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am 3. November 2006
Warum eigentlich...?

Das ist die zentrale Frage, der Richard Dawkins in seinem neuen Buch nachgeht.

Warum eigentlich räumen wir religiösen Ansichten so viel mehr Freiräume in unserer Gesellschaft ein, als anderen, nicht transzendenten Überzeugungen?

Warum erlauben wir, daß die Vorstellung - Dawkins spricht gar von einer Wahnvorstellung - anderer, ihr Schöpfergott erwarte ein bestimmtes Handeln von ihnen, unser Leben mitbestimmt.

Gründlich und mit großer Überzeugungskraft legt Dawkins dar, warum "Gott" weder eine gute noch eine nahe liegende Antwort auf die großen Fragen des Universums sein kann.

Um es mit seinen Worten zu sagen:

"Religion ist deshalb so gefährlich, weil sie uns lehrt damit zufrieden zu sein, daß wir nicht verstehen."

Ein durch und durch lesenswertes Buch, das trotz seiner teils harten Kritik die Sachebene nie verläßt.
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am 11. Juli 2007
Dieses Buch war überfällig: Wer sich mit dem Thema Religion schon befasst, die Bibel oder ein anderes der "heiligen Bücher" gelesen hat und bei eingermaßen wachen Verstand ist, sind sicherlich einige Widersprüche aufgefallen. Das Buch greift diese zwar auf und geht auch auf die möglichen Gründe ein, die in der Entstehungsgeschichte dieser literarischen Werke liegen; Dawkins lässt es aber nicht damit bewenden. Durch seine klare rationale aber auch schonungslose Argumentation widerlegt er jeden historischen Gottes"beweis" und lässt zum Genuss des Lesers bei den besonders schlechten Exemplaren auch schon mal sein satirisches Talent durchblitzen ("peerless stinker"). Jede nur denkbare religiöse Verteidigungslinie wird eingerissen, egal ob sie sich auf das Jenseits oder das Diesseits ("Quelle von Ordnung und Moral", "soziale Aspekte", "Nächstenliebe" etc.) bezieht. Dabei nimmt Dawkins kein Blatt vor den Mund, was dem Buch Würze verleiht und das Lesen flott voranschreiten lässt. Was Al Gore in "Assault on reason" beschreibend kritisiert, Sam Harris in "The end of faith" mit Zahlen und Fakten brandmarkt wird von Richard Dawkins rational analysiert und als unbegründet und widersinnig entlarvt. Das Buch ist deswegen so gefährlich, weil es Menschen, die gezweifelt haben, zu Atheisten macht und Atheisten die Argumentationsgrundlage bietet, um andere Menschen zu überzeugen. Der einzige Widerspruch bei Richard Dawkins: "The God Delusion" könnte zur "Bibel" der Atheisten werden...
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am 18. November 2006
Man kann natürlich fordern, dass nur ausgebildete Theologen mit Naturwissenschaftlern diskutieren dürfen - was darauf hinaus läuft, dass religiöse Standpunkte gar nicht mehr zur Debatte stehen.

Dies ist nur einer der vielen Punkte in Dawkins Buch.

Ich finde dieses Buch jedenfalls exzellent und habe eine Menge Anregungen bekommen. Der Stil ist flüssig und humorvoll (Dawkins ist Douglas Adams Fan!).
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am 16. November 2006
Was Dawkins mit diesem Buch getan hat ist einfach großartig. Sein Angriff auf die Idee eines Schöpfers ist nur ein Teil dessen, was Dawkins hier leistet. Hinter seiner Kritik des religiösen Glaubens steht ein zutieftst positiver Gedanke. Er steht ein für die Essenz menschlicher Fähigkeit: klare Vernunft.

Und die wichtigste Frucht eben dieser, so stellt Dawkins es ganz klar dar, ist die Wissenschaft. Er zeigt, daß die gleichzeitige Verpflichtung zu Vernunft und blindem Glauben zwangsweise in einem Widerspruch endet und er zeigt, wie blinder Glaube die Quelle der grausamsten Taten der Menschheit war und ist. Er liefert ein wichtiges Buch - wichtig, weil es zu einer Zeit erscheint, in der Nonsens wie Intelligent Design allen Ernstes als reale Alternative zu Wissenschaft und religiöse Gefühle als vertretbare Rechfertigung für Gewalt angesehen werden. Und es ist notwendig eine derartige Beleidigung der Vernunft an der Wurzel zu bekämpfen. Was Dawkins verteidigt, geht jeden etwas an, dem etwas an seinem Leben liegt.

Was an einer solchen Einstellung gerne kritisiert wird ist, daß sie intolerant ist. Diese Intoleranz jedoch entbehrt nicht jeglicher Grundlage, wie es bei Rassismus und religösem Fanatismus der Fall ist (was von Kritikern nur allzu gerne unter den Tisch gekehrt wird). Was Dawkins kritisiert ist das Verwerfen von klarem Beweismaterial zugunsten einer willkürlichen Theorie. Wer dies als gut befindet, dem ist nicht mehr zu helfen, denn er ist durch Vernunft nicht mehr zu erreichen.

Wer dieses Buch unter der Fahne von "Haha, man kann die Nichtexistenz Gottes nicht beweisen" angreift, hat nicht einmal im Ansatz verstanden, worum es Dawkins geht.
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am 29. September 2007
Finally someone who puts into words the line of thought I have slowly acquired after looking at the damage done by so called "fundamentalists" like George W.Bush and the religious organizations who voted for him.
My line of thought has been for years that if there was a God who created the earth and everything on it; why did He create so many animals that live only by killing other animals. Why not create peaceful plant eaters from the smallest creature in the oceans to the largest predators.
All could have been, God willing, peaceful plant eaters living side by side in paradise. I could also never understand how all human beings stem from Adam and Eve; in other words God allowed incest how else could we have multiplied.
All religions claim to be the One religion to be the true one; how can that be ?
Why would we think that only Christians know the true God ?
Sadly this whole story we know as the old testament is nothing but the phantasies of old men with long beards and the new testament is wishful thinking of a better world through a higher Being.
People are so blinded by their religion that they cannot see the wonders of nature striving to built a better world and having succeeded beyond all measure.
I stand in awe in front of a sequoia tree in sequoia park and look at an example of nature at its best. Older than any church, built without the help of any human being. Many times over a period of two thousand years have flames consumed all surrounding vegetation but the sequoia is protected by its bark that will not burn thanks to natures way.
I pity those readers who see the work of "Satan" in Dawkins writing and just smile at the naive person who offers a prayer to something that does not exist.
I pity those who shrink away in horror from the thought that there is no higher Being. Nature is my "Church" and I am crateful that nature has created me and given me a brain to think. What a waste to use this marvel that took nature millions of years to perfect on delusions of a God.
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am 21. Mai 2007
Having enjoyed and learned from many of Professor Dawkins' writings about evolutionary theory and genetics, I was interested in why he thinks that believing in God is a delusion. I expected to find some detailed scientific experiments establishing this point. While the book certainly contains references to science and some experiments, I was disappointed to find that the book actually takes the approach that many high school students use in their debates. You demonize the other side by pointing out its worst flaws . . . and hope that no one notices your flaws.

Let me briefly summarize his major points. If you understand what those points are, you'll be in a better position to judge whether this book is right for you.

1. You can be impressed by the complexity and beauty of the world around you without believing in God.

2. Smart people (and almost all scientists you've ever heard of) don't believe in God.

3. Religious people are a threat to smart people and scientific inquiry.

4. Arguments for religious beliefs deserve no special respect.

5. The theological, philosophical and historical arguments for God's existence don't impress Professor Dawkins in logical or scientific terms.

6. The enormity of the Universe suggests that God (if He exists) is highly unlikely.

7. Morality doesn't need religion to be pursued.

8. Reading the Bible or Koran will incite you to behave in monstrous ways, such as by destroying those you perceive as being opposed to your religion.

9. Many arguments against atheists are based on faulty information.

10. Many religious people are very hostile to everyone who is not of their beliefs.

11. Religious experience is based on people being ignorant of the facts or deluding themselves with wishful thinking.

11. Creationism (and Intelligent Design) are harmful beliefs.

12. Having more people not believe in God will create room for better living and thinking.

13. Children should be protected from being taught religious beliefs by their parents.

As I read the book, I felt like I was seeing the thoughts of someone who can only see the world through the filter of the scientific method and the latest scientific "facts" and theories. Having seen how often scientific "fact" turns out to be wrong (as pointed out by other scientists a few years later), I find that single filter to be a fragile basis for determining if God exists . . . especially when Professor Dawkins doesn't employ the scientific method in his search for an answer. That suggests that Professor Dawkins is simply trying to defend his beliefs, something we are all entitled to do.

As a trained historian, I was struck by how much weight he puts on some historians' perceptions of whether or not certain biblical events took place or not. Historians are usually aware that getting things right over thousands of years is pretty near impossible for them to do.

As a student of the Bible, I also think that Professor Dawkins is better at picking at particular passages than he is at reading the overall message of the Bible. In places, we are told that God has superseded the old and replaced the old with new rules, for example. Thus, we shouldn't follow the old rules. Many of the extremes Professor Dawkins points out are superseded rules in the Christian faith.

Professor Dawkins is on solid ground where he points out that most believers have never read their own holy books and often hold opinions that are contrary to what those books say. Based on those erroneous opinions, extreme behavior that is not called for in the holy books is pursued. That's clearly regrettable.

What's the basic point? Davy Crockett probably said it best. "Be sure you're right. Then go ahead." Too many people are assuming that first step (that they are right), rather than checking out their understanding before acting.

I didn't find that believing in God is a delusion after reading this book. If that's what you want to learn, you may find that reading this atheist's arguments will convince you that your faith is justified. Or you could simply reaffirm your faith in some other way.

If you want to explore whether to become an atheist, I suspect you can find a better book than this one. I haven't read one so I cannot make a recommendation in that regard.

Ultimately, I suspect that the tone of the book in downgrading religion and religious impulses is heavily influenced by the often obnoxious treatment that Professor Dawkins has received from religious people who oppose his views on evolution and genetics. I hope he will learn to forgive them.
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am 17. Februar 2007
Als ohnehin bereits überzeugter Atheist stärkt mich dieses Werk in meinem (Nicht-)Glauben an die Existenz eines alleslenkenden und bestimmenden Wesen! Das sich dieses Buch auch in den Bestsellerlisten eines bisweilen gefährlich (oder lächerlich) religiös verblendeten Landes wie den USA wiederfindet schürt in mir die Hoffnung, dass doch noch alles gut wird :-)
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am 23. Januar 2007
Having enjoyed and learned from many of Professor Dawkins' writings about evolutionary theory and genetics, I was interested in why he thinks that believing in God is a delusion. I expected to find some detailed scientific experiments establishing this point. While the book certainly contains references to science and some experiments, I was disappointed to find that the book actually takes the approach that many high school students use in their debates. You demonize the other side by pointing out its worst flaws . . . and hope that no one notices your flaws.

Let me briefly summarize his major points. If you understand what those points are, you'll be in a better position to judge whether this book is right for you.

1. You can be impressed by the complexity and beauty of the world around you without believing in God.

2. Smart people (and almost all scientists you've ever heard of) don't believe in God.

3. Religious people are a threat to smart people and scientific inquiry.

4. Arguments for religious beliefs deserve no special respect.

5. The theological, philosophical and historical arguments for God's existence don't impress Professor Dawkins in logical or scientific terms.

6. The enormity of the Universe suggests that God (if He exists) is highly unlikely.

7. Morality doesn't need religion to be pursued.

8. Reading the Bible or Koran will incite you to behave in monstrous ways, such as by destroying those you perceive as being opposed to your religion.

9. Many arguments against atheists are based on faulty information.

10. Many religious people are very hostile to everyone who is not of their beliefs.

11. Religious experience is based on people being ignorant of the facts or deluding themselves with wishful thinking.

11. Creationism (and Intelligent Design) are harmful beliefs.

12. Having more people not believe in God will create room for better living and thinking.

13. Children should be protected from being taught religious beliefs by their parents.

As I read the book, I felt like I was seeing the thoughts of someone who can only see the world through the filter of the scientific method and the latest scientific "facts" and theories. Having seen how often scientific "fact" turns out to be wrong (as pointed out by other scientists a few years later), I find that single filter to be a fragile basis for determining if God exists . . . especially when Professor Dawkins doesn't employ the scientific method in his search for an answer. That suggests that Professor Dawkins is simply trying to defend his beliefs, something we are all entitled to do.

As a trained historian, I was struck by how much weight he puts on some historians' perceptions of whether or not certain biblical events took place or not. Historians are usually aware that getting things right over thousands of years is pretty near impossible for them to do.

As a student of the Bible, I also think that Professor Dawkins is better at picking at particular passages than he is at reading the overall message of the Bible. In places, we are told that God has superseded the old and replaced the old with new rules, for example. Thus, we shouldn't follow the old rules. Many of the extremes Professor Dawkins points out are superseded rules in the Christian faith.

Professor Dawkins is on solid ground where he points out that most believers have never read their own holy books and often hold opinions that are contrary to what those books say. Based on those erroneous opinions, extreme behavior that is not called for in the holy books is pursued. That's clearly regrettable.

What's the basic point? Davy Crockett probably said it best. "Be sure you're right. Then go ahead." Too many people are assuming that first step (that they are right), rather than checking out their understanding before acting.

I didn't find that believing in God is a delusion after reading this book. If that's what you want to learn, you may find that reading this atheist's arguments will convince you that your faith is justified. Or you could simply reaffirm your faith in some other way.

If you want to explore whether to become an atheist, I suspect you can find a better book than this one. I haven't read one so I cannot make a recommendation in that regard.

Ultimately, I suspect that the tone of the book in downgrading religion and religious impulses is heavily influenced by the often obnoxious treatment that Professor Dawkins has received from religious people who oppose his views on evolution and genetics. I hope he will learn to forgive them.
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am 4. Oktober 2006
In gut lesbarem, elegantem Englisch legt der Autor seine Ansichten dar.

Ich fühle mich in meinen eigenen Gedanken bestärkt.

Lachen musste ich über die Erklärung des Christentums als "Cargo-Kult".
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am 13. Juni 2007
The problem seems to be that neither Gods existence nor his Non-existence can be subject to scientific proof. The disappointment of scientists like Prof.Dawkins is that after the age of enlightment parts of mankind thought that science will conquer belief. It didn't and it never will. For two reasons: Large proportions of science are belief in itself (a scientist who arrogantly tells the world that science now understands the origin of the universe is close to the belief of Mary having been a virgin - you believe it or you don't). Trying to proof the existence of God by mere natural means (whatever that implies) levels us human beings with God - a pretty presumptuous undertaking. Proofs for this frustration are partly Dawkins strong feelings of aggression. To understand all this I highly recommend some of the works of C.G.Jung. To men like Dawkins it must be further frustrating that religion gradually does return on a higher scientific scale instead of vanishing - he probably has a hard time that one can belief in a creator, not be a fanatic and still be an intellectual, looking at the world as it is, but knowing that there is so much behind reasoning that one would fall short only believing in one God: Science itself. In reverse of what Prof.Dawkins thinks, atheistic scientists who don't accept anything under the sun but their handmade ethics can be as much of a threat to human beings as religious fanatics. Pope John Paul II said: "Science can cleanse religion from misconception and superstition, religion can cleanse science from idolatry and absolutism"
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