Books

Book Review: A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

The book is about what our understanding of modern cosmos is and how God relates to that. I cannot (or want to) dispute his scientific reasoning as I only have rudimentary knowledge around the issue and to think I could say anything based on that would be kidding myself. I liked the book. It was informative, comprehensive, funny at times, and had a clear purpose for argumentation. But there are two complaints.

Firstly, this book was messy at times, and I was a bit surprised at how huge portion Richard Dawkins afterword took (hah, I combined two complaints into one.) But this didn’t bother me or affect my reading.

Secondly, I have always found it odd that religion(s) are simplified to the belief of God/gods. After getting my masters from Comparative Religion, I have thought of religion being more about group cohesion than anything else. Dogmatism and the rest don’t really matter for the “common” believer. What they held dear to them are the traditions that combine them to their community. The little rituals that console them. And so on. Yes, the belief in one God who judge the believers and heathens is in the center of Judeo-Christian religions, but it is not the sole point. It is not the point of a wedding or funeral. The argument that disputing God’s existence will make religions to cease is too farfetched for me. The rise of the New Age, self-help books, and spirituality (some combined with scientific belief and without God or gods) indicate that there is a need for meaning and belonging. And that is what religions are about for many who seek them. Also, the belief into God/gods are part of our brain structure and how we observe the world, see neuroscientific research done from religion or read Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained for starters. I’m not saying don’t have an argument about God’s existence or that this book is wrong (or blasphemy as that is far away from what I think,) but what I’m trying to say is that religions are much more than their God or gods.

But to finish this review, this book wasn’t about religion. It was about cosmos and existence of God and my second complaint is invalid and should be ignored. Krauss arguments against God are well made, but I don’t see them as arguments against religion. Yet, what made me like this book was that finally someone knows how to form an argument!

Thank you for reading!

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