It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Excerpts from 'The God Delusion'

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 01:55 AM
link   
Richard Dawkins, the famous evolutionary biologist, has written an important new book that seeks, as it says, 'to attack God in all his forms". In it, he explains why religious faith is a wicked and dangerous delusion that should be opposed as strongly as possible by decent people. Whether you agree with him or not, the book is an eye-opener and well worth reading. Here are a few quotes from it.


The moral of the story of Noah is appalling. God took a dim view of humans, so he (with the exception of one family) drowned the lot of them including children and also, for good measure, the rest of the (presumably blameless) animals as well.

While on the subject of morality as exemplified by the Book of Genesis, he also points out that the 'virtuous' Lot was willing to allow his daughters to be raped by the Sodomites in order to protect his (male) guests from being violated, only to be later raped by the girls himself. Dawkins suggests that

If this dysfunctional family was the best Sodom had to offer by way of morals, some might begin to feel a certain sympathy with God and his judicial brimstone.

But the book is not specifically against Christianity; it condemns all faiths. Here, for example, is his take on the 'war on terror', which is, for my money, one of the few assessments of it that really calls a spade a spade:

Our Western politicians avoid mentioning...religion and instead characterize their battle as a war against 'terror', as though terror were a kind of spirit or force, with a will and a mind of its own. Or they characterize terrorists as motivated by pure 'evil'. But they are not motivated by evil. However misguided we may think them, they are motivated, like the Christian murderers of abortion doctors, by what they perceive to be righteousness, faithfully pursuing what their religion tells them. They are not psychotic; they are religious idealists who, by their own lights, are rational. They perceive their acts to be good, not because of some warped personal idiosyncrasy, and not because they have been possessed by Satan, but because they have been brought up, from the cradle, to have total and unquestioning faith.

You can read more excerpts from the book on this page. Do so, and be enlightened.




posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 02:20 AM
link   
I consider myself a follower of Christ, so it doesn't phase me that people think differently than I do. One thing that made sense and I wish you would look at is the following quote:



They are not psychotic; they are religious idealists who, by their own lights, are rational. They perceive their acts to be good, not because of some warped personal idiosyncrasy, and not because they have been possessed by Satan, but because they have been brought up, from the cradle, to have total and unquestioning faith.


My opinion is the author is someone who sought spiritual truth but never really found it, so it is not surprising that he takes the stance that he does. I wouldn't blame him.

But referencing the above quoted text, notice the key phrases he uses here. They are religious idealists and the have unquestioning faith in the same.

I know all about being idealistic, because I personally was brought up in a church environment and learned idealism and practiced it in one way or another. I am sure if I had had the power to enforce my ideas on others, I would have. For the sake of myself and others, that was spared from ever happening and at the same time I learned all about the fallacy of being idealistic and thinking that personal truth is ultimately the truth for everyone else. There is only one truth that meets this standard, and it doesn't involve pushing your agenda on everyone else, so I suppose this author you mention only sees people's faiths as doing this, which I also see happening. Of course I don't take his tone, which we both know is just like death threats for a Christian or any other faith.

Either way, I think the author sees faith as being a lie because he is very much not a hypocrite, but never found a faith that isn't hypocritical. It is unfortunate because the truth of God is available and can convince this guy that it is real and also agree with his sentiment that man-made religions and ideals are in fact, just like he says, a pile of crapola.

I agree with the quotes you posted, but yet I still believe in God, so it is apparent to me that the author is just looking for the real truth apart from the BS.



[edit on 26-9-2006 by ben91069]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 11:12 AM
link   
I am going to be slightly off topic here, but in Richard Dawkins "What if there was no Religion" program that was on last winter he made a strange point.

He said that no one should try to persuade someone else to believe something.

Then he decides to go and try to convince everyone to be an atheist.

Does he think he is exempt from his own rules or something?



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:55 PM
link   
Richard Dawkings is certainly a commendable author. I'm currently reading one of his earlier books "The blind watchmaker" and its a must read for people with questions like "If we evolved from apes why are they still around?" Great post Astyanax.


Originally posted by apex
He said that no one should try to persuade someone else to believe something.

Then he decides to go and try to convince everyone to be an atheist.

Does he think he is exempt from his own rules or something?


No no he's actually following his rules perfectly. Atheism is the lack of belief in anything. So he's actually not persuading everyone to believe in something which is really persuading someone not to beleive in anything. It wouldnt make sense any other way.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:19 PM
link   
sounds like a good read, I will have to read some of his earlier stuff as well. This book is not an attack on christianity, by the way, any more than the bible is an attack on atheism.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 06:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by daedalas
sounds like a good read, I will have to read some of his earlier stuff as well. This book is not an attack on christianity, by the way, any more than the bible is an attack on atheism.


you forgot to mention all other religious belief

religions tend to attack contrary religious beliefs very readily in their texts

and nice avatar daedalas



posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 01:50 AM
link   

Originally posted by daedalas
sounds like a good read, I will have to read some of his earlier stuff as well.

Richard Dawkins first became famous for his book The Selfish Gene, published in 1976. This book is a life-changer, since it provides clear and credible answers to most of the so-called Big Questions -- why are we here? where did we come from? where are we going? what is love and why does it exist? etc. Though Dawkins is a biologist by training, The Selfish Gene easily straddles the realms of science and philosophy, in particular metaphysics. It is probably one of the most influential books of its time and its influence has continued to grow and spread ever since it was published. If you haven't read it, I strongly urge you to do so.

The Selfish Gene, like nearly all Dawkins's books, is easy to read and contains much that is worth knowing and thinking about. His published scientific papers, which demand specialist knowledge, are obviously no so easy. But aside from these, the only other book of his that is really heavy going is The Extended Phenotype, which discusses the effect genes exert on the environment beyond the organism containing them. However, this book contains some absolutely fascinating material about sexual arms races, parasites that control the behaviour of their hosts, etc. -- fully worth reading if you have the patience.

Dawkins's public battle with God commenced, more or less, with The Blind Watchmaker, which I think was his third book. People looking for sensible answers to stupid questions about the evolution of eyes, wings and other apparent evolutionary improbabilities will find most of what they require here.

Personally, I have found his other books -- Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow and so on -- to be variations on his basic theme: interesting, readable and full of interesting biological facts, but not really adding anything new.

The God Delusion is different.

To people interested in this kind of approach to understanding who and what we are and why we exist, I also recommend 'Spirit', an essay by Allen Wheelis, collected in an excellent book called The Mind's I, composed and 'arranged' by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett



posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 03:14 PM
link   


you forgot to mention all other religious belief

religions tend to attack contrary religious beliefs very readily in their texts


yes they do, the bible doesn't attack atheism as directly but I have no doubt that it would if atheism was a big enough threat to the church at that time.



and nice avatar daedalas


thank you



posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 04:47 PM
link   

Originally posted by daedalas
yes they do, the bible doesn't attack atheism as directly but I have no doubt that it would if atheism was a big enough threat to the church at that time.


And if that doesnt work they usually try to sell their stuff by making it sound scientific enough to fool the masses ....



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:50 AM
link   
Has anyone read the book yet? I'd like to hear what people think of it.

I'd be especially interested to hear what intelligent believers have to say about it, after they've read it.

Personally, I am sympathetic to the idea that religious belief is self-delusive, morally repellent and downright dangerous. I'm not sure if belief in a deity or deities is the root of the problem, though. I've seen with my own eyes the atrocities that can be perpetrated by believers in non-theistic religions like Buddhism and believe me, they are just as horrid as anything Hindus, Jews, Christians or Muslims can dream up.

However, I have also noticed that while Buddhism and Taoism may be non-theistic in their classical or 'pure' forms, in actual day-to-day practice they are positively lousy with Immortals, Bodhisattvas, ancestral and elemental spirits, local folk deities, members of the Hindu pantheon and heaven (ahem) alone knows what else. So maybe the god concept is the problem after all.

Of course, some will use the fact that all cultures seem to evolve gods to claim that such gods, or a God, must exist. This is the no-smoke-without-fire argument, dearly beloved of conspiracy theorists. Me, I quit smoking a while back and really, I feel so much better since I did.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 08:51 AM
link   

You have voted Astyanax for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


There an ebook version I can buy? It'll make for some darn productive working hours...uhm....


Originally posted by Astyanax
However, I have also noticed that while Buddhism and Taoism may be non-theistic in their classical or 'pure' forms, in actual day-to-day practice they are positively lousy with Immortals, Bodhisattvas, ancestral and elemental spirits, local folk deities, members of the Hindu pantheon and heaven (ahem) alone knows what else. So maybe the god concept is the problem after all.

Funny that. I've met my share of fanatic buddists who'll probably get more than "peaceful" if you disagree... Whats with their idol worshipping anyways?


Of course, some will use the fact that all cultures seem to evolve gods to claim that such gods, or a God, must exist.

Just cuz most kids talk about a boogy monster under the bed doesnt mean they must really exist by induction!

Dont you know smoking that stuff gives you lung cancer folks? And you get to go to hell!



posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 10:45 PM
link   
[edit on 12-10-2006 by Astyanax]



posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 10:45 PM
link   

Originally posted by I_s_i_s

You have voted Astyanax for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Many thanks, I_s_i_s. Sorry for not replying before; I've been ill.


Funny that. I've met my share of fanatic buddists who'll probably get more than "peaceful" if you disagree... Whats with their idol worshipping anyways?

In a word: people who are not fully individuated must have something to pray to.

Buddhism in its essential form is too abstract for most people. It demands considerable sophistication, worldly knowledge and reflectiveness to be truly grasped and comprehended, let alone followed. Most people don't make the grade, so the faith had to be adapted for the mass market. The Buddha himself started the process, apparently, by devising one rule of life for dedicated Buddhists (the monastic rule) and another for people who couldn't entirely give ap attachment because they had families, businesses, kingdoms and other earthly responsibilities (the lay rule). Even his lay rule was pretty ascetic, though, so over the millennia his followers continued the process of adaptation for the mass market with their pantheons of bodhisattvas, etc. That was the Mahayana way; in Theravada countries, Buddhists still continued to pay homage to Hindu gods, folk deities, etc.

[edit on 12-10-2006 by Astyanax]



new topics

top topics



 
1

log in

join