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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

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  • Juanito
    London, United Kingdom
    "Eye opener"

    Somehow, I can say I was a changed person after listening to this. The churches must find it controversial, but I guess he was convincing. I always come back to the topics in everything I see and observe around me since. Powerful!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James Dinsdale
    South Yorkshire
    "Intelligent and Persuasive"

    Although I am already an atheist, I wanted to get this book due to its notoriety. I wasn't disappointed!

    The book is broken down into basic arguments (or rather, statements of facts) each taking a single chapter. The narration is by Dawkins and his wife. It's clear and concise, each point of fact followed to its natural conclusion. It's almost clinical in its approach ensuring that there can be no misunderstandings.

    I loved it. As an atheist I found it compelling and the dry humour and sarcasm made me laugh out loud. I cannot fault the research and conclusions. Dawkins is a professional and respected scientist and this book is akin to a research thesis, clinical, to the point and (naturally) derisive in that there is no logical reason to believe in a God so why do it!

    Maybe this should become the atheists equivalent of the bible except it's based on fact not ancient fiction. For those of you that are hovering between belief and atheism then this book should make things clearer. If you are a true believer, this book will either upset you or make you begin to question your faith.

    The only criticism that I have is the use of 'difficult' words. Fine for someone who has a good grasp of the English language but would be a little difficult to follow for those that aren't.

    Overall a great book. Good facts, good humour and good listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    United Kingdom
    "The God Delusion – A bible of science"

    The God Delusion is a very interesting, well thought out, account about ideas on religion and the absence of a God figure. It is well reasoned, basing an alternate mechanism to God creating the universe on probabilities and Darwinian evolution which explains the origins / development of life. However, I would suggest that some of the latter chapters lose some scientific objectivity and the argument can come across as a rant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Chorley, United Kingdom
    "A life changer"

    This book has changed my life. I have never believed in God, even when I was forced to go to Sunday school as a young child, it always seemed nonsense. This book gave me the backup, evidence and examples to reaffirm what I always thought. I suspect that this will be most useful to those who are in the "not sure" camp.

    It is highly entertaining and would strongly recommend it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    "Generally Brilliant"

    I bought this after having read the book twice. In terms of content it is brilliant.

    Dawkins argues everything so clearly and is one of the few intellectuals who, in my opinion, makes his subject available to the general public without dumbing it down.

    As it should be with such discussions, I didn't agree with the arguments on a few issues but the general direction is unquestionable and has helped me to formalise my own debates with 'believers'.

    An extra plus to the audio version is the narration. So often I download books that I have read and enjoyed, not to be able to listen to them because of tedious narration. This is not one of those books.

    This is a must read book for people of all persuasions.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jeffrey
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    "the answer to life the universe and eveything"

    I had been thinking of downloading this book for some time, but as a committed atheist, I wasn?t sure if it would be for me ? I don?t need convincing. I also thought it would be dry. How wrong could I be. I love this book, and the narrative with Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward is very entertaining. I was reminded of the wonderful writing of Douglas Adams with both readers narrative ? appropriately enough, the book is dedicated to Douglas Adams, a good friend of Dawkins (who met his wife and fellow narrator, Lalla Ward though Douglas Adams).

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • R
    Ilford, Essex, United Kingdom
    "Of course some people are going to hate this book."

    After all, Professor Dawkins is challenging some of the most deeply held beliefs of human beings and doing so unapologetically.

    I feel rather embarrassed on Professor Dawkins's behalf. He does not patronize the believer, unlike most theologians and philosophers. He's doing something they should be doing but are not. And what is that? Telling the facts about religion. Most believers would be distraught (as I myself was once) if they were to discover just how unashamedly professional theologians, biblical scholars, and apologists lie to 'the flock'. They seem to be of the opinion that 'the sheep needs simple faith', though 'of course we scholars have a much more sophisticated view of things.'

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Percy
    MINEHEAD, United Kingdom
    "The Atheists' Bible!"

    First of all, I have not read any of the reviews of this book, so I bring no influenced persuasion to mine.
    If anybody who has any doubt, no matter how small about how we perceive ourselves on this Planet and fundamentally, how we came to be here at all,....then, Please, please, please, Read or Listen to this wonderfully explained History of Everything.
    Nothing Mr. Dawkins Writes is 'made up', all the facts are laid bare in virtual chronological order for the reader to see.
    Even if I do not have the education to fully understand some of the more erudite concepts conveyed here, I can absolutely understand the reasoning behind them.
    I just wish the whole religious world would wake up to the fact that whatever their 'god' is, their 'god' has basically been invented by predecessors who had absolutely no understanding of even what the Sun or Moon was,.. let alone the Earth!
    So, thank you Mr. Dawkins for justifying my questioning of all the religious rubbish I have encountered in my life, (mainly christian and catholic to name but a few of so many who think theirs is the best!)..
    and giving me the strength to oppose ALL religious ideas forthwith.
    People CAN be Good and Moral without having to subscribe to a Frankly absurd notion of their 'god' watching over their every action and thought, intent on damning them to 'Eternal suffering' should they
    think or do something against the so called 'commandments'!!
    If you are going to believe in something, get real and believe in reality.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Lindsay Kay Caddy
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    "Loved it - buy this book"

    I loved this book, I've read other Dawkins books but this is my favourite so far. I have really tried to be religious but just not been able to make myself believe. I've tried lots of different religions thinking "perhaps it's just this religion I don't get lets try another and see". I eventually tried the Quakers, the most free and relaxed religion I've found and came home and realised there's too much God in Quakerism even. I'd been brought up to think good people were religious and so I felt like I should be religious but I'd suddenly realised I was an atheist. Richard Dawkins is like having your dad tell you it's ok not to believe in God. I read this book after I'd watched his tv series Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life. I then bought an Atheists Guide to Christmas (it was Christmas time after all) and the God Dellusion. I've started the New Year as an atheist and am much happier for it. I have Richard Dawkins to thank for helping me to sort through my thoughts and for going through each of the arguments for religion systematically and explaining why it's a poor argument.

    Richard Dawkin's narration is excellent as always. Its nice that he mixes up the narration by having parts narrated by someone else. Lala Ward has narrated some of his other books and I find her voice a bit too prim sometimes but its rather sweet knowing that she is Dawkin's wife.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Wilson
    Mayfield, Midlothian
    "Thought Provocing"

    Whatever your opinion of Richard Dawkins may be, he creates a compelling argument in the God Delusion. The book is quite long, but never gets boring. Non-fiction books like this work perfectly as audiobooks, and The God Delusion is no exception. Recommended, as long as you're not the type of person who would get offended by the subject matter.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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