Pledge Successful

The pledge to send a copy of The God Delusion to every Westminster MP has succeeded (in fact, it’s now gone way beyond it’s target).

I’ve just order a copy from Amazon to be sent to Martin Linton, my MP. All of the books should arrive over the next week or so. The pledge organiser was trying to get some publicity for the campaign, so you might see something about it in the press in the coming days.

I hope the MPs read the book. I have to feel sorry for the the person who sent a copy to Ian Paisley. I suspect that might be a wasted tenner.

4 thoughts on “Pledge Successful

  1. It’s such a shame that The God Delusion was the chosen book for the exercise. I wish that atheists (of which I am one) would realise that this particular book offers a very poorly-argued case.Whichever side of the theism/atheism debate you are on, poor-quality work of this nature does nobody any favours.As I see it, anyone who is convinced of the case for atheism based on this book almost certainly has very weak critical thinking skills. Any decent undergrad could shoot holes in this material like shooting fish in a barrel!Frankly, I see the book as a polemic on a par with the sort of material that religious fundamentalists put out. Rhetoric A+, logic E-. A shame really, because I bought this book as soon as it came out and really wanted to like it.For more on why this book has rightly received a great deal of criticism, please see my comments on another of Dave’s posts and in particular a short book which gives a more in-depth critique of The God Delusion (not of the theism/atheism debate itself): “The Dawkins Delusion”, by Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath. ISBN 0281059276I think it’s time the atheist side of this discussion acknowledges the weaknesses of The God Delusion and rallies around a better text. Maybe Dawkins could write a massively revised second edition, which learns from the criticism his first edition has received. Even better, he could co-author it with McGrath (a critic) so as to strengthen his arguments. (They’re both at Oxford, so a few nice high-table dinners should do the job!) Or maybe a text like “Atheism: A Very Short Introduction” from Oxford University Press might be more rigourous in its treatment (I haven’t read it so I can’t say).

  2. Ian’s feedback is useful.I’m currently reading Carl Sagan’s “The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God” ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Varieties-Scientific-Experience-Personal-Search/dp/1594201072/ref=sr_1_1/202-1415936-4334229?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175686339&sr=8-1 )I find it quite more readable than God delusion and highly recommend it for sharing with people wanting more insight into atheism, science and theology

  3. There was certainly some discussion about whether or not Dawkins’ book was the best one to choose. You can see that if you go back to near the start of the comments thread for the pledge.But, of course, the pledge was set up on the basis that The God Delusion would be the book in question so, once people had started signing it was impossible to change it. There are obviously enough people in the country who disagree with your view of Dawkins’ book.I haven’t read McGrath’s book yet, but I intend to. I’ll probably get it from my library. You realise that McGrath has now written two books debunking Dawkins’ writings on atheism. You might start to wonder why he doesn’t have anything more constructive to spend his time on :-)

  4. I think it’s reasonable for a professional academic to offer a critique of populist writing in his subject area – it is his day job, after all! It’s especially important when the populist writer in question happens to hold the Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

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