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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The God Delusion Book Review

The God Delusion remains one of the most controversial books ever released in the 21st Century. This controversial book released back in 2007 became an authoritative text for atheism in the following years after its release. How does the book hold up to this day?

Image Credit: Setanta Books

The background of the author:

Richard Dawkins is a best-selling author of popular science books such as The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow, and The Ancestor's Tale. As a distinguished biologist, his works made a huge following in the scientific community. Only when he released God Delusion that he gained notoriety even in religious circles.

What's in the book:

The major argument of the book stems from the fact that empirical and scientific knowledge is absolute and every religious belief or tenet are propagated lies passed for ages. The book also popularized the spectrum of theistic probability or the 7 milestone test that classifies individuals from their scale of belief in a deity that starts at 1. strong theist and ends at 7. being a strong atheist.

The book is divided into 10 chapters, each chapter features up to 5 lengthy essays to tie up with the theme of the respective chapter. The first half of the book deals on debunking theological assumptions of God's existence along with an investigation about the roots of religion. The latter half of the book has an investigative approach to how religion continues to poison cultures and societies.
Along with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins became an icon of militant atheism. Although the popularity of such communities has waned through the years, the impact of his work influenced millions of freethinking people around the globe.

richard dawkins
Image Credit: Huffington Post

IFY Book Reviews have a comprehensive rating system. Let's rate God Delusion on the classic scale of 1 to 10. Nonfiction books are rated differently compared to fiction books.

The Content: 8/10

The God Delusion is surprisingly easy to read, and it does not digress in other details not related to its arguments. The essays in each chapter present coherence that even a layman can grasp. It does not try to be pretentious and use jargon unfamiliar to the common reader. The brilliant example of his direct popular science approach is the aforementioned spectrum of theistic probability. In fact, the book is so well written that it solidified the beliefs of freethinkers and enough for them really embrace atheism.

The Rereading Value: 8/10

Most editions of the God Delusion even the hardcover versions do not exceed the 500-page mark(The original first edition print only has 464 pages.). Most readers consider 500 page books as long than an average book, but God Delusion does not have a dull moment every time Richard Dawkins presents his arguments in each chapter. His tongue-in-cheek approach will make you miss key details that can be only noticed through rereads.

Rating of the Book Compared To Other Books Also Written by Richard Dawkins: 8/10 

Richard Dawkins has a great bibliography, the book that propelled his way to fame is The Selfish Gene. Being an evolutionary biologist, he presented several arguments about the theory of evolution in his several books: The Ancestor's Tale,The Blind Watchmaker and The River Out of Eden. It appears that The God Delusion is a black sheep in his catalog, but without his controversial work, his other books written in the past will not gain attention and resurgence in popularity. He recently released a book titled Outgrowing God, a spiritual successor to The God Delusion.

Related or Similar Books: The End of Faith by Sam Harris, God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, Breaking the Spell By Daniel Dennett. All these books are carried by IFY Bookstore(an online bookstore in the Philippines).

The God Delusion left a lasting mark for the generations to come. The influence of God Delusion in freethinking and secular thought will never cease. You can watch the full documentary based on the contents of God Delusion below. 


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