The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types.
His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind.
Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. 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.
The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.
Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Transworld Digital
Current Goodreads Rating: 3.9 Stars
The first half of this book was more of a defense and didn't really bring anything new to the table except almost turn me off completely. I think it might be one of the worst ways to start a book when you are trying to have the audience keep an open-mind. It was full of demeaning jabs and inflating himself to feel superior. When you take so many jabs at a person's identity and upbringing, I felt like I was getting blinders put on to only be tuned in to those degrading statements rather than the message as a whole. There were points that almost had me in tears about religion bashing in either direction especially the notes and hate he's received personally, but then he'd go straight back into bashing everyone else who didn't think the same way he did. Why? I do agree though with his idea that we should not judge our views as good and others as bad. The issue is whichever side you were raised into rather it be democratic, republican, gay, straight, Catholic, or atheist we should not be so quick to condemn the other side as wrong or bad. The second half is the reason for the rating. I made my way through the defense to hear his biblical references and questions on how people could believe and follow certain scriptures but not others. He quoted numerous stories and passages and then made his arguments, which is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to see an outside perspective to religion and I got it. He made very valid arguments and raised questions that needed to be raised so I can see how everyone else addresses those extreme hangups as well. Last week at church, they mentioned that God can defend himself, and I thought that was brought up at the perfect timing while reading this book. People do not need to picket, beat people with the bible, or yell and judge others. We shouldn't be getting angry and defensive for him because he can take care of himself. So I'm searching for answers to understand all the different viewpoints in the world and make sure I build my personal relationship with him on a strong foundation and hopefully throughout my search God will defend himself to me. I feel like I'm doing a background check like anyone might in a new relationship.
"That is really all that needs to be said about personal experiences of gods or other religious phenomena. If you've had such an experience, you may well find yourself believing firmly that it was real, but don't expect the rest of us to take your word for it especially if we have the slightest familiarity with the brain and its powerful workings."
"Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place." - In response to the rise in sexual assault allegations against priests"