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, but moved towards Baptist as I lived in the south and that is what appealed to me at that stage of my life. I went to church camps and did everything you would expect a regular Christian to do. When I left middle school however, and started taking college classes while I was in high school, I started to realize science and the reality of creation. Needless to say, all it took was proof and a little bit of common sense and I came to realize that religion had no meaning in my life, and could never explain anything as well as science does. So I abandoned all of my religious beliefs and I haven't gone back to them since.
Even though I have given up on religion, I still find the debate about religion interesting. Knowing what I came from, I realize that so many people just don't open their eyes and just accept what is presented to them for face value. They don't stop to question the improbable. This is one reason I picked up Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion".
In the book, Mr. Dawkins doesn't bash religion like I assumed that he would, he takes a very methodic approach to explaining the logical reasoning behind why religion doesn't make a whole lot of sense. He also avoids attacking any single religion and covers a broad number of religions, including ones that aren't even really practiced anymore.
The approach starts out with evolution and builds up with a scientific approach that proves that different aspects of religion are improbable or impossible. This obviously focuses on a majority of the tales that are just so exagerated, that we all know that they cannot be true in that form.
Another point of interest that Dawkins discusses is how people tend to pick and choose what they want to believe about their religion. He questions how people can doubt parts of the book that is supposed to be the word of their god, and then believe the rest. He states that you either believe it all or you don't believe any of it. The problem is that too many people only take a few stories, believe in those solely and that's enough to legitimize the entire religion.
One of my personal favorite parts of the book is a part that I have always used when talking about religion. Mr. Dawkins brought up the main purpose of religion. The author goes on to say that religion was created with a major purpose and that was the control of the people. Without religion, peasants would have been much more likely to raise up against their kings. But because they believed that god appointed the king, they didn't dare to, out of fear of the consequences.
He also explores the wealth of religion and how churches have come to have so much money and thus, so much power. One of the obvious measures of this would be the church inspired the CRUSADES which were some of the most incredible battles in the history of the world.
Final Thoughts Overall the book was extremely well written. The words seemed to really flow and it was written in a manner that was easy to understand and follow. I think that with each point that was made, I was more willing to read and see where he was going to take the book next. His arguments were extremely well laid out and the tone really drew me in for 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
Please read this objectively before rating its usefulness. My own beliefs are left unstated. With such a controversial topic, the danger is that the star rating gets equated with the rater's agreement of the reviewer's own stated or implied position on God's (non-)existence, not on the reviewer's assessment of Dawkins' own claims for denial of God. I'm summarizing my response to Dawkins as I have hundreds of other books rated by me on Amazon, so I strive here for the same fairness I try to give … more
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...