Read: The God Delusion

“The plural of anecdote is not data.” This is a quote from Dawkin’s The God Delusion making the case for a more scientific approach to Life, the Universe and Everything. Unfortunately most of his points are supported by just these anecdotes. There is also a lot of name dropping as if a point (generalizing to all members of a group) becomes more valid if a more prominent representative of a group can be shown as an example.

At one point he concedes that he, from that point on, has to use rhetoric rather than logic to make his case. That came as a bit of a surprise: In my opinion he relies mostly on rhetoric in his book and very little on explicitly applied logic. Many things seem so obviously evident to him that he does not spell them out. I missed that. I would have needed it. The God Delusion lacks the brilliance of The Selfish Gene. Dawkins jumps from point to point without discussing them in sufficient depth, ultimately failing to convince, sometimes rambling on minor issues, getting side-tracked, and losing the reader: me.

I agree with Dawkins on most issues. We do not need religion as a moral guide. There is undeserved respect towards religion. Religion and science do not mix (well). Most importantly, the mental abuse, the indoctrination of easily impressed children that is part of religious upbringing is bad, bad, bad. I agreed with him on these points before I read the God Delusion not because of it.