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Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion" download epub

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Cornwell, John, 1940-.

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Cornwell's précis of The God Delusion is excellent, including a summary of the God hypothesis and Dawkins' development of the theme

Cornwell's précis of The God Delusion is excellent, including a summary of the God hypothesis and Dawkins' development of the theme. He complements this with ideas, which can evade positivist thinking (imagination, beauty, religion) and fills in some historical gaps on the origins of anti-religious thought, independent of science.

Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion has been one of the most divisive books of modern times.

In a telling critique cast in the classical form of a letter to atheist Richard Dawkins, Cornwell playfully repudiates the arguments in "The God Delusion," posing alternative viewpoints from the vantage point of a friendly guardian angel.

Darwin's Angel is a book published in response to Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. It was written by John Cornwell and subtitled An Angelic Riposte to The God Delusion. Cornwell runs a "Public Understanding of Science" programme at Jesus College, Cambridge, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in Darwin’s Angel: An angelic riposte to the God Delusion. This is the fourth book written in respons. ontinue reading.

Items related to Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The. cornwell-john Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion". ISBN 13: 9781846680489. Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion". A piece of sheer heaven.

Bibliographic Details. Title: Darwin's Angel - an Angelic Riposte to The. John Cornwell, a prize-winning author and journalist, has been Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project since 1990 at Jesus College, Cambridge. Publisher: Profile Books, UK. Publication Date: 2007. online business only.

THIS BOOK IS A PIECE of sheer heaven.

September 1 2007, 1:00am, The Times. THIS BOOK IS A PIECE of sheer heaven. It kicks Richard Dawkins’s self-aggrandising polemic, The God Delusion, into touch with featherlight footwork and is deliciously wise, witty and intellectually sharp into the bargain. John Cornwell’s mouthpiece is a likeable seraph, who follows the dictum of G. K. Chesterton that angels fly because they take themselves lightly

Darwin's Angel : An angelic riposte to The God Delusion.

Darwin's Angel : An angelic riposte to The God Delusion. By (author) John Cornwell.

Small hardback book

Comments: (7)

Cornwell begins by giving us the immense logical fallacy that in Dawkins mind there is no difference between an Islamic suicide bomber and your religious neighbour. Absolutely not. Dawkins would agree that their religions share fundamental similarities, but to say that he sees no difference is dishonest and disingenuous in the extreme.
Unfortunately, this sets the tone for the rest of the book, which is condescending and irritatingly smug in equal measure. Cornwell's main tactic seems to be to dance around the issues that Dawkins raises and avoid taking on anything other than the most trivial points in The God Delusion, and to misquote Dawkins to take him out of context as often as possible. Twice Cornwell even mixes up theism and deism.
To be sure, Dawkins God delusion is a flawed book that can be criticized in many ways. But this unctuous little tract does nothing to unsettle its basic premise, namely that there is no reason to assume the existence of a god and that doing so in the absence of any evidence carries with it many potentially harmful consequences while not bringing any benefits that can't be reached through other means as well.

John Cornwell is a prodigal son who returned to the church after twenty years as a renegade, i.e., is a person unable to live without religion, so that gives you a pretty clear picture of what to expect. His little book is founded on several assumptions that are as lazy as anything in Dawkins. He starts out by equating religion with art, literature and poetry as just another act of imagination, and completely ignores the fact that unlike these other disciplines, all religions claim to represent actual truths; not literary truths, but literal truths. This is exactly why religion clashes with science, which Cornwell also erroneously groups with the arts as an act of imagination, but which is in fact something quite different.

He then goes on to expound that most `sensible believers' have a far less simplistic view of god than Dawkins assumes; this line of reasoning ends in his somewhat ludicrous description of god as a god of the Final Gap: god as the brainless Idea at the beginning of the universe. I don't believe for a minute that this well-nigh meaningless abstraction is what the average, non-university trained believer has in mind when he thinks of god; indeed, this line of reasoning is rather more likely to prove that Cornwell is much further removed from that average believer's frame of reference than is Dawkins. Cornwell also fails to notice that it becomes an extremely far stretch to return from this coldly intellectual abstraction to his sugary descriptions of Christ that dominate the sermonizing latter part of his tract.

Meanwhile all the author does is whip up tremendous clouds of incense through which any view of a coherent argument or indeed a point is lost. Cornwell doesn't take a stand on anything but instead spins endless yarns from which he knits his woolly, pseudo-profound rhetoric. The crucial points of Dawkins challenge are glibly evaded while irrelevant minor errors and details take center stage. Often, Cornwell is content not to address an argument as such but instead to draw into question the credentials of the source. Repeatedly, he's a pot calling the kettle black, as when he scolds Dawkins for referring mainly to novelists and poets, and then does the same himself; or indeed when he mocks Dawkins' indignation about a religious murder among the Incas, seeing that it occurred 500 years ago, yet nonetheless demands that we make deep and serious study of a book that was written over 1000 years before that.

Predictably, Cornwell exploits the cliché of Hitler, Stalin and Mao as proof for the dangers of science and atheism combined; with characteristic hypocrisy he first allows this idea to make its effect before retreating somewhat, for Cornwell isn't so stupid as to presume that Hitler's racial theories had anything to do with actual science. He does forget, however, that neither Hitler nor Mao nor Stalin were atheists: all three were fanatical proponents of a state religion that included everything from mass prayer meetings, infallible leaders, shrines and sacred dogmas to holy books. The persecution of religious groups under these regimes was not the domination of atheists over believers, but was just another instance of the suppression of religions by a competing religion like we have seen it many times over in human history.
The central thesis of this book appears to be this: that art, poetry, imagination and beauty have no meaning or purpose without God, so this must prove his existence. However true this might be, it isn't backed up by any evidence included in the book.

The author frequently takes issue with Dawkin's ego, but what of his own? He fancies himself an angel? His attempt to 'shame' Dawkins at every corner turns the book into a personal attack whether or not it was intended that way. Ad hominem arguments abound in this tiny volume.

Cornwell also has issue with attributions: Cornwell picks on each author cited by Dawkins, and even seems to take offense when that author is a poet - as if poets have nothing that would speak to athesits. There is no index or bibliography in this book, and Cornwell even fails to credit George Carlin for his contribution.

The author says Hitler was a millitant atheist? Cornwell asserts this without anything to back it up. How did Hitler 'convert' all the good Catholic Germans to atheism without them knowing. Short answer - he didn't. Page 108 is typical of these unfounded assertions: "it is widely accepted that unless children are given..." Really? by whom? Dawkins asserts that humanity should strive to reduce the suffering of children. Cornwell's 'angelic' response is to defend childhood suffering and deprivation on the basis of religion and culture. This is simply Unconscionable. It is astounding to think this book might be used by some cult to support their own mistreatment of children.

Chapt 18 is mostly selected quotes and summary from Dawkins with an admonishment "your thinking is so limited" at the end. What the author don't see is that Dawkins aknowledges innate behavior and free will - individuals acting of their own volition. Cornwell abdicate personal responsibility by saying "it is not belief in god, but god that makes them good" - I suppose we can also blame the devil for making them bad?

Chpt 19 is a brilliant straw-man argument. Dawkins = Hitler. To listen to him will lead to concentration camps for believers. I can't even tell you how base this acusation is - Dawkins advocates the use of the mind, not the power of a cult personality.

I've read two critiques of "The God Delusion" and this one is the worst. I did think the last two chapters were the best, but not worth reading the rest of the volume.
Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion" download epub
Author: cornwell-john
ISBN: 1846680484
Category: No category
Language: English
Publisher: Not Specified (2007)
Pages: 160 pages