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The God Delusion | [Richard Dawkins]

The God Delusion

As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, Richard Dawkins has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
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Publisher's Summary

Richard Dawkins was recently voted one of the world's top three intellectuals (alongside Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky) by Prospect magazine. As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, he has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between "intelligent design" and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights, such as those of women and gay people � and all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind.

Dawkins attacks God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed, cruel tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign, but still illogical, Celestial Watchmaker favoured by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the ultimate improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. In The God Delusion, Dawkins presents a hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types and does so in the lucid, witty and powerful language for which he is renowned. It is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required listening for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

©Richard Dawkins; (P)Random House

What the Critics Say

"A spirited and exhilarating read...Dawkins comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments...." (Guardian)
"Everyone should read it. Aethists will love Mr Dawkins's incisive logic and rapier wit...." (The Economist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (75 )
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  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 11-02-06
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 11-02-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Excellent"

    Dawkins has been a major contributor to my education on evolution and natural selection. His style and presentation gets complex ideas across with clarity and simplicity. This is an important work that sadly is unlikely to be experienced by many of those who would receive benefit from it. It has all the clarity of Dawkins at his best.

    I particularly liked the "two handed" narration. The alternation of voices is used well to give emphasis and variety and never appears contrived in a way that would have been so easy. More audiobook producers of factual titles should consider using this technique

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NicholasTod Benowa, Australia 09-10-13
    NicholasTod Benowa, Australia 09-10-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A Fantastic Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The God Delusion to be better than the print version?

    The story telling by Mr Dawkins and Miss Ward is really well done, and adds another dimension to a already well written and intelligent book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best thing about the story is that it shatters the shackles of being controlled by other people, (which whatever people say is the point of religion, to control you) and opens your eyes to the fact that there are no spirits, magic or anything supernatural that you need to fear, we do good because we are good people and we want to, not because there is some judgmental thing watching us. The world is clearer and safer in that knowledge.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A but I will.


    Any additional comments?

    Really is a must read for everyone, I want my children and grandchildren to read this, if people actually stop and think about what we are told by these "people of faith" and look at how so much of the world's problems are because of them and there ever crusade to be in control of your lives, the world would be a much happier place.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Narre Warren South, Australia 10-02-12
    Troy Narre Warren South, Australia 10-02-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Mind expanding"

    Sure, he was preaching (pun intended) to the converted, but Richard Dawkins also gives you a lot to think about in this great book. I was facilitated as I listened to different theories on why religious folk can be such nut bags. Give it a listen, test your faith or confirm your convictions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antony Auckland, New Zealand 07-31-12
    Antony Auckland, New Zealand 07-31-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Dawkin's slays the Dragon"
    If you could sum up The God Delusion in three words, what would they be?

    Science lights the Dark


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I like the last chapter on how special life is and why you don't need any super natural being to explain why it is. Trillions of beings could have been here instead of you, yet you are here. With those odds who needs the lottery.


    Any additional comments?

    Dawkin's does not shy away from stating facts that others would shy away from. His arguement, as usual, is well thought out and convincing. He lays out the make believe of religon. To see the world through his world is far more beautiful than one described by the religous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-13-14
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-13-14 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "An Agreeably Disagreeable Book"

    I have read a lot Dawkins and Hitchens and the difference between the two, telling the same tale about gods, is usually quite stark. On this occasion however Dawkins delves down into the arena, get his hands dirty with invective and (particularly at the start and the finish) resorts to rhetoric. Of course, in his inimatable way, he acknowledges he's doing just this and he even has the good grace to sound apologetic about that. However, the method is not as persuasive as I have come to expect from him, although the key (middle) Chapters return to the well learned practices of his past writing, full of sound reasoning, inferences and evidence.
    I have some sympathy for the lack of evidence, but then I am already a "convert", to borrow from the iconology of the religiously minded. It is hard to prove a negative, as every lawyer will confirm. Still, I would have been happier with the central Chapters without the soapbox start and finish. That said, the starkness of the language and the boldness of the frontal attack have the consequence of making even a convert think about the extent of their conversion; has it gone far enough? To paraphrase a former PM, this is a book for the true disbelievers. It will probably not persuade anyone else, which is a pity.
    Again, the combination of Lalla Ward and Dawkins works well for the listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven NEDLANDS, Australia 03-21-13
    Steven NEDLANDS, Australia 03-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not as Good as Chris Hitchins"

    I found this audo book hard to follow with the constant change in narrator. I preffered Chris Hitchens book on the same subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter Calamvale, Australia 10-09-12
    Walter Calamvale, Australia 10-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Just what you would expect from Richard Dawkins"

    This was my first Richard Dawkins, and i enjoyed it greatly ! arguments are clean and to the point... just get a little frustrating when reading they switch from Richard to lalla in small spaces of time..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 09-25-13
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 09-25-13

    Listening since 2004. Mystery, thrillers and anything that can blend with a walk, jog, exercise, long drive or a wait at the airport.

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    "Gave up after the first half of struggle"

    I am atheist. I was looking for something more interesting than this. I did not find the content thought provoking, No humor. No insights. At best it was an honest discourse on atheism. I appreciate the effort of Dr Dawkins and respect him but this book is a drab. He does not read it well either. And why the two people reading this?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bruce New Zealand 02-16-13
    bruce New Zealand 02-16-13

    recoveribng from recent strokeandnowecovering from recent kneereplacement surgeryreader to workmodelprst-1Tell us about yourself!so

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    "the god delusion"
    If you could sum up The God Delusion in three words, what would they be?

    well narrated


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    has the occasional background music for effectwhat is god spelt backwards?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    made me realise how much religion is bad for people.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Rebecca
    Kenilworth, United Kingdom
    7/10/08
    Overall
    "Far more than a rant !"

    I've both read it and listened to this, several times now, and thought I'd wait a bit before adding my comments.
    As an audiobook, it's superb - well read, and yes, the two voices work.
    As a book, the content is remarkable, well-thought through and devastating - yes, Dawkins has strongly held views and a real anger about religion, its sources and its consequences. It is the book that atheists and agnostics who previously weren't sure why they felt what they felt have been waiting for - it articulates all their concerns.
    Which is why, religious readers, simply dismissing it is both foolish and counter-productive. If we cannot read it, respect its honesty (even if we disagree) and counter its arguments intelligently and thoughtfully, other than by stamping our feet and sticking our fingers in our ears then we have no right to take the high ground. (And getting personal and vindictive is hardly Christian!)
    Know your enemy, and work out the best way to deal with him! Are we really so insecure about our beliefs that we cannot counter Dawkins on his own ground, intellectually?

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A
    carlton in clevelandUnited Kingdom
    2/23/07
    Overall
    "Masterpiece"

    This book is a beautifully narrated, well researched, scientific and philosophical analysis of theism. It comprehensively covers virtually all the academic questions one is likely to ask of religion. In general the cited examples show a bias towards the analysis of Christianity within the United Kingdom and United States of America.
    It does however have some idiosyncrasies, the structure and vocabulary has academic tone. The book is not difficult to comprehend, but the meticulous use of referencing does lend itself to frequent repeated listening (perhaps a chapter at a time) if one is to fully appreciate the detail within the work.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Vaughan
    Yelverton, DEV, United Kingdom
    2/1/07
    Overall
    "Refreshingly Brilliant"

    The writer puts into plain English, what I have always instinctively felt, this straightforward analysis of what humans insist on believing, and more to the point 'why' they believe often against all common sense, was a joy to listen to...Dawkins examines why religion in all its forms, persists, and tries to explain how this has arisen from a Darwinian standpoint. This type of book is important I feel, due to the rise of the 'intelegent design' lobby particularly in the US, who threaten to cripple the teaching of science in schools... like the other reviewer , I am better off for this pure common sense book...well done Richard

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    Knaresborough, Nth Yorks, United Kingdom
    1/20/07
    Overall
    "Never less than interesting"

    Dawkins is a evangelical atheist and never prentends to be anything else and this is his reasoning behind his position.

    I applaud the use of two voices (Dawkins and Ward) - it works well indeed.

    A fascinating argument which occasionally can repeat itself but is nevertheless well worth the investment in time.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie
    Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom
    12/2/06
    Overall
    "Do not miss this!"

    This is an excellent book and it works very well with Richard Dawkins reading with his wife Lalla Ward. Dawkins argues against religion and never looses one's interest. He is knowledgable, amusing and devastating.Listen and open your mind if you are religious or listen and bolster your arguments if you are not. Then buy the book and read it and then read Dawkins' other books. He teaches difficult things so even I understand!

    47 of 62 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    London, United Kingdom
    3/5/07
    Overall
    "Devastating critique of religion"

    Unlike 'Geoff' from Stockton-on-Tees (a previous reviewer of this work), I have had the benefit of actually listening to the book, and having read most of the rest of the Dawkins oeuvre besides. His writing is never less than exhilarating, and very often devastating. For me, the key theme is his critique of religion as an all-purpose excuse-generating mechanism, whether it is providing the justification for wars, discrimination or plain ignorance about the natural world. Alas, those who are too intellectually cowardly to listen beyond the preview will never experience the thrill and/or challenge of Dawkins' arguments.

    I also feel that the book benefits from having been presented in this two-narrator audiobook form, and wonder whether Professor Dawkins' publishers have considered giving his other works a similar treatment.

    30 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Louise
    CoventryUnited Kingdom
    2/11/07
    Overall
    "Food for thought"

    The audio content of this recording is excellently presented by Dawkins and his wife, Lalla Ward, who alternate speaking to very good effect. Dawkins is at his most interesting and persuasive when talking about his specialist subject, evolutionary science, and has got a great deal to say about a wide range of other subjects. The book ranges from theology to social sciences to physics to ethics and the listener picks up some fascinating titbits of information and anecdotes along the way.

    Unfortunately, I felt that Dawkins? passion for his cause, combined with his layman?s knowledge on the majority of the themes, leads to several rather irritating and poorly thought-out assertions which diminish the overall message of the book. I was left feeling short-changed after yet another sweeping dismissal of a complicated theological area and desperate to hear the other side of the story.

    Overall, this book will open your mind to a wide range of discussion topics and give you much food for thought. I would, however, consider the abridged version as 15 hours of the author?s rhetoric gets a little wearying.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Marc
    newton abbot , devon, United Kingdom
    1/6/09
    Overall
    "compelling read"

    I have both read and listened to this book. As with all of Dawkins books it is both inspiring and easy to read/listen to. His arguments are clear, logical and ultimately are based on provable facts. This book should be in every bedside draw. I do not believe any honest person can read it/listen to it and still have any belief in a god.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Duncan
    kirkcaldy, fife, United Kingdom
    12/1/06
    Overall
    "Brilliant!"

    The aim of the book: to turn the reader into someone who denies all things supernatural; worked on me. And I feel all the better for it - and I didn't know I would.

    30 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • E. J. Lizier
    8/8/07
    Overall
    "A must-read."

    This is a great book, worthy of all the praise it gets. All open-minded people should read this book. Closed-minded folk won't get through it as it may be prove too damaging to their delicately structured, dogma-insulated mentalities.
    The audio book's not available in Italy, where I live and I had to buy a hard copy in Britain. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Running scared, are they? So they should be.
    As Dawkins so rightly points out, so many religious people haven't even read their own religion's 'sacred' texts and don't even understand their religion in the slightest and, indeed, have never questioned it, but merely follow theocratic dogma blindly.
    I urge everyone to read, or listen to, this book. It will, at the very least, make religious people examine themselves and their religion and will help atheists and would-be atheists understand just how very dangerous religion, and especially blind faith, really are and how our lives are affected negatively by religion and ?faith-heads? on a daily basis.
    I congratulate and thank Richard Dawkins.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
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