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The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,039 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
The McGraths present a reliable assessment of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, famed atheist and scientist, and the many questions this book raises--including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.
Hardcover, 118 pages
Published July 6th 2007 by IVP Books (first published January 2007)
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Nov 15, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it
I read this concurrently with The God Delusion, and must say I really appreciated McGrath's tone of patience and reasonableness, even when it was clear he strongly disagreed with Dawkins' arguements. As someone who is examining his beliefs and is fairly open to good arguments, no matter what they are, I found this slim volume helpful as a reminder, while reading Dawkins, that the passion and certainty of the author should not be substitutes for logic and evidence. For what it is intended to be, ...more
May 20, 2009 Luke rated it really liked it
When I picked up this book, I thought to myself that the authors were going to have a hard time disputing 400 pages of atheist vitriol with less than 100 pages. I was wrong. The McGraths (husband and wife), both fellow Oxfordians with Dawkins, cleanly and effectively eviscerate many of Dawkins' most egregrious arguments in The God Delusion. I did my best to approach this book with an open mind (as I did with Dawkins' book) and to weigh the arguments on their own merit. This task was much easier ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Jason rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Jason by: Brian Clarke
Shelves: theology, non-fiction
The best thing that can be said for "The Dawkins Delusion?" is that at under 100 pages, it didn't waste too much of my time. To save you from wasting any of yours, let me summarize (and paraphrase): "Dawkins makes hateful baseless claims and ignores evidence that cuts against his position." If you're hoping for this book to say more, you'll be sorely disappointed (though perhaps appreciative of the irony).

I think perhaps I just need a break from this genre, for it has gotten to feel like a horri
Jan 15, 2008 jeff rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone that read The God Delusion.
Recommended to jeff by: Tony Abruscetto
I read The Dawkins Delusion not long after reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and I have to say, he "eviscerates" (Dawkins' cheesy word) Dawkins' arguments.

I had problems with The God Delusion as I noted in my review of the book and I don't hide the fact that I am a Christian. Maybe because of this I was more critical while reading Dawkins than I was with McGrath. I certainly did not make a conscious decision to do so.

McGrath completely tears down virtually all of Dawkins' arguments. I
Jun 19, 2011 Marvin rated it liked it
A friend of mine told me a story about the first book club he went to in our little desert town. The book to be discussed was The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. It was a big meeting but only a few were there to discuss the book. The bulk of the attendees were from churches in the area and their sole purpose for attending was to shut down the discussion, an objective which they achieved. The meeting soon degenerated into chaos.

This is typical of my many years of studying various religions and philoso
Mar 13, 2008 Cheri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-2008
The McGraths engage in a much more civil debate than Dawkins; I'll give them that. And that IS important. However, they deliberately miss many of the points that Dawkins makes in his book. Their arguments turn into more of a defense of their particular religion (Christianity) than a rebuttal to Dawkins assertions that support a theory that there is no god. Given the brevity of the book, which amounts to little more than a rap on the knuckles for being disrespectful, the McGraths would probably h ...more
Drew Smith
Feb 01, 2012 Drew Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! While reading it, be sure to remember that it is merely a response essay rather than a book presenting an argument. McGrath does a fantastic job explaining his purpose in the introduction, so be sure to read that and not just jump in chapter 1. There are only 4 chapters for a total of 100 pages, but it is very rich in context and does a brilliant job pointing out the flaws in Dawkins's argument in "The God Delusion". Even though McGrath disagrees with Dawkins, even showing where he t ...more
Jan 02, 2015 Karl rated it it was amazing
A succinct and fair-minded critique of Richard Dawkins' misrepresentation of religion, religious people and belief in God.
Steve Cann
Feb 24, 2013 Steve Cann rated it did not like it
Oh dear me. I approached this book with an open mind, having recently read the excellent God Delusion, to see if the authors could provide me with a solid argument in defence of religion - and perhaps even give me a hint of proof of the existence of the supernatural deity they cling to.
No chance! This book appears to be the literary equivalent of the proverbial child who has thrown his or her toys out of the pram.

It begins (mistakenly) with repeatedly classing atheist belief as 'dogmatic' (fooli
Feb 28, 2008 Tim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians who want to argue with atheists
Shelves: science, unfinishable
Hmm.. I only got about 1/3 of the way through this very short book which was a present to me by someone who disagrees with Dawkins' 'God Delusion'...even though they haven't read that book.

Essentially, Dawkins who writes in a fundamental atheist manner in his book 'The God Delusion' and is responded to here in this book by McGrath, a fundamental Christian. There was great potential to hear reasoned debate and response to the Dawkins.

Sadly i could not not appreciate his arguments because he was
Apr 30, 2009 James rated it liked it
McGrath is a real smart guy and his criticisms made me think more deeply about what I read in The God Delusion.
J Alec
Aug 11, 2015 J Alec rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Reading this alongside the God Delusion is perhaps one of the most interesting and engaging discursive experiences I have had with two books. Regardless of your preconceptions, you should read both of these books, if only to inform yourself of the debate and to show you that neither side can conclusively "win" in these ostensibly rational/logical back-and-forths. What you will learn is that the perspective of both writers/camps is largely informed by their presuppositions (which is not a bad thi ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Charbel rated it did not like it
Shelves: disliked
The Dawkins Delusion? promises counter-arguments to those presented by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, but unfortunately fails. Instead of a comeback volume designed to dispute Dawkins' massively popular book, we get just-over-a-100 pages of rants that strangely read like a negative review of the God Delusion.

I picked up this book for two reasons: 1) I liked the idea that someone wanted to add something to the debate, and 2) the authors seemed credible to do that, with Alister McGrath havin
Jan 11, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
[The] McGrath(es) do(es) a nice job at showing how The Dawkins constantly overreaches in his criticisms of God (Christianity, religion, &c.). How Dawkins continually substitutes rhetoric, vitriol, and ignorance in lieu of sustained and cogent argumentation. How Dawkins is selective in his appeal to history to indict the faithful (e.g., Pape's analysis of the motives of suicide bombers, the claims of some who died under the French revolution, the phenomena attending the problems in Northern I ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Alister McGrath acted like a Christian fundamentalist when he responded to the book of Richard Dawkins with an attack on his personality in the form of a book "The Dawkins Delusion". Richard Dawkins has every right to look at me as a believer in God and say that the idea of God is a delusion, since it is all in the mind and in the heart, etc. But does that give me the right to attack his person and publish a book about it attacking his mental powers by calling my book "The Dawkins Delusion"? Ali ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
On the whole, I enjoyed the book.

As for its strengths, I think that the authors provide reasonable critique of The God Delusion. Yes, the writers are Christians, but their only reliance upon Christian doctrine for rebuttal is found in chapter four. This provides a broader basis for their critique, highlighting both theists and atheists who disagree with Dawkins on evidential and philosophical grounds. Two things stood out as particularly insightful and devastating. What I find most devastating i
Sep 21, 2010 Carl rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read Dawkins or is interested in the relationship of religion and science
So, for some reason this book is coming up pretty high on my Goodreads list, even though it's been a while since I've read it. My review seems a bit like trash talk to me now, esp. seeing as I still haven't actually read Dawkins' book. To be honest, I saw an uncut debate between these two on youtube a while back, and have to admit Dawkins came out on top. Well, it's been a while-- and I just don't trust debates anyway, I think written, relatively sympathetic communication is the best way to work ...more
Sep 23, 2009 Jeff rated it did not like it
I picked this book up with the Dawkin's God Delusion because it was right next to it. I'm sorry to say as short as it is I couldn't get through two chapters. Every other paragrah seemed to reference an earlier book or argument either by McGrath or Dawkins. When he wasn't self-promoting he was nitpicking on Dawkin's choice of examples or quotes. I won't say that its not informative as to different interpretations of the situations Dawkin raises in his book but it does little else. I found it a bi ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Kerrie rated it liked it
I give the McGraths props for deconstructing Dawkins in a very polite, intellectual manner (most of the time). The barb near the end - is Dawkins so strident an atheist because he's losing faith in atheism? - was gratuitous and a moment of WTF.

McGrath does take the standard position that atheism is simply another form of religion, which doesn't sit right with me. When taking apart Dawkins' points that religion leads to violence, the literal interpretation of Scripture is ridiculous, etc. McGrath
Mar 01, 2013 Mike rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone that has read the The God Delusion
A VERY fair and forthright dealing with a few of the quotes from Dawkins' book, The God Delusion.

Otherwise, he is obviuosly ignorant of the science involved.
Feb 27, 2010 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off I'll admit to not having read The God Delusion itself. So until then, my 4/5 rating is provisional; 3.5/5 would probably be more accurate, and giving 4/5 instead of 3/5 shifts the average rating in that direction.

The absolutely fundamental point for anybody thinking of reading this book to consider is that it is NOT a plug for Christianity. The book is very short (my edition is 78 pages - 12 of those pages are notes, references and further reading) and focuses on refuting the points Da
Aug 30, 2013 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actual-factual
This book is accurate, incisive, persuasive, well-researched and, above all, fair. Because it has all those qualities - particularly that last one - it brilliantly shows how and where Dawkins' book "The God Delusion", and some of his other work, lacks them.

A compelling read, "The Dawkins Delusion" does not set out to slate Dawkins' work but instead to respond fairly and intelligently to the arguments he raises. In parts it is equally critical of some of the poor arguments put forward by Christia
Jun 21, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommended by Chad, and largely appreciated -- not just for the facts, but also for the dispassionate and reasoned tone in which the McGraths go about this task. Not a line-by-line or premise-by-premise refutation of Dawkins' God Delusion, but it does not set out to be. Rather, it addresses a number of issues raised in Dawkins' work and attempts to approach those who hold them "with complete intellectual respect rather than dismissing them as liars, knaves and charlatans" -- an approach he repe ...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Whether you loved The God Delusion or hated it (few people felt anything in between), you really ought to read this book. (If you didn't read The God Delusion, then there's not much point in reading this one either.) In 97 pages, the McGraths lay out clearly and concisely the many points in
Dawkins's book that are exaggerated, misguided, or just plain false. Though we keep the book in Theology, it does not in fact propose any religious stance or system, but rather defends the legitimacy (rather t
Dean P.
May 17, 2009 Dean P. rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I have read many of McGrath's textbook/research books and have come to expect a certain tone and style to his writing. His ability to maintain a level-headed response to Dawkins' works was encouraging. At times he wanders a little close to the "defense of Christianity" perspective, but for the most part he maintains a logical and even-keeled tone. I think the most beneficial chapter in this short work is the final one titled "Is Religion Evil?" in which he carefully shows how Dawkins' impassione ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Virgiliana rated it liked it
McGrath does a nice job of exposing Dawkins' The God Delusion for the unscholarly jumble of half-arguments that it is. McGrath's clarity of thought and calm, even tone provide a soothing contrast after one has endured Dawkins' venomous ramblings. But other than that, McGrath's response seems superfluous to anyone familiar with the history of serious debate between Christians and atheists. I suppose his effortless refutation of Dawkins' accusations would be helpful to someone who has only been in ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Clare rated it really liked it
Shelves: belief, non-fiction
This book is concise and well-reasoned, and serves its purpose as a contrast and alternative to The God Delusion by means of those very characteristics.
Apr 23, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing
I've just read this for a short course I'm involved in, and it seems very familiar, which makes me think I've read it before. However, I can't see any record of that. So I assume it has similarities to McGrath's other work on Dawkins, some of which I've read.
Good short book, and lays out the arguments concisely and sensibly. Dawkins, of course, comes off very badly - mostly because of his terrible arguments in The God Delusion (arguments or diatribes, I'm not sure which). For all that McGrath i
May 05, 2010 Wendy rated it liked it
I find it sad in our day and age, that most people, believe what they believe, and if they come across someone who believes differently, well, THEY are automatically the crackpot. So I find in the pretty much polarized views of this book.

Atheists pretty much all think this book stinks, while the 'others' be they Christian, religious or just looking for a reason to dissect Dawkins book rate it much higher and full of insight?

Who is right? who is wrong? Are we all just entitled to our own opinio
Aug 02, 2010 Renay rated it did not like it
i found this book to be quite horrible to read. to me it is obvious that the author - whether christian or not, atheist or not - simply needed an excuse to attack and insult dawkins, and this book was his excuse.
rather agressively, the author constantly attacks and degrades richard dawkins and his book "the god delusion".
in the book's introduction, mcgrath suggests that his book, "the dawkins delusion", will be short and to the point - arguing against dawkin's god delusion. it is definately shor
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Alister Edgar McGrath is a Northern Irish theologian, priest, intellectual historian, scientist, and Christian apologist. He currently holds the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and is Professor of Divinity at Gresham College. He was previously Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King's College L ...more
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