Dawkins very methodology and assumptions.
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on 14 April 2008
Hoping for a critical appraisal of Dawkins' writings, I was dimayed by persistently flawed logic and a tendency to change tracks when it came to a crunch.

And too much underlining with derisory personal opinion - which illustrates fundamental incompetence.

This book pretends to be a learned discourse; alas it isn't.
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on 11 February 2007
I enjoy the book thoroughly. The book threatens the very foundation of Dawkin's view that science can answer all questions. I have to say this is an arrogant view and a bit naive. We have very limited knowledge of the universe and our origins. It is frightening to know how much knowledge there would be in say, a hundred years from now in all fields of knowledge. Many of our cherished beliefs could be turned upside down - evolution, origin of the universe etc. So it is better to be humble and open-minded as Dr.McGrath suggested. McGrath's book has effectively countered the many flaws of Dawkin's reasoning. I suspect the latter has steadfastly refused any debates because of his lack of knowledge in areas of metaphysics and theology. If that is so why make a mockery of those who disagree with you in such areas? It is perfectly alright to have a different viewpoint but to do so with such anger and hatred (at least in language) does a tremendous disservice to his cause. I respectly disagree with Mr.Lowbridge's review. He says McGrath's book is worthless. May I ask, which part and which argument does he find flawed? If we are truly seeking God we must be honest with ourselves and let not prejudices hinder us. After all this is the most significant question that man can ask. If our mind is already made-up and reacts against every opinion (even though it is appealing) then that is a different matter. My personal belief is that someday Dr.Dawkin's will become a believer in the existence of God. Just look at the case of Anthony Flew.
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on 24 August 2008
I fully agree with the previous reviewer who gave 1 star. Thoroughly deserving I feel. I also enjoyed J.Knight's comment "Dawkins doesn't need to study astrology to know that the suggestion that the motion of heavenly bodies millions of miles away affects the details of our lives is absurd.". I would suggest that J.Kinght doesn't understand what the requisites of absudity are; at least heavenly bodies are based in reality... bearded bloke in the sky is not (maybe he uses the planets and stars when he's on holiday... you can keep that one for your next debate) ;)
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on 23 January 2009
McGrath deals firmly and fairly with Dawkins' false logic. But the book is disappointing in that it fails to deal with the equally illogical subject of Darwinian Evolution. In fact McGrath gives no clear indication of his own views about Evolutionism and one is left wondering where he stands on the matter. He may respond that that is not the
subject of the book but since Dawkins' god IS Darwinian Evolution (he worships at the virtual shrine of Darwin!) I am disappointed.
Seems to me that McGrath is more interested in establishing that Christain theology is rational and acceptable but here again he leaves the reader unsatisfied because he makes no distinction between true Christianity (based upon the new spiritual birth and divine inspiration of the Bible) and the many counterfeit 'christian' religions. Regarding
the latter, Dawkins is justified in much of his criticism but he 'threw out the baby with the bathwater' by including true Christianity with all the rest. McGrath made no mention of this, possibly because he, too, failed to see the difference.
A weighty but unsatisfying book, not really worthy of the plaudits on its cover.
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on 13 October 2006
A superbly argued book which shows up the dreadful weaknesses of Dawkins' arguments. An absolute education and a joy!
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on 7 December 2006
McGrath's book is useful, but I believe dedicating a book to a competitor's views merely gives up too much rhetorical ground to the opposition. Better to come up with your own positive views and let the opponent respond.

Let me save the prospective reader money and time:

An atheist is someone who does not believe in God, not because he has not been shown evidence to support a belief in God, but because he has decided that there can be no evidence, as 'God' has no scientific meaning and only scientists with PhDs from universities should be allowed to collect evidence.

The atheist is logically compelled, then, to abandon all beliefs that are not confirmable or falsifiable in this way, i.e., not subject to scrutiny by teams of researchers.

If Richard Dawkins believes only one proposition that is not backed by peer-reviewed consensus in the current body of scientific literature, and that even for a moment, then he is not an atheist, just a very sceptical man who has a chip on his shoulder about God.

Let's take an obvious example: assume, at the minimum, that he regularly believes the proposition "I, Richard Dawkins, woke up this morning and had breakfast....". There is no evidence in the body of scientific literature to support the proposition. If so, then he is not a scientist but a man of faith. Indeed, in this case, he does believe in a God, the God of Himself, Richard Dawkins, for which he has occasional, or continuous, evidence: that is, if only for a moment, or a day, or a week, or the six months it took to write his book, or the time it takes for him to convince someone else of its truth, etc.

If, on the other hand, he regularly disbelieves the statement "I, Richard Dawkins, woke up this morning...." then his canvass of the available evidence is poor indeed, and he is a very depressed guy, as he is excluding himself, all his friends, relatives, and colleagues from the pool of possible evidence-givers -- all of whom, of course, would not be speaking as scientists when they confirmed the proposition. Since he doesn't believe himself, his friends or his relatives, he could spend his days wondering about what he is/was or does/did exactly: he is a collection of fast moving electrons, a field of energy, a bundle of motion, a point in four dimensional space, or some other 'scientific' description which doesn't do justice to his experience to waking up and brushing his teeth for another day at the academy.

The point, of course, is that "I" is just as meaningless from a scientific viewpoint as "God" is, as Dawkins himself would readily admit. In other words, either Dawkins is an atheist, or he wakes up every day, but both cannot be true at one and the same time. If so, then he is compelled to explain why being an atheist takes up more space in his brain or writings than the project of denying his own existence does. Presumably, because he is selfish - a trait we all share, of course.

Also - and this is worse - neither description ('atheist' or 'exists'; 'God' or 'I') is a peer-reviewed and well-understood unit universally recognized as exactly meaningful to, or even accessible to evaluation by, scientists. Neither of the choices outlined here are good ones.

There is only one, true, atheist: the solipsist, and Dawkins is a perfect example, as the argument above shows! Here is someone that can only be believed in without being fully understood, in other words, Dawkins, in his own world, is the sine qua non. Dawkins can only prove that God doesn't exist by proving that he is God, i.e., that he knows everything.

Unfortunately, as an object for science, Dawkins is meaningless: as soon as he becomes an object for a subject, he ceases to exist because his subjectivity is ruthlessly denied. That is the strength of science. Dawkins does not believe in God? Fine. Tell us what he does believe in, and someone somewhere will eventually make a mockery out of it.

Or: Dawkins doesn't believe in God? Fine. I don't believe in Dawkins. End of discussion.

Dawkins needs to remember that we are all, always, at one time or another part subject and part object. Only someone who is 100% subject can deny subjectivity for everything besides itself. But not even a guy as smart as Dawkins is 100% subject and 0% object...he would immediately cease to exist, as would everything around him.

To automatically disbelieve in anything that is not confirmed by science is merely to commit a particularly grave act of solipsism. Such an attitude also makes for poor scientists, which is presumably why Dawkins is merely a philosopher.
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on 23 December 2009
Give me the meaning of life; yet all we have is the slanging match between the dreamer and the fantasist.
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