In other news, I am down to just one book left on my "must read before starting any more" list - the Plagiarism one. Once that's out the way, I can start on Iain M Banks' Matter. It's thick, hefty and hardback. Going to be fun in my bag and on the train...
The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins, 2007 paperback ed.) is the one I just finished reading. I wrote a quick review for LibraryThing which I reproduce and expand upon here:
He says a lot of things I agree with - reading through the book has convinced me more that religion is a choice. This has profound effects on what I think about giving it the same status as other "liberation campaigns" and giving it protection in law. Part of that came from his arguments around children not being religious - merely brought up in a religious way without their consent being sought. This is something I've believed myself for a long time.
He says a lot of things I can see sense with. But some of them make me uncomfortable (which I suppose is something I should look to when reading this sort of work), particularly his arguments about (not) respecting religion. I think it boils down to me distinguishing between faith (which I respect) and religion (the dogmatic following of an interpretation of that faith) and him not. I see religion as being the dangerous thing rather than faith in and of itself whereas Dawkins appears to see religion and faith as one and the same thing and treating them both equally. As such where I could agree with his points about "tolerating" moderates allowing for the extremists when applied to religion, I feel uncomfortable applying it to faith as a whole. The arguments which I most needed him to be strong on to convince me of his point of view therefore were actually only curiously glossed over - the finding of comfort in faith. His section on that covers a mere 15 pages.
I was also uncomfortable by a few passages he seemed to give off a homophobic air: equating abandoning religion with abandoning hetrosexuality and later applying a very definitive and exclusively hetronormative definition to polyamory ("Polyamory is the belief that one can simultaneously love several members of the opposite sex..." - he then goes on to compare it to loving several books, wines or composers which I'm sure heartens any polyamorist).
But that's my rant over for the day methinks.
My work collegues think I should go to the Speed Dating thing, and Eleanor has said she would consider going. This means contacting "Barry" at the store and remembering to record Torchwood (Gay and Lesbian Speed Dating which clashes with Torchwood?!?!@? What were they thinking??).