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The God Delusion (Bantam Press) (Bantam…

The God Delusion (Bantam Press) (Bantam (UK)) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,991366305 (3.94)2 / 392
Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. HTML: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 m… (more)
Title:The God Delusion (Bantam Press) (Bantam (UK))
Authors:Richard Dawkins
Other authors:Richard Dawkins (Author)
Info:Bantam Press (2007), Edition: Ireland / Export e., Taschenbuch, 406 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:non-fiction, enlightenment, atheism, religion

Work Information

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (2006)

Recently added byLacrimaMundi, rgibbe2, private library, Melissaclark1970, ghneumann, b_musing, Blickfang, moorho01
  1. 233
    Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects by Bertrand Russell (BGP, yakov.perelman)
  2. 192
    God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens (hnn, BGP)
  3. 70
    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why 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
    Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett (ljessen)
  5. 61
    Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray (gust)
  6. 51
    Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John W. Loftus (Percevan)
  7. 41
    Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up by John Allen Paulos (infiniteletters)
  8. 30
    The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (yakov.perelman)
  9. 31
    The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails by John W. Loftus (Percevan)
  10. 42
    What is Good?: The Search for the Best Way to Live by A. C. Grayling (chrisharpe)
  11. 20
    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (yakov.perelman)
  12. 21
    God and the State by Michael Bakunin (BGP)
  13. 21
    Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker by David Eller (hnn)
  14. 32
    Talking With God: The Many Faces of Religious Delusion by Robert A. Clark (bertilak)
  15. 32
    Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief by Andrew Newberg (bertilak)
  16. 00
    Bible Stories for Adults by James Morrow (themulhern)
    themulhern: God is cruel is the theme that unites these two books.
  17. 22
    Why Gods Persist: A Scientific Approach to Religion by Robert A. Hinde (bertilak)
  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. 23
    God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by John C. Lennox (bfrost)
  20. 213
    The Selfish Genius: How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin's Legacy by Fern Elsdon-Baker (Gavin_Hardcastle)
    Gavin_Hardcastle: Interesting Read

(see all 24 recommendations)


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God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

-PRINT: © October 18, 2006; ‎ 978-0618680009; Mariner Books; First Edition; 416 pages; unabridged (Hardcover Info from Amazon.com)
-DIGITAL: © January 25, 2011; 0552774294; Mariner Books; Reprint edition; 468 pages; unabridged (Digital version info from Amazon.com)
- *AUDIO: © July 17, 2008; Tantor Audio; 13 hours, 52 minutes; unabridged (Audio info from Amazon.com)
-FILM: Not specifically. But Mr. Dawson has aired various programs on this and related subjects.



-SELECTED: Don had added this to our Audible library years ago. I wasn’t sure I could tolerate listening to someone for 11 hours who I was going to disagree with, but I do like to learn about different theories and beliefs. And I figured, to take up eleven hours, this fellow must feel strongly about his.
-ABOUT: This book contains a great deal of information, not just about a variety of religions and denominations within them, but about science, the window through which the author prefers to view the wonders of the Universe.
As with the previous non-fiction book I read, rationality is important to the author.
He addresses the many arguments for the existence of God that he has encountered, and why he remains unconvinced, hoping to persuade the reader. In fact, he discusses why the religions of Abraham leave him more than a little horrified-from Old Testament stories (and even, in some cases, the New Testament) to a multitude of prejudices and the excuses to harm (and so often, kill) others that have run through the ages.
-OVERALL IMPRESSION: I thought it was well written. The author is very well versed on various theologies and in the arguments and counter arguments for the existence of God. He approaches the subject from a multitude of angles.
The mockery and sarcasm that is occasionally used when describing certain religious beliefs, that seem a bit stripped of context, are likely not well received by those he would like to persuade, but I suspect many of his objections are widely met with some degree of agreement. Personally, I do not find the natural selection argument as an unguided sole active force in creation persuasive, and hold that a fair conclusion might be that the baby has been tossed out with the bathwater.

AUTHOR: Richard Dawkins: Excerpt from Wikipedia
“Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born 26 March 1941)[3] is a British evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was Professor for Public Understanding of Science in the University of Oxford from 1995 to 2008. His 1976 book The Selfish Gene popularised the gene-centred view of evolution, as well as coining the term meme. Dawkins has won several academic and writing awards.[4]

Dawkins is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design as well as for being a vocal atheist.[5] Dawkins wrote The Blind Watchmaker in 1986, arguing against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker, in that reproduction, mutation, and selection are unguided by any sentient designer. In 2006, Dawkins published The God Delusion, contending that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion. He founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in 2006.[6][7] Dawkins has published two volumes of memoirs, An Appetite for Wonder (2013) and Brief Candle in the Dark (2015).”

NARRATOR: Richard Dawkins: Excerpt from Wikipedia
“Dawkins was born Clinton Richard Dawkins on 26 March 1941 in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya during British colonial rule.[8] He later dropped Clinton from his name by deed poll.[3] He is the son of Jean Mary Vyvyan (née Ladner; 1916–2019)[9][10] and Clinton John Dawkins (1915–2010), an agricultural civil servant in the British Colonial Service in Nyasaland (present-day Malawi), of an Oxfordshire landed gentry family.[8][11][12] His father was called up into the King's African Rifles during the Second World War[13][14] and returned to England in 1949, when Dawkins was eight. His father had inherited a country estate, Over Norton Park in Oxfordshire, which he farmed commercially.[12] Dawkins lives in Oxford, England.[15] He has a younger sister, Sarah.[16]

His parents were interested in natural sciences, and they answered Dawkins's questions in scientific terms.[17] Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".[18] He embraced Christianity until halfway through his teenage years, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution alone was a better explanation for life's complexity, and ceased believing in a god.[16] He states: "The main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing."[16] This understanding of atheism combined with his western cultural background, informs Dawkins as he describes himself in several interviews as a "cultural Christian" and a "cultural Anglican".[19][20][21]”

NARRATOR Lalla Ward: Excerpts from Wikipedia
“Sarah Jill "Lalla" Ward[1] (born 28 June 1951)[2] is an English actress, voice artist and author. She is best known for playing the role of Romana II in the BBC television series Doctor Who from 1979 to 1981.”
“Ward has recorded audio books, including Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct and Shada by Gareth Roberts and Douglas Adams. She co-narrated The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion, The Blind Watchmaker and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution with her then husband. In the 1980s. She also wrote two books on knitting and one on embroidery. Ward is a keen chef, and she contributed a recipe to The Doctor Who Cookbook which was edited by Gary Downie.[13]

She also provided illustrations for Climbing Mount Improbable[14] and Astrology for dogs (and owners) by William Fairchild (1980).[15]”

*Yes, I’m glad to see Wikipedia confirm what I thought I’d heard. That his co-narrator was his wife. They made a good narration team.

GENRE: Non-fiction; Psychology; Religion; Science; Philosophy; autobiography


TIME FRAME: Contemporary (first edition written in 2006)

SUBJECTS: Values; Psychology; Philosophy; King James Bible; Darwin; Creationism; Science; Religion; Salmon Rushdi; Religions; Hinduism; Britain; America

DEDICATION: “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?”

SAMPLE QUOTATION: Excerpt From Chapter 1
“The one thing all his theistic critics got right was that Einstein was not one of them. He was repeatedly indignant at the suggestion that he was a theist. So, was he a deist, like Voltaire and Diderot? Or a pantheist, like Spinoza, whose philosophy he admired: ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings’?
Let’s remind ourselves of the terminology. A theist believes in a supernatural intelligence who, in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to oversee and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation. In many theistic belief systems, the deity is intimately involved in human affairs. He answers prayers; forgives or punishes sins; intervenes in the world by performing miracles; frets about good and bad deeds, and knows when we do them (or even think of doing them). A deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws that govern the universe in the first place. The deist God never intervenes thereafter, and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs. Pantheists don’t believe in a supernatural God at all, but use the word God as a non-supernatural synonym for Nature, or for the Universe, or for the lawfulness that governs its workings. Deists differ from theists in that their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the pantheist’s metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.
There is every reason to think that famous Einsteinisms like ‘God is subtle but he is not malicious’ or ‘He does not play dice’ or ‘Did God have a choice in creating the Universe?’ are pantheistic, not deistic, and certainly not theistic. ‘God does not play dice’ should be translated as ‘Randomness does not lie at the heart of all things.’ ‘Did God have a choice in creating the Universe?’ means ‘Could the universe have begun in any other way?’ Einstein was using ‘God’ in a purely metaphorical, poetic sense. So is Stephen Hawking, and so are most of those physicists who occasionally slip into the language of religious metaphor. Paul Davies’s The Mind of God seems to hover somewhere between Einsteinian pantheism and an obscure form of deism—for which he was rewarded with the Templeton Prize (a very large sum of money given annually by the Templeton Foundation, usually to a scientist who is prepared to say something nice about religion).
Let me sum up Einsteinian religion in one more quotation from Einstein himself: ‘To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious.’ In this sense I too am religious, with the reservation that ‘cannot grasp’ does not have to mean ‘forever ungraspable’. But I prefer not to call myself religious because it is misleading. It is destructively misleading because, for the vast majority of people, ‘religion’ implies ‘supernatural’ Carl Sagan put it well: ‘ . . . if by “God” one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying . . . it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.’”

RATING: 3.5 stars.

12/19/2023 – 12/2172023 ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
A surprisingly difficult read; Dawkins is happy to go down various byways that his argument opens up. A lot of readers have criticised his style or authorial voice, finding it "condescending" or "arrogant" (even if they were in agreement with his thesis); at times, I got a sense of what they were reacting to, although it didn't trouble me particularly.

I have slightly non-mainstream theist views (more a suspicion than anything I'd call a belief) and I was surprised to find Dawkins describing something I could agree with and reinforcing my position. There was much else I agreed with, a few things I disagreed with and a lot that, for a book published in 2006 (and revised a year later) was worryingly prescient. (Mainly about American politics.) ( )
  RobertDay | Jan 20, 2024 |
Should be required reading. ( )
  jaylcee | Nov 26, 2023 |
Good, it's not great (my apologies, Hitch). ( )
  bibliothecarivs | Jul 31, 2023 |
(40) This was fascinating. I am late to the party as it was written in 2006, but it certainly has not lost its relevance. Perhaps my favorite quote is from Seneca the Younger who I think lived in antiquity. “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.’ Umm, yeah - that about sums it up.

I think that given Dawkins premise that religion is dangerous and abusive especially to children, he necessarily has to be disrespectful. In fact, his whole first chapter is dedicated to showing us that the special respect we give to religious beliefs is a huge problem. And that is where he probably loses some people. As a Catholic (atheist) who send my children to Catholic school, I should have been horrified. But instead, I feel almost validated. I don’t need to bother with cognitive dissonance. I teach my children to think for themselves, have discussions about comparative religion and science and allegory and culture. It is all not mutually exclusive. I don, t need to reject my cultural heritage, to hold scientific, rational, yet humanistic beliefs. Right. Right? (Though not sure what the priests would say - probably nothing as I write them big checks)

Obviously, this book made me think. This book is well-reasoned, eminently readable, and quite powerful. One complaint is that he constantly referenced his past work and others work, making it sometimes seem like there was no original thought or purpose to this one. Made me think at times, why don’t I just put this down and read this other handful of books which are so heavily quoted? And at times a bit repetitive. This is a 5 star in terms of subject matter and powerful rhetoric, but is pulled down by that pop science feel of recycled repetitiveness to get the points across to the masses.

I will check out his bibliography and someday soon I really want to tackle ‘The Origin of Species, myself. If I had more conviction and energy, I would find a way to emigrate to a more enlightened country as I feel us slipping into a Christian theocracy due to broken electoral politics. Sigh.

A late Bravo from me. ( )
1 vote jhowell | Jul 30, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 337 (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
Dawkins, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barr, NomaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riemsdijk, Hans E. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vogel, SebastianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LallaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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?'
In Memoriam
Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
First words
As a child, my wife hated her school and wished she could leave.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. HTML: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 m

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Book description
Richard Dawkins è uno dei più famosi scienziati di oggi e uno dei più strenui difensori della teoria darwiniana della selezione naturale. La tesi di questo suo nuovo libro, che ha suscitato un enorme clamore nel mondo anglosassone e ha generato un dibattito accesissimo, è molto semplice: Dio non esiste e la fede in un essere superiore è illogica, sbagliata e potenzialmente mortale, come millenni di guerre di religione e la recente minaccia globale del terrorismo fondamentalista islamico dimostrano ampiamente. Agli occhi di Dawkins, ogni religione condivide lo stesso errore fondamentale, vale a dire l'illusoria credenza nell'esistenza di Dio, e, con essa, la pericolosa sicurezza di conoscere una verità indiscutibile perché sacra.
Haiku summary
You believe in God.
I believe you've been deceived.
I will tell you why.

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