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Der Gotteswahn
Der Gotteswahn
von Richard Dawkins
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,90

17 von 64 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Impossibly naive ..., 9. Juli 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Der Gotteswahn (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Dawkins certainly has a knack for drawing attention to the bizarre, particularly in the religious arena. But as for the arguments themselves? Christianity must be defined by Jesus Christ, not by anyone who chooses to adopt the name "Christian".

Anyone who reads the New Testament can see that its teaching in no way supports the bizarre examples adduced by Dawkins, such as the Crusades, bombing abortion clinics, or persecuting people with homosexual tendencies. And the idea that atheistic morality is superior to New Testament morality is obviously false. Even in my extreme antiChristian days, I could see that. Where do the ideals of liberal humanism come from? Apart from sexual ethics, from the New Testament itself.

It is ironic that the key chapter of the entire book, "Why there almost certainly is no God", is probably the weakest of all; this is chapter 4, of which Dawkins himself wrote: "This chapter has contained the central argument of my book" (Dawkins' p.187). If you doubt the weakness of Dawkins' arguments here, just try copying out all the key paragraphs of this chapter by hand word-for-word, as I did, and you will see what I mean!

Dawkins explores the issues of God's existence via the idea of the Ultimate Boeing 747. The idea is that a Being as complex as God can have come about only at the end of a long process of evolutionary development. The punch line is: "Who designed God?"
However, this argument assumes a number of things. It already assumes the truth of "evolution" by natural selection. It assumes that "evolution" must necessarily result in increasing complexity as it goes on. It assumes that it must necessarily produce improved or "optimized" entities. It assumes that nothing can exist in and of itself without origin, which is an argument by analogy from what we see around us.
But, clearly, a person who accepts the existence of a single Creator God would not believe in God if He were not conceived as unique to start with. The concept of God assumes certain things about God: that He is infinite, eternal, omnipresent, and so on. People may wish to dispute these, but the fact remains that God is assumed to be Creator. If He is not, then He is not worthy of worship - not really even worth bothering with.
So the conclusion of Dawkins' logic is already built into its premise. Because he has already programmed his assumptions into the point from which the argument proceeds, it is inevitable that the conclusion reached will be one that he favours. As Dawkins himself would say: "Garbage in, Garbage out" (p.133).
Obviously Dawkins is perfectly entitled not to believe in God's existence - that's up to him. But it is less than honest to pretend that he has succeeded in arguing logically for the extreme improbability of God's existence.

Dawkins has tried to equate the ID (Irreducible Complexity) argument with `the God of the gaps'. But how could there be a gradual transition between walking on all fours and walking upright? The instability of the socket in transitional forms would make this impossible. But here, Dawkins has virtually admitted that his "consciousness" has been "raised" to such an extent that he is willing to put his faith in the process: "There's got to be a series of advantages all the way ... . If you can't think of one, then that's your problem, not natural selection's problem. Natural selection - well, I suppose that is a sort of matter of faith on my part since the theory is so coherent and so powerful." (Dawkins interviewed by Jonathan Miller, in: *The Final Hour* (BBC2, 14/11/2005).)

Again Dawkins wants to argue that the "anthropic principle" [AP] makes the need for a Creator redundant. One can almost imagine his foot stamping as he argues that design and AP are incompatible: "They are *alternatives*" (p.164)! It is as if Dawkins were saying: You better believe it because I am a scientist and I'm telling you! So, wishing to remain Darwin-sounding, he opts for the controversial "multiverse theory" - and if you don't believe him, it's because you haven't had your "consciousness raised" by Darwin. In the light of Dawkins' support for the strong anthropic principle, it is interesting to read Roger Penrose's comment (from 1989): "the strong anthropic principle has a somewhat dubious character, and it tends to be invoked by theorists whenever they do not have a good enough theory to explain the observed facts" (The Emperor's New Mind, p.561)

Dawkins also seems to assume that Natural Selection is identical with Evolution. Natural Selection is something which can be tested scientifically as it is a process. Evolution, on the other hand, is merely an accepted paradigm, which requires, for example, that human beings "evolved" out of some ancestor of apes. Natural Selection occurs through the same mechanisms found when people interbreed different types of dogs or cats. This is how Darwin discovered the idea, even without a knowledge of genetics. The information has to be there in the DNA for Natural Selection to work. Natural Selection does not generate new genetic material.

In reality, Dawkins assumes something as a fact, and then tries to use as a proof the very point that he is trying to establish. We all know that theists do this, but at least they are honest about what they are doing. But Dawkins claims that he holds the logical high ground.

In my view, the best critique of Dawkins' book is David Robertson's "The Dawkins Letters" which consists of the author's own letters posted on the Dawkins website. The author replies to Dawkins' chapter-by-chapter and has a knack of getting to the nub of the issue each time. This seems to me easily the most thorough critique of "The God Delusion" currently available in book-form.


The Selfish Gene
The Selfish Gene
von Richard Dawkins
  Taschenbuch

9 von 73 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Blind theorizing, 9. Juli 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Selfish Gene (Taschenbuch)
Dawkins writes that "the argument of this book is that we, and all other animals, are machines created by our genes" (p.xxi) and that "We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes" (p.xxi). Yet, according to him, this book "is not science fiction; it is science" (p.xxi)!

Dawkins contrives to overlook the twin discoveries that:
1. the observable traits of organisms are mostly conditioned by the interactions of many genes;
2. most genes have multiple effects on many of these traits.

Dawkins transfers characteristics with which he is familiar from human behaviour on the macro-level to the inanimate components, "genes", of which we are physically constructed. He then proceeds to argue that these impersonal entities, which he imagines to possess characteristically human traits, infallibly generate the same unpleasant traits in human behaviour on the macro-level. So he writes: "The gene is the basic unit of selfishness" (p.36).

The absurdity is evident in that genes or other nonconscious entities cannot be either selfish or unselfish. They cannot "compete" against anything or "choose" anything.

If Dawkins were right, what would be the point of declaring, as he does: "Let us try to *teach* generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish" (p.3)? For if we really were machines, as he believes, even these very concepts would be meaningless to us. And certainly his oratory could have no effect whatever on our actual behaviour.

In fact genes do not force us to behave in any particular way. Neither can they possess the ability to direct or to comprehend all that is required to adopt a course of either heartless selfishness or heartfelt, sacrificial compassion.
Kommentar Kommentare (2) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Jul 25, 2014 3:12 AM MEST


Das egoistische Gen (German Edition)
Das egoistische Gen (German Edition)
von Richard Dawkins
  Taschenbuch

13 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Blind theorizing, 9. Juli 2008
Dawkins writes that "the argument of this book is that we, and all other animals, are machines created by our genes" (p.xxi) and that "We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes" (p.xxi). Yet, according to him, this book "is not science fiction; it is science" (p.xxi)!

Dawkins contrives to overlook the twin discoveries that:
1. the observable traits of organisms are mostly conditioned by the interactions of many genes;
2. most genes have multiple effects on many of these traits.

Dawkins transfers characteristics with which he is familiar from human behaviour on the macro-level to the inanimate components, "genes", of which we are physically constructed. He then proceeds to argue that these impersonal entities, which he imagines to possess characteristically human traits, infallibly generate the same unpleasant traits in human behaviour on the macro-level. So he writes: "The gene is the basic unit of selfishness" (p.36).

The absurdity is evident in that genes or other nonconscious entities cannot be either selfish or unselfish. They cannot "compete" against anything or "choose" anything.

If Dawkins were right, what would be the point of declaring, as he does: "Let us try to *teach* generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish" (p.3)? For if we really were machines, as he believes, even these very concepts would be meaningless to us. And certainly his oratory could have no effect whatever on our actual behaviour.

In fact genes do not force us to behave in any particular way. Neither can they possess the ability to direct or to comprehend all that is required to adopt a course of either heartless selfishness or heartfelt, sacrificial compassion.
Kommentar Kommentare (4) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Jan 12, 2016 1:34 PM CET


White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (P.S.)
White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (P.S.)
von Shelby Steele
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,44

5.0 von 5 Sternen Perceptive as ever ..., 25. April 2008
Clear discernment of a wrong turn taken after the Civil Rights victories of the mid 1960s. See what I mean by reading these quotes:

'Black America faced two options. We could seize on the great freedom we had just won in the civil rights victories and advance through education, skill development, and entrepreneurialism combined with an unbending assault on any continuing discrimination; or we could go after these things indirectly by pressuring the society that had wronged us into taking the lion's share of responsibility in resurrecting us. The new black militancy that exploded everywhere in the late sixties - and that came to define the strategy for black advancement for the next four decades - grew out of black America's complete embrace of the latter option.' (p.58)

'Authentic black militancy, of the sort that Malcolm X at times seemed capable of, always embraced responsibility as power itself. It demanded only the freedom and equal treatment under the law that would allow responsibility to be the same fount of hope, power, and advancement in blacks that it was for others. If Malcolm X railed ferociously against white America, he never called for a redistribution of responsibility for black uplift to whites or American institutions. His was a self-help black militancy that was naturally sceptical about what others would actually do for blacks. You might call it "hard-work" militancy, since it was built around the difficult principles of self-sacrifice, delayed gratification, family unity, individual initiative, entrepreneurialism, and so on. ... . What made this militancy authentic was that it truly sought to restore an oppressed people to human dignity through real development and without an enmeshment with or dependency on the guilt of whites.' (pp.59, 60)

Everyone should read this!


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
von Richard Dawkins
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,10

23 von 111 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Impossibly naïve, 3. September 2007
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The God Delusion (Taschenbuch)
Dawkins certainly has a knack for drawing attention to the bizarre, particularly in the religious arena. But as for the arguments themselves? Christianity must be defined by Jesus Christ, not by anyone who chooses to adopt the name "Christian".

Anyone who reads the New Testament can see that its teaching in no way supports the bizarre examples adduced by Dawkins, such as the Crusades, bombing abortion clinics, or persecuting people with homosexual tendencies. And the idea that atheistic morality is superior to New Testament morality is obviously false. Even in my extreme antiChristian days, I could see that. Where do the ideals of liberal humanism come from? Apart from sexual ethics, from the New Testament itself.

It is ironic that the key chapter of the entire book, "Why there almost certainly is no God", is probably the weakest of all; this is chapter 4, of which Dawkins himself wrote: "This chapter has contained the central argument of my book" (Dawkins' p.187). If you doubt the weakness of Dawkins' arguments here, just try copying out all the key paragraphs of this chapter by hand word-for-word, as I did, and you will see what I mean!

Dawkins explores the issues of God's existence via the idea of the Ultimate Boeing 747. The idea is that a Being as complex as God can have come about only at the end of a long process of evolutionary development. The punch line is: "Who designed God?"
However, this argument assumes a number of things. It already assumes the truth of "evolution" by natural selection. It assumes that "evolution" must necessarily result in increasing complexity as it goes on. It assumes that it must necessarily produce improved or "optimized" entities. It assumes that nothing can exist in and of itself without origin, which is an argument by analogy from what we see around us.
But, clearly, a person who accepts the existence of a single Creator God would not believe in God if He were not conceived as unique to start with. The concept of God assumes certain things about God: that He is infinite, eternal, omnipresent, and so on. People may wish to dispute these, but the fact remains that God is assumed to be Creator. If He is not, then He is not worthy of worship - not really even worth bothering with.
So the conclusion of Dawkins' logic is already built into its premise. Because he has already programmed his assumptions into the point from which the argument proceeds, it is inevitable that the conclusion reached will be one that he favours. As Dawkins himself would say: "Garbage in, Garbage out" (p.133).
Obviously Dawkins is perfectly entitled not to believe in God's existence - that's up to him. But it is less than honest to pretend that he has succeeded in arguing logically for the extreme improbability of God's existence.

Dawkins has tried to equate the ID (Irreducible Complexity) argument with `the God of the gaps'. But how could there be a gradual transition between walking on all fours and walking upright? The instability of the socket in transitional forms would make this impossible. But here, Dawkins has virtually admitted that his "consciousness" has been "raised" to such an extent that he is willing to put his faith in the process: "There's got to be a series of advantages all the way ... . If you can't think of one, then that's your problem, not natural selection's problem. Natural selection - well, I suppose that is a sort of matter of faith on my part since the theory is so coherent and so powerful." (Dawkins interviewed by Jonathan Miller, in: *The Final Hour* (BBC2, 14/11/2005).)

Again Dawkins wants to argue that the "anthropic principle" [AP] makes the need for a Creator redundant. One can almost imagine his foot stamping as he argues that design and AP are incompatible: "They are *alternatives*" (p.164)! It is as if Dawkins were saying: You better believe it because I am a scientist and I'm telling you! So, wishing to remain Darwin-sounding, he opts for the controversial "multiverse theory" - and if you don't believe him, it's because you haven't had your "consciousness raised" by Darwin. In the light of Dawkins' support for the strong anthropic principle, it is interesting to read Roger Penrose's comment (from 1989): "the strong anthropic principle has a somewhat dubious character, and it tends to be invoked by theorists whenever they do not have a good enough theory to explain the observed facts" (The Emperor's New Mind, p.561)

Dawkins also seems to assume that Natural Selection is identical with Evolution. Natural Selection is something which can be tested scientifically as it is a process. Evolution, on the other hand, is merely an accepted paradigm, which requires, for example, that human beings "evolved" out of some ancestor of apes. Natural Selection occurs through the same mechanisms found when people interbreed different types of dogs or cats. This is how Darwin discovered the idea, even without a knowledge of genetics. The information has to be there in the DNA for Natural Selection to work. Natural Selection does not generate new genetic material.

In reality, Dawkins assumes something as a fact, and then tries to use as a proof the very point that he is trying to establish. We all know that theists do this, but at least they are honest about what they are doing. But Dawkins claims that he holds the logical high ground.

In my view, the best critique of Dawkins' book is David Robertson's "The Dawkins Letters" which consists of the author's own letters posted on the Dawkins website. The author replies to Dawkins' chapter-by-chapter and has a knack of getting to the nub of the issue each time. This seems to me easily the most thorough critique of "The God Delusion" currently available in book-form.
Kommentar Kommentare (3) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Aug 3, 2009 8:26 PM MEST


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