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Extended Audio Sample The God Delusion Audiobook, by Richard Dawkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.85371428571429 out of 53.85371428571429 out of 53.85371428571429 out of 53.85371428571429 out of 53.85371428571429 out of 5 3.85 (35 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Dawkins Narrator: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781400173785
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Whether you believe in God or you are an atheist, Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, presents some interesting and convincing ideas arguing against the existence of a religious God i.e., a being who created the world, lives in heaven, listens to our prayers and metes out rewards and punishments as He sees fit. Dawkins doesn't argue against more abstract concepts of God such as the God of pantheism or the God that Spinoza and Einstein believed in. Dawkins' problem is with the idea of a religious God and religion in general.

One of Dawkins' primary arguments is that if God created the world, then who created God? In trying to explain the existence of the world by using the concept of God, we are creating a larger problem. Instead, he suggests that natural selection and other scientific theories do a much better job in explaining the world, and he even argues that the appearance of design can be explained by natural selection. Dawkins isn't trying to disprove the existence of God once and for all; he's just suggesting that we adopt Occam's razor and accept the simplest explanation of something, since this is the rational thing to do.

Dawkins then goes on to argue against religion. He specifically has a problem with children who are classified according to their religion and sent to religious school which he considers a form of child abuse. To call a child a "Christian child" or a "Muslim child" is patently unfair because children don't have the capacity to understand Christianity or Islam well enough to adopt it. For Dawkins, religion is the result of the spread of memes in the population i.e., the tendency for something to spread like a virus from one person to another.

Many of Dawkins' arguments are justified. After all, there is no scientific proof of the existence of God, and it is perfectly possible for a person to be an atheist and moral at the same time. Religion has also been responsible for many atrocities over the years, and Dawkins' theory is quick to point this out. Whether you feel convinced of his argument or not, Dawkins' book is an honest representation of how people think about God and religion today.

Dawkins was born in Kenya, the son of an English civil servant. He returned to England when he was nine and had what he calls "a normal Anglican upbringing." However, he stopped believing in God when he was in his teens and came across the theory of evolution. He went on to do his Bachelor's at Oxford, studying zoology, and later got his doctorate studying under Nobel-prize winning ethologist, Nikolaas Tinbergen. During his academic career, he has taught at UC Berkeley and Oxford. He has also been married three times and has a daughter. The God Delusion has been on the New York Times bestseller list and has attracted widespread commentary from those who agree with Dawkins and those who don't.

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. He critiques God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. In so doing, he makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just irrational, but potentially deadly. Dawkins has fashioned an impassioned, rigorous rebuttal to religion, to be embraced by anyone who sputters at the inconsistencies and cruelties that riddle the Bible, bristles at the inanity of "intelligent design," or agonizes over fundamentalism in the Middle East-or Middle America. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • You needn't buy the total Dawkins package to glory in his having the guts to lay out the evils religions can do. Kirkus Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew G. | 11/30/2016

    " An extremely thought provoking and highly informative work. Mr. Dawkins presents his ideas (of which there are many) more compassionately than you might expect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 2/20/2014

    " Has a tendency to be equally as vitriolic as those of whom he writes in complaint. Nonetheless, an interesting look at the God question. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Forward | 2/14/2014

    " It gave me a lot of my stock arguments on matters of atheism and even caused me to develop a more substantial set of arguments in favor of agnosticism; Dawkins does not promote agnosticism but his criticisms certainly helped me. There are times where I feel Dawkins arguments are far too anecdotal and some discussions seem too close to ad hominem type attack; I did not find this pervasive enough to ruin the quality of the book but it did sour a few passages. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven | 2/13/2014

    " Message to Mr. Dawkins: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 2/8/2014

    " Dawkins definitely made some good points about religion, a little bit arrogantly but still logical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi Kling | 1/29/2014

    " One of my favorite Dawkins books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anhdroid | 1/25/2014

    " Very hard to get through, he's constantly in my face and I'm not even his target group :-/ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/15/2014

    " Amazingly revealing! He describes the natural world around us in such a beautiful way. All the while shattering delusions in such a way as to make one grateful! Dawkins replaces blind faith with reason & a true love & respect for the natural world around us! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/8/2014

    " A pretty good read. A bit boring when he gets into the evolutionary stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/7/2013

    " Fascinating ideas by Dawkins. Really interested in what other works he has. A lot of it made very good sense. The science parts were pretty confusing to me, but if read slow, it provides a great understanding of Richard's ideas. Hope to read more of his books, especially Unweaving the Rainbow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Mustain | 11/24/2013

    " A must read for anyone capable of thinking for themselves, or that cares at all about our progress as a species "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 11/16/2013

    " I wish this was required reading. The world would be a smarter, therefore better, place if that was the case. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina Wright | 11/14/2013

    " A well written, well documented novel, backed by fact after fact after fact. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Kamber | 10/31/2013

    " A book I would recommend to anybody interested in religion "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Gibson | 9/8/2013

    " An excellent read for insight into the other mindset. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Curtis Harris | 2/20/2013

    " By the time I read this book, I was familiar with most of the arguments. A must read though, so I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki-shawn | 12/2/2012

    " ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! If only I would have had this amazing book growing up. This is a book that everyone should read as it precisely defines and exposes the insanity of religious belief. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shriram | 1/22/2012

    " Stick to biology, dude. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alannagh | 1/8/2012

    " a must read for any committed athiest "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen Walker | 12/1/2011

    " 2 hours of my life I won't get back. Read Christopher Hitchens instead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James McAllister | 9/22/2011

    " Love him, hate him or argue with him - you cannot ignore him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Philipp Berndt | 8/11/2011

    " I'm an atheist, but this book does not represent for what I stand for. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philippe Dame | 6/3/2011

    " A must read for any atheist and I'd argue for any theist with an open mind. It is clear religion doesn't define or even shape modern morality no more than it holds any evidence for being the truth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katja | 5/25/2011

    " Let's get something straight - Richard Dawkins is a pompous, smarmy intellectual bastard. But dammit, it's impossible to hate him when he's just so.....RIGHT!!! I liked this book mainly because I agreed with him but then like I said, it’s almost impossible not to. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daynan | 5/22/2011

    " Expected more...just hard to get through the polemic straw man stuff. I did like the last chapter though, as an inspiration to the wonder of science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paraskevi | 5/18/2011

    " It was the book that put some things into perspective for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Priscila | 5/17/2011

    " This book had everything. It had humor, actual scientific facts, reason, not to mention Dawkins' pert little opinions ;)
    I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 5/15/2011

    " Clear and concise analysis, written by a scientist who truly believes in understanding the universe using logical conjecture based on empirical evidence.
    In the realm of philosophy, the scientific method has proved itself as the best method we have in the search for truth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 andy | 5/14/2011

    " The brute force of scientific logic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nikki | 5/12/2011

    " Still reading, gonna take some time with this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 5/11/2011

    " I'm not complaining about the content, although he does seem rather defensive. It was just too full of "proof." I'll try another of his books sometime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony61 | 5/9/2011

    " Well-constructed arguments that show the irrationality of belief in supernatural gods. Lots of emotion on both sides of the issue, but Dawkins is the best of the "New" Atheists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/8/2011

    " The book that made me an atheist. Things were simpler before then. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melinda | 5/5/2011

    " I understand it and I agree with it......gave it two stars because it was such a "wade" to get through it. It wasn't a pleasant experience but was an enlightening one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 5/3/2011

    " An engaging read, fascinating insight, and wonderfully unapologetic. Read this book, and you will cast off your superstitions. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, an acclaimed biologist, is a fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth. He has received a number of honorary doctorates from colleges and universities around the world and has received many awards and honors throughout his career, most notably a Finlay Innovation Award, the Michael Faraday Award, the Nakayama Prize, the Kistler Prize, and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest.

About the Narrator

Lalla Ward is an actress and audiobook narrator who is best known for her role as Romana in Doctor Who, a popular BBC television series. She has also appeared in several other television shows, including The Protectors, Quiller, The Professionals, and Hazel. She is the former wife of actor and costar Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.