Monday, August 06, 2007

The Allah Delusion

I can recommend the book: "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.

The title of the book is self-explanatory. Dawkins has clearly put considerable effort into researching the subject, and goes about the task of highlighting the numerous dangerous absurdities within religious beliefs, particularly the various beliefs in God, using his own masterful style of logical argument coupled with an excellent command of the English language.

Here are the chapter and section titles, to give an idea of the breadth of its coverage:

Chapter 1 A deeply religious non-believer
Deserved respect
Undeserved respect

Chapter 2 The God Hypothesis
Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America
The poverty of agnosticism
The Great Prayer Experiment
The Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists
Little green men

Chapter 3 Arguments for God's existence
Thomas Aquinas' 'proofs'
The ontological argument and other a priori arguments
The argument from beauty
The argument from personal 'experience'
The argument from scripture
The argument from admired religious scientists
Pascal's Wager
Bayesian arguments

Chapter 4 Why there almost certainly is no God
The Ultimate Boeing 747
Natural selection as a consciousness-raiser
Irreducible complexity
The worship of gaps
The anthropic principle: planetary version
The anthropic principle: cosmological version
An interlude at Cambridge

Chapter 5 The roots of religion
The 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

Chapter 6 The 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?

Chapter 7 The 'Good' Book and the changing moral Zeitgeist
The Old Testament
Is the New Testament any better?
Love thy neighbour
The moral Zeitgeist
What about Hitler and Stalin? Weren't they atheists?

Chapter 8 What's wrong with religion? Why be so hostile?
Fundamentalism and the subversion of science
The dark side of absolutism
Faith and homosexuality
Faith and the sanctity of human life
The Great Beethoven Fallacy
How 'moderation' in faith fosters fanaticism

Chapter 9 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

Chapter 10 A much needed gap?
The mother of all burkas

It is clearly the case that religions have for far too long been given a free ride, immune from critical appraisal. Dawkins is a hero in my opinion for speaking out. However, I am not primarily concerned about the threat from Christianity at the present time, as it no longer burns witches for example. However Islam is a very serious threat to the stability of the entire world right now, not just in the Middle East and Asia. It appears to be impossible for Islam to reform, as that would entail re-writing the Quran, which will simply not happen now or at any time in the future. True Islam is therefore now, and always will be stuck at the equivalent of the witch burning phase.

It may be that only the combined force of Christianity and secularism will have any hope of subdueing Islam. The best that can be hoped for is that this might just about be achievable within our own borders, although that appears increasingly unlikely within Britain and other EU regions. The EU clearly has a suicidal death-wish. There is no compelling reason why the new Roman Empire should not fall, as did the old Roman Empire.

It may be that Christianity and secularism will be unable to combine their shared interests in order to overcome Islam. There is a danger however that Christianity will feel itself to be under attack by secularism, and so make an alliance with Islam in order to defeat reason. Of course, such an alliance will be short lived, because without the protection given by reason, Christianity will then be quickly defeated by Islam. The words of Churchill are very wise and relevant to this matter, particularly his final paragraph:


"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries; improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

"A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step. Were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

Gordon Brown claims to be inspired by Churchill. I do not believe his claim.

We can see that the rise of religion, and particularly Islam is of serious concern to an increasing number of people who would not otherwise find books on religion to be of interest. We can see that this is the case, because books such as "The God Delusion" have become best-sellers.

It is a sign of the times that over 800 people have volunteered to send a copy of this book to Members of Parliament, well in excess of the number of MPs. The volunteers have chosen or been allocated to a particular named MP, to whom they have sent a copy. It is a remarkable feat of organisation, and I have never heard of such a task being undertaken before. Let us hope that the MPs take careful note of the contents of the book, but also come to a humble acknowledgement that they and their predecessors have seriously mismanaged the governance of Britain over the past five decades, which has resulted in the danger of Islam in our midst and the social instability that we are now facing as a consequence. Why did they not listen to Churchill? He was very well-read, and knew what he was talking about.

The threat from the creeping Islamification of Britain is far more serious than the terrorist threat. Even a dirty bomb set off in the financial heart of London would have a finite (albeit serious) impact. Perhaps only a few million people will receive an excessive radiation dose. When Britain becomes an Islamic state probably later this century or early next century it will be irreversible, affecting a cumulative total of many thousands of millions of people over a timespan of many centuries. For a state to be Islamic does not necessarily imply that everyone within it is a Muslim. It merely requires that the rulers are Muslims. Is this what Tony Blair was alluding to when he stated that Britain will have a Muslim Prime Minister one day?

The threat is real and serious, but because it is played out over a number of decades it can be easily dismissed by those who choose to ignore it, using the contemptuous label of "scaremongering" for those who can see the truth. However, the rise of the Nazis was ignored for too long, because the threat was dismissed in a similar way. We must learn from the lessons of history before it is too late.


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