The God Delusion

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The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | January 16, 2008 | Trade Paperback

The God Delusion is rated 3.6316 out of 5 by 38.
A preeminent scientist -- and the world''s most prominent atheist -- asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines 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. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe''s wonders than any faith could ever muster.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.06 in

Published: January 16, 2008

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618918248

ISBN - 13: 9780618918249

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Scientific Falsification of the God Hypothesis Witty, smart, and unapologetically charming, The God Delusion is a must-read for nonbelievers, and the paramount test of faith to the faithful, all while adhering to the Scientific Method. If you're new to Dawkins, I'm certain you'll be pleasantly surprised by his scientific expertise, which he so graciously combines in the ultimate double-helix with his tasteful literacy and respect for the English language. If you are familiar with Dawkins' work, you'll find this book to be his (brilliant) magnum opus on the topic of religion, pseudoscience, and spirituality -- written in his classic analytic style. I will concede, the book does include several paragraph-lengthed rants, though it is a welcome change of tone after his full *scientific* breakdown of God. This breakdown includes rebuttals against arguments from design, consolation, and everything in-between. The book neither preaches to an atheist choir, nor flogs anyone of moderate faith. It is simply a full, comprehensive book of counter-arguments, and secular perspectives (for the unfaithful) on issues such as mortality, and purpose. The topic of God, divine purpose, heavenly plans, and celestial care and surveillance is relevant to every person, in every profession. Dawkins leaves atheists with their very own alternative to holy scripture, the agnostics and undecided with a persuasive argument, and the pious with a refutation that will, with enough open-mindedness, leave you with no reason to believe in a God besides "because I want to."
Date published: 2014-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutley great Buy this book I think his book was perfect, although I am a militant atheist I still respect other people's views. There are some rants but I can't help but think that if I was writing it I would have done the same thing. I can't thank him enough for writing this book, have other works from him and I would recommend Christopher Hitchens to anyone who wants to read some real rants. He's brilliant too !!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth Thinking About Carefully I read the book from start to finish. I felt belittled and bludgeoned for not being convinced by his way of thinking. That really is the strength of this book: that it makes people feel stupid for disagreeing with Dawkins. The actual science in this book is weak, it is basically a "rant" to quote Trent's review below. If you need proof of this, consider that his main argument, the Ultimate 747, is actually not that convincing IMHO. Go read it again, and just imagine ways you can poke holes in his argument, it's not too hard. I'm not saying this because I'm a religious nut, just because I want people to be aware of what Dawkins is doing. Don't be bullied by this book, read it a little more carefully.
Date published: 2014-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dawkins is a very talented writer He's good at explaining things in terms that both a layperson and an expert would understand. You don't need to be a philosopher or a theologist to be able to understand this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love arguments that are real and Dawkins's points are real and necessary. Great book, engaging, a live entity forcing you to think for yourself.
Date published: 2014-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely amazing Amazing book, everyone should read it. Funny how many religious nutjobs wrote about a dozen books in reply to this one. The most pathetic one was the "Dawkins delusion" where the word "Dawkins" was printed using the "Dracula" font like in horror movie titles (you know, the one where the letters look like they're made of blood or something). Typical of religious wackos. Also very funny how these people think the tone of the author was aggressive or otherwise offensive towards religion and religious people. I thought it was very mild and calculated, everything was backed by logic and argumentation, it never came anywhere close to a rant. But I guess religious people are brainwashed to fiercely attack anyone who dares to present an alternative to their beliefs. Luckily, Dawkins was born in modern times, the religious freaks would have burnt him at stake a few hundred years ago!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fascinating! Thought provoking look at the dangers of religion from the atheistic and scientific point of view. Some portions of the book were more enlightening and interesting than others. An important read.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from TRUTHFULLY Entertaining Richards Dawkins is an acclaimed atheist, documentary maker and writer, advocate of reason and knowledge. In ‘The God Delusion’ Dawkins attacks the religion problem from several different perspectives, creating a very interesting summary that aims to eliminate any doubt about the non-existence of God and why mankind has succumbed to religion despite of all its downfalls and atrocities of past millennia and present times. One of the things that appeal to me the most about this book is its entertaining way to shed light into religion’s strangest arguments. One of the pillars of this battle is the argument that religion, compared to other global organizations, gets far too great of a free pass in society. It is not acceptable by the religious folks to be criticized about their beliefs. They think everyone, even atheist, should completely ‘respect’ anything related to God. This completely undeserved respect wakens an outrage within anyone daring to question the thought of an almighty being in the skies. It’s reasonable to accept that everyone has their own set of beliefs and they are entitled to them, whatever they are. But unfortunately societies and the lives of new generations are being affected greatly by religion. Indoctrination - Dawkins makes the case - is another way to enslave young mind and boycott a better future. Dawkins shows reasonable patience in suggesting why the scientific approach is the valid one by examining all available evidence. But the argument of faith mixed up with obedience makes for very stubborn individuals and points of view. Dawkins makes compelling arguments against Creationism and Intelligent Design. He points out how misguided Creationist are and demolishes any wall put in front of the Darwinian theory of Evolution. Dawkins covers some questions such as morality issues as well as whether or not religion can sometimes serve other uses in society.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book This was a great book with alot of valid points.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Intro Read to Atheism Back in August, I wanted to do a deep dive on the origin of life. Well, my hectic 9 - 5 delayed this exercise by four months. Anyway, I started off by reading The God Delusion, a bestseller written by the famous Richard Dawkins. This book not only defends atheism, but it goes so far as to attack the religious position. Here are some of the main principles explained: 1. The God Hypothesis - Dawkins contends that if god really created life, then who created god in the first place? He goes on to remind us that the whole problem we started with was to explain the statistical improbability on the origin of life. Thus it makes no sense to take the god position because there is the larger problem of who designed the designer. In comparison, evolution by natural selection becomes a more probable and hence preferrable theory. 2. Evolution of complex organs is possible - creationists argue that complex organs like the eye could not have evolved in a piecemeal fashion over time. This is because the eye is made of several critical parts without one will cause the entire system to fail. Dawkins counters by pointing out that the eye could actually have started out as a simple light receptor. Having a light receptor is definitely better than nothing when you are in the wild searching for meals and trying to avoid becoming someone else's meal. What came next were the functions of focus, colour, etc., each of which brought additional advantages that were perpetuated by natural selection. 3. Abundance of Goldilocks planets in the universe - Creationists claim that the conditions necessary for life to exist on Earth are so unique that it must have been the work of a supernatural god. Earth is a Goldilocks planet, because we are at just the right distance from the sun to support carbon-based life forms. But Dawkins maintains the Earth is not that special after all. Contemporary astronomical data suggest there are about 1 billion stars in our galaxy. Orbiting these stars are another 1 billion to 30 billion planets. Look farther out and it is estimated that there are close to 100 billion galaxies in our universe. Let's err on the conservative side, knock a few zeros off, and say there are just 1 billion billion planets in our universe. Suppose the rise of life from spontaneous generation of DNA material, being highly improbable, only happens on one in a billion planets. With these odds, you can still expect to find life on a billion planets throughout the universe. Given the unbelievably large playing field the universe offers, it is almost illogical not to expect life on other planets. Though none of the above concepts are bleeding edge, Dawkins does a great job using everyday language to argue his case. If you want to learn a few things on atheism vs theism, this is a good introductory read. Make sure you get your facts right however and not just rely on this one book. As the saying goes: when one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. -PTS www.parttimescholar.com
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read A brilliant examination of the negative impacts of religion on human life. Incisive logic based on an unwavering adherence to the principle that all assertions made by men must be testable by science in order to be believed. Surely an uncomfortable read for the religious, but it will hopefully help the doubting to free themselves further of religious dogma.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Good and Bad of God Delusion It was a bit difficult to decide how to write my opinion on this book because it took me in 2 different directions. First of all, I am in agreement with Dawkin's point of view. Despite people's opinion that he is 'extremist', he is actually stating what he simply believes is 'obvious' to him (and to me). His points are valid and he gives as many examples as possible to drive his point home. My second direction that this book took me on was the way in which it was written. As much as I agree with Dawkins, I found it difficult to get through the first couple of chapters and periods of other chapters as they were not always well focused and sometimes went off on tangents which can leave the reader bored or wishing to skip ahead. So overall, a great book with great points but not well focused consistently. This book will of course be viewed venomously by religious people, but I strongly advise people to read with an open mind, not a jugemental one because this is an important book to understanding our 'meaning of life' in this universe. It's always important to respect people's opinions and thoughts regardless of whether you agree or not.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from For those who don't want to think Already an athiest and just want something you can bob your head up and down to without thinking? Perfect book for you! Richard should be embarrassed. His use of statistics would make a high school student cringe. For every odd theology thought of that past that he ridicules, there are 10 x that number from the past scientists. He only pokes at the 'right', 'conservative' version of Christianity (think Televangelists), and uses this as a steriotype, despite his initial comment about talking about all religions. I believe this book was solely written for those who only want to read what they want to hear, and for him to make big $. Judging from most of the other reviews, he has succeeded. Richard could not possibly be a Mensa.
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly Brilliant A brilliant look into facts and common sense so few Americans will even attempt to explore due to their faith. I just wish more people would think for themselves so they could see.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Flawed I read this book to see things from an atheist's perspective - a 'know thine enemy' kind of thing. I found Dawkins to be rather arrogant and obstinate. He refuses to admit that he could be wrong and uses very poor evidence to prove his theory. He does not seem to have an actual understanding of people's religious beliefs. His tone throughout seems to be rather mocking, especially in his conferences on the subject. He described two different types of Gods people 'believe' in but neither of those is my God. Nor, in fact, do I know of any religion that does believe in them. Then he mocked our belief in these Gods. I find it demeaning and unfair. He says it is wrong for people to "force" their beliefs on their children but he is clearly doing the same thing to a much larger audience. It doesn't matter what age people are. If you tell them something and they have little to no previous knowledge of the subject, they will probably believe you. He is giving his opinion without giving the other side of the argument a chance to respond. He also tries to paint atheists as an oppressed group of truth-seekers who need to stand up for themselves. I see it as the other way around. I have never felt more judged than after telling people I'm Catholic. It is much harder to be religious than to be an atheist or agnostic. The book did nothing to change my religious views at all. It just made me think less of atheism.
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painful to Read I bought this book thinking that a scientist like Dawkins, with a big name in the literary and scientific community, would be able to present a convincing argument for his beliefs about theology. All I got was a bunch of ranting about how religion is crazy, people who believe in God are completely crazy, and atheism is the only right thing to believe in because everything else is crazy crazy crazy. Throughout the book, Dawkins would present an argument against God, then turn around and use an argument for atheism that was susceptible to the exact same logic as the point he just debunked. It came across as very narrow minded, which really affected his argument. When debating a topic, your points are stronger when you seriously try to understand why someone would believe in the opposing opinion. Dawkins completely failed to do this, and as a result, his book lacked sustenance. Dawkins does have a good writing style, which made the book bearable. And for atheists out there looking for a good rant against God, this is probably your book. But if you’re looking for an insightful theological debate, don’t bother with this book.
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Huh??? I have read a lot of science related books. Most of them are in regards to some aspect of physics. Some can be a little difficult to understand, as the science is a bit complicated to translate to lay english. I thought I'd give the great god Dawkins a read and try the evolutionary biology genre. After reading Kip Thorne, John Wheeler, Paul Davies, Lisa Randall, and authors like that I thought let see what Dawkins is like. He's been, I guess, voted one of the greatest intellects in the UK. Must be a good read? Without discussing whether or not I agreed with his conclusions or not, I have to say this is not a great book. I really don't understand why people think it is. It is controversial, yes. It promotes an agenda that some people want promoted, yes. It really puts it to some people that need to reexamine their core beliefs, yes. But is it a good, well reasoned book? It isn't. It is a rant by someone who assumes that you already agree with him, and if you don't then "Thanks for the money, now go away and behave like the idiotic little presbyterian suicide bomber you are. And please stop abusing the children." is the only answer you will get. Obviously, if you don't subscribe to diatribe as proof then you aren't intelligent enough to understand his style of explaining why he is correct. Again, many of the points he makes are absolutely true. From a certain point of view. The problem is, at the very beginning of the book it is made extremely clear that any other point of view is so obvioulsy wrong he doesn't see the need to actually examine them. It's the "I'm right, so why look at alternative explanations" position. I think there is a possibility that he may ultimately be right, but if this is his argument then I can use the same arguments against String Theory and the Grand Unification Theory researchers and state with absolute certainty that they aren't really scientists but a bunch of deluded pseudophysicists. There is no proof of String Theory. It might be true, but as of yet it doesn't make any verifiable predictions that can't be predicted by non-string theory. By Dawkin's analogy they are also deluded, but the question is whether teaching our children that there are little stings of energy that vibrate in 11 dimensions and they make up the entire universe but we can't see them because they are smaller than quarks can be also considered child abuse. You see children are not by nature String Theorists. They are made so by deluded adults, apparently. So, might be correct but anyone who is convinced by this is either a latent antitheist or would be equally be convinced to take Canadian Tire money to the bank to find out what the current exchange rate is.
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from DAWKINS DELUSION This would be a great book in comedy except Dawkins believes his delusion. Dawkins intent fails completely and his arguments are without merit.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unscientific for a Scientific Man I have seen the video of the same name and read this only a part of this book (could not go on it’s the same). Dawkins takes too much out of contexts to make extreme accusations against religion and the few points he does make are simply over whelmed by the rest. I only hope that Dawkins can get back to taking a actual scientific view on religion next time he writes his book because this one was like reading a piece of propaganda. Written by an extremist atheist fundamentalist trying to convert us all
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Thoughts, Flawed Delivery Dawkins' novel, The God Delusion, presents an articulate, sometimes comical, and foreboding message about the future of our world in the wake of religious belief. It is a very entertaining read, and Dawkins' voice resounds clearly through each page as though he was sitting across the table speaking directly to you. Dawkins' aim in this book was to 'raise consciousness', and he has done exactly that. This book will be truly enjoyed by anyone who shares his passion for atheism and fear of the religious future. And for those who do not share his perspective, this book will open their eyes to a new perspective on life and morality without God. The book sets up brilliantly the arguments for and against the existence of God, and appears to set the stage for millions of people to join the cause of atheism. However, I fear this will not be the case for many of those millions. Although The God Delusion does an amazing job of setting up the reader to see the world (and the universe) as Dawkins sees it, I found that the hostility that comes through in his narrative sometimes clouds the pictures. I got the recurring visual in my head of Dawkins sitting in a chair, waiving his arms, shouting "How do you not see this?!?!?", which left some parts of the novel seeming less research-based and calculated and more of the rantings of a passionate atheist trying desperately to show his readers the flaws in the beliefs of individuals who will likely never read the book anyways. The facts are there, and the arguments are quite sound, but he uses multiple examples and sidetracks that could confuse some readers. All in all, I truly enjoyed the book, and I think it would be more effective if it were narrowed down slightly to shave off some of the unnecessary rantings. Dawkins has, however, succeeded in his main goal, to 'raise consciousness' and allow for religion to become the subject of the same scrutiny as any other topic in this world. Through this book, people will discuss, banter, debate, and, one can hope... open their eyes.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review As someone who has always been intrigued by science, I was fascinated by Dawkins' use of evolution and mathematical probability to dispute the existence of God. Despite having learned a significant amount about evolution throughout my university career, I cannot say that I ever gave it much thought in the context of religion. I found myself wishing that Dawkins had discussed the topic in greater detail within this book. In contrast, Dawkins seemed to go off on tangents quite frequently where, in my opinion, it was completely unnecessary - sometimes to the point where I momentarily forgot what exactly he was trying to prove. His discussion of memes was one such area and, in my view, it weakened his overall argument. His claim that raising a child in a religious environment is tantamount to child abuse, is a gross generalization. In certain households, such as those of fundamentalist Christians, I wholeheartedly agree. Documentaries such as "Jesus Camp" have exposed the blatant brainwashing that many Evangelical children are subjected to. Such treatment cannot be described as anything short of terrifying. Still, I cannot say that my moderately religious parents did any serious harm by teaching me their beliefs. I went to a Catholic school (which did not teach Creationism and encouraged questioning religion - imagine that!), and I believe that I actually benefited from the experience. We were required to take a "World Religions" course and were taught tolerance. Never did a teacher claim that we were superior to another group of people. To say that all parents should be forbidden from passing their beliefs on to their children, is quite frightening in itself. I don't see how that's any different from the church taking Children away from those Jewish parents mentioned within the book. It's just a different form of totalitarianism. Should there be a separation of church and state? Absolutely! Should Creationism be taught in schools? Absolutely NOT! Would we be immoral without religion? Of course not! Does moderate religion have a place in our society? I believe that it does. In fact, I believe that it would benefit everyone if a world religions course was mandatory in every single school. Some of my best friends are of different faiths, and we have no trouble getting along. In fact, we have had religious discussions in the past - not discussions about which religion is correct, but discussions about the differences between them. Thus, exposure to different religions and the people who practice them, is a much better alternative than trying to convince individuals that they should abandon religion altogether. It will never happen. Dawkins is a brilliant writer, but I disagree with many of his assertions. I certainly don't regret reading this book, as it made me think about a lot of important issues. Still, the hatred that I felt emanating from certain portions of The God Delusion made me feel very uneasy. The last thing this world needs is a group of atheists starting a war against religion.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Rewarding Read Whether you're a Bible-touting Christian (Quran-touting Muslim), a fence-sitting agnostic, or a born-again athiest, you'll be fascinated by the philosophy, science, and biblical history Dawkins employs to proclaim the futility, even harmfulness, of organized religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. You may not agree with all his conclusions, but you'll be challenged to make sense of the finer points of your faith. A 'must' read.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I don't understand I read about 300 pages of this book and finally put it down and actually returned it to the bookstore. I did not finish it. This book makes absolutely no sense to me. I purchased the book on recommendation from a friend and was ready for it to open my mind. The book presented no new ideas about religion. Yes, we already know, religion makes no sense but billions still believe. Big deal, tell me something I don’t know. Dawkins book is extremely boring and convoluted. He makes no attempt to explain the references he mentions in the books or other authors he is critical of. He simply starts quoting random excerpts from their work. For those of us not familiar with his discipline we are lost. To me, Dawkins discusses complex scientific and mathematical theories that left me clueless. Maybe, I am not smart enough to understand Dawkins or maybe, Dawkins is a very poor at trying to convey a very simple message. As someone interested in the study of religions and God I did not find this book worthwhile.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Review of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion From the preface: This book “is intended to raise consciousness – raise consciousness to the fact that to be an atheist is a realistic aspiration, and a brave and splendid one.” THE GOD DELUSION is a provocative book and eminently readable. His basic claim is that religion is a delusion, a modification of Freud’s claim that religion is an illusion (a wish fulfillment). It is also a political warning. Dawkins holds the view the religions are dangerous, both cognitively and politically. The book is really well written, it is fun to read even when you disagree. With lively prose and invective rhetoric there is something here that is sure to annoy almost everyone… it is provocative and entertaining. In other words, it is the perfect coffee table book; it is also a very SUCCESSFUL book on its own terms. Dawkins wants to talk critically about religion in public, The book and the video accompanying it have been widely discussed and circulated. So, even if you disagree vehemently - if you are reading this review Dawkins has probably accomplished his aims. He wants to talk about religion in public and he wants more people to talk about religion in public. As someone who studies religion professionally I have numerous reservations about his book. I’ll mention only one. Dawkins starting point is essentially that religion is “bad science.” He spends a lot of time showing the absurdity of “intelligent design” as well as making good fun of the various proofs for the existence of God. He also castigates the idea that science is about truth and religion about meaning – religion is never ONLY about questions of meaning. The problem is this: religion isn’t bad science. I would even go so far as to say that theology isn't bad science (although if I'm correct, this would certainly jeopardize the legitimacy of theology's position within most universities around the world). Religion isn’t scientific at all. Religion is a symbol system and as such closely tied with condensed and ritual forms of communication and identity formation. When a Christian says, “I believe” they are not making a scientific claim but attesting to membership within a particular community. It may sound like a scientific claim but it isn’t, not really. Belief is a declaration, not an invitation to debate or a propositionally differentiated truth claim. This is what Dawkins misses. In other words, you don’t need to apply quantitative testing techniques to “belief,” you simply need to contact a church registrar. Instead of the God hypothesis he could have talked about “the God ritual.” Most of the difficulties of this debate disappear from view if one considers this seriously. Because of this logical error (equating a claim to identity with a propositional truth claim) you’ll see that Dawkins ends up banging his head against the wall because he keeps getting the same answer to his criticisms: “it is true because I believe it” or “It is true because it is true.” Such responses will drive any reasonable person nuts. But, there is logic to it. Belief or believing is a ritual performance. Dawkins runs with the assumption that the statement “I believe in God” or “God exists” is a propositional claim. Strictly speaking, they aren’t propositions but performances… more like a routine or habit or theatrical skit than a validity claim. Religion is a ritual. Its symbolic vocabulary is more or less closed to non-members who are not initiated into the system of meaning that are utilized within religious rituals. In closing: if you are interested in studying religion then this is not the place to turn, although it is definitely worth reading. Scholars have been studying religions – as distinct from practicing religion – for 150 years at least. Most universities currently have some form of religious studies as part of their curriculum although this is widely misunderstood to mean theology. There are many fine works concerning the study of religion which help us understand why people do the things they do. I’ve recommended three here.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What diety would give humans intelligence then expect them to believe bunk? This book should be mandatory reading for everyone, particularly those who embrace a more fundamental religious belief system. Dawkins occasionally slips into sophormoric ridicule that exposes his contempt for unthinking religiosity. However, he also makes the compelling point that it's hard to imagine a diety that would endow humans with intelligence and then expect them to embrace the contradictory and illogical set of beliefs as those embodied by most religious texts.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Invokes Deep Thought Elegantly written, the book raises questions in the readers mind, and subsequently answers them with a deft touch. Highly recommended for both religious and non-religious alike, it offers a refreshing alternative perspective to the abject material presented by many.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye opening yet dry at times. I thought this book was a fabulous read. It began very powerfully and earned my attention immediately. Throughout the entire book I was nodding my head in agreement or shaking it in disbelief. Dawkins' examples and anecdotes were always very moving and engaging. However, there was the occasional subchapter that was very dry and stale and hard to get through. Luckily, these sections of the book were few and far between. Overall, I would suggest that everyone, whether atheist or not, read this book as it is an excellent method for promoting the Secular Humanist's point of view which is rarely understood or appreciated.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Scientific? Really? There is no doubt that Richard Dawkins is passionate in his beliefs. But it's disappointing to see a *scientist* draw conclusions without empirical data! Mere opinion is presented as definitive and authoritative, so his brand of anti-theist dogmatism is eerily reminiscent of the religious zealots he castigates so thoroughly. He is as close-minded as any cultist, as far as considering any view other than his own stultified perspective. In short, Richard Dawkins comes across as an Evangelist for Evolution - who manipulates historical fact with a distinctly subjective flavor. Only Richard Dawkins knows the truth. And the truth has set him free...can we get an 'Amen' on that, brother Dawkins?
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Book Richard Dawkins crafts a masterpiece by constructing fair and unbiased arguments against creationist design. In an environment where religious believers are apt to dismiss secular science as cold and lacking in compassion, he shows that human morals and goodness can exist independent of a divine intelligence. He systematically employs scientific methodology and logical analysis in a just and fair-minded way to illustrate once and for all the irrationality and pointlessness of belief in a supreme being. His candid rationalization of the dangers posed by organized religion is illuminating and to the point. Readers will find his writing style friendly and engaging. He injects humour and genuine entertainment value without compromising the integrity of his subject. At a time when so many writers churn out pandering garbage because of commercial value or to indulge popular opinion, Dawkins has produced a brilliantly insightful work and stated absolutely, a message long overdue. From confirmed atheist to passionate believer, anyone willing to approach this book with an open mind and an intellectual curiosity will come away with their awareness raised and their perceptions lifted. One of the finest works I've ever read.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Dr. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant brilliant man and has a great sense of humour. His book, "The God Delusion" is thought-provoking and spot on. It is truly a must-read for everyone - theist and atheist alike. Enjoy!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Solid Material, Infuriating Assertion There's much in this book that is solid material. However, the approach is what completely throws Mr.Dawkins credibility off. This book should NOT be called "The God Delusion", but perhaps a more appropriate title would be "The Delusion of Religion". Richard Dawkins attempts to assert that since the bible and theological ideas are not scientifically verifiable by any stretch, God must not exist. This is absurd. God, irrefutably, can exist outside the confines of religious thought and institutions. Evolution absolutely can be a fact within the context of a universe perhaps "created" by a higher conciousness. To say "God does not exist" simply because ancient religious doctrine doesn't hold scientific water smacks of a desperate attempt to maintain the ego delusion that we are the supreme beings in the universe. Be careful not to throw the idea of "God" out with the religious bath-water... with that in mind, this book IS a thought-provoking exploration of religious thinking vs scientific knowledge.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dawkins' Blind Faith Anyone who reads this book must, if they have any intellectual honesty at all, read Dawkin's God, by Alister McGrath. McGrath has scientific credentials in the same league as Dawkin's (PhD molecular biophysics, Oxford), and uses rational arguement to demolish every one of Dawkin's points. Frankly he makes him look like a desparately angry fool.
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Accessible intro to Darwinism vs Theology Dawkins has been a favourite of the intellectual/scientific world on natural selection for some time, but his past books haven't found mainstream audience. This book should change that in a big way. An engaging read, factually supported to extent a mainstream reader can tolerate. He generally takes pains to admit weak/untested points and uncertainties in his arguments where they exist (something theists and deists are generally much less likely to do). I found the first half of the book most compelling-- a well approached deconstruction of the credibility of supernatural god(s). The second half feels a bit more like opinion rather than science-based polemic; basically, given he's soundly discredited the possibility of god, he engages in a series of discussions on why religion is a particularly harmful human construct. Compelling arguments still, just not as powerful as the first half of the book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Articulate and insightful, very well researched This book will make some feel uneasy as it is the view of a realist who bases his beliefs on truth, not fantasy. We give up believing in Santa Claus by age 9 and yet most continue to perpetuate God and Jesus all their adult lives. He exposes the probablity that Man made God, not God making man and uses good well researched articles from the Bible to demonstrate his point well. This is a MUST read for all.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read Dawkins systematically attacks the structure and foundations of organised religion and soundly presents the dangers posed by all religion. A satisfying "Natrual Selection" explanation showing our inherent vulnerability to religous cults of all kinds. I can no longer honestly claim to be agnostic. Dawkins has finally convinced me to stop fence sitting and describe myself truly as an Atheist. Keep up the Great Work
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from essential reading This should be compulsory reading for all high school students. This is a funny, erudite, insightful page-turner. Dawkins brilliantly deals a body blow to the God hypothesis. If there is one weakness in Dawkins’ analysis it is his discussion of the “probability” of God’s existence. He confuses probability with credibility, weakening his own argument in the process. He should have paid more attention to Russell and his adequate destruction of theism and deism. Nevertheless, an essential addition to the library of any thinking human.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buy this book. Period. This is one of those books that, were everyone to read and consider its ideas carefully and honestly, would drastically alter the social landscape. Dawkins systematically analyses, and ultimately refutes, all of the major arguments in favour of the existence of god. Furthermore, he considers the effects that religion has had on society and finds that it has certainly not been a positive force in human affairs by, for example, contributing to the stunting of critical thinking in children and justifying acts of bigotry and violence against innocent people. I can offer you no better advice than to buy and thoroughly read this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book really tackles its subject This book really tackles its subject from all possible angles! *I bought "The God Delusion" more out of support to the atheist/secular humanist tribe than anything else, thinking that I would probably already know most of what I was going to read about. But surprise! This book is really rich in new, unknown-to-me facts, ideas, quotes, and anecdotes. Very interesting read. Chances are that you will learn quite a few things from this book. *Dawkins is an honest and lucid erudite. *The cover of the book is really nice: shiny metallic grey with black and white letters. It looks really sharp on its shelf in my living room. *Make yourself -and the planet- a favor and buy this item. And then talk about it, please. *Check out the websites of Richard Dawkins and his newfound American friend Sam Harris (author of the excellent "The End Of Faith", where he makes the point that religious faith is not particularly deserving of respect). *We're really lucky here in Montreal! We are -relatively- happy, prosperous, nice, tolerant, easy-going... The fact that we're pretty godless here doesn't seem to be much of a problem! :) *I hope that we'll have some day a planet-wide, religion-free, peace-and-love Utopia: so does the good doctor Dawkins and so did the late John Lennon. *NOW, THE IMPORTANT IDEAS FROM THE BOOK: -You can have a pantheistic reverence for the World without having to believe in an intelligent Creator. -The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were mostly atheists and deists, not theists, not Christians. -Agnosticism is too polite for its own good. -Science and religion do not complement each other: they conflict. -Being nice to fundamentalists will not result in any good. -The arguments for God's existence are all bogus. -If everything was designed, who designed the Designer? -Evolution primed our psychology for superstition and religion, and then the catchiest ideas, however crazy they are, keep spreading and mutating. -Our sense of morality definitely does not come from religion, but is also the product of our evolution. -The Bible is mostly a weird, sick, immoral book. -Religion (well, maybe not the buddhistic sort) is bad, bad, bad: for peace, for love, for the reduction of suffering in the world, for the protection of the environment, for you-name-it. -"Moderates" refuse to reject nonsensical and violent "holy" books and so allow fundamentalism to keep growing. -Religious education for children is a form of child abuse if it teaches them not to think, not to doubt, not to question. -Children should not be coined with religious tags: they're not cattle, and they can't choose their beliefs. -God may be a kind of imaginary friend for consolation, but the consolation is meagre. -There are many many sources of inspiration in life, and they don't have to be religious at all. -Our senses are very limited, and the Universe seems to work in some very counter-intuitive ways, so we have to think and doubt if we wish to understand. *Great book.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.06 in

Published: January 16, 2008

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618918248

ISBN - 13: 9780618918249

About the Book

"Discovery" magazine has recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwins Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. In his "New York Times" bestseller, Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS Preface 1 1 A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER 9 Deserved respect 11 Undeserved respect 20 2 THE GOD HYPOTHESIS 29 Polytheism 32 Monotheism 37 Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America 38 The poverty of agnosticism 46 NOMA 54 The Great Prayer Experiment 61 The Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists 66 Little green men 69 3 ARGUMENTS FOR GOD''S EXISTENCE 75 Thomas Aquinas'' ‘proofs'' 77 The ontological argument and other a priori arguments 80 The argument from beauty 86 The argument from personal ‘experience'' 87 The argument from scripture 92 The argument from admired religious scientists 97 Pascal''s Wager 103 Bayesian arguments 105 4 WHY THERE ALMOST CERTAINLY IS NO GOD 111 The Ultimate Boeing 747 113 Natural selection as a consciousness-raiser 114 Irreducible complexity 119 The worship of gaps 125 The anthropic principle: planetary version 134 The anthropic principle: cosmological version 141 An interlude at Cambridge 151 5 THE ROOTS OF RELIGION 161 The Darwinian imperative 163 Direct advantages of religion 166 Group selection 169 Religion as a by-product of something else 172 Psychologically primed for religion 179 Tread softly, because you tread on my memes 191 Cargo cults 202 6 THE ROOTS OF MORALITY: WHY ARE WE GOOD? 209 Does our moral sense have a Darwinian origin? 214 A case study in the roots of morality 222 If there is no God, why be good? 226 7 THE ‘GOOD'' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST 235 The Old Testament 237 I
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From the Publisher

A preeminent scientist -- and the world''s most prominent atheist -- asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines 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. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe''s wonders than any faith could ever muster.

About the Author

Richard Dawkins taught zoology at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position he has held since 1995. Among his previous books are The Ancestor''s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and A Devil''s Chaplain. Dawkins lives in Oxford with his wife, the actress and artist Lalla Ward.

Editorial Reviews

"A powerful argument for how to think about the place of religion in the modern world. It''s going to be a classic." -- Seed Magazine

"In the roiling debate between science and religion, it would be hard to exaggerate the enormous influence of Richard Dawkins." Salon

"A particularly comprehensive case against religion. Everyone should read it. Atheists will love Mr. Dawkins''s incisive logic and rapier wit, and theists will find few better tests of the robustness of their faith." --Economist

"If I had to identify Dawkins''s cardinal virtues, I would say that he is brilliant, articulate, impassioned, and impolite . . .The God Delusion is a fine and significant book." The San Francisco Chronicle
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