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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

4.3 (5200 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carmen 01-29-15
    Carmen 01-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "evangelical atheist"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The writing not having been so condescending.


    Has The God Delusion turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love the topic. And also am a fan of earlier works by Dawkins.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The shifting between the two narrators I found distracting and at times trite.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration is what I felt - frustration that an important message for our time is being so forcefully and with little finesse shoved via books like this. His other book, "The Magic of Reality" (a beautifully illustrated hardcover and equally awesome App experience) is likewise condescending and put me off. However, don't shy away from the "Selfish Gene".


    Any additional comments?

    Atheist's out there: Read/listed to something about science and just learn how the world works (like "Big History").Non Atheists looking for a book from the "other side": I would NOT say this gives any justice to the topic unless you like being bludgeoned with opposing viewpoints which treat you as a child.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Raffy Afarian 01-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very weak arguments. Disappointing."

    Got this audiobook hoping to find some scientific explanations for and against religion, all religion. All I got was Christian bashing and insults hurled toward that one religion. It is loosely science based but more making statements that Christianity is not probable so it must be wrong. Very disappointed by this book.

    I really despised the female reader with her condescending and angry tone when any religious ideas are discussed. It sounded like she was adding her own anger toward religion rather than reading the book as facts that are written by someone other than her. The male reader was very pleasant and did not add what wasn't necessary. You might like this book but I was deeply disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JP Stockholm, Stockholms län Sweden 01-23-15
    JP Stockholm, Stockholms län Sweden 01-23-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Snide remarks abound"

    They're very snide and aren't above calling religious people silly or worse. Which means no theist would ever listen to this, so the whole book will only reach those who already agree.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Haas Calgary, Alberta Canada 01-07-15
    John Haas Calgary, Alberta Canada 01-07-15 Member Since 2014

    Windigo

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    "I really wanted to like this!!"
    Would you try another book from Richard Dawkins and/or Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    Nope. Never. I didn't like their writing style.


    What was most disappointing about Richard Dawkins’s story?

    It should have been a factual, intelligent look at the idea and was instead presented as opinions. Their dialogue was childish at best and smacked of people who feel they have been wronged and need to set the record straight.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performances?

    No. Lalla Ward's voice is grating at best (and I usually prefer a British accent for readers)


    What character would you cut from The God Delusion?

    Not applicable.


    Any additional comments?

    Before I go on let me say that I share similar beliefs with the authors and at most I am an agnostic myself. This book should have spoken to me but I found very often that it just pushed me away instead.

    Things wrong with this book:
    1. As mentioned above much of what they say comes off as childish.
    2. They criticize the religious types for not having factual info to back up their beliefs but then in many (though not all) cases they do the same.
    3. They quote people then interpret for the reader saying: "what they really mean is..."
    4. They also quote people then say that "given the time they couldn't say what they really wanted."
    5. In many cases they tell us that so-and-so was really an atheist though give no proof to back up the claim.
    6. Much of the start of the book is just a "woe-is-me. Atheists are so hard-done-by" that gets old really fast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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

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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
  •  
    Joe Kansas City, MO, United States 11-14-13
    Joe Kansas City, MO, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2011

    I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.

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    "Pretentious."

    I came away from this book convinced of two things: that Dawkins is a skilled scientist who has serious reasons for the convictions he holds, and that Dawkins really, really likes the sound of his own voice. He makes, if you can look past his indulgent narration and his pretentious writing style, good arguments. Religion has long divided people unnecessarily, it has hampered scientific understanding, it has spread racism, and it has made people skeptical of greater understanding. He makes these arguments clearly and they are thought out. Of the most interest is his section on how religious apathy and moderation has its downsides as well - a concept I had never seriously considered.

    That said, he comes across as holier-than-thou (pun intended) and intellectually snobbish. Narrating his own book only increases this perception. Adding a second narrator makes the book sound disjointed without adding any significant clarity to the storyline. I was not impressed by this book and saddened that, again, good messages oftentimes come through poor messengers.

    3 of 4 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
  •  
    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
  •  
    M. McClure Pelham, AL USA 04-03-07
    M. McClure Pelham, AL USA 04-03-07 Member Since 2001

    damack1

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    "Look reality in the eye"

    This is an engaging and enjoyable book that makes a strong case for abandoning the wishful thinking of religious belief and embracing reality to the best of our ability. I found it bracing and thought-provoking.

    The two-reader format was bit distracting. At first I thought the female voice (Lalla Ward) was reading only quoted passages, while Dawkins was reading the bulk of the text. However, it turns out that the readers change apparently at random intervals. Ward, though a clear reader, often took a somewhat disdainful tone that wasn't so apparent in Dawkins's voice. However, this is a minor niggle that did not detract much from my overall enjoyment of the book.

    Looking back on my own conversion to atheism and how difficult it was to abandon my religious upbringing, I hope this book will make the struggle easier for those who are just starting down that path. The book makes clear the fact that, by opening our eyes to reality, we see a universe much more awe-inspiring than what is allowed by religious mythology.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
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