Friday, November 03, 2006

I was going to post on The God Delusion, and then I wasn't, and then Steve mentioned Dawkins peripherally, and I thought I should say something myself.

Posting on the book seems to require little explanation; it's a decent book, and certainly succeeds in "consciousness-raising" or what have you--getting people's backs up, more or less. But it's strangely at right angles to the actual problems and questions of theism, let alone religion. I don't really need a new critique of Aquinas' five ways, and if I did I'd go elsewhere. Dawkins' misunderstanding of some fundamental tenets of theology leads to some amusing statements.

This is not to say that he hasn't a point. He has an enormous number of them, but he makes so many so loudly that catching the babies in this sea of bathwater is no easy task.

So much for saying something. As for not saying something: reading the book I started thinking about Richard Dawkins. What sort of e-mails he must get, the sort of horrible Case for a Creator nonsense he must hear day in, day out until frankly you could just shoot somebody. Heaven knows I feel that way often enough. So I decided that, since the book isn't for me anyway, I didn't have anything to add to the discussion. Richard Dawkins must be very tired. He's become a sort of avatar of atheism, and if that isn't an unpleasant irony I don't know what is. I repent of the petty nastiness back during the introduction of "bright", and I look forward to his next book on evolution and biology.


Steve Bodio said...

Did you happen to see Terry Eagleton's
scathing review of the book in the London Review of Books? Marxist Eagleton channels Catholic theology to blast Dawkins, and lands some solid hits, especially that Dawkins really knows little about religion. Weird. I may link to it and you later.

Odious said...

Heh. Yeah, I saw the review. I think Eagleton was a little unfair (can he tell us much about medieval pin-dancing theology?), but very funny. But the nastiest reviews I've seen have been from Dawkins' fellow-travelers.