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
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.
Whatever your personal beliefs there is surely one thing that the majority of us can agree on, which is that whether we believe in one God, or many, or in none at all, we can agree that any deity worthy of our belief is not only robust enough to be able to cope with us questioning our beliefs as a process of gaining a greater understanding, but would actually welcome this process as preferable to blind acceptance. If you agree with this statement, then The God Delusion is a book you should give strong consideration to reading or, at a minimum, read the very extensive excerpt at BookBrowse. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Scientific American - George Johnson
Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, tells of his exasperation with colleagues who try to play both sides of the street: looking to science for justification of their religious convictions while evading the most difficult implications—the existence of a prime mover sophisticated enough to create and run the universe, "to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously." Such an entity, he argues, would have to be extremely complex, raising the question of how it came into existence, how it communicates —through spiritons!—and where it resides. Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand. No one who has witnessed the merciless dissection of a new paper in physics would describe the atmosphere as overly polite. S
The New York Times - Jim Holt
What Dawkins brings to this approach is a couple of fresh arguments — no mean achievement, considering how thoroughly these issues have been debated over the centuries — and a great deal of passion. The book fairly crackles with brio.
He insists that religion is a divisive and oppressive force, but he is less convincing in arguing that the world would be better and more peaceful without it.
Library Journal - Brad Mathies
While he does acknowledge that many of his criticisms would also apply to political or sociocultural beliefs, he does not take that line of thought any further, which is a shame. Nonetheless, both fans of Dawkins and his many opponents will want to read this book.
You needn't buy the total Dawkins package to glory in his having the guts to lay out the evils religions can do. Bible-thumpers doubtless will declare they've found their Satan incarnate.
Mr Dawkins is an atheist, an evolutionary biologist and an eloquent communicator about science, three passions that have allowed him to construct 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. Even agnostics, who claim to have no opinion on God, may be persuaded that their position is an untenable waffle.
The Guardian - Joan Bakewell
Dawkins is right to be not only angry but alarmed. Religions have the secular world running scared. This book is a clarion call to cower no longer. Primed by anger, redeemed by humour, it will, I trust, offend many.
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor, Harvard University, author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate
At last, one of the best nonfiction writers alive today has assembled his thoughts on religion into a characteristically elegant book.
Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy
Dawkins gives human sympathies and emotions their proper value, which...lends his criticisms of religion such force.
Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape and The Human Animal
This is a brave and important book.
James D. Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, author of The Double Helix
The world needs . . . passionate rationalists . . . Richard Dawkins so stands out through the cutting intelligence of The God Delusion.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by James M A masterpiece of logic In this thoroughly enjoyable book, Dawkins strips down religion and confronts it with its antithesis, science, providing a veritable truck-load of ammunition for atheists worldwide. He expresses his consternation at the venomous influence of... Read More
Rated of 5
by Andrew K This compelling, ultimately comprehensive conviction that God is a metaphor is surgically precise. After reading this book I have claimed Richard Dawkins as a brave hero and have embraced atheism as a compassionate, pro-human, pro-civilization, unifying body of work that promises salvation of this planet from harmful mythologies and horribly... Read More
Rated of 5
by Wes A Simplistic Illogic As an open-minded Christian, I make a point to listen to opposing views. Dr. Dawkins theses are that since there are some great scientists who are atheists and since religious people do bad things and can be evil, there must not be a God. For... Read More
Richard Dawkins was born Clinton Richard Dawkins in March 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya. When
he was eight his family moved to England where he attended Oundle School, and then
Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a second class BA degree in zoology in
1962, followed by MA and DPhil degrees in 1966.
He describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing", but started to
doubt the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He later
reconverted persuaded by the argument that a designer had been necessary to
create the universe. However in his teens, when he better understood evolution,
he came to the conclusion that evolution could account for the complexity of
life and that a designer was not necessary.
For two years starting in 1967 he was an assistant professor of zoology at the
University of California, Berkeley. In 1970 he was appointed a lecturer at
Oxford University, and in 1990 he was made a reader (a rank between senior
lecturer and professor) in zoology at the University of Oxford. In 1995, he
A portrait of the diversity of religion in modern America, complete with engaging characters, fascinating stories, the tragedy of misunderstanding and hatred, and the hope of new friendships, offering a road map to guide us all in the richly diverse America of the twenty-first century.
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