I would say this book is worth listening to. He definitely gives you something to think about. Unfortanetly for every good argument he brings up, he also brings up a ridiculous one.
No chapter has more shotty logic and misleading half truths than the one entitled "The American Taliban" in which he gives up much of the credibility he had earned with a chapter that childishly attempts to attack the United States of America. For example, he tries to equate the seven people killed in attacks on abortionists ten years ago to a current religious war. He forgets to mention that there were only seven deaths, and that none were recent.
There are plenty of reviews detailing this book. Due to so many who will be disturbed by it, I'd like to focus my review more on cautioning the reader in certain respects.
This book represents an ideology; meaning that it seeks to explain everything in the world in light of a stringent set of dogma - the main one being Natural Selection. To make a somewhat crude analogy, Natural Selection is "God" for Dawkins and Charles Darwin is its prophet.
Ideologies have always been rigorously defended, almost as if the ideology was the lifeblood of the defender. The person is a "Christian" an "Atheist" an "Agnostic" and so on. And this is what gets people into trouble. The identification with the ideology, by default, blinds the person to anything else that might truly serve him. It stops him from asking true questions instead of questions that are merely restatements of what he already believes.
Like all ideologies that catch on and have a lasting effect, Darwinism, too, will eventually fade and pass away. In the interim however, it will certainly have a profound effect upon society and the world in general. Some of those effects will be beneficial and some, I have little doubt, will bring unimagined horrors to mankind in the same way Christianity has.
If anything is consistent in this world, it is the mind. It operates in a congruent fashion. Actions spring from beliefs and are inspired in no other way. Yet the believer, the ideologue and defender of those beliefs, seldom evaluates the darker side because he is too preoccupied with making himself "right" and "good" while at the same time, trying to make everyone who doesn't agree with him as "wrong" and "evil."
Like a true ideologue, Dawkins has in no way presented the darker side of Darwinism. He's convinced it's a "consciousness raiser."
I was strongly influenced by Richard Dawkins during my own scientific training, and admire his intellect and insights into evolution and biology. So, although I had been avoiding both this book and Christopher Hitchens book, I finally decided to download this and listen. So far, I haven't been able to finish listening, because it just strikes me as an emotional, personal rant - it seems like the Church (yes, with a capital "C") did some horrible violence to the author, and he feels the need to pay back for the damage done.
His examples don't really flow in a logical way, which surprised me, again, because, in his previous books, I've always admired his ability to build logically, and tell a good story. Unfortunately, I think his emotions on this topic run too high to be able to put together a compelling argument.
I was ready to hear an opinion stated in objective terms and what I was continually offered was flavored with enough petty mockery that it caused me to doubt the authenticity of the author's offering. I was disappointed.
I agree with the facts of this book. However, I don't understand what value comes from writing and (especially) reading the book in the childish and condescending way that is was.
There are reasons that people don't believe in evolution, assuming that it is because they are foolish reveals a lack of insight.
I rated the performance with 5 stars as it perfectly portrays the tone of the author. (not surprising as he is one of the narrators)
What a fantastic recording. Dawkins and his wife are wonderful speakers, and by creatively splitting up the recording between the two of them we are provided with a very entertaining transition from section to section as the book progresses. Dawkins's points are all well thought out and researched, though he does work quite a bit of attitude into the audio recording, presumably as it was meant to be presented in the book. The attitude can, at times, come off a bit crude, and most assuredly would offend anyone suffering a religious practice out of this book's completion, though I imagine those with religious convictions are likely to sell the book short through misrepresentation even if they were to finish the book (see low star reviews obsessing over his attitude and his "dismissal of ... faith").
Great book for those curious about Atheism or Richard Dawkins's works.
I had heard much about Dawkins, of course, and read a bit of his stuff, but this book was a complete surprise: poorly reasoned, terribly written, and narrated by the author (with ghastly asides by a woman narrator) in a tone of voice dripping with condescension and impatience. Not only does he not "prove" the non-existence of God (an impossibility anyway), he completely fails to grasp the psychological complexity of religious belief, or come to terms with the odd human characteristic of the will to believe in something beyond ourselves.
I think that the subject says it all. I suppose that this book may hold epiphany for some, but it was all old news. I do believe though, that people need to leave the closet.
if i could i'd force everyone to read/listen to this book and certain others. until people start using their brains this world will continue down the path it's on. the "religion of greed" and the greed of religion will be the downfall of not only this country, but many others.
smart arguments, but painful to listen to. it was as if it was a late-night infomercial, redundantly re-stating how the author was right and the others were wrong. a good argument, but excruciating to hear them say it.