October 17, 2006
The God Delusion
God vs. the world: A subject I’ve not broached in a while, but need to brush off the dust from my Zacharias, Stott and Lewis to review Richard Dawkins’ new book called “The God Delusion”.
I’ve not read it myself, as it’s difficult as it is to locate his books in KL. Perhaps Malaysia has yet again arbitrarily imposed their views that we should not read any such material that allows people to question the existence of God or Allah. (This rings true of the 18 books that were recently banned from the country, including Karen Armstrong‘s celebrated book “The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”). I myself believe 200% in God, but also believe that people should be given the liberty to choose for themselves, based on information and opinions. (A good friend will jump up to say “is belief a choice??”, a separate debate we will not go into yet).
I can only look at some extracts from the book available online here. Some of which read:
There are two ways in which scripture might be a source of morals or rules for living. One is by direct instruction, for example through the Ten Commandments, which are the subject of such bitter contention in the culture wars of America’s boondocks. The other is by example: God, or some other biblical character, might serve as – to use the contemporary jargon – a role model. Both scriptural routes, if followed through religiously (the adverb is used in its metaphoric sense but with an eye to its origin), encourage a system of morals which any civilized modern person, whether religious or not, would find – I can put it no more gently – obnoxious.
From what I’ve read, his arguments are basically similar to many of previous evolutionists, who have made the same points. The same words come across your mind, secularist, evolutionist, scientist, rationalist, facts not fiction, logic and reason, microbiology, atheist, and the list goes on. I hope, perhaps, that this new book sheds some new light in relation to current day issues, explaining for modern human behavioural patterns based on a belief in God. This sounds much like Sam Harris’ “The End of Faith”, but better written and more clearly thought through. I’ve blogged about my thoughts on evolution and creationism previously here. Will hunt down the book and do some digesting. Should do more of this than spend time pondering the sorry state of politics in the country – may not be worth my time after all.
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