Sunday, January 29, 2012
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
THE GOD DELUSION by Richard Dawkins
A brief rant by Shawn Witherite
With the sounds of Tom Waits echoing out of my less than spectacular laptop speakers, I had spent a bit of time just wondering what book I should review for this little spot on the internet. Lighting my fifth or possibly eighth cigarette of the hour while taking a sip from my last cup out of a pot of coffee, I realized my tragically "hip" situation has given birth to the answer! THE GOD DELUSION! It's the book that every faithless youth totes around as a sign of intellect. Well I'm sorry to say they're probably idiots.
You see I picked this book up a few years ago at a Waldens, which is book store; a concept I will probably explain to my children, just like CD's and vocal conversation. I was a young agnostic at the time, taking in all sides when coming to faith as I didn't have an answer, or rather opinion, for myself. Born into a lukewarm Methodist family, I dabbled in Buddhism because karma made some sense, and I spent a week as a Wiccan due to the fact goth chics are fuckin' hot. Needless to say, I didn't have much in the way of solid ground when it came to religion. I had recognized Dawkins name based on his coining of the term "meme", an intriguing theory that is used heavily in the video game franchise Metal Gear Solid.
Of course at the time, "meme" had a stronger meaning to me and my own personal studies to keep my mind occupied before I enrolled in college. Times change. Now when someone says "meme", I think of a rabbit with a pancake on its head. Thanks internet. Looking back on the purchase, I was honestly better off buying a shitty cat for that price then spend my days trying to catch it making a stupid face for Photoshopping. It would've been more enlightening time management than Dawkins drivel.
The man is smart, we have to give him that. And his writing and points are well written through out but he some how manages to be wrong while being right... As opposed to softcore porn model Nikki Simms, who can be right while being oh so wrong.
Every end of the spectrum has dangers, and Dawkins with his little book can represent such for the side of "logic". There are points in his arguments where he rallies for lack of respect towards his religious oppositions and this part has always stuck with me. I know a lot of folks in my generation that would take this notion as a call to arms, and it's this kind of haphazard notion that draws so many atheist into the spotlight as being dick bags. Mostly because so many of us non-believers let people like Dawkins be our voice.
His reasoning is because the religious right gives no respect to atheist/agnostics in return, and that's fuck all nonsense. Richard spends a lot of time attacking some kind of in your face mass religion I've never really encountered. You haven't either. He has a tendency through out the book to make things seem more aggressive than they really are just so he can say that it's wrong.
The brunt of the book maintains focus on creationism and its more sophisticated cousin, evolution. A subject that has torn public schools apart for decades by parents who have more opinions than they do hours at work, apparently. A biologist, Dawkins makes the same tried and tested observations we've all heard for the side against an intelligent designer. If you learn something from his time on the subject, then cool. Or you could just watch the Discovery Channel... Chances are it'll look awesome and be narrated by that guy from the Ford commercials.
I am no longer agnostic, but rather just a really understanding atheist. An atheist who knows that more often than not I will find a really understanding individual of faith. Be it Christian, Muslim, Jew or Jedi... It turns out that our belief construct seldom interfere with our day to day lives. Rather they pop up at quiet times in the bar when some fuck wants to start up late night theology over shots of Crown Royal. Dawkins points out that an atheist can be morally sound without a personal God, and he's correct. Of course he's correct. Right and wrong exist whether or not God does.
This was subsequently the last book I bought on the subject. Thanks internet. If you are sound in your beliefs then I suggest spending your time else where with your reading. The faithful will just get pissed and the faithless will just become as delusional as those the book argues against. Those in the middle? Well, once you accept neither side will give you a true answer you'll realize that it's all about what leaves you in peace when going to bed at night. Also, I never did enroll in college. I opted for taking the money I saved for use on copious amounts of drugs and somewhere along the line I came out of the haze as an atheist who manages to hate other atheists. Magical summer. Shitty book.