I’d like to point out a new book that I think is interesting and worth a look. It is called “The Insulted Trilobite: some helpful objections to the God Delusion” and it is by the pseudonymous J. A. Posner, and obviously the intended audience is the Atheist and Skeptics community.
Simply put, Poster Fisked Dawkins, and produced this book. Not exactly that, but close. I think there should be more books like this out there. You read a book, make a detailed response as you go along, and publish it as another book. I look forward to Dawkins’ counter-Fisk.
The book is available on Amazon. The Kindle edition is free for a period of time, betwen May 2nd and May 6th, and also, I think, for Prime members. There is also a print version.
If you’ve been irritated by Richard Dawkins, here’s a skeptical look at his most provocative work. If you found his forthright denunciation of religion stimulating, here’s an atheist who invites you to notice that The God Delusion isn’t science, and that Dawkins’ reasoning is weak. Dawkins is convinced that, as a scientist, he’s pre-eminently qualified to understand the world, and that if you disagree with him it’s probably because you’re not smart enough. The author of this book is content to suppose you can think for yourself, and encourages you to do so. The Insulted Trilobite suggests non-believers can, ought to, and need to take a rational view of religion. This book sketches in the personal, psychological, historical and ideological frameworks Dawkins neglects. The tone is occasionally sharp, but it’s not polemical. More than just another reply to The God Delusion, this is an entertaining sidelong glance at intellectual dishonesty, self-deception, belief, so-called rationalism, so-called religion, and how we think, talk and argue about the world in which we live.
Posner embodies in this work a lot of objections to The God Delusion that we find in the part of the Atheist and Skeptics community that aligns with the social sciences and humanities, but that are often not developed, I think partly because people are happy to have a big famous scientist write a big famous book supporting their overall belief system. Also, if you say something like “belief is a thing humans do, deal with it” many Dawkins-symps will yell at you, even though this is something Dawkins Himself has said.
When you read The Insulted Trilobite you’ll want to have a copy of The God Delusion handy unless you’ve just read it. It might have been nicer to have the original text being critiques IN the book but copyright laws may have made that difficult.
I especially enjoyed the discussion of religion as a side effect of the evolution of the human mind during the Paleolithic. Dawkins clearly got that wrong, and though I’m not sure I’m in agreement with Posner, his critique of Dawkins is refreshing. (Page 70 and beyond in my copy, and extensive discussion in the last chapter, especially.) I also enjoyed Posner’s discussion of belief. Very anthropological.