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The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Richard Dawkins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,169289207 (3.99)1 / 348
Title:The God Delusion
Authors:Richard Dawkins
Info:Mariner Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Tags:to be read

Work details

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (2006)

  1. 213
    Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects by Bertrand Russell (BGP, yakov.perelman)
  2. 162
    God Is Not Great : How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens (hnn, BGP)
  3. 70
    Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman (robertf)
    robertf: Dawkins is passionately trying to refute an undefined hypothesis - this is perhaps one of his least succesful works. Ehrman's book does not have conversion to atheism as its aim - it is a description of the scholarly analysis of texts. The reason it is devastating to religion is that it undermines any claim to biblical authenticity by exposing contradictions between different manuscripts. It achieves what Dawkins aims to much more subtly and scientifically.… (more)
  4. 61
    Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray (gust)
  5. 51
    Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett (ljessen)
  6. 41
    Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John W. Loftus (Percevan)
  7. 31
    Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up by John Allen Paulos (infiniteletters)
  8. 31
    The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails by John W. Loftus (Percevan)
  9. 10
    The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (yakov.perelman)
  10. 32
    Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief by Andrew Newberg (bertilak)
  11. 21
    God and the State by Michael Bakunin (BGP)
  12. 32
    What Is Good?: The Search for the Best Way to Live by A. C. Grayling (chrisharpe)
  13. 21
    Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker by David Eller (hnn)
  14. 22
    Talking With God: The Many Faces of Religious Delusion by Robert A. Clark (bertilak)
  15. 22
    Why Gods Persist: A Scientific Approach to Religion by Robert A. Hinde (bertilak)
  16. 00
    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (yakov.perelman)
  17. 23
    God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by John Lennox (bfrost)
  18. 34
    The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener by Martin Gardner (ehines)
    ehines: While I agree with Dawkins and disagree with Gardner about the existence of God, Gardner's open-mindedness judicious and friendly tone, even in error, serves as a rebuke to Dawkins' inability to understand or respect his intellectual opponents.
  19. 313
    The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths by David Robertson (OwenGriffiths)
    OwenGriffiths: The God Delusion offers some of the most popular, if not the most reasoned or effective, arguments "against faith". Robertson attempts to dispel a few perceived misconceptions. This is a good place to start if you wish to understand why a lot of people of (any) faith disregard Dawkins argument in this book. Robertson does not provide a total response to atheism itself, nor does he set out to do so. The God Delusion repays careful reading, because even if one may disagree with them, or argue that they do not represent the best of Atheistic philosophy, one can not deny that Dawkins represents some of the most common critiques of faith, which people of faith are forced to respond to.… (more)
  20. 212
    The Selfish Genius: How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin's Legacy by Fern Elsdon-Baker (Gavin_Hardcastle)
    Gavin_Hardcastle: Interesting Read

(see all 23 recommendations)


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English (271)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (4)  Portuguese (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Turkish (1)  Icelandic (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
Wouldn't want to argue the other side with him. Could also be called the Human Delusion or the delusion of humans. ( )
  DeanClark | Mar 26, 2015 |
This took me a while to get through, not because it was bad, but because there is a lot of information and material to get through and understand (and I had to take multiple breaks to get away from the realistic, logical arguments and read something fun).

Overall, I think this was very well written. As an atheist there are a lot of arguments I can get behind. At times I felt that Dawkins' language was a little too strong and often he came off as demeaning and mean. And while it was in no way his intention to be nice regarding religion, I think his rude attitude didn't help persuade people (an unfortunate example of the privilege of religion that Dawkins points out in the book, but is no less true).

This is quite a heavy, dense book, however, so as the only other book I have read by Dawkins is The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, I wasn't prepared for this book. It is a good book to read if you actually have time to sit down and think about the material.

I really enjoyed some of the later chapters, especially the chapters on morality and possible origins of religion.

This is a good book for people looking for a powerful perspective on the unnecessary existence of religion. ( )
  CareBear36 | Mar 19, 2015 |
This is like a book from an alternate reality for me. He (and his buddy the late Christopher Hitchens) has a lot of my respect, academically and professionally- however, while his brand of atheism is designed to "free" people and help them "escape" religion, when I read his reasons why and his rhetoric about it, it just made me sad. He likened people I dearly love to children playing make believe and the God whom I follow as diabolical fiction.

The voice is good to hear, and I am open to listening to him. His sources are great, though he does leave out material (as we all do) that does not support his argument.

I find myself a bit thinking about and even praying about Dawkins. I believe I understand where he is coming from, but at the same time I feel as though he is as convinced in his "non-faith" as I am in my faith. I wish people would stop arguing about God- we have politics and baseball for that.

All this to be said, I will keep this book on my shelf and I shall even read it again. Perhaps even a couple of times.

( )
  aegossman | Feb 25, 2015 |
Richard Dawkins pulls no punches. This book advocates strongly, and persuasively, for an atheistic world view. Some may think this type of in your face atheism is unseemly, but as Dawkins points out, he is no more strident than religious groups are at advocating for their point of view.

His arguments take two basic tracks:

1. Evidence is overwhelming that God does not exist, and that the work many ascribe to God is more simply explained by natural processes (Darwinism etc). He looks at many of the ways people try to reconcile religion and science and comes away arguing they are not reconcilable. Religion is simply not a reliable source for evidence of the creation or of evolution. If God created the universe, he argues, then who created God? A question there is no answer to.

2. He argues religion, rather than being a benign institution is actually dangerous, is responsible for holding back progress and as a whole, has caused far more harm than good.

Both are very persuasive. His arguments against the existence of God are sometimes hard to understand as it gets into a fairly technical (at least for me) discussion of biology.

The section of the book in which he argues religion is a harmful institution are very compelling. Not that I agree with every one of them. In my personal life I know many religious people who do not fit into the parameters of that argument. However, taken at a macro level his argument is hard to refute.

He ends the book with a very beautiful, affirmative argument for the transformational power of science. He agrees with Carl Sagan that religion actually limits the wonder one can experience when contemplating the natural world.

I personally enjoyed this book very much.

If you are an atheist it will give you more than enough ammo to engage in discussions of atheism vs. theism you may have with others.

If you are wavering this may give you the information you have been looking for to help you decide.

If you are secure in your faith this book is nothing to be afraid of.
( )
1 vote mybucketlistofbooks | Jan 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
That was the first time I had ever considered, even in my own thoughts to myself, that I could be an atheist. I was 36. My husband was down with this—he told me he was an atheist, too. I felt it was weird we were finally having a conversation about this after being married for six years, but maybe we intrinsically knew all along.
added by paradoxosalpha | editDaily Kos, boofdah (Oct 28, 2011)
In The God Delusion, Dawkins argues that evolution has removed the need for a God hypothesis to explain life, and advances in physics may soon do the same for the universe. Further, the existence of God is a proper question for science, and the answer is no.
added by Taphophile13 | editThe Age, Barney Zwartz (Nov 24, 2006)
Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins’s failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience.
Creationists and believers in God are right to see him as their arch-enemy. In The God Delusion he displays what a formidable adversary he is. It is a spirited and exhilarating read. In the current climate of papal/Islamic stand-off, it is timely too.
added by ghilbrae | editThe Guardian, Joan Bakewell (Sep 26, 2006)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Dawkinsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vogel, SebastianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LallaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In Memoriam
Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

'Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?'
First words
As a child, my wife hated her school and wished she could leave.
Deserved Respect
The boy lay prone in the grass, his chin resting on his hands.
Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.
But hate only has to prove it is religious, and it no longer counts as hate.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.
I am no more fundamentalist when I say evolution is true than when I say it is true that New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere.
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Haiku summary
You believe in God.
I believe you've been deceived.
I will tell you why.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618918248, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Argues that belief in God is irrational, and describes examples of religion's negative influences on society throughout the centuries, such as war, bigotry, child abuse, and violence.

(summary from another edition)

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