This seems to be the first in the series.
I have written hundreds of reviews at Amazon, but I didn’t bother with The God Delusion, I am not sure why: perhaps the style of blog commentary is more effective. And it has been effective. The New Atheist momentum has slowed due to the action of critics. But MacDonald’s comments might be a sign that the least effective critics were the theologians, not worth reading in most cases.
More effective are the atheist critics, or semi-atheist critics. Many people were always atheists of a kind, but this fussy Dawkins/Harris style of making it a new religion requiring belief is alarming. It should be opposed every step of the way.
In any case, perhaps now I should review the book at Amazon, but then again, who cares? These new atheist books are just par for the course in a phase of secularism, getting too hot and bothered won’t work.
My problem is that while atheism is fine in one way, the new atheism spoiled it, and I think a new perspective is needed: I provided one in WHEE. I am neither an atheist, a theist or an agnostic. Every time you pick one of these you get buttonholed. The main thing is to hang loose, and not let mental gyrations on metaphysical issues waste brain energy, for the good reasons Kant outlined in his critiques of metaphysics.
God dialectic is one the number one futilities of human thought. Nothing can come of it. Nothing.
Beyond that I think that the general public is close to something like insanity, just below the surface, on religious issues. To stress still further that condition with such an ill-considered new brand of religious discourse as the new atheism is a disservice. At some point the provocation to insanity will bear fruit. Beware of what you wish for.
I am puzzled that noone sees that all this has had a full simulated run before, from the Feuerbachians on the left, to, most especially, the Nietzscheans on the right. The Social Darwinist eugenic genocidal atheists in the legacy of that supersmart idiot Nietzsche should be a caution the new atheists to be watch out for those who will inherit their new doctrine, for a second time no less.
Nietzsche is a warning of the muddle supersmart IQ types can create.
Head out of your ass, new atheists.
The Biblical Criticism has produced a fertile critique of the monotheistic religions by examining history and culture in the legacy of monotheism. But the direct attack on the ‘god’ idea can only backfire and convince the public that religion, whatever is liabiities, is not going to go away via atheism.
I have at a few points cited the case of Hegel (whose views I do not share) who lived through what was the real birth of the original ‘new’ atheism in the wake of the enlightenment, and in the context of Kantian critiques of metaphysics (which many thought grounds for atheism, and nihilism, the original source point for Nietzshce also).
Hegel was an outward theist in a difficult political environment. But some smelled a rat and thought him an atheist (check out Robert Solomon’s In the Spirit). I think that all this fails to see his project with the dialectic which would certainly involve theist affirmation, and atheist negation, and….? The reconciled dialectic here was the very profound or totally corny new ‘nonsense’ of the Spirit. That perspective was rapidly taken over and ruined by the traditional theists, but, beyond Hegel, the debate over ‘god’ is itself a symptom, demanding a form of transcendence. Atheists should thus be wary of the god debate: it has no resolution in closed forms. You must transcend it and transcend the dialectical duality it feeds on.
In a word this theism/atheism debate was a dead duck already in the time of Kant and Hegel. Only a group of science yokels as miseducated as the New Atheists could think to revive this ghost debate.