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The God Delusion [Hardcover]

Richard Dawkins
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,199 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Oct 2006
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

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st edition (2 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593055489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593055489
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,687 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

'Dawkins pulls out all the stops to demonstrate the force of his thesis
... lively and highly readable.'
-- Sunday Times

'A spirited and exhilarating read...Dawkins comes roaring forth in
the full vigour of his powerful arguments...' -- Joan Bakewell, Guardian

'Everyone should read it. Aethists will love Mr Dawkins's incisive
logic and rapier wit...' -- Economist

'This is a brave and important book.'
-- Desmond Morris

Book Description

The international bestselling broadside that has taken the world by storm

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
705 of 811 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential book 7 April 2014
By Dessum
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Arguably the mother of all atheistic books. Eloquently written, stunningly cogent and a delight to read. Dawkins nails it with evidence, reason, rationality and a brilliantly presented argument. He makes everything clear and easy to understand. Top notch.
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202 of 236 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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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank god for that! 8 Dec 2012
By Saint
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having reached my 60s and, ocassionally, pondering the meaning of life, whilst having serious doubts about my Christian indoctrination at a Church of England primary school in the 1950s, this book has been a revelation. In future, when I see that little box on application forms marked "religion" I can now write "none" with complete conviction. I am now free of doubts about the existence of heaven or any of the superstitious nonsense that drags us into a "faith" early in our lives. I am even more glad that, despite grand-parental tuttings and mutterings, my wife and I have refused to let our children be christened or go to church against their choice. My only negative criticisms of this book concern the initial pages wherein the author feels the need to rant against his critics and, irritatingly, the author's reference to numerous academic sources with, to my mind, obscure celebrity status. I may be ignorant but I don't wish to feel ignorant! That said, I would recommend this book to anyone, of any "faith", to help rid themselves of their fears and dispel the lies of their religious indoctrinators.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, for those who would like to use their brains
Excellent book by Richard Dawkins, available since a few years, but still scoring high. Stimulating to think about what he writes and explains. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by marc goris
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Reading
Everyone should read this book and then make up their own mind about its content. Certainly a book that opens your mind to looking more towards searching for reason and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Trevor Dunn
3.0 out of 5 stars It's well written but most of the arguments seem to be old ones that...
Firstly, it's VERY well written. Clear and enjoyable to read...I'm a theist and I love dipping into it just to enjoy his ability to communicate. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Thomas Jennings
1.0 out of 5 stars A poorly argued rant
It's always a shame when a notable scientist gets carried away into no more than an ideological and theological rant, but that is what Dawkins has clearly done in this book!
Published 18 days ago by Neil Milmine
5.0 out of 5 stars Consciousness raised
Consciousness raising. I am certain now that there is no god nor anything supernatural. I now only deal in fact and reason with what I know about life.
Published 21 days ago by MR STUART HOLLINGER
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubish
Awful book. Admittedly very well written. however it lacks any real depth or meaning. Dawkins reiterates the same point over and over again throughout the book and fails to deliver... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful
A comprehensive analysis of the futility, backwardness and danger of religion, and belief in God. Dawkins systematically dismantles the nonsense of religion in a neat, scientific... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Bracewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it !
Very clever and funny writing. Makes you look at the topic from a different angle. A must read for everyone!
Published 1 month ago by BOSCOW
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
would recommend to all
suggests various perspectives. although he seems to be coming from his own perspectives but still good
Published 1 month ago by mohid
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Read
Read the book in just a few days and enjoyed the experience. As always with Richard Dawkins, the arguments are persuasive and well expressed.
Published 1 month ago by Andu on Amazon
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What did you expect!!!! 66 18 days ago
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