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The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion reviews
Critic Score
Metascore: 59 Metascore out of 100
User Score  
8.2 out of 10
based on 22 reviews
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based on 49 votes
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The British scientist makes a case for atheism and presents an unflattering history of religion in this controversial book.

Houghton Mifflin, 416 pages
09/18/2006
$27.00

ISBN: 0618680004

Nonfiction
History
Religion
Science & Nature

What The Critics Said

All reviews are classified as one of five grades: Outstanding (4 points), Favorable (3), Mixed (2), Unfavorable (1) and Terrible (0). To calculate the Metascore, we divide total points achieved by the total points possible (i.e., 4 x the number of reviews), with the resulting percentage (multiplied by 100) being the Metascore. Learn more...

Kirkus Reviews
Dawkins's passionate disavowal of religion and his "I can no other answer make" statement that he is an atheist--and why you should be, too.
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San Francisco Chronicle Troy Jollimore
"The God Delusion" is a fine and significant book, and this is largely due to Dawkins' willingness to employ the sharp edges of his intellect to cut through a paralyzing propriety whose main effect is to stifle conversations--about religion, about intellectual responsibility, about politics--that we very much need, at this particular moment in our history, to be having.
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The Guardian Joan Bakewell
Dawkins is right to be not only angry but alarmed. Religions have the secular world running scared. This book is a clarion call to cower no longer. Primed by anger, redeemed by humour, it will, I trust, offend many.
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The Independent Marek Kohn
[Dawkins] disregards the risk that attacking a people's religion may amount to an attack on them as a group. Some comments and quotes in this respect are reckless. The most shocking quotes, though, are all from the Bible. His greatest polemical asset is having that particular God on his side.
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The Economist
Mr Dawkins dreams of a day when atheists are as well organised and influential as Christian conservatives have become. If nothing else, his book should help bring the atheists out of the closet.
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The Globe And Mail [Toronto] Patrick Watson
The God Delusion is a good, strong argumentative challenge to any thoughtful believer with the courage to read it with care and try to dispute it. It has a couple of flaws. [14 Oct 2006]
Los Angeles Times Robert Lee Hotz
Dawkins properly gives the promoters of... false doctrines about the science of human origins a dose of their own overheated rhetoric.
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New York Observer Emily Bobrow
[Dawkins] has marshaled his full case against the existence of God, and the result is compelling, fairly familiar and often entertaining.
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Houston Chronicle James Cortese
While it's true that large percentages of Americans believe in such things as the virgin birth (as well as UFOs), most of the smart people -- those with advanced degrees, professors, scientists, etc. -- tend not to take religion seriously or are outright atheists and agnostics. This book is their comfort food.
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The Onion A.V. Club Donna Bowman
In his latest and perhaps most combative book, The God Delusion, the British zoologist and evolution-popularizer tries to show not only that God doesn't exist, but that even the most private and well-meaning belief in God opens the door to terrible consequences for the individual and society.
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TLS: The Times Literary Supplement Steven Weinberg
Richard Dawkins’s even-handedness is well-intentioned, but it is misplaced. I share his lack of respect for all religions, but in our times it is folly to disrespect them all equally.
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Publishers Weekly
For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins has written a surprisingly intolerant book.
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Boston Globe Rich Barlow
Believers should read "The God Delusion." Once the spasms of outrage over its caustic tone pass, sophisticated folks will find much of its critique rigorously argued.
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Daily Telegraph Kenan Malik
Dawkins's polemic against the need for religion is compelling, even if the arguments are not particularly new. Less persuasive is his attempt to explain what faith is and why people continue to believe. So great is his loathing for religion that it sometimes overwhelms his reasoned argument.
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Daily Telegraph Mary Wakefield
I'm in awe of Dawkins, and of the ease with which he makes tricky science clear, but I'll eat my Sunday hat if this book persuades even the most hesitant half-believer to renounce religion
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Sydney Morning Herald Jon Casimir
The God Delusion is unevenly weighted, often repetitive and less eloquent than Dawkins's previous works. But that doesn't mean it fails. It takes flight when he moves beyond the yes/no argument about God to explain why evolution has created an abundance of religion.
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The Independent Murrough O'Brien
You don't agree or disagree with Dawkins's attempted refutation of theism; you cheer or you boo. That I must give a howling boo to much of The God Delusion is a recommendation. Again and again, it forces the reader to ardent thought.
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The New York Times Book Review Jim Holt
Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins’s failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience.
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The Spectator Charles Moore
If Dawkins really wants readers like myself to check into the atheist equivalent of the Priory for what he calls 'recovery', he must first of all understand the condition which he seeks to relieve. He doesn't. [7 Oct 2006]
Boston Globe Anthony Doerr
"The God Delusion" is much more about deflating a hypothesis than crystallizing an enthralling viewpoint. It's not a paean to atheism; it's a diatribe against religion.
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London Review Of Books Terry Eagleton
Dawkins could have told us all this without being so appallingly bitchy about those of his scientific colleagues who disagree with him, and without being so theologically illiterate.
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New York Review Of Books H. Allen Orr
None of Dawkins's loud pronouncements on God follows from any experiment or piece of data. It's just Dawkins talking.
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What Our Users Said

Vote Now!The average user rating for this book is 8.2 (out of 10) based on 49 User Votes
Note: User votes are NOT included in the Metascore calculation.

Chris C gave it a10:
Excellent. Just sheds light onto reason. His words are quite funny and yet understandable actually, which made things difficult for me to understand when reading some of the other professional reviews. Some wrote against his passion. What I am wondering is, why should he respect something that he has so much disgust in? I always thought that authors were supposed to be passionate. Would anyone think anything of a pro-God writer writing with respect and restraint for non-believers? Overall, interesting and way way way sensibly alluring.

Mike T. gave it a10:
I know realize what I truely am because of this book. As a de Facto Athiest, I will be the biggest pain in the ass at my Catholic School from now on. I find Dawkins absolutly crushes the BS I was taught in philosophy, I refuse to listen to confused old pjilosophers, I prefer scientists. Of you are a firm agnostic, or apologetic to religion, dont rate this book. Please, its just wrong folks. I find Dawkins attacks the retarded findamentalists to much, he should concentrate on normal people more. The book does have enough good points to make any intelligent, non emotional person to at least become agnostic. That, and I want to join an organized athiest group, I refuse to be trampled by madness.

A- Thiest gave it a9:
I find it absolutely hilarious when people dismiss scientists when they talk about theology because they are not experts. The complexity and merrits of religion!!! Which religion!! The hundreds humanity has come up with since the dawn of self conciousness... maybe we should start being more respectful of Scientology, or are you just pissed off because its all being lumped in with your "respectful" judeo-christian religion... the simple fact is, if there are people out there talking about science(especially in regards to schools) who think that the Earth is 6000yrs old, i have no problem with a scientist pointing out all the massive holes that are found in the scriptures and culture of organised religion. This is the 21st century, why dont we stop pretending its the dark ages. Yes, religion can provide a good moral compass(it can also give you one of the worst- which quite irrationally is totally up to you...), it makes you feel good in times of need, and it makes you part of a community, but no matter what religion does, it should not and cannot play a part in any form of democratic governance! For something completely unproven, bar a single piece of literature which substantiates itself, to hold so much reverence and un-debatable respect is ludicrous in this day and age. Everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe, within reason and the law(yes Law, i dont know if you've heard of it, but it is the magical thing that will stop everybody killing and raping each other if we didnt have religion!), but until the day that your messiah(whichever yours is) returns, how bout you keep it to yourself and not try to influence society with your dogma, we dont need it!... loved the book

warren b gave it a10:
This book was always going to get bad reviews from the mainstream. Richard dawkins said what needed to be said, and he didnt pull any punches into the bargain. many critics call him a fundie atheist, however he is a lot more tolerant than the fundies themselves, Bravo

Joseph K gave it a10:
I'm not surprised at how mixed the reviews are for The God Delusion. Both critics and readers are going to be quite divided and I am no exception. Being an atheist I loved loved loved everything about this book. I wish I could rate it higher than 10.

Matt R gave it a10:
I bet Dawkins would get a kick out of the negative reviews, all of which use the same hollow quasi-logic that he skewers in his book. "Scientists shouldn't speak outside of their field" is perhaps the funniest (and saddest) argument that I have ever heard. You want us to believe in some transcendent man-in-the-sky but not ask questions about it? Sounds like Kool-Aid to me!

Daniel H gave it a9:
I think the only reason this book was not a 9 or 10 is because so many people are brain washed into believing in their religion so strongly, they cannot open their eyes and ears to anything new or exciting, if it's not in their book of ancient primitive rules and stone age bed time stories meant for children that have been taken literally by misguided uneducated adults, still today.

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