Author Richard Dawkins will get you thinking about “god” and what you really believe about the “god” you believe in–or not. From the Crusades to 9/11, he argues religion has consistently been a divisive and oppressive force in the world. The Oxford biologist and author of previous books… such as The Selfish Gene, Dawkins distinguishes between an abstract, impersonal god and a personal god who created the universe and asks to be worshipped. In The God Delusion, he makes an extensive case for the improbability of such a god, and warns readers to guard against the temptation to infer from the appearance of design in the world us and its actual design.
In the second half of the book he explores the history of morality, arguing that an “intentional stance” on ethical issues is preferable to one based on religion. Dawkins sees in history a naturally evolving empathy between humans that is independent of religious teaching. I found it very thought provoking, especially the idea about why it is we have to believe in a “god” anyway. In the larger terrain of spirituality books, Dawkins has a bold and uncompromising work here– it is timely given the religious fanaticism we see in the world today. Check out his call for a new moral ethics, not based on religion, but on merit alone.