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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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  •  
    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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Patrick Mabry, Jr. 06-19-14 Member Since 2015
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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
  •  
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 06-04-13
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 06-04-13
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    "Charming, smart, and unpretentious"

    When I first listened to the sample of this book about a year ago, I misjudged Mr. Dawkins. I fell into a trap of stereotyping him as a pretentious twit based on the little bit of content I heard. I also think his accent had something to do with it. I thought this book sounded like one written to make atheists feel validated and smug. But after having his books reccomended to me by others, and reading more and more positive things about him, I gave him a shot. I started with "The Greatest Show On Earth", moved on to "The God Delusion", and then listened to "The Selfish Gene". Now I love this guy (and Lalla Ward too). I can't get enough of his clear thinking, his understandable use of language, his vast intellect, and most surprisingly, his sense of humor. This isn't really a science book, but who would guess that a scientist could be so fun?

    In The God Delusion, he's basically just making the case that being an atheist is okay, and you don't have to be ashamed to admit it. He lays out every argument made on behalf of belief, shredding them to pieces to the point where there's basically nothing left but blind faith. And profoundly unfounded blind faith at that. But its not done with contempt or maliciousness, but with wit, airtight logic, and a wry sense of humor.

    Alternating narration between himself and his wife, who is a trained actress, the audio format is very pleasing to the ears. Very strong performances by both will make sure that you never become bored. This is my favorite Dawkins book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 06-02-12
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 06-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Dull Prose and a Disjointed Performance"

    I have no beef with Dawkins' argument for atheism. What bothered me about this book was its dry, sluggish prose, its incessant reference to other works, and its two-reader narration which acted to distract rather than to enliven. Having recently listened to Hitchens' "God is Not Great," which is witty, pithy, and elegantly written, Dawkins' work seemed so dead and uninteresting. Where Hitchens can denigrate his opponents with withering logic wrapped in literary genius, Dawkins' attacks seem petty and rigid. He spends too much time worrying that he'll offend, then dives right in to some petty attacks.

    Basically, this is a scientist's book about belief and non-belief. It lacks the culture and personality that many other books on the subject have in spades. Also, one good narrator would have done just fine, instead of Dawkins and a female narrator splitting the duties...poorly.

    21 of 31 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
  •  
    Manoj Athens, GA, United States 05-31-13
    Manoj Athens, GA, United States 05-31-13
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    "Must have book...in print"
    If you could sum up The God Delusion in three words, what would they be?

    Informative and justified


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    There was a lot of switching between female and male narrator which was annoyingly distractive. I could understand if it was a dialogue and it was necessary to switch between the narrators, but here it sounded as if you were reading bullet points with one bullet in red and the next in blue.


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

    No. This book is very factual and dry to be read in one sitting


    Any additional comments?

    Don't get me wrong. I loved the book. It helped me clear up a lot of things about my own convictions. My criticism is aimed solely on the literary appeal of the book. The book constantly refers to statements or points that would be cleared up sometime in the future chapters so you just have to trust the author to clarify his statements later and take it now as is. Same thing happens often about past statements and with an audio book you cant go back and check what explanation the author had given or check cross-reference anything (given how unsynchronized the chapter number are on the app and on the audio itself). I think buying an audio book was a mistake and I plan to buy the print version.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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