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.
"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)
I judge audiobooks on both content and narration - narration on this book was well done. It's more like an interesting lecture than a straight up reading of the book and I don't have a paper copy of the book to compare so it may well be a lecture instead of narration.
Content - I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but mark it down a bit in content because the author goes off on putting religious believers down a little too much. It's one thing to address their arguments, but making fun of them drops the case a bit. Although, for anyone concerned about it there's no hardcore "Christian bashing" - just a little "Can you believe they believe that stuff?" sort of thing.
I also think some of the arguments are as unfounded as the other side's. If you stick to pure logical arguments I don't think he does a good enough job proving that God doesn't exist. But to his credit - it IS a difficult task.
But overall it's a good listen and many of the arguments do hold true (like believing in an omniscient god because its safer than not believing then thinking that the god won't somehow know that you're only in it to save your skin being a little hypocritical).
All in all a good listen and I recommend it.
If you are a diehard God believer I'd suggest something a bit lighter first. Ultimately Dawkins helps to clarify, challenge and define... even for atheists and agnostics who may have long thought they were clear about their beliefs and why they believe them. This is particularly so for agnostics who may benefit from Dawkin's challenging arguments about temporary agnosticism and permanent agnosticism.
Just one other point... some listeners may find the shared reading of the book between Dawkins and his wife Dalla Ward an enhancement while others may find the switching back and forth distracting. In hindsight I think I would rather have read the book. Nonetheless, the God Delusion is an important work and hopefully won't be the last effort to help assuage centuries of religious impositions.
Please read Christopher Hitchins and Daniel Dennett for more insights into the non-religious world. And if you really want to explore spirituality more, they don't come more sane and balanced then Joseph Campbell.
I found this book to be facinating. I have been thru at least 3 different religions and i can tell you none of them " filled a void" . this author speaks to that little voice in your head That tells you that what you are hearing from a priest, bishop, rabbi, or what ever just seems off. and he backs it up with good plain undeniable logic. But remember belief in anything is an entirely personal CHOICE. Even if that thing is nothing at all.
Brought up an interesting argument and defended it well. Gets kind of tough to listen to after a while unless you are an Ivy League graduate or a hard core atheist. But overall I enjoyed listening to this side of the argument.
If you want a book that helps you decide if you are a believer, or if you are an atheist then The God Delusion is not the right book for you, Its more like a debate book, Dawkins speaks about earlier discussions between him and various religious believers, however in part 2 there are a some helpful facts for the recovering religious addict, But it is more like a handbook for the already established atheists, I would recommend Sam Harris The end of Faith for the addict, and once you break free of religion and start to enjoy life for what it is, then you are ready to read The God Delusion
I love this book even though I am not an atheist. I love the intelligence of this book and the systematic approach of all possible aspects of the issues raised by Atheism. Richard Dawkins confronts each issue head-on and rips apart the theist views, often in a very funny way. I also love the back and forth between Richard narrating and a female co-narrator who reads the numerous quotes. It makes it easier to listen to without drifting away. Also Richard is a great teacher as he always re-caps complicated points that makes the reasoning easier to understand. I thinks it's a must read whether or not you believe in God.
Dawkin's book provides great ammunition for those rare conversations with christians that can actually discuss their religion - rather than condemning you, the non-believer, to hell after two minutes of ranting about how god is totally real and how much he loves you, regardless of your faults.
I have read "The God Delusion" before on paper. Me coming back to the audio version speaks a lot about quality of the text. What I would like to focus on in this review is quality of recording. I am not native English speaker but I had no trouble understanding both narrators. The voices are very clear and full of passion. It's clear that author stands for every word in his text and makes a lot of effort to send the message across.
I also like the idea of adding second, feminine, narrator. Most of the text is read by Dawkins with some passages read by Lara Ward. Those are chosen in a way which makes the book even more pleasant to listen. I especially liked the poem she reads at the beginning of chapter ten.
Overall, great book. I recommend it even if you read the paper version before.
Dawkins is a scientist at heart and it shows quite clearly in his prose. The book is excellent in covering all aspects of the argument to God's existence. Sometimes it may be covering it too well. Some chapters appear overburdened with points that are exhaustive, but necessary to inhibit any form of counter argument. Most chapters are clear, concise and a joy to read/listen to. Dawkins and his wife make excellent readers of this book and alternate to help the listener be revitalized. If you do not gain a new perspective on this topic from reading it you just weren't listening. I'd recommend this book for anyone who truly questions the whole religious enviroment we live in or even if you don't.
Although Dawkins has no tolerance for fence sitters, and pulls no punches in expressing his views towards believers (views which are all negative in varying degrees), he takes few cheap shots and makes at least some effort to be fair (which is not the same as being even handed, which he most certainly is not). I found the book to be well organized, and even the author's occasional tangents are relevant to his point, if you can follow his train of thought long enough.
There is, however, one irritating flaw; there are two readers who alternate reading passages. Individually, each reader is excellent. One is Dawkins himself, who proves an exception to the rule (my rule, at least) that an author shouldn't give in to the conceit of thinking he can read his/her own book, and the other is Lalla Ward who is, not coincidentally I am sure, Dawkins' wife. She too is very good (and in fact is a professional actress), but the alternating voices serve no purpose and I found the practice annoying all through the book. I never got used to it. Recorded book editors take note; this was a crummy idea.
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