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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The God Delusion--It's All an Illusion

There's not much I can say about this book that I haven't already kinda said (back in my existential college days) when it comes to my feelings about religion or the lack thereof. But I will say one thing: pick up this fucker. It's a very provocative read and it outlines a lot of unbelievably rational and valid arguments for why, evolutionarily speaking, religion came to be and why, evolutionarily speaking, believing in magical men up in the sky makes absolutely zero sense.

But I wish Dawkins would deal more with the psychological need for religion--the comfort of ritual, the human capacity for awe and reverence, and most importantly, the desire to understand death. I think that last one certainly deserved more treatment. I think Dawkins has a right to question this stuff and question it robustly, but he certainly ought to engage with it in order to be fair. A more interesting question for me is about how those of us rational secular folks who are drawn to liberal religion can get some of the same spiritual satisfaction in life without the God part.

And with that, I'll just say Shalom.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. I'm in the uncomfortable position of being a staunch atheist, but really kind of wishing that I wasn't -- or, more accurately, I know that there's not a god, but I wish that there was (not that I wish I was self-delusional). Fear of death and the knowledge that things don't happen for a reason kind of gets to me, so I wish that he had dealt more with those issues, too, and was disappointed when he didn't. But I'd still recommend it.