Seems handy to keep a notebook ever-ready when reading this book. It threatens to rock my world, yes, it does. Anyway. Have taken a peek at The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins [which I discovered through this post by Laura of Laura's Musings], because this is how I like to spend my weekends. Knee-deep in atheism and grumpy ol’ men who pooh-pooh all things otherwise. But, well, I picked this up because I need a frame for what I’ve long suspected as my foray into atheism [or whatever approximates it]. Let me be clear that I need not be convinced. I already know there’s something niggling within me, but I just can’t seem to articulate it. Dawkins’s book, well, I need to witness someone argue the case for me.
That peek I took? One measly paragraph into the book, in a special foreword to the updated paperback edition, Dawkins scratches his head over “a bafflingly large number of intellectuals [who] ‘believe in belief’ even though they lack religious belief themselves.” And I was like, hell, I can’t hazard to claim myself an intellectual, but I do tend to act as though I believe in belief, even if—yeah, you get the picture.
I dunno, Mr. Dawkins. I mean, for one, it’s hard to break away. It’s only been a couple of years since I grew comfortable with the fact that I just wasn’t too keen on religion. Specifically, the Roman Catholic religion, as an institution. More specifically, the spectacle of Catholicism in the Philippines (as a [political] institution), which never fails to give me the heebie-jeebies. I guess what “God” there was, what construct, what belief, was inevitable for me, for my personal philosophy, but to stop believing in belief itself? What?
But it’s also hard to act like a rude ass. In a noble light, it’s respect—respect of people’s opinions, culture, how they want to live their own lives. In a chill kind of thing, it’s passive tolerance. Shrug.
Gah. One measly paragraph into the book, and I’m already thinking a lot. What the hell, dude. What do you want from me?
I’m trying to read this book in tandem with A Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan. I’ll follow that up with Dawkins’ River Out of Eden. Maybe Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, why not? And, in the interest of fairness—something I’ve noticed Dawkins’ is too cute-grumpy to allow me entertain—I’d try reading The Case for God by Karen Armstrong, because it just so happens that it’s lying around the house. Yeah. What is going on, Sasha?