Godless

How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker
Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (657 ratings)

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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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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

11 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.

10 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.

4 people found this helpful

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Comprehensive and non-biased/harsh tone

Great personal story. Detailed answers to top apologetic's arguments, including theological and historic issues. Inspiring humanistic approach to life.

Maybe a bit too many examples when explaining some theological arguments, but not a big deal.

If looking for an all-in-one book, this is it.

3 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.

7 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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Good information; poor delivery

I managed to get through the entire selection but found the sound of the lozenge clicking against the narrator’s teeth to be extremely distracting; almost intolerable.

Otherwise, it’s a must read for those who have transitioned from fundamentalist, dogmatic Christianity to something else entirely.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

4 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rui Feliciano
  • 06-19-19

An eye-opening story of self-discovery

Dan Barker's story is an inspiration to anyone seeking to free themselves from the shackles of religious oppression. How someone who was so deep down the rabbit hole, and freely and intellectually came to find atheism as the most reasonable and peaceful way to live is incredible.
I was especially inspired by his mom's statement when she rejected superstition: "I don't have to hate anymore."
This is the definition of how I see it, as a free thinker: you can have imaginary friends if you so desire, but if they tell you to hate others, they're probably not really your friends anyway.

2 people found this helpful

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  • E. Ez
  • 07-18-17

Practical book. I enjoyed reading it.

The narration of the book was smooth. I think the book is special because it was written by a courageous author. Many in his former situation would quietly carry on, pretending that all was fine.

2 people found this helpful

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  • BlindAlley
  • 04-11-20

A dull and boring read, with little of interest

This publication could stand editing down to at least half its current size. It would lose nothing of significance in the process. The author takes an age to make obvious points as though revealing priceless c kernels of wisdom. If you have any hope of learning the process by which a born-again Christian can transition to being an atheist, then this is not the place to look for edifying detail. An excruciatingly lengthy accounts of the patiently obvious. Save your money and buy something else!

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  • Kyle Lisgo
  • 08-06-19

Interesting and well delivered.

It's a fascinating tale of a died in the wool biblical preacher who starts to look at his own reasons for belief and eventually concludes that his reasoning was flawed. He delivers a humble story of self discovery and tells it well, followed by a lengthy dissection of his conclusions. If more people thought like Dan Barker the world would be a much better place.

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  • A. Listener
  • 03-16-19

As a lifelong atheist..

As someone who is a lifelong atheist, 'godless' provides a valuable insight into what goes on in the mind of a evangelical preacher, on his journey out of religion and towards reason.

PS: some of Dan's narration can be a little 'wet' at times, there's some slightly irritating crackling noises that the mic picks up. I think it's always better when a biography is read by the narrator, when possible. So I could overlook the slightly annoying noises. Most people will not care too much about it, but those who're easily irritated by certain sounds might find it hard to listen to.

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  • MR
  • 10-21-18

bad saliva noises

narration good but terrible annoying mouth clacking noises like saliva. if you can put up with it

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  • Huruey
  • 03-26-17

Best in its category

The author his his journey through religion, how he became a preacher, developed doubts, and the consequences. Later he discusses various arguments for and against believing in a god, as well as other topics such as morality.

The autobiographical section is an insightful and rare offering from books in this category, and is especially touching read by the author himself. The later arguments are presented with clarity and wit, and the book feels very complete while remaining interesting throughout.

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  • Richard
  • 09-21-16

Not the best quality reader

Not the greatest content and I didn't enjoy the reader speed or style. Still worth reading.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-11-16

a fascinating story and well argued.

the personal story of his conversion to atheism and then a comprehensive dissection.of the absurdity of the christian texts.

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  • Spencer Fildes
  • 05-19-16

Great story of a journey towards reason

Loved listening to this. I though the narration was a tad slow but moved it to x1.15 and was perfect.

Loved the nod to Genie Scott, I chaperone her last year in Scotland. Great woman!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-20

Fantastic!!

As a ex christian.. occasionally falling into belief systems.. I learnt alot and can relate to Dans experience.. the first 8 chapters were great and the rest was about science and debunking why we have a " God shaped hole" in us.. an epic book! 5 stars!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-18-20

A book of 2 halfs

The biographical first-half was interesting, but the second-half promotion of atheism was a little dull.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-17

Long and slow

The content is sound, technically well researched. Just found it very long-winded with unnecessary padding and repetition. The narrator spoke slowly and deliberately, tending to be boring.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-17

wow!!!

what an amazing book. if you believe in a god, you definitely need to read this book. very well researched and delivered.

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  • Daniel Lish
  • 03-08-17

Great read for all Religeous peoples.

This book explains why I'm an athiest and even though Richard Dawkins wants you to read this to talk to Christians... I think it would be the best book for Christians to read to talk to Athiests.

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  • nathaniel
  • 11-29-16

recomended if you want an anti-christian argument

speech is slow at times
compelling story
great ammunition for anyone coming across christian arguments and apologists.