The God Delusion

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Atheist Republic's picture
The God Delusion
The God Delusion

The God Delusion

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Richard Dawkins is not an atheist who merely sits quietly in the pews. The Evolutionary theorist - and one of the world's most prominent nonbelievers that Discover hailed as "Darwin's Rottweiler" - refuses to view religion as harmless nonsense. He asserts that it is one of humanity's most malevolent creations.

The God Delusion is his best-selling book where he cleverly attacks arguments for the existence of a supreme being, stressing that belief in such a deity is a delusion and castigating believers of "intelligent design". In the book, he also accuses religions of provoking divisiveness and even war, as well as bigotry.

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Zaphod's picture
I don't think I will be

I don't think I will be reading this book, this guy Dawkins seems to me to be a tad to far on the side of hatred. I do however think there may be something of value in it but think i will focus my reading in other areas for now.

Sammy Shazaam's picture
It may be a little too far

It may be a little too far out for you to consider standing behind his words, but he seems like a smart guy and deserves to have his viewpoint examined. But, there are a few other books on this list that I think I'd read first :)

Zaphod's picture
I do't mean to say "far" in

I do't mean to say "far" in that way, I just mean to say Dawkins seems to have a lot of hate for religion I bet Henry P would really like his stuff. Its just not for me. To me he is like a christian hating on gay people, he is a bit too much on the attack for my taste, much like those racist Obama haters I don't really like Obama as a president, but you can tell for example if you look at the comments under Mr. Conservative articles that a real lot of the people commenting there are hateful racist and probably have more than one reason not to like Obama or whatever balck person they find themselves routinely talking about, but race is to many of them definitely one of them. I just get tired of people being hateful whether it towards religion race ect....

Loquela's picture
Dawkins des not hate religion

Dawkins des not hate religion as is , just points out the silly arguments to 'prove' A should be the only true religion and B or C are not , the dubious origin of all books and references to religion . I read it and totally agree .

Zeus's picture
Hi Zaphod, I'm new to the

Hi Zaphod, I'm new to the Atheist Republic and I think your comments are very thought prevoking and reasonable. I'm sure there are haters out there, but hopefully we strive not to fall into that mold. As for President Obama, I don't dislike him because he's black. I dislike him because I think he is a failed President and that jobs have been lost due to his lack of real business experience. He has put future Americans in bitter straights by his increasing the National Debt by 10 trillion dollars. That's more than all the other presidents accumulated together. He has gone on to burden the people with his Affordable Care Act. It was destined to fail as the real objective has always been a Single Payer System. I certainly don't hate President Obama, I just think he has done a terrible job for this country. Our national gross product hasn't exceeded 3% in his entire 8 years in office. I also believe he has failed the African American Community. He's done more financially for Mid Eastern countries than he has done for the Inner Cities of America. I hope the future brings us better news.

efpierce's picture
I agree with you Zaphod,

I agree with you Zaphod, hatred isn't something that we need more of in this world. It's getting out of hand and those who spread it are pathetic, especially when they spread it for a profit. No matter what someone's opinion is, their actions always speak louder.

seanftw's picture
Mr. Dawkins is not a hateful

Mr. Dawkins is not a hateful person. He is just sick of religious nuts and them shoving their religious nonsense down people's throats. He has many videos on youtube. If you'll just watch a few, you'll see that he is not a hateful person. God bless, lol.

seanftw's picture
Mr. Dawkins is not a hateful

Mr. Dawkins is not a hateful person. He is just sick of religious nuts and them shoving their religious nonsense down people's throats. He has many videos on youtube. If you'll just watch a few, you'll see that he is not a hateful person. God bless, lol.

Col McGrath's picture
You need to get to know

You need to get to know Richard Dawkins. He is a gentleman and shares with us thought provoking arguments on why there is no god and why religion is bad for humanity on many different levels.

Mr Dawkins wouldn't hurt a fly but he will definitely argue strongly in favour of atheistic views, in that regard, he is very passionate.

mattyn's picture
Dawkins is definitely one

Dawkins is definitely one-sided in his views and that is what makes him exactly what he hates. Too much hate in one place for me too.

beep's picture
He's experienced both sides

He's experienced both sides growing up as a christian... (and chosen to be an atheist)
Its not hate just lack of a patience.

Elie Abou Haydar's picture
I absolutely loved the book

I absolutely loved the book to be honest. He does have this specific stinging point of view, but I personally like it. He is not afraid to tackle the issue with a forward, direct approach careless of what others might say. He's extremely smart and well documented, does take the Darwin Natural selection argument at heart, which is pretty much natural for a biologist. I'd recommend it as one of the benchmark books for a direct attack on religion, not defending atheism, Dawkins is against religion as a whole after all.

efpierce's picture
Thanks for throwing you hat

Thanks for throwing you hat in the ring so to speak. It has actually made me curious about this book and I might give it, not the author, a second chance.

gardenerclematis's picture
Dawkins has been an atheist

Dawkins has been an atheist for a very long time. The longer one is an atheist and really views life, the culture, the world, the more one disdains the power and control of religion, it's long term effects on the world, and it's longtime effects and damage on individuals that could have otherwise offered so much more to their own lives and the world.

Aspen's picture
Dawkins was raised in a

Dawkins was raised in a religious home and came about his Atheism on his own when he was a teenager and the book goes into great detail about this early on, which I think is great since so many Atheists are former Theists. This was the first "Atheist book" I purchased when I started questioning my faith and that was after attending a screening of The Unbelievers in Arizona and getting to hear Dawkins speak in person, which was what caught my attention in the first place. I was only at the screening to humor my husband and get him off my case about me being a Theist (we were both Catholics when we met). But the passion Dawkins displays in his work is mesmerizing to me and that much passion has got to be worth looking into. There's also a Theist response to it that's free on iBooks but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. Worst case scenario, you don't like it. No harm done. But what I've learned in the past year is that, as Atheists, we're supposed to have an open mind and learn as much as we can so we can educate our children and the world around us.

kel's picture
I'm reading the book now,

I'm reading the book now, after seeing a video Dawkins made. I find it bracingly refreshing, intellectually rigorous, and highly convincing. Dawkins does not come off as hateful but as rational. He is first and foremost a scientist. He doesn't rant nor rave, just presents his arguments, albeit with more than a bit of snarky humor. I'd highly recommend this book!

Sarah's picture
I am in the process of

I am in the process of reading the book right now and find it not only very informative but also quite a page turner. Dawkins is very much a scientist in that he presents evidence as reason for his disapproval of religion. He is not a hate spewing atheist as many theists believe him to be. He even goes so far as to explain himself in the book as to why he is as passionate of an atheist as he is. I believe that much of his distaste for religion stems from seeing otherwise brilliantly intelligent people and even colleagues completely disregard scientific training in leiu of religion simply because they have been so indoctrinated and I have to say that I completely agree with him in that it is a sad thing to see something like that happen. If you are simply someone who loves to read, I feel like this book will not disappoint. Dawkins is so amazingly intelligent and fluid with his words that they all but melt on the page. As intelligent as he is, the language he uses is not so that the meaning of the words fly over the heads of your average person. Give it a try, you might be surprised.

Dimitrios Trimijopulos's picture


In his book “The God Delusion”, chapter 5 is entitled “The roots of religion”. In page 172 there is a section of the said chapter under the heading:


Dawkins is of the opinion that religion (not just religiosity) is a by-product of that "something else" and seeks to find what it is. He writes in page 174:

"If, then, religion is a by-product of something else, what is that something else?"

Of course, he cannot decide what is that “something else” because being a biologist wants it to be something evolutionary useful and thus he starts with the nonsense:

"The religious behavior may be a misfiring, an unfortunate by-product of an underlying psychological propensity which in other circumstances is, or once was, useful.
What is the primitively advantageous trait that sometimes misfires to generate religion?"

The “advantageous trait” which was/is “something useful” leads to fatal and unacceptable mistake of the next section entitled:


After having mentioned some «modules” (a module for dealing with kinship, a module for dealing with reciprocal exchanges, a module for dealing with empathy) arrives at the conclusion that:

"Religion can be seen as a by-product of the misfiring of several of these modules, for example the modules for forming theories of other minds, for forming coalitions, and for discriminating in favour of in-group members and against strangers"

Utter nonsense!!
Moreover, Dawkins is an agnostic. He is an ignoramus when it comes to religious matters. He is not an atheist (but honest enough to admit it)!

Bgrady 's picture
Reading it now. I'm up to

Reading it now. I'm up to the anthropic principle, and it is excellent and well researched. I greatly admire his ability to reference many other works from many other views, as well as the depth in which he dives into each and every argument. Very engaging book, highly recommended.

C.G. Cruttenden's picture
His writing may seem acerbic

His writing may seem acerbic to the outsider. If you feel that way you have never read, "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris. I have read "The God Delusion" 3 times, along with a few other of his works including "The Blind Watchmaker" and "River out of Eden." To be call yourself atheist and to have not read "The God Delusion" is like being a Christian and not having read the bible. I suggest you guys open up the book. There is alot to learn.

Holy City Atheist's picture
"To be call yourself atheist

"To be call yourself atheist and to have not read "The God Delusion" is like being a Christian and not having read the bible."

In my experience MOST christians have no idea whats in the bible except what they have been told.

B. Twitched's picture
Even if you don't agree with

Even if you don't agree with Dawkin's views, it's worth a read. He doesn't come across as hateful at all. I am about halfway through reading it, and I am loving it! He provides a lot of scientific/logical support for what I have been thinking for a long time about the universe, the origin of life, and ways to rebut traditional theist logic (or perhaps illogic). I have watched Dawkins in countless interviews, and his way of speaking really translates well on the page--I love his snarky sense of humor. And as a writer/English major, I really appreciate his intelligent and varied use of the English language.

Blackbird's picture
I cannot agree with the post

I cannot agree with the post from C.G. Cruttenden more.
To count Dr. Dawkins out as purely snarky or "hateful" simply cries out pure "ignorance". His powerful volumes of "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution" or "The Blind Watchmaker" are must-reads. If you do not know who the good professor - then I cannot recommend "Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science" enough.
In brief, Dr. Dawkins was University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008 and presently an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford. Believing that the good professor spends his life and/or time on "being hateful" - proves just how sadly wrong you are.

His "The God Delusion" is literally a thesis, a powerful framework, an intellectual anchor, an apologetics marker for what and why we call ourselves "atheists". It is required reading for every atheist and especially every new atheist out there - I like to refer to it as our Pentateuch.

To quote C.G. Cruttenden above:
To call yourself atheist and to have not read "The God Delusion" is like being a Christian and not having read the bible.

Takudzwa's picture
Hatred against religion is

Hatred against religion is justified just as hatred against slavery, crime, racism, homophobia, bigotry or genocide. These are the qualities found in the Judo-Christian God by the way (he's the only one I ever knew, never knew about Allah or other deities). I think Dawkins puts religion in its exact place, he rightfully identifies it as a cause of most social evils in our world today. If we base our reasoning and judgements on theological beliefs rather than reality, then we have a big problem. You can't have a balanced view on something clearly evil. To all the theists in here, there is a question for you; What does your God have to do for you to call him evil? Murder, genocide, slavery, cannibalism, rape, betrayal, human/animal sacrifice(the whole Christian faith's idea of morality is traded for salvation on a human sacrifice through Jesus John 3:16) or killing innocent children? The God of the bible commanded and is guilty for all the above, look it up in your so called holy book. And if you still call him a perfectly righteous God after this I have the right to call you delusional. The term delusional means believing in something strongly even if there is overwhelming evidence against it......... describes most theists. Dawkins just laid the truth as it is.

Strewth's picture
I have read the God Delusion

I have read the God Delusion several times and thoroughly enjoy it, as I always pick up more each time. I have also read his other books and enjoyed them just as much. The man is a well educated factual person of logic and reason. People also should realise that some of Dawkins attacks against religion and his intolerance of religious people comes from a constant onslaught of theists trying to catch him out or trying desperately to make a fool of him in public. This happens often and one time was when Andrew Denton in Australia interviewed him several years ago. The interview went reasonably well until Denton decided to try to be a smarty and have a sly shot at Dawkins. Dawkins hopped up and walked out of the interview without another word. At that moment, I lost all respect for Denton and gained more respect for Dawkins. Richard Dawkins (much to his credit) does not suffer fools. To anyone reading this; If you have not read the book and ever get an opportunity to do so - - - Read it!! You will be better for it.

Holy City Atheist's picture
Dawkins is not hateful as a

Dawkins is not hateful as a matter of fact sometimes he shows more patience than I think I could.

See Richard Dawkins Interviews Creationist Wendy Wright

its unbelievably funny

Andromeda's picture
I want to read this book!

I want to read this book!

chimp3's picture
"The God Delusion" is a good

"The God Delusion" is a good read. I recommend it. In the tradition of Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" Dawkins has contributed another well reasoned argument against the evils that religion has wrought upon humanity.

ZeffD's picture
The point I would like to

The point I would like to make about Professor Dawkins is that he was helpful in exposing Saudi literature entering British schools and other problems in our education system. Thank goodness he bothered. Nothing might have been done if it was left to Tory politicians or British clerics. He can be very forthright...

Charvak's picture
The book is really well

The book is really well written.

Look forward to all of his books though I do prefer his more scientific works (the selfish gene is probably my favourite book), this particular book is one of my favourites.


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