MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins X
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 464 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

A 6,000 word excerpt of the entire text of Chapter 1 starts after the Contents.

CONTENTS

Preface

1. A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER
Deserved respect
Undeserved respect

2. THE GOD HYPOTHESIS
Polytheism
Monotheism
Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America
The poverty of agnosticism
NOMA
The Great Prayer Experiment
The Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists
Little green men

3. ARGUMENTS FOR GOD’S EXISTENCE
Thomas Aquinas’ ‘proofs’
The ontological argument and other a priori arguments
The argument from beauty
The argument from personal ‘experience’
The argument from scripture
The argument from admired religious scientists
Pascal’s Wager
Bayesian arguments

4. WHY THERE ALMOST CERTAINLY IS NO GOD
The Ultimate Boeing 747
Natural selection as a consciousness-raiser
Irreducible complexity
The worship of gaps
The anthropic principle: planetary version
The anthropic principle: cosmological version
An interlude at Cambridge

5. THE ROOTS OF RELIGION
The Darwinian imperative
Direct advantages of religion
Group selection
Religion as a by-product of something else
Psychologically primed for religion
Tread softly, because you tread on my memes
Cargo cults

6. THE ROOTS OF MORALITY: WHY ARE WE GOOD?
Does our moral sense have a Darwinian origin?
A case study in the roots of morality
If there is no God, why be good?

7. THE ‘GOOD’ BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
The Old Testament
Is the New Testament any better?
Love thy neighbour
The moral Zeitgeist
What about Hitler and Stalin? Weren’t they atheists?

8. WHAT’S WRONG WITH RELIGION? WHY BE SO HOSTILE?
Fundamentalism and the subversion of science
The dark side of absolutism
Faith and homosexuality
Faith and the sanctity of human life
The Great Beethoven Fallacy
How ‘moderation’ in faith fosters fanaticism

9. CHILDHOOD, ABUSE AND THE ESCAPE FROM RELIGION
Physical and mental abuse
In defence of children
An educational scandal
Consciousness-raising again
Religious education as a part of literary culture

10. A MUCH NEEDED GAP?
Binker
Consolation
Inspiration
The mother of all burkas

Appendix:
A partial list of friendly addresses, for individuals needing support in escaping from religion
Books cited or recommended
Notes
Index
 

I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it. —Albert Einstein


DESERVED RESPECT


The boy lay prone in the grass, his chin resting on his hands. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a heightened awareness of the tangled stems and roots, a forest in microcosm, a transfigured world of ants and beetles and even – though he wouldn't have known the details at the time – of soil bacteria by the billions, silently and invisibly shoring up the economy of the micro-world. Suddenly the micro-forest of the turf seemed to swell and become one with the universe, and with the rapt mind of the boy contemplating it. He interpreted the experience in religious terms and it led him eventually to the priesthood. He was ordained an Anglican priest and became a chaplain at my school, a teacher of whom I was fond. It is thanks to decent liberal clergymen like him that nobody could ever claim that I had religion forced down my throat.*

* Our sport during lessons was to sidetrack him away from scripture and towards stirring tales of Fighter Command and the Few. He had done war service in the RAF and it was with familiarity, and something of the affection that I still retain for the Church of England (at least by comparison with the competition), that I later read John Betjeman's poem:

Copyright © 2006 by Richard Dawkins. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Mercies
    The Mercies
    by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    It's 1617 and a violent storm has claimed the lives of 40 fishermen off the coast of Vardø, a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...
  • Book Jacket: Beheld
    Beheld
    by TaraShea Nesbit
    Much like her debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld imagines a familiar ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Actress
    by Anne Enright

    From the Man Booker Prize–winner, a brilliant and moving novel about celebrity, and power.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Yellow Bird Sings
    by Jennifer Rosner

    A breathtaking debut inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during WWII.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of storytelling.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Firsts

The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

[I]ntimately told ...detailed and thought-provoking" - New York Times

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.