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The God Delusion Hardcover – October 18, 2006
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From Scientific American
George Johnson is author of Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order and six other books. He resides on the Web at talaya.net
Top Customer Reviews
Richard Dawkins book was extremely helpful and was the first book I have read on the Atheist side of the fence. I found Chapters 1 through 4 and 7 through 9 easy to read. Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 10 were more scientific and a hard read for the average person. I actually needed a dictionary at my side to get through those chapters. I particularly liked the section in Chapter 3 on Pascal's Wager which I had mistakenly credited to Einstein in the past.
What I had found so interesting is that he expressed ideas that I had been developing in my brain for years, but did not feel free to discuss with others.Read more ›
Some reviewers, delighted to find their opinions supported by Dawkins, use the opportunity to bask in their superior intellects and display their generous contempt for those who disagree.
Other reviewers feel personally attacked by this book, fending it off as best they can so they can retain their illusions, which are obviously valuable and meaningful to them.
Actually, you don't even have to read the reviews to see which is which. Just look at the numbers. If you see very few finding the review useful, you'll know the review was written by someone opposing Dawkins' ideas. And if the majority find the review helpful, that means it agrees with Dawkins.
This tells me that most of the people who are bothering to read the reviews are already pro-Dawkins--and it bodes ill for his hopes that his book will convert the believers.
It won't convert many believers, not because it is wrong--it isn't--and not because it isn't well-written--it is--but because whatever else you can say about faith, it isn't easily extinguished. For those who have it, it is the only life raft on a limitless ocean. Those who don't have learned how to swim, or plan to.
The most annoying reviewers, from my point of view, are those whose remarks demonstrate they haven't read the book (such as the fellow who insists Einstein was a believer), or those who feel Dawkins doesn't have the Biblical knowledge to back up his conclusions.
He doesn't need any Biblical knowledge. None of us do, when it comes to the question of belief.Read more ›
I believe the intended audience is those who already have grave doubts, and are looking for a well reasoned examination of the issue. I was impressed by the simple and straightforward approach to resolving a basic question: "since we can't know for sure if God exists, shouldn't we all be agnositics?"
I also enjoyed his definition of a pantheist (I'll leave that for the reader to discover).
The opening sections on Einstein and his "religious" beliefs, and a general discussion of pantheism and deism are worth the price of the book just by themselves.
As an aside -- those reviewers who cite Einstein's religious conversion away from atheism have clearly not read even this much of the book.
Written with great humor and wonderful quotations -- I am sure there is something here to offend just about everyone -- but also with great courage and forthrightfullness.
As a great fan of Professor Dawkins's previous work, "The Selfish Gene," a book that provided me with considerable food for thought several years back and profoundly altered my thinking, I looked forward with some excitement to "The God Delusion." Reading the new book on recognizes quickly that this is in fact one book, with three goals. Professor Dawkins imagines these goals as not only compatible, but structural to the argument he seeks to build. As for me I am less certain.
The first part restates much of what might be found in "The Selfish Gene," albeit more briefly and with some editions based on more recent scholarship.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a fan of the writing style. I'm almost 30 years old and have a college degree. I read books occasionally. The writing style is way above my level.Published 1 day ago by Max Wittlinger
Billions of people on this planet are brainwashed by religion. Religion only causes harm to people. There is no benefit in believing in fairy tales. Read morePublished 3 days ago by AP
Dr. Dawkins makes succinct arguments concerning the dangers of deep commitment to orthodox religion. Read morePublished 5 days ago by David A.
Book is amazing, points out lots of the contraditions and special treatments that religions get just because. Read morePublished 10 days ago by alc-galan
As a non scientist, Dawkins' explanations of the natural world leave me more optimistic about life than religion ever has.Published 12 days ago by Sidhartha