My friends are mostly
This is the second audio book by Richard Dawkins I have listened to. For me, what I found most memorable is the style or format that the author and his wife Lalla Ward use as they relate the content of the subject matter. Being familiar with the latter from her work in television, I almost can see her face and laugh when I hear the wry smile in her voice. Mr. Dawkins is as subtle in his reading as in his writing. The notes he hits as he turns a phrase or shares a quote from a contemporary or an opposite number are as clear as the logic he is trying to convey. If I had to pick the most memorable moment, I feel sure it would be while he talked about his professor. Mr. Dawkins tells of a teacher who had mistakenly taught for 15 years that a metabolic process does not and never did occur in some type bacteria or something and upon being shown that it does indeed occur approached the guest speaker in front of his own students and thanked him for the enlightenment. The author shared that at that moment all the class applauded the admission and further revealed that even today he stills finds a lump in his throat whenever he recalls the day. The point being that it is not vital for me to remember what creature did or did not have a doo-fletchee, it is the moment of truth when the teacher returns to being the student and is grateful for the chance to gladly jettison wrong data for new, corrected data.
Though it is a work of non-fiction, and characters are not entirely an actual part of the presentation, both of the readers' beautiful British accents lend themselves to erudite discussions. Neither reader bothers with too much with vocal characterization but as I said a moment ago, you can hear the joy or gravitas of the subject, or share the pity and compassion they feel for those to whom they wish to illustrate that reason not superstition ought to be the guiding principle.
I just want to invite the couple for dinner!
And now, for something completely logical.
It's no sin to be an Atheist
Losin' yer Delusion
Why God still hasn't bought you a Mercedes Benz
I have been on what I considered a
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
This book is aimed at what Dawkins sees as a growing population of closeted non-believers -- people who associate themselves with a religion or profess some vague spirituality, but don't, in their heart of hearts, really believe that there's a God. The God Delusion is his attempt to empower that population to take the small step to unapologetic, open atheism.
Dawkins goes through many of the expected arguments, detailing the lack of evidence for any definable God, particularly one who matches the scriptural Judeo-Christian deity. Frankly, I think that most of what he says in early chapters is common sense. We know from science that the Earth and life on it appeared without any direct creator. We know that supernatural miracles don't happen in the real world. No proof of a human afterlife exists. Religion's myths when examined closely, often make little sense, and conflict with science. Religious morals can be simplistic and inconsistent, and different sects of the same faith can't even agree on major points of theology. Religion often justifies intolerance, oppression, and violence. Religion demands special privileges and considerations that are seldom given by modern societies to similarly unprovable non-religious ideas.
As an agnostic, I thought that Dawkins successfully laid out all the pieces of reasoning that it took me several years to assemble on my own, as a young, disillusioned Catholic. Perhaps I would have abandoned that creed earlier, had a book like this jump-started my thought process.
Still, Dawkins' entire view of theology doesn't quite line up with mine. For one thing, he's a bit smug and self-righteous, going so far as to blast faith as a form of mental illness, and ignoring the fact that the basic human compulsions that draw reasonable people to spirituality can be quite powerful. He unfairly includes famous intellectuals arguably better described as agnostics (such as Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein) in the atheist camp, and lambastes agnostics as being unreasonably non-committal, which, as an agnostic, I didn't care for. I don't agree with his easy disposal of ultimate questions -- when considering an infinite, eternal chain of universes, there???s simply no way for the human intellect to explain its origins, whether through top-down Creation or bottom-up Evolution. There???s no reason to believe that this cosmic continuum doesn???t contain god-like entities, that we aren???t part of some larger universal consciousness, or that the laws of the greater multiverse, beyond our small, localized window of awareness, are remotely within our ability to understand. I still believe in transcendence and transcendent experience.
All that said, I think this book accomplishes something valuable in promoting unapologetic skepticism to the mainstream. Its talking points, though I don't agree with all of them, are a necessary part of any honest discussion about the roles of faith and religion in the modern world.
I will soon be eighty one years young. I have had a very interesting life learning from it as well as enjoying it. I just published a book.
I must admit that I agree with much that Dawkins writes concerning religion. He goes into great detail to make his point, however to me his points are more about how religion has and is holding back science as well as holding on to its followers by the use of fear and less about "God." I guess that one can see that what is called "God" in a very individual concept.. The "God" that Dawkins writes of has a long white beard and lives on a mounttain. He is the "God" of the "Bible." which is not what some including myself see what is referred to as "God." So if you include this thinking in your reading the book is interesting, and worth a read.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
I really liked this book and found it to be very interesting. Any book that refers to both Carl Sagan and George Carlin has got to be good!
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
A bit Looong to get to the point, but it's very interesting. It moves better in the second part because it gets to the organized religion portion.
The book is very interesting and informative, and makes a great many good points. But, like others, I don't think much of his snarky, "anyone who doesn't think like me is a dummy" approach. If you hope to convert people, calling them idiots isn't really a recommended approach. I'm a Brit, and while I love the nasty British humour in a comedic setting, it doesn't play that well here in a more serious debate. The book is 4 stars for it's importance, but misses out on a top rating just because Dawkins is a bit of a "bleep" about it all.
I am so impressed with the writings of Mr. Dawkins--so much so, that my 11-year-old son listens to this audio, and reads it on his e-reader as well. My son is an avid reader, but it takes a great book to hold his attention. By age 5, he was reading @ a 10th-grade level. I feel very much at peace knowing he is getting a well-rounded idea from all aspects, including catholicism, gnosticism, atheism and just a good old-fashioned idea of free will, along with common sense--which I hope he uses to incorporate from any/none/all of the above-mentioned -isms to mold into his own beliefs.
More humanity has been killed and maimed in the name of religion than all the world's wars combined.
This book is a must listen for anyone who has doubts about the existance of a God. masterfully narrated,
and a prime example of why I've become hooked on audio books on long automobile trips.