Friday, April 06, 2007

Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion

Well it is Easter weekend and I thought appropriate to mention that I just finished The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. The book is only one of several the author has written over the years and if they are as readable as this one they might be good to look for. This book is very entertaining and believable (although I suspect if you are staunchly religious you might not think the latter), and the writing style is less heavily dogmatic than it is conversational. It makes fairly easy going even though some of his arguments are complex. Here is an short interview with him on the UK news show Newsnight.

The title has been out for months and is a best seller in the US and UK, and it may have tapped a nerve with respect to the increasing representation of religion in politics and political life. It is interesting to read that he makes an assertion (as other writers cited by him have also concluded) that many of early leaders of US political life (notably Jefferson) were probably atheists. Given this shared perspective that the founding fathers had in creating the constitution I wonder what they would think about the current mingling of religion and government - not just here but all around the world.

Lastly, I am unsure of the motivation for the design of the US book cover but I was struck by the association with the (stupid) mirror on the cover of Time's Person of the Year issue. The God Delusion has a bright silver mirror like cover and in reflecting your image to you it seems to emphasise Dawkins view that "we make our our purpose in the world" and our purpose and morality in life should not governed by organized religion.

Dawkins website

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