I identified with the ideas Dawkins puts forward. Although I had many moments where I caught myself nodding unconsciously in agreement, there were as many moments where I felt embarrassed for the author. Even though I believe his position to be right, I accept the right of others to disagree.
I have been studying religion and the beliefs and practices of them for a few years now. I stumbled on this book on Audible just as it was released. It puts in one book all the questions and then answers them that anyone could have about the issues with religion. The logical thinking person should arrive at the ideas on their own but religion sets out to brainwash the believers and to label anyone that does not believe as godless and heathen. Because there seems to be so many more believers than non believers you feel that you should keep your opinions to yourself since it could affect your opportunities in many ways. This book has made me more comfortable with my beliefs and to look on the believers in an almost sad light. Great read!
The former Doctor Who actress, Lalla Ward (Richard Dawkins' partner) is the real star of this recording. She gives a forceful reading that really packs a punch. Well done!
I am a little over two hours away from finishing this book and I'm debating whether or not to finish it. When an author gives unnamed or non-professional web sites as a viable reference, they lose credibility in my view. The author does make some good points, many great arguments and I have learned a few things from listening but it's been WORK to listen to it. I'm certainly getting more laughs out of it than other books I've listened to that were meant to be comedy.
If they want to be taken completely serious as they seem to want, they must remove the questionable statements and references, such as the web sites for one example.
On another note, the author and another person are the narrators for this book. BIG mistake. They are very difficult to listen to for more than a few minutes. They are perfectly suited for a meditation or relaxation vocal performances.
I'm rating the book this low because:
* The content is not presented as strongly as the preface/foreward would have you believe. It should've been presented as an argument, viewpoint, etc. and not proof.
* The narrators are ill-suited for this type of content.
* Some "proofs" are presented on the foundation of highly questionable sources.
I am guessing that a religious person will be quite offended by this book and if they follow it until the end, will use it as ammunition against athiests. Thankfully I am not a religious person. I was really hoping this book was going to be the one that I'd refer to during future discussions but it has turned out to be one that I hope the religious folks don't ever see. It's far too weak to make it's point and it will be used against athiests as an embarrassment if not more.
This could have been a amusing book. Mr. Dawkins locks himself in the box of a purely scientific perspective and then attempts to deal with a subject almost entirely outside of his particular box. He is then forced to create psuedo scientific methods to attempt to make his point.
Any humor soon is lost due to Dawkins' manifest hatred for anything and anyone spiritual or religous. This anger is so powerful that it wrecks any chance that he would have to make logical arguments.
It is very difficult to write about a subject when you can't deal with it honestly.
He should have said god can't be measured, therefore god doesn't exist.
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)