The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Book club

As a wise man once said when talking about videogames:
"I'd had enough political and theological discussions by the time I was nineteen to figure out that they are functionally inert. No-one convinces anyone of anything, everybody just heaps their baggage on the table and gestures at it wildly."

That is why I am recommending that you don't buy The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I'm a big fan of Dawkins, and we're on the same side in the culture wars. However, the thing about discussing religion is that I can sum up all the relevant details of my position and Richie's in a few sentences.
"The only kinds of knowledge are definition and observation: revelation, conviction and tradition are not sources of information. I don't really see any reason that Balaam's ass is more plausible than Sigurd talking to the birds, so I'll treat 'em both the same."

After that, we've pretty much stated our position and everything else is just being a jackass with too many opinions.

Not that Dawkins isn't methodical and rational: indeed, that's the problem. It's the only mode we have, and it's not the mode this debate is taking place in.

Pretty much the only reason to read The God Delusion is if you've never heard an eloquent atheist talk before. If you have, you've heard 90% of what's in this book. OK, I'll tell you what: have a squiz at this and if you're saying ZOMG NO-ONE HAS EVER SAID THIS BEFORE it's worth your while picking the book up.

Otherwise... try The Blind Watchmaker, or The Selfish Gene. Those are good.


At 8:47 pm, February 07, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

I'm still passionately recommending The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Read it, physicist.

At 1:36 pm, February 08, 2007, Blogger Maxwell Edison said...

I found that book in Fopp, but I didn't have £4.99 to buy it.


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