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Read and Discuss 'The God Delusion' (2006) by Richard Dawkins

  • Jun 30, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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THE GOD DELUSION, by R. DAWKINS                                                   I remember when this controversial book came out in 2006 and the amount of criticism (both positive and negative) it provoked. Like all great ideas that try and shift a paradigm. Only this time the paradigm is called God. (Clearly Dawkins is not the first to try to shift it - to try and kill God). This is indeed a book I always wanted to read.

What is a delusion? It's an idea, a construct, a shade - in my words -, which we firmly believe in despite the lack of proven and logical foundations. We can be all to a certain extent deluded, and even self-deluded. Have you ever heard someone say: 'I am very happy with the way I am - I am fully aware of the effects of my actions and words on others'? And then the next moment they knock down everything you do and how you do it? Or who criticises you because they 'love you'? Yes, self-deluded, self-complacent, arrogant, manipulative and passive aggressive.

The greatest and most insidious of these delusions which human kind has built and held on to for millennia is that of a god (or several gods), no matter the denomination - a delusion which has given some the authority to lead crusades, exterminate people and their lands, support genocide, control whole populations in their ignorance, imbue their children with doctrines which (in the name of love and a supernatural prize of everlasting life - yes passive aggressive again) have taught them fear, guilt, arrogance, ruined their sexuality, limited their mind and decreased their potential. 

These are some of the reasons why Dawkin's The God Delusion would be a great starting point for us to discuss further the God Paradigm and the consequences it has provoked in history and in the human psychology. Among us, the fervent Christian may want to discuss it and substantiate a God relevance and significance; the atheist may want to tear it apart; the agnostic may want to emphasise the irrelevance of whether there is a God or not and urge that there are more important, relevant and wider resonating problems we need to divert our attention to in this world of ours. Whatever your belief, it will be good to discuss openly.

See you there (Spoon), 30 June 2014, at 7pm

Rossella :-)


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Most enjoyable discussion. Many thanks Rossella and Steve for facilitating.
    Worth listening to Dawkins on podcast at:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9180871
    and to Francis Collins, head of Human Genome Project and author of The Language of God at:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9207913
    Dawkins at his best as a biologist in The Ancestors Tale
    and The Blind Watchmaker.

    1 · July 1, 2014

  • Rossella

    really enjoyable evenly spread discussion - good book but as I was told not the best by Dawkins ... we'll have to explore more. :-)

    July 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, won't be able to make it tonight, Unexpectedly have something due tomorrow.

    June 30, 2014

  • Rossella

    Hi all, can you please make sure that your RSVP is up to date? The group has grown from the original 12 to 15 and Spoon can only guarantee a table for 8 people max tomorrow or stretch to 10 max - so please if you might not come along can you change your RSVP - if on the other hand you are positive you'll be there, then stay a YES!! see you guys tomorrow. Rossella :-)

    June 29, 2014

  • Rossella

    You going to get one violet? If you do could you get one for me and I'll pay you back on Monday - also for the poetry one? Thanks, see you soon, Rxx

    June 23, 2014

  • Violet D.

    Richard Dawkins is going to be at the Book Festival on the 13th August at 4.30. He's going to be talking about his memoir. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning.

    June 23, 2014

  • Brian M.

    I support a secular state where religion is separated from government and law . I can understand Dawkins anger at bigotry but on page 284 he is fighting bigotry with his own brand of bigotry . See you on June 30th .

    June 20, 2014

  • Brian M.

    Page 284 para.2 Jesus family values... Dawkins takes the greatest words ever written by humankind and makes an alloy with the gutter of American comedy. In Luke 14:25-33 and Matthew 10:37-39 he is talking of us becoming part of the greater family of humankind.
    If you ever wondered why political candidates kiss babies , read Mark 10:13 and Luke 18:15 .

    June 20, 2014

    • Rossella

      Welcome to the bigger family is also the sentence that Herbalife use when you join their MLevel company (read pyramid structure) - words pronounced from the 'love promise' of belonging to the 'family' go a long way and blind a few - but not all thank 'god'.

      June 20, 2014

  • Rossella

    On reading Dawkin's The God delusion, this is the closest I can conceive a completely lay Providence in agreement with Goethe:
    'Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which KILLS countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no person could have dreamed would have come their way.
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. BOLDNESS has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.'
    On reading also Goethe in a lovely real tearoom in Northumbria with someone special. :-)

    June 18, 2014

  • Rossella

    Ok Alastair, I've added you as discussed. See you then and if you remember to take the Devine book ... I'd love to read it. :-)

    June 17, 2014

  • willie m.

    Thought I could make it, but am still travelling back from a long weekend- pity, I think it will be very interesting- will still carry on reading the book.

    June 4, 2014

  • Rossella

    The space above does not allow me to add links or photos for some strange ideas - maybe it's God's hand stopping the irrevent!?
    Available from £0.01p used :-)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/055277331X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400869729&sr=8-1&keywords=the+god+delusion

    May 23, 2014

  • Rossella

    Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL, born March 26, 1941 (age 73), is a biologist, evolutionist, agnostic (See: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism) and leftist/liberal. Most of Richard Dawkins' popular books have promoted evolutionary pseudoscience. Dawkins is also the former holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is an ardent opponent of religion, which he dismisses as mere superstition.

    May 23, 2014

  • Rossella

    There are so many critics pro and against Dawkins, it is really worth researching on some of their opinions to have a fuller discussion.
    However check podcast:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9180871

    May 23, 2014

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