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)
If you've read much Dawkins, (The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, and others) it will come as no surprise to you that he is no fan of religion. What is new in The God Delusion is that the evolutionary biologist goes beyond rational disagreement with those who believe, and argues that religion is dangerous and should be opposed on nearly every front. He recognizes that religion has been an important force in art and literature, but gives it credit for little else in the realm of good.
Dawkins makes no distinction between radical evangelical Christianity, the Taliban and Jihadist Muslims. The worldview of each is equally intolerant of any other belief, and so ultimately equally dangerous.
Dawkins spends about half the book examining historical and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. In doing so, he takes apart the reasoning of many men, noble and ignoble, most of whom are dead. In a historical review such of this, arguing with the dead is unavoidable. Dawkins spends a bit too much time arguing with the more recently dead Stephen Jay Gould, a fellow evolutionary biologist and sometimes nemesis, than is strictly necessary.
One thing that particularly rankles Dawkins is the concept of children being born into a religion. They grow up, typically, thinking that their parents' religion is the one true faith. How lucky for them. Dawkins seethes at calling a four-year-old a Catholic or Muslim child. We do not call them a Democrat or a Republican based on their parents' convictions. They are allowed to make that choice for themselves when they mature. Religion should be a matter of choice, not indoctrination, according to Dawkins. Of all his contentions in this particularly contentious book, this may be the least likely to gain traction.
Because religion in its multitude of forms is so widely practiced, Dawkins assertions will seem radical. They will not, however, seem irrational.
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.
The writing not having been so condescending.
No, I love the topic. And also am a fan of earlier works by Dawkins.
The shifting between the two narrators I found distracting and at times trite.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Nope. Never. I didn't like their writing style.
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.
No. Lalla Ward's voice is grating at best (and I usually prefer a British accent for readers)
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.
An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.
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.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
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.
i am a christian, and i found this book to be brilliant (with the exception of the section on memes, which i found to be pedantic)... i believe that anyone -- religious or non-religious, young or old -- should read this book... whether you agree with the conclusions Dawkins draws, these are important questions that have bearing on all of humanity, and this is a very well considered, cohesive, and enjoyable treatise on matters of origin and existence... its a bit slow at times, but on the whole i cannot recommend this highly enough...
This book was a life-changing experience for me. I always knew I was not a believer, but I never could articulate what I was. I owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Dawkins for his rational, elegant, and passionate dissection of the intellectual fraud we call revealed religion. You could say that Dawkins gave me the courage to come out of the closet and put my HL Mencken quotes up on the wall for all to see.
Perhaps the best thing about this book is the moral outrage it no doubt causes among believers, so many of whom probably haven't read (listened) to it.
Once I started listening to this book, I could not stop until the last word was spoken. This is the only audiobook I've listened to twice.
Report Inappropriate Content