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By Roger Browning
This year, my good friend, and fellow ACL author, Logan Judy wrote a post called, “5 New Year’s Resolutions for Christian Apologists”. One of his resolutions was to, “read more from both sides”. Well, Mr. Judy, challenge accepted. My first book from the ‘other side’, is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. A ton of articles reference the book. I even saw a bold little tot flaunt its brilliance on a YouTube channel. This book is a commonly used source text for a lot of atheists.
Here’s the bottom line: I think Dawkins failed atheism with this book. In order to support my contention, I have two distinctly different options available to me.
Approach Number One
First, I could treat Dawkins’ book with the same respect he treats the Bible:
“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other spanning nine centuries” (Ch 7)
I could talk about how Dawkins’ own book has been “composed” and how I’m currently reading the Kindle edition, slightly revised for my viewing needs. Or, about a how at least a handful of editors have translated this book for many languages. I could go on and on about this double-standard and why preserving a book requires edits and “improvements” but none of those necessitate changing the message, context, or understanding of the book. Never mind the fact every book goes through revisions.
There is a big difference between why Dawkins’ book is revised and the Bible is revised: The reason the Bible is “revised” is because we are constantly learning more about the original. The modern revisions are all an honest attempt to go back to the very first edition. But science books go the other way. Science books, like The God Delusion, are edited to keep up with changes. The things that have been falsified must be removed and the things that are discovered must be added…
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