Saturday, May 2, 2015

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

I admit that after reading numerous Chetan Bhagat's and Dan Brown's, Richard Dawkin's seemed so abstruse that it took me a year to complete! But finally after lots of procrastination I completed reading "The God Delusion". Intention behind perusing this book was never to convert to atheism but to come across their view point. Like, if not God, who exactly do they think is controlling this whole big-ass universe. After completing the book I can quite confidently say that their points are quite convincing.

I would not say that I am completely an atheist now, but yes this book changed me from being an agnostic theist to an agnostic atheist. However, this in no way signifies that I cannot live with people who worship deities. After all, I have been raised in a family with deep religious roots. It just means that my belief has evolved over time and I don't want to impose that on anyone else as opposed to most of our religious leaders.

The book is a masterpiece. It more or less conveys that simply saying "God created universe" is just an easy escape from comprehending a much bigger force that actually did it. The logic behind why we presume some acts as miracle and how religion as a concept came into the world are very well complemented with a scientific outlook and accurate data points. Personally, I liked "God of gaps" hypothesis a lot. Reminds me of Niel De Grasse Tyson's comment, "God is the receding pocket of scientific ignorance". 

I also liked many other quotes in the book, listing some of them below:

"The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next - Ralph Waldo Emerson"

"Any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligence, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion; and, as later chapters will show, a pernicious delusion"

"Can omniscient God, who
knows the future, find
the omnipotence to
change His future mind? - Karen Owens"

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish"

"What if God is a scientist who regards honest seeking after the truth as the supreme virtue? Indeed, wouldn't the designer of the universe have to be a scientist? Bertrand Russel was asked what he would say if he dies and found himself confronted by God, demanding to know why Russell had not believed him. "Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence', was Rusell's reply. Mightn't God respect Russell for his courageous scepticism far more than he would respect Pascal for his cowardly bet-hedging? .. Would you bet on God's valuing dishonestly faked belief (or even honest belief) over honest scepticism?"

"Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it."

"Those people who leap from personal bafflement at a natural phenomenon that straight to a hasty invocation of the supernatural are no better than the fools who see a conjurer bend a spoon and leap to the conclusion that it is 'paranormal'."

"God and country are unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed - Luis Bunuel"

“Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.”

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