I could go on and on on this one, but I think enough has been said over the past few days about this work. D’Souza is still right with his quote on this is what happens when you let the biologist out of his lab. Richard Dawkins is very persuasive when writing on biology and knows the subject well, but this time, he tried theology and philosophy, and it just didn’t do well.
Dawkins is writing with passion in this book, no doubt, but I think of the Pauline epistle where it speaks about zeal but not according to knowledge. Unfortunately, that’s what’s going on here. People of weak emotions could be prone though as Dawkins is quite skilled at rhetoric and wanting people to feel a certain way and then make their decisions based on that feeling. (Why I can’t believe Christians do that! It must be false!)
Which is quite sad. I’m reading the Blind Watchmaker now and if I didn’t know better, I would never think the same person was the author of both books. The Blind Watchmaker is cool and reasoned out and while I do not agree with the conclusion as I do see philosophical problems therein, I can understand the case and it’s well-written. I can see how someone would be persuaded by it and while I’m not convinced of evolution, I find this to be an excellent work on it.
So one is left wondering why. Why is Dawkins going out on religion so much? In The Blind Watchmaker, it is clear he is an atheist, but he does not seem to be wanting to remove every ounce of religion from the world. What has happened in those twenty years that has caused the shift in Dawkins?
I don’t know. I can’t say. McGrath though has some thoughts in “The Dawkins Delusion.” McGrath has written on the Twilight of Atheism. (My next read.) He has stated that atheism had a golden age and it is now on its way out. Could all the surge in atheistic books on the market suddenly be the last-ditch effort? Is it the final attack of an army that is going down and thinks it has nothing to lose?
Could it be then that Dawkins is writing to the choir? Is he trying to rally the troops not so much because he thinks the opponent is weak, but because his side is getting weak? Is he wanting to raise up the army because most of them have left their posts? Is he wanting to encourage a side because the opposition is mounting against them?
One might even ask, is Dawkins trying to convince himself? Again, I don’t know. I can’t say. It’s something worth thinking about. The kind of rant is the result of someone thinking more emotionally than rationally. Dawkins breaks all the rules he asks of theists in writing this book. He does not back his case with evidence such as in his definition of faith.
I have heard some Christians say atheist friends gave them this book to help them open their eyes. I’d like to see more Christians read it indeed to open their eyes. I’d like their eyes to be opened to how vociferous the other side is getting and how faulty their arguments are.
In conclusion, I really don’t see this one as a threat. It’s worth talking about though as there are ideas that should be addressed, but if one has familiarity with Christian thought, they shouldn’t have any difficulty approaching this work. Dawkins expected me to put it down an theist. I put it down a stronger theist.