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Book Review: The God Delusion

Jan 11 2007 13:45
Duncan Ker-reid
A brief look at the controversial new book by Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion

As you can probably imagine from the title, this book is not going to be popular with large sections of the religious faithful. However, I am writing this to try to explain to you that whatever your religion (or lack of it) this book is worth your time. The book is written by Richard Dawkins, an evolutional biologist and committed atheist, and over the course of ten chapters addresses religion and provides his opinion on some of the most common aspects of world religions.

Richard Dawkins is by no means an idiot; he is able to write very coherent, logical and philosophical prose, presenting difficult concepts in a very understandable manner, dressed with humour. He clearly addresses each point backing it up with numerous examples without presenting so much evidence that the reader loses track of the flow of his argument. It can appear to be too close to an academic paper as it can be quite pedantic at some points, but this is to be expected given the sensitivity of the subject.

At this stage, I am sure there are still some sceptics out there. "Richard Dawkins has an obvious agenda." I can assure you though that this book is written to educate, encourage critical consideration of the status quo and to raise awareness of the points of view of others, not just to convert. Given our privileged position here at Imperial, amongst some great, inquisitive minds, I urge you not to be blinded to such an extent by your current beliefs as to refuse to read this book on principle.

On the subject of beliefs, I leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein, a deeply religious non-believer:

"If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as science can reveal it."

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