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The Dawkins Delusion? by Alister McGrath

The Dawkins Delusion? (2007)

by Alister McGrath, Joanna Collicutt McGrath

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Although I have not read The God Delusions, I did find the McGrath's rebuttal to one of Dawkins' most famous and contested works interesting and useful in rebutting points that flow from or originate from readings of Dawkins' book.

The Dawkins' Delusion? is much shorter than Dawkin's book, and in around one hundred pages succinctly rebuts and deconstructs Dawkins' arguments. The McGrath's book also rightly accuses Dawkins of turning into the very fundamentalist he loathes: for Dawkins has abandoned his rationality and impartiality that science brings to adopt an ironically fundamentalist viewpoint vis-à-vis atheism.

Of course, this book will be subject to its own controversy as any book about such a subject would. Nevertheless, this is a handy book to further debunk the already-stale argument that faith and science are not compatible. ( )
1 vote xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
The best thing that can be said for "The Dawkins Delusion?" is that at under 100 pages, it didn't waste too much of my time. To save you from wasting any of yours, let me summarize (and paraphrase): "Dawkins makes hateful baseless claims and ignores evidence that cuts against his position." If you're hoping for this book to say more, you'll be sorely disappointed (though perhaps appreciative of the irony).I think perhaps I just need a break from this genre, for it has gotten to feel like a horribly juvenile case of "he said, she said." Here are some of my major critiques of this particular installment:As I already implied, the authors mirror many of the things they criticize about Dawkins. For instance, they chastise his use of religious extremists examples as being representative of the faithful as a whole. Which is fair, until they respond in kind: "Atheism must indeed be in a sorry state if its leading contemporary defender has to depend so heavily--and so obviously--on the improbable and the false to bolster his case." I'm not sure who on either side would consider Dawkins to be representative of atheists as a whole, making the authors, at best, hypocritical (at worst - dare I say - deluded).Other parts of the book are merely irrelevant: "I subsequently found myself persuaded that Christianity was a much more interesting and intellectually exciting worldview than atheism." Perhaps law school has gotten the best of me, but I am desperately waiting for the "And therefore..." Who cares about what is interesting or exciting? I thought this was a discussion about what is "right," or at the least, what is well argued.Finally, the "I was a believer-turned-atheist" or "I was an atheist-turned believer" claim is 1) completely overdone, and 2) entirely unpersuasive. I'll stop there because this is a review, not a rebuttal, but hopefully these observations underpin at least some of the weaknesses I saw in this book. ( )
4 vote Drifter83 | Dec 23, 2010 |
Reads like a very personal attack on Dawkins- why on earth should Dawkins know anything about the details of one paricular belief system?. So he doesn't know all about Christian theology - he doesnt know all about the theology of The Invisible Pink Unicorn either. On even days I am atheist and on odd days polytheist/pagan and another issue i have with this (thankfully short) rant is that it is agressively monotheist and christian at that- where are the other world views.
Nastily personal rant against Dawkins ( )
4 vote wendyrey | May 5, 2010 |
An incisive and often slashing response to Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion." The McGraths do not focus on the minutiae of all the arguments but instead systematically anayze Dawkins' main arguments and demonstrate the major fallacies and weaknesses therein.

Dawkins is exposed as merely the atheist reflection of the "fundamentalists" he despises. He ridicules and mocks that which concerning he is fantastically ignorant while proving entirely unwilling to subject his ideas and presentation to the critical, skeptical review to which he subjects religion. His arguments are exposed for being irrational and dogmatic, highly simplified, even naive, and a colossal affront to not just religious persons but also atheists who know better.

As McGrath postulates in the end, perhaps Dawkins' rabid atheist fundamentalism signifies that he is losing his grip on his atheist worldview that can not dare to be challenged or exposed for its naivete and for being out of touch with reality.

If you were possibly able to be in any way convinced by of Dawkins' arguments, you must consider this book! ( )
3 vote deusvitae | Apr 11, 2010 |
Written by Alistair Mc Grath once an atheist himself with a doctorate in molecular biophysics, this book is well written, easy to read, polite and well argued. He does not argue the case for Christianity. He merely goes out to provide a reasoned response to Dawkins and does so extremely well. Particularly useful for all to read is his comment on religion and violence. ( )
2 vote docliz | Jan 2, 2010 |
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Alister McGrathprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGrath, Joanna Collicuttmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Introduction -- Since the publication of The Selfish Gene (1976), Richard Dawkins has established himself as one of the most successful and skillful scientific popularizers. Along with his American colleague Stephen Jay Gould, he has managed to make evolutionary biology accessible and interesting to a new generation of readers. I and other admirers of his popular scientific works have long envied their clarity, their beautiful use of helpful analogies, and their entertaining style.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 083083446X, Hardcover)

World-renowned scientist Richard Dawkins writes in "If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down." The volume has received wide coverage, fueled much passionate debate and caused not a little confusion.

Alister McGrath, along with his wife Joanna, are ideal to evaluate Dawkins's ideas. Once an atheist himself, he gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian. He wonders how two people, who have reflected at length on substantially the same world, could possibly have come to such different conclusions about God. McGrath subjects Dawkins's critique of faith to rigorous scrutiny. His exhilarating, meticulously argued response deals with questions such as

Is faith intellectual nonsense?
Are science and religion locked in a battle to the death?
Can the roots of Christianity be explained away scientifically?
Is Christianity simply a force for evil?

This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of and the many questions it raises--including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:01 -0400)

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"Alister McGrath is ideally placed to evaluate Dawkins' ideas. Once an atheist himself, he gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian. He wonders how two people, who have reflected at length on substantially the same world, could possibly have come to such different conclusions about God. McGrath subjects Dawkins' critique of faith to rigorous scrutiny. This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raises - including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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