Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as ‘Christ-killers’, no Northern Ireland ‘troubles’, no ‘honour killings’, no shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing gullible people of their money (’God wants you to give till it hurts’). Imagine no Taliban to blow up ancient statues, no public beheadings of blasphemers, no logging of female skin for the crime of showing an inch of it.
This is exactly the kind of book I was looking for. In this book, Richard Dawkins answers most of the questions I have been asking myself. And others have asked me similar questions during my infamous “does god exist?” debates, which I have stopped having cause they all end up very badly.
Here are some of the questions that this book explores:
- Agnosticism is a reasonable position, but isn’t atheism just as dogmatic as religious belief?
- Have philosophers and theologians have put forward good reasons to believe in God?
- Isnt’ it obvious that God must exist, for how else could the world have come into being?
- How else could there be life, in all its rich diversity, with every species looking uncannily as though it had been ‘designed’?
- Is religious belief necessary in order for us to have justifiable morals?
- Don’t we need God, in order to be good?
- Is religion as a good thing for the world, even if you yourself have lost your faith?
The answer to all the above questions is a BIG NO, and the book tries to give very strong arguments.
Reading books on PC has its advantages: Instant google, post excerpts and opinion on blog, all while reading the book.