“The God Delusion” – Book Review

Truly enlightening, extraordinary book which is a must-read for everyone – no matter what your views on religion are.

God’s existence is a subject that not many people seem to be interested in nowadays. Usually, they claim their lives are satisfying enough without the knowledge of whether or not there is a God out there. On a daily basis, we are generally too busy caring about our own problems that we do not need or want to spend time on asking ourselves philosophical questions that usually do not lead to anything but discovering that our curiosity cannot confront the lack of ability to even imagine an ideal deity.

To me it is not an excuse – I want to question the purpose of my existence, because I think it is the questions that are the important part, not necessarily answering them. Being curious about what is the point of you being on the Earth gives me a relief in a world, where these wonders are being lost and people lose interest in appreciating the beauty of life by asking a question: ‘Why?’.  I’m only 16 at the moment, but I can picture myself being about 9 and thinking of God and if he really is out there, watching us all the time. It has always made me feel frustrated that I could never imagine what he would look like, where he would live, as although my intention was to get closer to his true nature, until recently, I have never realised that his existence is beyond my understanding and imagination – and this is the beautiful part.

This book is designed to solve all those problems. Richard Dawkins is confident that the reasons against God listed in his book will brighten up our minds. In my opinion, this book allows us to spend some more time on matters that have been unnoticed before. The problem is, that not many of us will decide to read this book, because nowadays people, especially young, do not want to have anything to do with religion-related subjects. A proof for that could even be how unpopular ‘Philosophy and Ethics’ is as a compulsory subjects amongst GCSE students – I have heard them complaining countless times about it having no point whatsoever.

Its author clarifies lucid arguments that sound reasonable and give the whole work aesthetics. Various and distinct language helps us to improve our vocabulary, but it is still comprehensible and easy to understand even by those who do not concern themselves with philosophy on a daily basis.

After reading this book, I certainly agree with Richard Dawkins, although I allow a slight doubt, as I do not think that you can ever be 100 per cent convinced about something – it is the doubt that makes you realise how wonderful and extraordinary the world is. To me, the thought of a different interpretation is what really counts. There is a theory that it could all be a part of an illusionary dream that we all share at the same time. I also really enjoy to read the Bible, and many people would say: Why do you want to read it if you do not believe in God? I would answer: Because I want to know what I am criticising and standing against. I judge the God and his actions as a story – in that way it is an extraordinary work of art that should be heard by everyone, but unfortunately for me, it did not help me to find my faith. Or I should rather say, it made me look for faith in something else, such as myself.  

The beauty of ‘The God Delusion’ comes from how reasonable it sounds. It makes religion confront the reality – the world around us and what we know about its way of working. This makes the ‘delusion of God’ sound inappropriate and shows how unlikely it is for the things that people believe in, to actually take place. It covers many dilemmas of monotheistic religions, as well as describes the cruelty that religion brought, although apparently being only concerned with sharing the great love from God with one another and helping everyone in need. It talks about the biggest contradictions that our religion told us and in a way makes the reader feel foolish that at some point they might have believed in some of them.

To conclude, I think that everyone can get something useful out of this book, even if it will not make religious people atheists. At the end of the day, it carries other irreplaceable values that will definitely bring something positive and precious to our lives. I also think that decision whether or not to believe in God is up to you; as a modern human being having free will and access to science, you can decide what you believe in, however, this book can certainly help you in finding the right direction.

Joanna Suminska

 

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