Richard Dawkins was recently voted one of the world's top three intellectuals (alongside Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky) by
Prospect magazine. As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, he has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between "intelligent design" and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights, such as those of women and gay people � and all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind.
Dawkins attacks God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed, cruel tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign, but still illogical, Celestial Watchmaker favoured by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the ultimate improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. In The God Delusion, Dawkins presents a hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types and does so in the lucid, witty and powerful language for which he is renowned. It is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required listening for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.
This is an abridged edition.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A very thought-provoking book
I enjoyed this book quite a lot and I think it is very thought-provoking and interesting. It is a very good book to read if you are interested in philosophy and/or theology. It has a few bits about evolution concerning where our morality comes from and also in Dawkins' argument for "why there almost certainly is no god", but it focuses mostly on the philosphy of religion and talks quite a lot about religion in politics, and it contains two chapters arguing that atheists do in fact have morals, despite the general disagreement in America.
However, I do think that he could have put a little more thought into a few of his arguments. For example, he argues that atheists might in fact be more moral than religious people because religious people are usually good just so that they can be rewarded in Heaven and avoid being punished in Hell, wheras atheists are good just for the sake of being good. But a lot of religious people - in fact most religous people, I think - are good because they want to please God and they like being kind to other people, rather than that. And we all have a selfish morality and hope for reward for being good anyway, because if we didn't get satisfaction or a nice feeling after being good, or if nobody said thanks or rewarded us for it, or if none of us had a desire to please other people then do you think that we would still be good just for the sake of being good? I still think, though, that atheists can have morals because we have learnt how to be good ourselves.
Also, even after reading his "Why there almost certainly is no god" argument, I am an agnostic because I believe that time is infinite so everything, no matter how improbable, will happen someday.
However, I do think some of his work is thoughtful and laid out intelligently, especially his work on the Bible, and it is definitely worth reading or listening to. The language is also not agressive as some people think it is, but it might seem agressive to you because the language is put in the context of religion which usually makes it seem stronger, especially to religious people.
I've struggled with my religeous beliefs for many years. Bought up as a Christian and always questioning it's roots I've been left without answers.
This book has cleared up a lot of stuff for me - at last some answers. It has changed my life!
Bought the book, listened to the audio and enjoyed it even more
Reading the book was one thing, but listening to the audio (and the voice of the author and co-reader) was quite another; the audio feels more mellow than the written book, and a good mixture and timing from one reader to the other (although over time the "rules" seem to change) does help putting the points across.