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The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
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The God Delusion (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Richard Dawkins

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11,853278224 (4)1 / 334
Member:rgherndon
Title:The God Delusion
Authors:Richard Dawkins
Info:Mariner Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:***
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 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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Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
It took a bit to slog through it at times, but in the end I'm glad I took the time to read it. ( )
  azrowan | Sep 13, 2014 |
this is an interesting one to rate because i agree with pretty much all of his points, but dislike either the examples he uses as proof or the tone he takes when discussing the people of the opposing viewpoint, or both, for basically every argument he makes.

i understand that he is doing quite a bit of simplifying for the sake of being able to summarize arguments that each have many books written about them. so i don't really fault him for not going into a lot of detail or for not taking apart arguments piece by piece. i think that causes some of his statements to be easier to misunderstand or disbelieve, though, because he isn't giving enough time to the details.

that said, i think that he brings up a lot of really interesting ideas in this book. for me, i especially enjoyed reading about morality and the roots of religion (the late middle chapters). partly this was just empirically the most interesting to me, and partly i felt his snarkiness was more toned down in these chapters. throughout the rest of the book, dawkins addresses religious believers with mockery, which isn't the best way to reach people with the intention of conversion (one of his stated purposes of this book). i'm sure he pushes far more people away than draws them in with this approach. it's especially bothersome because he claims to want to reach out to people of faith, but then is unable to resist poking caustic fun. his arguments are worth considering, but that can be hard to do if you have to work at not being offended by the man making them. (this is true for him in general, actually, not just for his attitude toward religious people, as he's made some pretty awful statements about many things lately.) to quote dawkins himself, late in the book, "I don't think the adversary format is well designed to get at the truth...." i only wish he'd remembered that throughout.

for this reason, this book would have benefited greatly from having been edited by someone unfamiliar with his arguments. it seems to me that his statements are, while his, also a conglomeration of the other accepted atheist and/or scientific points of view; i appreciate that they're all put together in this book. (perhaps they're commonly found all together in other books; this is the only book i've ever read - i'm embarrassed to admit - on either religion or philosophy, so i can't say either way.) but as someone who is not close to the subject at all, i found it easy to question the obviousness he assumes in his arguments. i think he's too close to the ideas and probably has used the same arguments for years, and perhaps they've gotten less precise as he's put them forth again and again. all i know, is for someone hearing them articulated for the first time, while in the end i agree with him (but i started from that position so it was easier), i found his examples to be not very good at all, and his explanations lacking.

the early chapters particularly galled me in the assumptions he made and then spun to his advantage. most notably that he claimed that many people who professed to be religious in history only did so because they felt they had to. could be true, but he assigns this "truth" to many, many people who can't deny or refute (or confirm) this, and moves on as if he's proved something. this from the man who claims that evidence is what he bases his decisions on. it felt disingenuous and seemed entirely unnecessary to prove his point. and later on, it's a minor part of the book but not so minor a thing, the way in which he discusses the sexual abuse scandal in the catholic church (in particular) and how he very strangely almost dismisses it. ("You might almost sympathize with them [the Church]...")

but i find, among other things, he gives a worthwhile answer to the question that i'd just started answering on my own - why be hostile toward religion, why not just let believers believe? again, in a bombastic kind of way, but the underlying points are solid. which can basically sum up the way i feel about the entire thing. and the entire book was worth reading, for me, to get at chapters 6 and 7 about morality. i found that part fascinating.

"Darwinism raises our consciousness in other ways. Evolved organs, elegant and efficient as they often are, also demonstrate revealing flaws - exactly as you'd expect if they have an evolutionary history, and exactly as you would not expect if they were designed." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Sep 6, 2014 |
I read this book to both be polite and to prove a point. I know a couple of atheists, and they've been interesting to talk to, and they've known a lot about Christianity and the Bible. It just seems fair to understand their point of view by reading the book most associated with atheism today. And, in an internet conversation, I backed myself into the corner of having to read it now, rather than at some vague, future date.

So it's an interesting book. Dawkins gets in his own way more often than he should have, especially with his point that atheism is the only rational choice. But he presents the basic reasons for atheism and the criticisms he has of religion in a clear way. It was one of those books I'm happier to say that I've read, than I was to actually read it, but it was informative.

If you've ever followed the topics of religion and science, even casually, probably none of the issues he raises will be unfamiliar. And much of the arguments he raises are against a fundamentalist, anti-science version of Christianity which very few Christians espouse. But in addressing some of the science of our beginnings, he does go into some very interesting areas, with clear, engaging explanations of issues involving natural selection, fascinating creatures and chemistry. He's less sure-footed on topics like linguistics, but the issues he's raised are worth thinking about. He's a polarizing guy, who expresses himself forcefully and not tactfully. It's useful to know what he actually has to say, as opposed to what people say that he's said. ( )
9 vote RidgewayGirl | Sep 4, 2014 |
This is one of those books that just got away from me. I was probably 70% of the way through it when I got distracted by other books (so many books, so little time) and set it aside. When I went to renew it from the library so I could finish it, someone else had placed a hold on it. So I returned it.
But it was an interesting read. Or at least the portion that I read interested me.
Dawkins is pretty much the poster child for what I think of as evangelical atheism. While I disagree with his fundamental premise, I wanted to see what he had to say. And one he got past his bashing of creationists and others who insist on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible, he raised some interesting points.
Trained as an evolutionary biologist, he takes a scientific approach toward the question of whether or not some sort of supernatural higher power exists. And I appreciated that approach.
His exploration of what Darwinian survival value the concept of religion provides was particularly intriguing. But that's when I permitted my attention to be diverted to different books. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jul 3, 2014 |
Dawkins' writing is eloquent, funny, and continuously on-point. He is unapologetic as he lays out his argument for the nonexistence of god and the lack of a necessity for religion. The book works like an extended academic paper, with each chapter representing a section of his overall argument. He carefully takes the time to evaluate the arguments in favor of religion and then scientifically debunks all of them. "The God Delusion" represents a cry for reason and science in a world increasingly anti-science. ( )
1 vote DarthDeverell | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 261 (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 elwen | editThe Guardian, Joan Bakewell (Sep 26, 2006)
 

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'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?'
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Preface
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.
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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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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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