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)
The in-depth breakdown of each of the tenants of peoples beliefe of religion.
Some of the condescending attitude that comes off in some of the ways in which he'd address topics of belief.
That was the best title, certainly explains the tone for which the 'believers' are given throughout the book. I am an atheist myself and thought it a bit silly how goofy/disrespectful he makes out peoples beliefs at certain parts. However it's a long book and not filled with negative talk, just some of the points that stick out in my book. The book itself is very civil.
Maybe. It was a good book, but I felt it was argumentative at many points. That would be a huge turnoff for believers. There were many great points and several chapters that were well phrased and enlightening.
I don't think another speaker would have done it justice. It brought a personal view.
No, it's much too long and can only be consumed in small amounts.
Dawkins presents a thorough and convincing argument about the absurdity of religion though not necessarily in a manner that would be accessible to all educational levels. Some of the chapters are magnificent while others make me wonder whether while in his biology tangents he forgot that he was writing about religion. All in all, a well researched book that cites numerous sources so the reader does not have to take his word on faith (unlike one other well published work of fiction).
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
Whether or not one agrees with Richard Dawkins' interpretation of atheism, it is well worth reading/listening to him. You would have to be very narrow-minded if this book did not make you think and contemplate. If one was seeking to validate a religious belief, it should be essential reading. A bonus to Mr. Dawkins' theories is that he discusses them with a great sense of humor.
Brilliant, courageous and rational.
The content and performance of the God Delusion are both excellent. The case Dawkins makes against the existence of God is scientific, logical and easy to understand. The use of two narrators (Dawkins and Ward), was particularly effective. As a listener, I found that toggling back and forth between readers helped my concentration and understanding of the text. Overall, a very worthwhile listen.
Dawkins has written many books related to evolutionary biology and this is a great introduction/overview of his views on his work and how it relates to popular opinion on the subject. There is no doubting where he stands on the atheist-religious person spectrum (he lays that out in the beginning along with his definitions of the spectrum of belief systems in between.
He doesn't beat around the bush in saying that people who are religious are basically believing in nonsense so if you are very strong in your beliefs/faith, and associate more with outspoken christians, this book may get you riled up. But I think the book offers a lot to everyone else in terms of the religion's hold on society, including suggestions to explain the following:
Why do so many cultures believe there is a God if it's not true that one exists?
Where did the universe come from?
What is the history behind some of the stories in the bible?
Do these stories in the bible stand up to fact-checking and/or do they each contradict each other?
Where do I lay on the religious spectrum?
How does the theory of evolution by natural selection relate to religion?
How have political leaders through century of history spoken about and related to religion?
How has religion changed over the millenia and how will it continue to change?
The only criticism I have about the book is the performance. There are two voices, a male voice and a female voice who routinely switch back and forth in the narration - sometimes in the middle of a sentence. This is particularly distracting in the beginning when you're trying to get used to the narration itself. Also, the two voices are extremely different on the tonal spectrum so it's diffiult to switch hearing ears. It wasn't until close to the middle of the book that I got used to it.
A 30 Year old male with interests in Media, Digital Art, online businesses and running
You don't have to be an atheist to enjoy this book, but if you're extremely religious and don't keep an open mind to other possibilities this book might offend you. This book tries to convey different reasons why religion could be a bad thing. argues the non-existence of god and tackles the misconception that morals are derived only from religion. I have listened to a couple of audio books read by Richard Dawkins and Lala Ward and never liked there style of presentation, but the content of the book is worth it.
If you're extremely religious and don't keep an open mind to other possibilities this book might offend you.
Indie filmmaker who loves listening to books on audio
Richard is far and away one of the smartest people on the planet
No, in fact, it's turned me on to more Richard Dawkins books.
The material is so deep and thick, I don't know if I would have been able to read it as a book. Hearing them speak the words and place emphasis where it needed to be and pause when it needed it was invaluable.
Intelligence over fantasy
The use of two readers was irritating. Had just the man read, I'd give the performance 4 or 5 stars. Just the woman, 3 stars. Together, bouncing back and forth, 1 star. Still glad I listened. Certainly worth the time!
While I have always considered myself somewhere between agnostic and atheist (pantheist) for the majority of my life, I find this book a hard read. I think Dawkins makes some very convincing points that would make agnostic person look at religion in a new light, however his tone is likely to turn off the target audience. I am half way thru, I have decided not to finish it for a couple of reasons. First, Dawkins' arrogant tone throughout the book gets old quick. At first you kind of ignore it, but after a while it gets really distracting and annoying. After listening to it for a while, you realize that even though he claims to be scientific, he is far from objective in his investigations.Second, The first few hours of the book lay out a good outline of the damage that religion causes to society, to ones self, and to science. After that, it become nothing more then a "bash fest" of how dumb he thinks anyone who buys into creationism really is. At the half way point it does not appear to be getting any better.
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