Starting “The God Delusion”

I started reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins on the train going home on 23 April 2008. I plan to write a running commentary about each section. I wonder if I can really do it, especially before the book it due from the library (I’m definitely not buying it).

I will be retyping quotes from the book. All of them will be referencing the Houghton Mifflin Company 2006 copyrighted version.

Here it goes.

The first quote by Douglas Adams before the book begins is telling: “’Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?’”

Belief in God is not a belief in something that exists besides, or as a part of a garden. Belief in God presupposes that from the beginning of our universe’s comprehension of time (in terms of causalities), God designed laws from the beginning and was involved in the handiwork of all creation to eventually bring the garden into existence. God made physical laws. Scientists study the work of God’s handiwork.

God and an engineer agreed to have a contest to find out who would make the best pasta bridge on the condition that each of the contestants would make their own materials. On the day of testing the two bridges sat sitting on a desk in front of the judges. The judges disqualified the engineer’s bridge. The engineer asked why he was disqualified. The judges said, “You didn’t make your own materials.” The engineer said, “What?! I made my own pasta and glue from materials from my own garden!” God said, “Well, but I made the dirt, the sun, the rain, and the seeds.”

Theists don’t believe in fairies; we (I included) believe that the garden grew because God made all the materials in the garden. We see the beauty of a garden and thank God for making it possible to be grown. Hopefully we thank God for our ability to help in creating the garden with the intelligence that he created within us. We thank God.

In the preface, we are told that many people don’t realize that they can leave the religion of their parents. “But I believe there are plenty of open-minded people out there: people whose childhood indoctrination was not too insidious, or for other reasons didn’t ‘take’, or whose native intelligence is strong enough to overcome it. Such free spirits should need only a little encouragement to break free of the vice of religion altogether. At very least, I hope that nobody who reads this book will be able to say, ‘I didn’t know I could.’” (p. 6)

Wow! What sweet talk! I don’t know about you, but I know many people who left their parents’ religion (mostly to join another religion, some to become agnostic/atheist/practical atheists). If someone were intelligent enough, why would they need Dawkins to tell them that they can leave?

Dawkins then seemingly divulges his ultimate reason for being a Militant (shepherding) Atheist. “…[A]theists and agnostics are not organized and therefore exert almost zero [political power] influence. Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority…. Even if they can’t be herded, cats in sufficient numbers can make a lot of noise and [sic] they cannot be ignored.” (pp. 4-5) Wow! They want to be the next religious political group. What would they be called? “Atheists are always Right”: AAAR? (Picture a pirate?) This reminds me of the Magnificat, “he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts (or in their proud conceit).” (KJV, Luke 1:51)

I’ll get into the first chapter in the next post. Hopefully, I’ll write one post for one chapter. (There are ten chapters.)

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