Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

book of april: the god delusion

3 Comments

Here it is! I know you’ve been waiting.

This month I chose to listen to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It was an…..interesting book. To say the least. Dawkins comes right out and states that he’s trying to convince his reader that God doesn’t exist.

Good luck sir.

I’m not entirely sure how effective this book is at completing this goal. First, I’m not sure how many people are going to read this book who are in that middle ground, of unconvinced belief. These seem to be the readers that Dawkins aims his arguments towards, and supposedly would be the readers that would be most open to Dawkins’ ideas. That’s not to say he doesn’t make very compelling arguments, with a little humor thrown in. (At times making fun of the reader who believes in God, which may not be the most effective method…)

People who are completely convinced of their belief are either going to disregard it as heresy (or just plain old crap), become extremely offended (and write an intelligently worded letter to the author), or not really care – because it doesn’t have anything to do with them, the author clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of faith.

Basically what I took away from the book was a strong desire to speak to my Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. friends and see what they think of the book. (Clearly you’d have to read/listen/absorb through osmosis the book first.) But I’m really curious as to what you all would think of the book, so seriously, consider it. I apologize if Dawkins offends you. He’s not the gentlest of authors all the time. Anyway, I think we could have a ridiculously interesting conversation about this book – in my humble opinion.

Some fun facts I did learn from the book:

  • Of the 25 cities with the lowest rates of violent crime 62% are in blue Democrat states, and 38% are in red Republican states.
  • Of the 25 most dangerous cities 76% are in red states and 24% are in blue states.
  • 3 of the 5 most dangerous cities in the US are in Texas.
  • 12 states with the highest rates of burglary are red.
  • 24 of the 29 states with the highest rates of theft are red.
  • Of the 22 states with the highest rates of murder, 17 are red.

This isn't necessarily the map used in reference to the book, and some states may not correspond to Dawkins' statistics, but it gives you the idea.

(Note: the US does the color coding differently than the rest of the world. In the US red signifies conservative states, and blue represents those on the political left – confusing, I know.)

  • In 1976 the US Supreme Court reversed the ban on the death penalty, since that date Texas has been responsible for one-third of all executions in all 50 states of the Union. Former president George W. Bush presided over more executions in Texas than any other governor in the state’s history. Averaging one death every nine days.

What did I learn from this book? Don’t live in a red state, especially not Texas.

(pictures found here and here respectively)

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3 thoughts on “book of april: the god delusion

  1. you should read Daniel Dennett:

    Consciousness Explained (Back Bay Books 1992)
    Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
    Kinds of Minds: Towards an Understanding of Consciousness (Basic Books 1997)

  2. i will (: thank you for the recommendations!!

  3. Pingback: eightteen. read a book a month | Enjoy Not Knowing

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