Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The God Delusion

Am most of the way through reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. 

For those who would take the Bible literally, Dawkins begins his Bible-focused chapter with this intro:


There are two ways in which scripture might be a source of morals or rules for living.  One is by direct instruction, for example through the Ten Commandments, which are the subject of such bitter contention in the culture wars of America's boondocks.  The other is by example: God, or some other biblical character, might serve as a role model.  Both scriptural routes, if followed through religiously, encourage a system of morals which any civilized modern person, whether religious or not, would find--I can put it no more gently--obnoxious.


To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and "improved" by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.


The rest of the chapter is a scientist's systematic dismantling of the literal interpretation of the "good book" to probe religious points.  An excellent read for skeptics.

 

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