The Dawkins Delusion?

Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
Author(s): 
Alister McGrath
Joanna Collicutt McGrath
Copyright: 
2007
Publisher: 
IVP Books , An Imprint of InterVarsity Press
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
118 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Cogent, concise, and coherent, that is The Dawkins Delusion.

Written as a response to The God Delusion, Alister McGrath takes Richard Dawkins head on. A former atheist, Alister, along with his wife Joanna, convincingly demonstrate the errors of Richard Dawkins's atheism. Equal to the task, Alister received a doctorate in molecular biophysics and presently is a professor of historical theology at Oxford University (where Dawkins also teaches).

An admirer of Dawkins's earlier work, The Selfish Gene, McGrath clearly points out that Dawkins has diverged into new territory with his diatribe against God, resulting in erroneous conclusions.

McGrath considers himself an "evidence-based" thinker (like Dawkins), yet ultimately his conclusions are vastly different than Dawkins.

Ironically, although Dawkins considers himself an evidence-based thinker, The God Delusion is anything but. As McGrath states, . . ."Dawkins simply offers the atheist equivalent of slick hellfire preaching, substituting turbocharged rhetoric and highly selective manipulation of facts for careful, evidence-based thinking."

McGrath goes on to state, "The book [The God Delusion] is often little more than an aggregation of convenient factoids suitably overstated to achieve maximum impact and loosely arranged to suggest that they constitute an argument."

Because of this, McGrath says, "Every one of Dawkins's misrepresentations and overstatements can be challenged and corrected." Rather than correct him point for point, McGrath instead chooses to pick "representative points" to discuss.

Answering Dawkins's flawed argumentation, McGrath demonstrates that God is not a delusion created by a deluded people, science has not disproved God, that science need not be locked in a battle with religion unto death and that they can actually be compatible with one another, God is not based on superstitious beliefs, not all religions are the same, and that Christianity is not evil.

McGrath reminds Dawkins that in our modern times there have already existed societies which have sought to stamp out religion, resulting in great, evil atrocities.

Not a heavy handed treatise, but a highly accessible answer to Dawkins's ranting and raving, The Dawkins Delusion? makes for an enlightening, educating, and entertaining read.

Perspective: 
Judeo-Christian
Additional notes: 

This would be an ideal resource for the student heading off to a secular college, who may encounter those who will attack his Christian beliefs based on atheistic notions.

Review Date: 
8-26-2008
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