October 22, 2006

Intellectually frustrating

NY Times, Sunday, October 22, 2006 IN SUNDAY'S BOOK REVIEW 'The God Delusion,' by Richard Dawkins Review by JIM HOLT Belief in God is not only a delusion, argues Richard Dawkins, but a "pernicious" one. Dawkins's case against religion follows an outline that goes back to Bertrand Russell's classic 1927 essay "Why I Am Not a Christian." First, discredit the traditional reasons for supposing that God exists. Second, produce an argument or two supporting the contrary hypothesis, that God does not exist. Third, cast doubt on the transcendent origins of religion by showing that it has a purely natural explanation. Finally, show that we can have happy and meaningful lives without worshiping a deity, and that religion, far from being a necessary prop for morality, actually produces more evil than good. Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins's failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience. Continue reading...First Chapter

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