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The God Delusion | [Richard Dawkins]

The God Delusion

Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Richard Dawkins invites you to imagine a world where New York's Twin Towers still stand, where Arabs and Israelis live in peace, where the Crusades—events directly responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.2 million persons—never happened. In short, he invites you to imagine a world that would have been, and could be, without religion. That is not to say that he wishes to discard religion only because of its historical relationship to violence. This extensive, powerfully argued examination of why we believe, and the imperative of turning from Faith to Reason, has become an international best seller. It could change your life.

Publisher's Summary

Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

He critiques God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. In so doing, he makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just irrational, but potentially deadly.

Dawkins has fashioned an impassioned, rigorous rebuttal to religion, to be embraced by anyone who sputters at the inconsistencies and cruelties that riddle the Bible, bristles at the inanity of "intelligent design", or agonizes over fundamentalism in the Middle East or Middle America.

©2006 Richard Dawkins; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Richard Dawkins is the leading soothsayer of our time....The God Delusion continues his thought-provoking tradition." (J. Craig Venter, decoder of the human genome)
"The God Delusion is smart, compassionate, and true....If this book doesn't change the world, we're all screwed." (Penn & Teller)
"The world needs...passionate rationalists....Richard Dawkins so stands out through the cutting intelligence of The God Delusion." (James D. Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, author of The Double Helix)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 06-19-14
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2010

    Evening and Weekend Manager Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Houston, TX 77060

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Sacred Cows Lay Slain Everywhere"

    My sacred cows lay slain every where. I learned many things about many organized religions and contradictions and little known facts about the Bible. I was put off by what I found as the minimizing of pedophilia when comparing its damage to that of the religious brainwashing of children. Other than that Dawkins makes a logical well supported case against believing in any god. However, to accept his hypothesis, you must restrict your systems of perception to rationalism and empiricism. If you live by faith and not by sight, his arguments will be vacuous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaleah Bemidji, MN USA 08-03-13
    Jaleah Bemidji, MN USA 08-03-13 Member Since 2010

    "39again"

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    "Ummm...well, its like weird. I think... maybe"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book is for young people 18-25 yrs. old or maybe even for people that are just now starting to question their own religious beliefs.


    Any additional comments?

    I was a firm non-believer when I bought this book and I was kinda hoping that it would offer some insight into why humans believe what we believe, in a more anthropological way. What you got here is Richard and Lalla tag teaming the dialog and it comes off with this weird feeling that there should be a bright light shinning in your face while they "deprogram" you. I found this format distracting, it felt hokey with a tinge of desperate.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Sanchez San Francisco 06-27-13
    E. Sanchez San Francisco 06-27-13 Member Since 2015

    E Sanchez

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    "Pretty Good but..."
    What made the experience of listening to The God Delusion the most enjoyable?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The book sometimes is infantile, with performances mocking other points of view.
    However silly the opposite argument may be, I expected more than nanananana from a leading biologist.
    The content itself is great and there's some amazing logic there, I just wish I could edit out that bullying.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 06-11-13
    Justin 06-11-13
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    "Good book; basic arguments - some good some lame"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    My Atheist friends find this book much more convincing than I, as a believer. A good book, nonetheless, but many arguments presented are not strong enough.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Richard Dawkins? Why or why not?

    I probably would, but would prefer a condensed version of several of his books to this one.


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

    Dawkins' performance was excellent, but Ward's came off as condescending and trying too hard to force opinion. Changing the tone of voice to make a statement come off as ridiculous may sway some, but not an intellectual looking for a solid argument.


    Could you see The God Delusion being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    YouTube Mr. Deity (there is an even funnier cartoon series but I cannot remember the name)


    Any additional comments?

    Bottom line - if you're already a non-believer then this book can give you some extra debating points. If you are already a believer this book doesn't have the solid evidence required, unless you are truly looking deep down for a reason to change.This book is the opposite of The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, whose book, although the arguments are much better presented, doesn't contain the evidence required to make one believe. However, just as in Dawkins' book, if you deep down want to believe what the book is trying to sell you already, then the book may be all that is needed to convince you.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. K. Rote United States 10-29-08
    R. K. Rote United States 10-29-08 Member Since 2008

    WhackyCIH

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    "Its good to be an atheist."

    I think this is a great book. I'm sorry it took me so long to come across it. I've been atheist for a long time, now I no longer feel ashamed to say so. (It's a good thing I'm not a politician, that would be the end of my career.)

    This is a good scientific based analysis and presentation of religion as an evolved human adaptation or behavior, and the idea of religion as a meme - a replicating and evolving component of our environment that uses humans as a vector for reproduction. Think of the cold virus.

    17 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Markinch, SK, Canada 03-25-07
    Mark Markinch, SK, Canada 03-25-07 Member Since 2006
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    "The end does not justify the means"

    I picked this up after seeing the author on the Daily Show - I must admit he was preaching to the choir with me. I like a good debate on religious sociology but even though I agreed with the theory I found this book condescending. Maybe it was just the narrators but everytime they brought up an opposing theory it sounded snide and pompous. I probably also missed the point of the book - because rather than discrediting all other theories I thought they would make a case for their theory. Overall disappointed with the product as I was quite looking forward to the book.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Houston, TX, United States 01-24-07
    Susan Houston, TX, United States 01-24-07 Member Since 2001
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    "The idea of religion"

    I am reading a lot of books about the negative effect of religion these days. I started out with no intention to read any of them, but first tackled Sam Harris’ The End of Faith because an online discussion was just too interesting not to participate. I found the Harris book an eye opener. The number one idea I took away from it was that it doesn’t make sense to exempt religious ideas from any sort of logical argument. Our culture tacitly agrees that anyone can believe anything they want and the result is often that once someone interjects a religious sentiment into the argument or discussion, the debaters silently slink off, whether they agree or not, on the theory that the person is “entitled to his belief”. Believe it or not it had not occurred to me that that practice was not exactly correct. It was tolerant and humane. Harris convinced me it was also dangerous. I think he also convinced me that religion was dangerous when it was “moderate”. Then I read Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy which was notable primarily for the statistics on the numbers of Americans who believe literally in the Bible and the growth of fundamentalist believers and churches—at the expense of the mainline protestant denominations like the one I was raised in. In the interim I read several articles and speeches such as the one by Bill Moyers on why Christians in thrall to The Rapture don’t care about conservation because they expect the world to end soon anyway. (I see he’s even published a short book on the subject called Welcome to Doomsday). The God Delusion is my third read on this topic in less than a year, despite the fact that I would not say that religion is one of my priority topics.

    I must say that while my response to Dawkins’ book was a series of "buts", in all honesty I must stay that he had anticipated my responses and gave answers that satisfied me. Which is not the same thing as saying I loved the book.

    19 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Puyallup, WA, United States 03-29-08
    Mark Puyallup, WA, United States 03-29-08
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    "A lot of information!"

    Ok, this book has a massive amount if information and ideolgoies being introduced at a fast pace. Though I don't agree with his "proof" of why agnostics should really give up being agnostics and become aetheists (among other things), the book is full of good stuff and should be read in book format to fully understand its concepts; otherwise you'll be hitting rewind a LOT to get the info to sit in your head properly. This is the reason why I gave it 3 stars. It would have gotten more, but he just moves too fast for the casual listener to really comprehend what he's saying.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 01-23-09
    Elizabeth 01-23-09
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    "holier than thou"

    The only thing I didn't like about this audiobook was the arrogant tone of Dawkins. I like snark as much as the next person, but if he's going to win people over to his ideas he needs to show a bit more humility, or temper his ideas with humor. His stance is that if you don't agree with him it's because you're intellectually inferior. Frankly, I found it insulting.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 02-20-09
    Anthony 02-20-09 Member Since 2013
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    "Eye Opening"

    I really enjoyed 90 percent of the content in this book and 90 percent of the reading style. Let me start by saying that I definitely recommend it, but it is not for the faint of heart or the sensitive. If Dawkins is guilty of anything, it's going too far in some cases, such as creating a moral equivalence between the Afghan Taliban and what he calls the "American Taliban" or Christian right. There is no doubt that there are some wingnuts on the right who would institute a Taliban-style state in the US if they could, but Dawkins doesn't seem to credit the US system for not allowing it to happen. For example, he is able to cite many cases of horrific state-supported violence in the name of religion in the Muslim world, but can usually only cite the WORDS of the "American Taliban." He has to go back to the Crusades to find true abuses on the Western side of the fence. And while this made me chafe at times, I also found the tone of Dawkins and his wife to veer off to the sarcastic, pedantic and condescending at times. But overall, this was a very good book and I recommend it. Dawkins is sharp, and I'd hate to be some hapless creationist on the other end of a debate with him. Enjoy.

    16 of 25 people found this review helpful
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