Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dawkins' God

I just finished reading Dawkins' God by Alister McGrath.

(I earlier referred to McGrath's critique of Dawkins here.)

McGrath is very nice about Dawkins and very humble about what he himself is achieving in this book, but he completely rips Dawkins' arguments about God to shreds. In doing so, he covers a lot of ground - history of evolutionary theory, genetics, Dawkins' own ideas about the selfish gene and the meme, the history of the science / religion debate, philosophy of science. And there's a long long way to go before any of my efforts even get vaguely near that kind of standard.

He doesn't even bother fighting on the biology; he doesn't need to.

As a readable critique of Dawkins and atheistic scientism in general, this is excellent. As an introduction to the fields raised, it's good too. And it's not just aimed at Christians.


DFH said...

I've just ordered this title from my local lending library. Other readers of this blog might care to do the same.

Ordering a book like this sometimes results in the library purchasing it, which has the advantage that other library members will get to see the title and read it too.

A very low key form of evangelism or pre-evangelism, to be sure, but one that could bear fruit in Christian influence on society.

And compared to buying the book, it is a very cheap way to get to read it. £0.50 if they have it in the area already, £1.50 if they use interlibrary loan.

Anonymous said...

Try reading some Dawkins directly. Your theism should be able to handle the strain. After that, I recommend you read Origin of Species. Then see what you think. Darwin started his journey as a fundamentalist Christian, did you realise that?

John said...

I'd hardly call Darwin a fundamentalist. Mind you, I'd hardly call me a fundamentalist either, with the way the word tends to be used these days.

As I recall, Darwin lost his faith through being unable to come to terms with the death of his daughter. Sad story... I don't see what Darwin wrote as a challenge to faith really though - neither does McGrath.

Dawkins, on the other hand, is very good at polemic and behaviourism, but not so hot at theology. Tell you what, if you read McGrath, I'll read a Dawkins of your choice and review it on here.

Steven Carr said...

Of course, Dawkin's strongest and most explicit argument is in his chapter 'God's Utility Function', in 'River out of Eden.;

McGrath never dares take it on.

Or even dare tell his reader that it exists.

Which is one reason why Christians hardly ever use McGrath's book when debating atheists.

It just doesn't answer the question of why God created animals , designed to tear each other to pieces.