1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The God Delusion  By  cover art

The God Delusion

By: Richard Dawkins
Narrated by: Richard Dawkins,Lalla Ward
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $27.99

Buy for $27.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2006 Richard Dawkins (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Richard Dawkins is the leading soothsayer of our time....The God Delusion continues his thought-provoking tradition." (J. Craig Venter, decoder of the human genome)
"The God Delusion is smart, compassionate, and true....If this book doesn't change the world, we're all screwed." (Penn & Teller)
"The world needs...passionate rationalists....Richard Dawkins so stands out through the cutting intelligence of The God Delusion." (James D. Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, author of The Double Helix)

What listeners say about The God Delusion

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8,742
  • 4 Stars
    2,554
  • 3 Stars
    945
  • 2 Stars
    331
  • 1 Stars
    261
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,575
  • 4 Stars
    1,779
  • 3 Stars
    606
  • 2 Stars
    178
  • 1 Stars
    162
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,551
  • 4 Stars
    1,705
  • 3 Stars
    601
  • 2 Stars
    161
  • 1 Stars
    173

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dangerous Religion

If you've read much Dawkins, (The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, and others) it will come as no surprise to you that he is no fan of religion. What is new in The God Delusion is that the evolutionary biologist goes beyond rational disagreement with those who believe, and argues that religion is dangerous and should be opposed on nearly every front. He recognizes that religion has been an important force in art and literature, but gives it credit for little else in the realm of good.

Dawkins makes no distinction between radical evangelical Christianity, the Taliban and Jihadist Muslims. The worldview of each is equally intolerant of any other belief, and so ultimately equally dangerous.

Dawkins spends about half the book examining historical and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. In doing so, he takes apart the reasoning of many men, noble and ignoble, most of whom are dead. In a historical review such of this, arguing with the dead is unavoidable. Dawkins spends a bit too much time arguing with the more recently dead Stephen Jay Gould, a fellow evolutionary biologist and sometimes nemesis, than is strictly necessary.
One thing that particularly rankles Dawkins is the concept of children being born into a religion. They grow up, typically, thinking that their parents' religion is the one true faith. How lucky for them. Dawkins seethes at calling a four-year-old a Catholic or Muslim child. We do not call them a Democrat or a Republican based on their parents' convictions. They are allowed to make that choice for themselves when they mature. Religion should be a matter of choice, not indoctrination, according to Dawkins. Of all his contentions in this particularly contentious book, this may be the least likely to gain traction.

Because religion in its multitude of forms is so widely practiced, Dawkins assertions will seem radical. They will not, however, seem irrational.

193 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Unimpressive

Firstly I am an agnostic [Weak-agnostic by Dawkin???s definition], liberal, a product of evolution, and pro-choice ??? but I find Dawkins more of an embarrassment than a spokesperson. Although there are similarities between god and the tooth fairy ??? there are also key differences. The key mysteries of the tooth fairy have been resolved (a caregiver is putting money under the pillow), the key mysteries of creation and existence are still open questions. Dawkins presents here the worst kind of science; make your assumption, pile on ???facts??? to support your assumption, and ignore or strawman away any data that does not support your assumption. Dawkins spoke concerning a shirt which said something like ???Homosexuality is a Sin, Islam is a Lie, Abortion is Murder??? being not covered by first amendment because hate speech is not protected. Although I disagree with the shirt, I can???t see it as hate speech. Indeed the wearer may very well have regarded it as love-speech. This is one of the many cases where is seems Dawkins is seeing only what he wishes to see. Dawkins brushes away the argument that an atheist society might be ill-suited for survival. Nevertheless this is a key question ??? if atheist societies ever existed, they are now extinct. There is a real possibility that atheist societies would be no better, and perhaps far, far worse, then our present condition. It also seems to me that the crutch of religion is very useful to some people. Perhaps if we kick away people???s crutches, most will find they don???t need it, but some will likely fall. Kicking away crutches does not seem a wise thing to do.

94 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

well worth your time

i am a christian, and i found this book to be brilliant (with the exception of the section on memes, which i found to be pedantic)... i believe that anyone -- religious or non-religious, young or old -- should read this book... whether you agree with the conclusions Dawkins draws, these are important questions that have bearing on all of humanity, and this is a very well considered, cohesive, and enjoyable treatise on matters of origin and existence... its a bit slow at times, but on the whole i cannot recommend this highly enough...

88 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, I can come out of the closet!

This book was a life-changing experience for me. I always knew I was not a believer, but I never could articulate what I was. I owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Dawkins for his rational, elegant, and passionate dissection of the intellectual fraud we call revealed religion. You could say that Dawkins gave me the courage to come out of the closet and put my HL Mencken quotes up on the wall for all to see.

Perhaps the best thing about this book is the moral outrage it no doubt causes among believers, so many of whom probably haven't read (listened) to it.

Once I started listening to this book, I could not stop until the last word was spoken. This is the only audiobook I've listened to twice.

78 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good read but it won't sway your mind.

I've read a couple of Richard Dawkin's works: The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

First of all, let me praise Mr. Dawkins, and Lalla Ward for a captivating reading of his work. They make a good oratory team, very pleasant listening. I was hoping for a bit more "meat" to chew on in God Delusion but to me, Richard simply sets up straw men then slays them magnificently. Like a skilled surgeon, he seeks out the most tumorous examples of mankind's failures in the name of religion then portrays them as an evil perpetrated by faith in God. I share his disgust for religion as we know it, having been corrupted by corrupt men, but that comparrison is just as useless as blaming a firearm for murdering someone. From a more positive perspective, Christians, especially church leaders and clergy, should read TGD, not so much for what it reveals about atheism but for what it reveals about how religion is perceived by non-believers. It is to their shame the message of The Cross is lost in the cacophony of religious infighting and corruption.

A reasonable counterbalance to TGD is Ravi Zacharias' Can Man Live Without God?, a collection of speeches given by Mr. Zacharias. Ravi sets up his own straw men for battle and does an eloquent job of doing so. Of course, he's coming from the perspective of one who believes in an almighty Creator so he manages to raise questions that Mr. Dawkins didn't seem to think of. Where Dawkins attempts to appeal to logic, Ravi focuses more on the philosophical aspects of the state of mankind. My personal, and totally biased opinion, is that Zacharias gets a head start in the debate simply because he addresses the heart of man, rather than the mere mind of man.

To those who are convinced in their positions, whether it be for or against God, neither of these orators will sway you from your stance. If you're genuinely on the fence, read both books.

75 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Richard Dawkins is no Cultural Anthropologist

Richard Dawkins is a brilliant scholar in the field of evolutionary biology, but he is neither a sociologist nor an anthropologist.

Like Dawkins, I do not believe in God, but in spite of this, I find his ultimate thesis lacking. He characterizes religion as a kind of memetic parasite that infected humanity long ago.

Now, I think a robust debate can be had as to the role of religion, if any, in modern society, but it is a bit of a stretch to suggest religion has always been a malignant memetic parasite. And Dawkins fails to provide enough convincing evidence to support such a stretch.

Dawkins begins this audiobook by talking about a promotional poster for a TV special on religion that he had narrated. The poster featured a New York skyline with two intact Twin Towers. The poster was captioned, "Imagine a world with no Religion." This prologue Dawkins delivers betrays his ignorance.

It reflects a man who's thoughts on religion are not informed by a robust study of human history and culture, but merely half-baked observations about current events: Before jumping to the conclusion that "religion was the cause of 9-11", actual anthropologists might explore other possibilities. They might ask if the fall of the Ottoman Empire and a centuries worth of European geopolitical meddling had more to do with that unprecedented attack than an ideology that has existed in that region for 1500 years.

If I'm being honest, though, what bothers me most about Dawkins book is the thinly veiled racism. He characterizes all religions as foolish and misguided, but he makes a point to single out Islam as particularly barbaric and incompatible with modern values. Again, he never really considers whether the violence taking place within and emanating from the Middle East has less to do with Islam, and more to do with the kind intense animosity that could result from a centuries-wiorth of intercultural meddling by the Western World.

Stick to your lane, Richard. This book is embarrassing.

Narration was good, though.

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Tone Lifted from Fundamentalists

I always enjoyed that line between humanist and believer. I remember when I was a Mormon missionary reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. After finishing it, I immediately felt I needed to read Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects. I don't have a real problem with agnostics, atheists, humanists, etc. I think the competitive nature of belief is important. I think religion NEEDS to be able to thrive under scrutiny. It can't be comfortable. It can't be too protected. It needs to offer something if it is going to continue to be relevant. But I just can't get too excited by Dawkins, Harris, and Maher's forms of Atheism. While I like and respect their ability and desire to look at facts, adore skepticism and the scientific method, etc., their tone seems to have been lifted from Fundamentalist Christians.

Perhaps, it is their evangelical nature I am rejecting. But it can't be that exactly. I loved Christopher Hitchens. It wasn't like he was just soft and kind. But he came off more like a drunk rationalist than I pious prig. Perhaps that is my main beef with Dawkins. When he is in positivist mode, he is exciting. I love reading his stuff about evolution and science and the scientific method. I just don't think he is very good and criticism. He seems to smug. Too cocky. To be fair to Dawkins I felt the same way about overly smug members of my own belief system, or Christians who seem more interested in bashing other's beliefs than showing the benefits of their own. Don't smash Buddhists, SHOW me what you have to offer. Don't smash belief, show me what skepticism has to offer.

As far as the narration, the back-and-forth narration between Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward was a bit distracting. The male/female, twisting narration helixes through the entire book, but I can't quite see the point of it. Perhaps it was just so that Dawkins didn't have to narrate the whole book himself. But why, in the middle of a paragraph, would you switch narrators. It was odd.

64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Accolades for

In "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins is witty, poignant, and inspiring. I have listened to most of it in a very short amount of time because I have a hard time putting it down. If you're looking for proof that belief in a personal God is irrational or an explanation to why so many people believe in God, this book will do the job. Dawkins' book is thought provoking, eye opening, and enjoyable to listen to. I'd love to see more of his books (and books like it) on this site. It is now one of my favorites.

61 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KD
  • 07-24-07

Every Word is Perfect

I am in agreement with many of the reviewers here who really appreciated this book. I just have a few additional comments:

1) The two-narrator format seemed odd to me at first until I realized it was like a two-person play. Then I really enjoyed listening to the narrators play off each other.

2) Richard Dawkins is a superb reader of his own work, which is not something you can say for everyone.

3) This book is NOT a rant, as others have said. We always accuse others of ranting when we cannot answer their arguments.

4) It is not absurd to say that raising a child to be religious is a kind of child abuse. Many people wonder about this, especially those in the particularly guilt-inducing varieties of religion. I've known many folks over the years who wonder what damage they may be doing to their kids.

5) Dawkins makes it clear at the beginning that he does not expect to win over true believers. He is instead giving people permission to be atheists. This is an important distinction and is based on his experience with readers and students over the years. I teach about human evolution and can verify that many people don't even realize they have a choice when it comes to the ways they think and live in the world.

6) Dawkins is right that so many people who are anti-evolution do not understand how it works. He is also right that really understanding evolution is a life-transforming, consciousness-raising experience.

7) This book is very witty and in some parts, downright funny. But it is also compassionate and nurturing in many ways.

Highly recommended!

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Affirming Atheism!

Finally, an audiobook that passionately defends atheism and rational thinking as the only path to finding meaning and purpose in a Godless universe! A must "listen" for both the faithful and non-believer...

53 people found this helpful