Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There are a number of problems with the God Delusion. The attitude its abhorrent, some of the arguments are bad, and its too long. Not worth it, IMO. There must be better pro-atheism books out there.

I don't agree that the arguments in the God Delusion are too bad. He does take some real liberties with Aquinas, but all the scholarly dressing you apply to Aquinas doesn't really improve the arguments. Dawkins deals with them too hastily, but even if Dawkins was an Aquinas scholar and applied the principle of charity to the arguments, they'd still be unconvincing arguments. The God Delusion is a popular book, not a scholarly refutation of all arguments for the existence of God.

If you want to read scholarly refutations of arguments for the existence of God, as well as read some arguments put forward explicitly for the non-existence of God, then you have to turn elsewhere: Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification", Robin Le Podevin's "Arguing for Atheism" and Nick Everett's "The Non-Existence Of God". Another good book from an agnostic rather than atheist perspective is Anthony Kenny's "The God of the Philosophers". A slightly easier read is Julian Baggini's "Atheism: A Very Short Introduction" which is okay. I have some reservations with it, but it covers most of the important arguments and has some stuff about ethics and living the good life and all that happy-clappy stuff too.

As for stuff that isn't concerned with the philosophical arguments? I found Onfray's "In Defence of Atheism" a pretty good read - it is polemical, but is well-written. Nietzsche is always good to read so long as you don't - you know - become a damn goth or whatever after reading it or try and commit genocide or something. Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian" and the much less read compilation "Russell on Religion" (not widely available outside academia as far as I'm aware) - Russell is a good writer and says some very refreshing things like:

<blockquote>Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.</blockquote>

Agree completely. The God Delusion suffers from sloppy reasoning, and intellectually dishonest arguments. I'm an Atheist, and I found myself disagreeing over and over with arguments Dawkins made despite the fact that his conclusions align with my view of the world.

There must be better pro-atheism books out there.

Perhaps the newer

The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason


God Is Not Great for example.

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact