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The God Delusion [Paperback]

Richard Dawkins
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,227 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 May 2007

The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types.

His argument could hardly be more topical. 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 women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind.

Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. 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.

The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed with additions edition (21 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055277331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773317
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Dawkins first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Magic of Reality, and a collection of his shorter writings, A Devil's Chaplain.

Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006), the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007), the Deschner Prize (2007) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009). He retired from his position as the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a fellow of New College.

In 2012, scientists studying fish in Sri Lanka created Dawkinsia as a new genus name, in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In the same year, Richard Dawkins appeared in the BBC Four television series Beautiful Minds, revealing how he came to write The Selfish Gene and speaking about some of the events covered in his latest book, An Appetite for Wonder. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.

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Review

"A very important book, especially in these times... a magnificent book, lucid and wise, truly magisterial " (Ian McEwan)

"Written with all the clarity and elegance of which Dawkins is a master. It should have a place in every school library - especially in the library of every "faith" school" (Philip Pullman)

"A resounding trumpet blast for truth... It feels like coming up for air" (Matt Ridley)

"A spirited and exhilarating read... Dawkins comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments, laying into fallacies and false doctrines with the energy of the polemicist at his most fiery" (Joan Bakewell Guardian)

"This is my favourite book of all time... a heroic and life-changing work" (Derren Brown)

Book Description

The international bestselling broadside that has taken the world by storm

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins at his Brutal Best 1 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dawkins is on top form in this paperback, successfully showcasing the stupidity of organised religion and its fundamental errors. Brimming with informed scientific citations from proud biologist Dawkins, the book is also incredibly humorous as Rich flexes his sharp atheist tongue!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read it, you're missing out! 16 July 2014
By Seth
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely stunning. It explains why you shouldn't hold an agnostic stance when it comes to a god, which I think was a very important thing to put in but I'm a little sad that Dawkins did not expand on this a little further to strengthen the message. Agnosticism often comes with the idea that we shouldn't disrespect people's beliefs or bother refuting claims. Of course, acting in an idle or apathetic manner IS terrible. We should not sit back while a friend says 'homosexuality is a sin' just because they're a friend and we know they don't really know what they're talking about, this makes people feel SHAME. Heteros feel shame too, but I'll never let it pass. Being an agnostic rather than atheist, is removing your power to influence people in a positive way and letting that very space be taken up possibly by those who attract people to what is negative to humanity while reducing the voice which WILL change people's lives.

In-case you're in any doubt whatsoever, this book has restrengthened my agenda and motivated me to make this world a better place. This very book is beautiful, it proves that religion is not compatible with science and explores why people will believe in something even though they know it doesn't make sense. It gives many of the philosophical arguments which Creationists put forth, and shows how everything as i like to put it, basically boils down to special pleading, how you MUST CONSIDER before you dismiss their idea. Again, we come into the realm of agnosticism. A creator is a possibility, THEREFORE MY GOD MAY EXIST. Ah, but therefore ANY god may exist and the idea that monotheism is the only answer is ludicrous.

It dismisses miracles and sudden divine revelation. I whole-heatedly endorse this book.
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723 of 832 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By a practising Muslim... 14 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book, very well-written and thoughtfully argued. Stimulating and challenging - at times scathing - but something which definitely propels one to delve deeper into the reasons for belief - or indeed lack of them.

Dawkins' central thesis seems to be that the evolutionary process of natural selection, as propounded by Darwin and bolstered by the amalgamation of much subsequent indicatory evidence, provides a viable and real alternative to the "God Hypothesis" - indeed it blows it out of the water. But, why then - if blatantly false - is religion so ubiquitous? Evoking theories of evolutionary psychology and the human need for consolation and meaning (as well as the scientific ignorance of our ancestors), Dawkins explains the popularity of religion in purely secular terms.

But what, then, about morality? How can we derive our principles of right and wrong if not from an absolute source of incontrovertible authority (God / revelation)? Again Dawkins responds by explaining how the roots of morality have Darwinian origins and includes a chapter on how the moral lessons of traditional religion (quoting biblical scripture, although I suspect his treatment of the Quran or other sacred texts would be equally unsympathetic) are not that endearing anyway. Why be so hostile though - isn't religion a good thing, a quaint yet harmless cultural phenomenon? Well no, look at the fundamentalists, terrorists, homophobes and other fanatics being spawned by the religious project in increasingly large numbers. Dawkins is unequivocal: religion is dangerous and we need to protect ourselves from it.

So what's the solution, what do we do?
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206 of 240 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The other reviews of this book demonstrate what a touchy subject this is! Whatever your views I would recommend reading this book. It's fluent, well argued and engaging - although he is sometimes so angered by religious people that the fury starts to seep through and you can sense his knuckles whitening on the pen.

As with many theses the nuggets are sometimes tucked away. He casually reflects at one point how "believers" are actually atheistic about many gods (Apollo, Ra, Vishnu, Odin etc) - they dismiss almost as many gods as he does.

His scale of believing/not believing is interesting too: this isn't just a case of yes or no, there are many graduations on the way through - so, which are you? Quite atheistic but vaguely think there might be a God? Find out where you are on this handy, easy-to-read scale!

Seriously: this is a book that puts religious belief into perspective. If you are fifty like me, Christianity was probably a big part of your childhood education, and you challenged it at your peril. Like everything else your teachers believed in (corporal punishment, fair play, fitness, mind/body balance) in later life you have to assess the value of those ideas. Are you going to try to pass them on to your children? Are you sure that's right?

My tip - don't read the intro when you start: it's the angriest chapter, as it recounts the polemical (and sometimes downright horrid) attacks which have been made on Dawkins about the subject, so he's cross.

My own beliefs? Why should you care! This is an amazon review. It's about the book and whether it's worth reading. Enough with the ranting already.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought?!
Extremely thought provoking
Published 1 day ago by Brian Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Brilliant
The most brilliant book. Anyone, a believe or non-believe should read this. It makes you think, question and try to understand. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Arthur Baron
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you, very good
Published 8 days ago by Barclays
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy with the service, some interesting points in the book well worth reading.
Published 9 days ago by D.Enamu
5.0 out of 5 stars It confirms what atheists already know and more
Best book ever
Published 10 days ago by Mr. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Need to read and get my head around this.
Published 10 days ago by Jo
2.0 out of 5 stars When Dawkins writes about evolutionary biology, he's magnificent and...
When Dawkins writes about evolutionary biology, he's magnificent and exciting. When he exposes the wrongs done in the name of religion, he makes a valid point - his opening gambit... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Humbug
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 20 days ago by A KANE
5.0 out of 5 stars The best
I grew up believing in God. I was born in a christian family. We eat God, drink God, sleep God, but after reading this book, I can honestly say, the world looks different and its... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Mr G Masauso
5.0 out of 5 stars Young people deserve the chance to read this
Should be a GCSE set text. Organised religion appears to seep in to so many areas of my child's primary education (singing practise - let's sing hymns; art and craft - let's make a... Read more
Published 23 days ago by NB
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