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- ISBN: 9780547348667 (electronic bk.)
- ISBN: 0547348665 (electronic bk.)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource (x, 406 pages)
- Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006.
Description based on print version record.
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (pages -399) and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
A deeply religious non-believer -- God hypothesis -- Arguments for God's existence -- Why there almost certainly is no God -- Roots of religion -- Roots of morality : why are we good? -- The "good" book and the changing moral Zeitgeist -- What's wrong with religion? : why be so hostile? -- Childhood, abuse and the escape from religion -- A much needed gap?
A deeply religious non-believer. Deserved respect ; Undeserved respect -- God hypothesis. Polytheism ; Monotheism ; Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America ; Poverty of agnosticism ; NOMA ; Great prayer experiment ; Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists ; Little green men -- Arguments for God's existence. Thomas Aquinas' "proofs" ; Ontological argument and other a priori arguments ; Argument from beauty ; Argument from personal "experience" ; Argument from scripture ; Argument from admired religious scientists ; Pascal's wager ; Bayesian arguments -- Why there almost certainly is no God. Ultimate Boeing 747 ; Natural selection as a consciousness-raiser ; Irreducible complexity ; Worship of gaps ; Anthropic principle : planetary version ; Anthropic principle : cosmological version ; An interlude at Cambridge -- Roots of religion. Darwinian imperative ; Direct advantages of religion ; Group selection ; Religion as a by-product of something else ; Psychologically primed for religion ; Tread softly, because you tread on my memes ; Cargo cults -- Roots of morality : why are we good? Does our moral sense have a Darwinian origin? ; A case study in the roots of morality ; If there is no God, why be good? -- The "good" book and the changing moral Zeitgeist. Old Testament ; Is the New Testament any better? ; Love thy neighbour ; Moral Zeitgeist ; What about Hitler and Stalin? : weren't they atheists? -- What's wrong with religion? : why be so hostile? Fundamentalism and the subversion of science ; Dark side of absolutism ; Faith and homosexuality ; Faith and the sanctity of human life ; Great Beethoven fallacy ; How "moderation" in faith fosters fanaticism -- Childhood, abuse and the escape from religion. Physical and mental abuse ; In defence of children ; An educational scandal ; Consciousness-raising again ; Religious education as a part of literary culture -- A much needed gap? Binker ; Consolation ; Inspiration ; Mother of all burkas.
A preeminent scientist asserts the irrationallity of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society from the Crusades to 9/11. He critiques God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. In so doing, he makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just irrational, but potentially deadly. Dawkins has fashioned an impassioned, rigorous rebuttal to religion, to be embraced by anyone who sputters at the inconsistencies and cruelties that riddle the Bible, bristles at the inanity of "intelligent design," or agonizes over fundamentalism in the Middle East--or Middle America.--From publisher description.
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