Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
Contents: A deeply religious non-believer -- The God hypothesis -- Arguments for God's existence -- Why there almost certainly is no God -- The roots of religion -- The roots of morality : why are we good? -- The "good" book and the changing moral Zeitgeist -- What's wrong with religion? : why be so hostile? -- Childhood, abuse and the escape from religion -- A much needed gap? A deeply religious non-believer. Deserved respect ; Undeserved respect -- 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 -- 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 -- 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 -- 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 -- 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? -- 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? -- 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 -- 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 -- A much needed gap? Binker ; Consolation ; Inspiration ; The mother of all burkas.
Pros: well written, excellent points Cons: Gets a bit old after a while. The Bottom Line: Excellent read for anyone that questions religion or loves a good debate about it. Growing up, I was Protestant, we went to church, not every week but on a regular basis. I did all of things that a normal Christian would do, but my parents didn't strictly adhere to the bible by any means. During middle school, I even kept up on religion, … more
You already know if you're going to like this book based on your religious beliefs. Religious beliefs usually remain pretty steadfast and so unless you're unsure this book probably won't persuade you. It doesn't help the way its written. Books don't don't much more controversial than this. Dawkins is a well known vocal atheist and in this book he sets out to systematically prove that God does not exist. He uses a number of very compelling arguments … more
Before reading this book, I had never read anything by Richard Dawkins. I had seen him on YouTube, and I can honestly say that Mr. Dawkins was the one mainly responsible for transforming me from a semi-believing but still doubting Catholic, to a full-fledged militant atheist. With that being said, I think this book will only truly persuade those who are already on the fence. If you are a devout religious person who is guaranteed to never change their minds, this book will be a … more
At last! An intelligent look at the insanity of religion. If you are agnostic, read this book and come over to the bright side. If you are atheist, read this book and feel the waves of reassurance and support while arming yourself for the next debate with a religious nutcase. If you are a "believer" then please either recognize that your beliefs are an reflection of the arbitrary facts of your family history, race, ethnicity, and the people you've … more
After Sir Richard Attenborough, Richard Dawkins is probably the wrold's most famous natural philosopher. Dawkins is also the world's most famous advocate of evolution, and enemy of creationism. This is his latest book, and it specifically targets the logic of religious thought. The book's title is not quite appropriate to its subject. Instead, Dawkins clearly states that he thinks the existence of God is a hypothesis that can be proven or disproven. He then proceeds to cite evidence that argues … more
Pros: Science and psychology parts are interesting Cons: Easily beat by a seasoned theologian; atheists have heard it all before The Bottom Line: There are better books about a god's non-existence out there I should probably tell you where I stand first on this subject: I am 75 percent atheist, 25 percent supernaturalist, and zero percent religious. When I introduce my spiritual views to new people, thats a bit of a mouthful, … more