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Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn't.
Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings confront, Dawkins marshals science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of all the religious systems and explain to readers of all ages how life emerged without a Creator, how evolution works and how our world came into being.
For anyone hoping to grapple with the meaning of life and what to believe, Outgrowing God is a challenging, thrilling and revelatory read.
Dawkins (The God Delusion) purports to guide his readers through letting go of belief in God in this underwhelming repackaging of ideas from his previous works. For the first half of the book, Dawkins argues that the Bible is a faulty foundation for belief that lacks any basis in historical reality and advances a cruel, inconsistent set of values. He then proceeds with a thorough explanation of evolution and critique of intelligent design. As this progression makes clear, the book primarily concerns itself with Bible-based Protestantism. Dawkins avoids seriously considering non-Western religions, Judaism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism; they appear when they bolster his claims, and are curiously absent when they might undermine them (for instance, he frames religious opposition to abortion as a conflict between "absolutists and consequentialists" without mentioning religions that don't fit his paradigm, such as Judaism). Dawkins's glib analysis is paralleled by his slipshod engagement with the ideas and methods of the humanities. Historical evidence from the times of the Bible's creation, for instance, is deemed wholly unreliable unless it undermines biblical narratives. By starting with the assumption that religious belief is too ridiculous for serious and sustained engagement, Dawkins is preaching to the converted. Readers interested in the rationale for atheism will be disappointed in this underdeveloped argument that never takes spiritual belief seriously.