timepiececlock: (Rashaka is my name)
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I listened to Richard Dawkin's audiobook of The God Delusion the last few days. It's only 5 discs, so I breezed through it. I found that while I generally agreed with most of his opinions and refutations, he has a sanctimonious voice that turned me off. I also get that this was part of his point, but it still sometimes distanced me from his POV.

I don't have any hard hitting comments to make, and except for a few bits of trivia, nothing in it was particularly new. Since I've always been an atheist, I wasn't the target audience and didn't need to be converted. I took it more as a set of examples for how to counter pro-theistic arguments.

One thing that did hit me with a surprise left hook was the chapter about religion and the fear of Hell being imposed on children. In my personal case, I come from a non-church-going mildly Christian father and an agnostic mother. Together, they produced one non-church-going mildly Christian child, and me. I was listening to the book in the car, and when I got home I went into the garden and deliberately thanked my mother for never--in all of my remembered childhood--telling me that I was in danger of going to Hell. I never had the fear of Hell put into me by family, not even a little, and I've come out of that a morally grounded and conscientious person who regularly does community service. So that worked out just fine. Thanks Mom, Dad!

Date: 2009-06-25 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gojira007.livejournal.com
I've yet to read "The God Delusion", but I did read a similar book, "Letter To a Christian Nation". There's something very conflicting for me when it comes to Religious Debate, because I'm an atheist through and through, but I ultimately know too many good, kind people whose lives are bettered by Religion to call it a bad thing. Yet every time I see Christian Values trying to be force-fed to the whole country to the detriment of what I believe to be the moral imperatives of the Nation, my blood boils. It's...really frustrating, sometimes. =/

I also encounterd a similar "sanctimonious voice" problem with "Letter..." as you did with "Delusion"; like you, it distanced me from the author and thus served to undermine the points he was trying to make. Still, at the end of the day, those points still had real meat to them.

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