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Godless  By  cover art

Godless

By: Dan Barker,Richard Dawkins - foreword
Narrated by: Richard Dawkins,Dan Barker
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Publisher's summary

From the introduction by Dan Barker: Millions of good people live moral, happy, loving, meaningful lives without believing in a god.

Oprah said it was 17 years, but it was actually 19 years between my first sermon at the age of 15 and my last sermon at the age of 34. Part 1 of Godless, "Rejecting God", tells the story of how I moved from devout preacher to atheist and beyond. Part 2, "Why I Am an Atheist", presents my philosophical reasons for unbelief. Part 3, "What's Wrong with Christianity", critiques the bible (its reliability as well as its morality) and the historical evidence for Jesus. Part 4, "Life Is Good!", comes back to my personal story, taking a case to the United States Supreme Court, dealing with personal trauma, and experiencing the excitement of Adventures in Atheism.

©2008 Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins (P)2015 Pitchstone Publishing

Critic reviews

"Valuable in the human story are the reflections of intelligent and ethical people who listen to the voice of reason and who allow it to vanquish bigotry and superstition. This book is a classic example." (Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great)
"The most eloquent witness of internal delusion that I know - a triumphantly smiling refugee from the zany, surreal world of American fundamentalist Protestantism - is Dan Barker." (Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion)
" Godless was a revelation to me. I don't think anyone can match the (devastating!) clarity, intensity, and honesty which Dan Barker brings to the journey - faith to reason, childhood to growing up, fantasy to reality, intoxication to sobriety." (Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia)

What listeners say about Godless

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good writing, irritating narration

I enjoyed the book's content but it sounded like the author was sucking in a lozenge...the mouth noises were nearly intolerable.

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14 people found this helpful

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In-depth yet personal

This book was very thoughtful and inspires reason as a daily lifestyle. The surprising aspect was that it managed to utilize a method of storytelling and personal history that made the entire book feel like an inspirational biography so indicative of the successful christian narratives infecting the checkout aisles of bookstores today.
I will admit that for about two chapters I was deeply annoyed with the author's voice. It was soothing, deep and should have been very easy to listen to, but something about it almost had me giving up on the book. Then I realized that I was annoyed because it reminded me of the calming and methodical voices used by preachers in the church I went to as a kid. As soon as I recognized that Dan Barker had that quality, I was able to relax and drop how annoyed I was.

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11 people found this helpful

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It's Never Too Late To Embrace Reason

Dan's fascinating story of de-conversion also provides some basic philosophy and biblical examination. Great Read.

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8 people found this helpful

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Great Book

Timely and logical helping me move past my fears of letting go of the myths.

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7 people found this helpful

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must read/listen!

Loved it! rings true through out the book. Will make sure to recommend to friend's.

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7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Just an amazing, entertaining, and very well informed book. I found it amazing hat Dan read the whole book himself it really makes it hit home a lot more. When I saw that Richard Dawkins did the foreword it was the last deciding factor in my decision to choose Godless, and it really did not disappoint.

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6 people found this helpful

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Secular Humanism's Petulant Adolescence in America

This book was a mixed bag. At times Barker shows his obvious articulate intellect and his arguments are penetrating, challenging, well-researched and well-delivered. At other times his tone is gratingly immature, kitsch, overly-confrontational and adolescent in it's attempt to shock the religious establishment in his home country. It is an obvious sign of immaturity in a cultural movement when it feels the need to say shocking, controversial things all the time with one eye on the establishment to see how they are reacting. Much like a three year old or a teenager being deliberately controversial just to get a rise out their parents.

Another sign that the cultural movement of secular humanism is growing up out of its adolescence in America will be when prominent figures in the movement, like Barker, cease calling themselves "Atheists", a one-dimensional and purely reactionary label, and start calling themselves something that better encompasses the nuanced movement of secular humanism. One can't help but expect that proudly calling defining oneself as an "Atheist" is an adolescent transitional phase aimed mainly to shock and be jarring against the perceived "parental" religious establishment.

Barker's book shows the movement of secular humanism in America to still be stuck in its reactionary, "shock-jock" adolescence. Perhaps that fact reveals the greater problem that in the 21st century, American culture is still stuck in a childish neoteny of religious belief. Secular humanism in America will have shown itself to have grown up once it drops the desire to stick with one dimensional, reactionary labels such as "Atheist" and also moves on from the childish, kitsch and mocking tone of the ex-religious apostate into a calmer, more mature and self-assured secular humanist.

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Amazing testimony.

Mr. Barker touches on many aspects of his journey from faith to reason. His description of his transition is something very relatable to any one who was raised religious and later became an unbeliever.

I also recommend this book for believers who aren't easily offended and enjoy good discussion. I challenge you to listen to Mr. Barker's chapter on bible contradictions. It will blow your mind. I think a large percentage of believers don't actually know the bible as well as they think.

Approach this book with an open mind while Dan describes the possibility of Jesus the myth and Jesus the legend (2 different ideas).

You can't read this book and walk away with nothing, believers and non believers alike.

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5 people found this helpful

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Beating a dead horse

I agree 100% with the book. I think if you are on the fence helpful.

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the first time I wished a book was abridged

Pretty much any criticism that can be found in the Bible is covered here, and I very much enjoyed his personal story. The downside is that for the first time in my life (and I never thought this would happen) I found myself actually thinking that an abridged version would be better! Do we really need to know the detailed reaction of every single person he came out as an atheist to, even though many of them mirror each other and don't give us anything new we didn't just read? Is not just that though, everything from personal experiences to criticism of the bible is very repetitive. When he says "also see chapters ___, ___, and ___." That can be interpreted to mean, "I just beat this subject to death, but I'm going to do it 3 more time before the book has finished" Dan has been in many debates, and they are all recounced here even though they all pretty much cover the same topics, then he covers those topics outside of the debate part as well. It's a long book that gets very dry in parts, but it also covers a lot of ground and addresses any issue that might come up in a debate as well as presenting many that I haven't heard before

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4 people found this helpful