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God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  93 reviews
What words come to mind when we think of God? Merciful? Just? Compassionate? In fact, the Bible lays out God’s primary qualities clearly: jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive—and worse! Originally conceived as a joint presentation between influential thinker and bestselling author Richard Dawkins and former evangelical preacher Dan Barker, this unique book
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Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Sterling
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Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism-religion
God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction by Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins

“God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction” is an expose of “God’s” true qualities based on the very book that attempts to describe “Him”. Taking a page from Richard Dawkins, former evangelist minister and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Dan Barker takes the readers on a journey through the Bible and during this trip he clearly describes the “Lord Jealous”. This provocative 322-page
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Peter Mcloughlin
A very good reference to the ugliness of the good book and its lead character. Well organized giving detailed accounts of the ugly nature of God depicted in the bible. See my updates for more detail. I think people will find it eye-opening.

update 8/18/2019 a recent book I read might explain why thunderbolt wielding sky gods look mysteriously like tribal warlords. Alpha God.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
Bastard Travel
"And now, reading the foreward: Richard Dawkins".

Yes, I know you groaned. I groaned too. We all groaned. It was uncharacteristically brief, then enter, stage right, Dan Barker, who proceeds to explain how he's pretty much the opposite of a born-again Christian in that he was once real into God, as a minister, then quit that lame shit and proceeded to become a proto-neckbeard.

I made it a quarter of the way through the book because it got monotonous. Barker kept announcing "And now, ladies and
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Katie Harder-schauer
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review.

This book served to reinforce my preconceived notion that religion is merely a means to explain things that society doesn't understand. But it also showed me that it was used as a way to control a group of people (and has continued to do so for thousands of years to an extent). And it confirmed for me that a theocracy based on a literal interpretation of the Bible
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Penny Cipolone
Mar 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would be interesting because the title comes from Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion." Dan Barker is not Richard Dawkins. Neither is he Christopher Hitchens or Michael Shermer - all authors that I admire. Basically this is a concordance of often repeated Bible quotes with little or no interpretation provided to prove the author's point. Don't waste your time.
Kendra
Heavily focused on the OT and what a horrific god he is.

Would be nice to see a full length breakdown on the NT rather then a small chapter.
Melissa
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of bible verses describing the horrible aspects of God. I know first hand that this book will offended certain people who swear God is good, kind, and loving.
K.F. Silver
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
The Lord Jealous.

"For you shall worship no other god, because the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous god..."
- Exodus 34:14

From the get-go Dan's dry humor about the god from the bible drew me in. Throughout the book he points out the inconsistencies and downright weird crap in the bible's numerous passages (not to mention numerous versions), and he uses versus from the Old and New Testament to support the claim of Lord Jealous being:

"The god of the Old Testament is arguably the most
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Rachael Booth
If you read the Bible it's easy to gloss over the really nasty stuff in it ordered by a "just and loving god". But take out those things and show them separately and it will make you wonder why you ever followed this religion. People say Islam is an "evil" religion because of a few really bad apples mis-interpreting the Kor'an. But if you do the same thing to the Kor'an that Dan Barker did to the Bible here, you'd find much the same. This book reminds you that Christianity was started during a ...more
Danial Tanvir
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its danial tanvir , i am 22 am from pakistan and i am very good friends with atheist writer dan barker and i have gotten dozens and dozens of emails from him
i have read two of his last books twice.
he is great!.

this was a great read but it was not as good as his other book called "god less"
in which he tells us about how he became atheist from a preacher/

i LOVED his books and i read this book two time .
he talks about why be good when there is no god/

he gives arguments against the existance of god.
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bfilbeck
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is unusual to find that the author of a book called God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction is a former evangelical minister but this is an unusual book. Dan Barker sets out to prove the truth of the title by showing the reader numerous quotes from several of the numerous versions of the Christian bible itself; he succeeds. "True Believers" who claim that the bible is "God's Word" will have a difficult time arguing against the quotes while free thinking readers will likely come away ...more
Jan-Erik
After debating fundamentalists on the internet for more than a decade, I must say I expected a little more from this book than hundreds of pages of (sometimes superficial) quote-mining. It's not that I disagree with Barker - his conclusion is pretty much spot-on. But the way he gets there leaves his position open to attack. Perhaps I am wrong, though. Perhaps the average reader has no idea about the horrors hiding in the bible, and really needs this to see it.
Charles
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perfect answer to anyone who thinks the god of the Bible is a good guy.
DeadWeight
Feb 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, you can take the preacher out of the evangelicism, but you can't the evangelicism out of the preacher. Dan Barker is a reformed evangelical preacher and a minor pillar of the "New Atheism" movement, and has been publishing books like this for years, and my dude, please, get a hobby. Barker quit on being a minister during the 80's, when evangelical moralizing was at its peak and had America by the balls, and yes, this was a dark f*cking time, but considering everything which has happened in ...more
Catherine
This book was born out of the idea for a website that was intended to act as a sort of web to connect all of the verses therein to the qualities listed in Dawkins famous quotation around which this text is based:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential,
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Ailith Twinning
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This is not a book -- it is a collection of Bible quotes, many of which are repeated several times and the only thing the author contributes is grouping like verses together under headings like "God loves blood" "God kills to prove he is lord" and so on. 16 hours of pompous, insane, evil verses with very little in between.

If you have never read the Bible and you are Christian, sure, read this. You won't be at the end.

If you have read the Bible this is just tedious -- and what little commentary
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Matt
Such high hopes for this book, too bad it became an exercise in list reading.
Ryan Ulrich
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extensive breakdown of the unprecedented villainy and juvenile acts of jealousy that are carried out by the god depicted in The Bible. Being 90 percent biblical recitation and 10 percent author's interjection, this book gets a bit monotonous and all too often repetitive. Nonetheless, the point is driven home and one has to wonder how anyone who has read The Bible can condone the nefarious acts perpetrated by god, much less worship him.
James Ridgers
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was both a tough read and an easy read for me. It was tough because it cemented for me that the ideals and ideas concerning the biblical god's character that I had been raised with are quite the opposite of what the bible tells. On the other hand, the clear list of references, coherently explained, presented in context, and thematically connected to the characteristics being explored made it an extremely easy read.

Dawkins' writing often polarizes audiences along the theistic/atheistic line,
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Candy Smith
Dec 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sally
Brings together texts from the Old Testament that support point by point a sentence from Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion": "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." The author maintains a ...more
Anna
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought referring to the God of the Bible as Jealous consistently a bit on the nose. But by the end my thinking was adjusted. The commentary on the New Testament was accurate and pointed too. In the Bible Jesus does cherry pick scripture and use it out of context. I did not find most of the old testament commentary to be shocking or surprising but I have studied the Bible and theology extensively. . If you are not very familiar with the Bible, just what you read in sunday school or ...more
Ron Davis
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the greatest book on Abrahamic theology ever written; it yields complete understanding. Best of all, it is assuredly not just the author’s opinion, because more than half of the text directly quotes the sacred scripture of the Abrahamic god. The author’s comments establish the thread clearly, keep it interesting, and are sometimes amusing, as a welcome relief from astonishing quoted scripture. Specific quoted passages from the scripture will be useful in any discussion. Everyone with any ...more
Matthew Hullinger
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I will admit going into it I knew most of the scriptures already, having read the Bible multiple times. What this book does is go through all the various aspects that prove the God of the Bible is definitely not all good, is definitely not all knowing, and is definitely not all-powerful. A single human today could destroy an army worth of Iron Chariots with a machine gun, but God is far less powerful than that...

So if you want to know why the God of the Bible is an infanticidal,
...more
D M
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good as a reference.
I wish that it was more insightful but it does serve a purpose.
Paul
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could've only been written by a former believer - there's so much raw hurt in this book, it's like the author feels personally betrayed. I read the bible when I was a kid but in a different language translation and a lot of it sailed past my head anyway. This is pretty much all those worst bits you might've missed if you weren't really reading it with a critical mindset. Although most of Deuteronomy is so screwed up it must make an uncomfortable reading even for the most devout.
Kyra
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve only recently deconverted after a childhood of Christianity. Like many former believers, I walk in the world with a lot of things I was taught about God still rattling around in my brain and behavior. Nothing has helped my Former Christian Guilt more than this book. Learning more of the places in the bible where God himself is said to do the morally indefensible is a refreshing balm.

Because if there is a God, and he’s really like he is in the bible, then I am PROUD not to worship him.
Joshua Craig
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice compilation / commentary on the aspects of the character of the god of the bible that they don't teach you in Sunday school. Or they teach you and then candy coat it.

It's harsh, it's painful, but it's true.

I think it finally helped me realize something I've known for a while and this is that I'm done.

Even if it turned out that the god of the bible was real, why would to want to serve such a vile being?
Jeff Staples
Not bad, very convincing arguments about religion and the false face put on it by the believers, but I found myself skipping through all the bible passages(often the same ones are found multiple times throughout the book), and by the last 3/4 of the book I was reading it simply to say I finished it.
James Cloyd
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism-read, wanted
What a damning book for Christianity. It's definitely a tough read, due to the fact that it is 90% scripture verses, all of which are full of unjustifiable violence, genocide, infanticide, racism, sexism, slavery, rape & more all in disturbingly graphic detail, & with the approval or by the command of Yahweh. Thank God He's not real!
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