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The Four Horsemen: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,885 ratings  ·  213 reviews
At the dawn of the new atheist movement, the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen,” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett—sat down together over cocktails. What followed was a rigorous, pathbreaking, and enthralling exchange, which has been viewed millions of times since it was first posted on ...more
Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Random House
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Jenna
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If you go through the world thinking that it's OK to just believe things because you believe them without evidence, then you're missing so much.... The universe is a grand, beautiful, wonderful place, and it's petty and parochial and cheapening to believe in jinns and supernatural creators and supernatural interferers."

I'm not sure what I expected from this book but am a little let down. The God Delusion, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Letter to a Christian Nation, The E
...more
Marc
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: atheism, religion
Let me immediately say that this booklet angered me. Not so much for the content, namely the atheist critique on religion, but for the cheap sales trick behind it: this transcription of a 2007 debate is presented as the start of an atheist revolution. This is absolute bullshit. To begin with, Richard Dawkins himself states that 5 books published in the years before the debate heralded the real beginnings of what has subsequently been dubbed the “New Atheist Movement”. Moreover, the term "revolut ...more
Kevin Shepherd
"You don't have to boast a PhD or have read Thomas à Kempis, the Qur'an, the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Siddhartha (or indeed On the Origin of Species and Principia Mathematica) to be able to take part in such wrangling and disputation. But boy, isn't it wonderful when you can eavesdrop on four who have." ~Stephen Fry

Oh, to have the sagacious chops to merit a seat at that table! A secular Mt Rushmore. An evolutionary biologist, a neuroscientist, a philosopher, and Hitch (sorry, I couldn
...more
Vivian
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I think they're going to end up by destroying civilization. I've long thought so. But not without a struggle. -Hitchens

Much chuckling. I really do want to watch this. Reads like a fun cocktail party.

DENNET: If you really can't defend your view, then, sorry, you can't put it forward.
- Life would be so much more pleasant and tolerable if this were true.

DAWKINS: The universe is a grand, beautiful, wonderful place, and it's petty and parochial and cheapening to believe in jinns and supernatural cre
...more
Ben Moore
This is a difficult book to review. I am torn between reviewing whether or not it delivers what it claims to deliver or reviewing what I think of the contents. In the end, in giving it three stars, I think I am compromising between the two.

Cards on the table, I am a Christian which obviously tells you something about my own views. It would be wrong of me to say ‘I disagree therefore the book is bad’ but I do have some criticisms here. I have lots of positive things to say as well but I want to m
...more
Regina Andreassen
I am an agnostic and a scientist and I am profoundly disappointed in this book because I expected serious and engaging discussion and analysis of the issue! Unfortunately, this book does not reflect the level of scientific thinking/writing expected in the academia. I was trying to find redeeming qualities but I couldn’t, most of this book was dreadful! I bought the hard copy thinking I would love it and instead I am in utter disbelief. Had this book being published by four unknown people it woul ...more
Amine
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting.
I read this book because I wanted an introduction to the four horsemen outside of YouTube. My first approach was to read their books, but then I found this one book with all four of them and it seemed like a good start.
I found the introduction I was looking for. Whether the judgments I formed are accurate or not is yet to be confirmed, but I heard the voice of each of them and saw their lines of reasoning, that should be enough for a start.
In addition to what I was looking for, my ho
...more
Tammam Aloudat
This is so utterly disappointing.

As a non-believer, I want to enjoy the conversation of the four famous atheists... especially having read much of their work and enjoyed much of it.

To start, many years ago, I read the God Delusion, God is Not Great, Letter to a Christian Nation, The End of Faith, Breaking the Spell, and others... I had some reservations on some but did largely find the propositions resonated with how I thought about religion either a lot (Hitchens and Dennett) to somewhat (Dawik
...more
Jim
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting conversation between them with some great questions. I couldn't keep straight who was who as this was an audio book & I only recognized Dawkins & Fry, though. Doesn't really matter, even though they weren't always in agreement. The thought they've given to their secularism is well shown. It's short, didn't really add much to my knowledge, but it did give me another author to read, Daniel C. Dennett. I wasn't aware of him at all, but then I haven't really looked for atheistic writi ...more
Jeff
The main text of The Four Horsement: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution is the transcript of a 2007 discussion between four secular heavyweights: Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett. As I expected, it was fantastic to read the ping-ponging of unhallowed goodness between the four great minds. I will now watch the video of this meeting.

As an added bonus the book also contains a Forward by the always interesting Stephen Fry and chapters by the three living horsemen. Unfortunate
...more
Kendall Cherry
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most influential conversation of my adolescence. Most importantly, it introduced me to Christopher Hitchens.
Rebekah
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Received an advance copy through Goodreads.

Fascinating conversation to drop in on. I, a "religionist" (as they so endearingly call a person of faith), do not agree with all that these brilliant minds state (obviously!) However, I actually can agree with them on quite a few points, and on several others, I may not agree, but I can certainly respect their stances.

There were two main arguments that I found absolutely bogus, but since I'm not supposed to quote from an ARC and I'm not sure this is a
...more
AAmell
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Just watch the video on YouTube. The book was fine, just nothing mind blowing. If you want mind-blowing material, go buy one of the books these guys actually wrote.

The book itself is just a transcript of a conversation, so it reads very quickly and easily, which was nice.
Al Bità
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On 30 September 2007 a meeting was held in Washington DC at which the then dominant “New Atheists” (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens — the Four Musketeers, aka the Four Horsemen) met for a discussion among themselves about their ideas. It is only now in 2019, 12 years after this unique meeting, that a hard copy in book form haas been produced — and what a welcome addition it is to the literature on the discussion of atheistic ideas!

The book opens with a typically ebullient Foreword by Steph
...more
Dan Graser
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a transcript of perhaps my favorite conversation of which I was not a part. The foursome of Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris is one which is frequently thought of as a monolith as opposed to four highly individual thinkers and writers who perhaps have a bit of overlap on the issue of the supernatural. As the conversation makes bare, they have an agreement on what they find to be problematic and stark disagreement as to how best to approach the issue and what they wish the results o ...more
Kim Williams
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think one of my main takeaways from reading this conversation is the fairly obvious point that all atheists don't want the same thing. Most religious folk seem to think we are united in our desire to destroy all religion everywhere and tear down religious art and music, leaving behind only a cold, sterile logical world. This is just one of many vital topics touched on in this incredible conversation between the established leaders of the New Atheist movement. What are the goals? Are they achie ...more
Angus McKeogh
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One star for each of the “Horsemen”. Really just a transcript of a meeting and conversation between 4 of the most well-known and well-written Atheists on the planet. Interesting topics and keen insights into their individual personalities.
Michael Blackmer
Apr 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have a hard time reviewing this book as I want to be fair but I have to acknowledge I cannot be unbiased. Let me first say that the four gentlemen in this discussion are obviously intelligent, well read and and experts in their individual fields. However, they are experts in their fields not in the field of theology.

They accuse religious people of being arogant in their beliefs and arguments. Yet exercise arogance themselves in this discussion; committing the same offenses toward believers tha
...more
JZ
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How wonderful that they taped this intelligent conversation for us to see how it's done.

It's so sad that this happens so seldom, and now, it's too late for Hitch to do it again. It would be delightful for them to have another conversation with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, instead. I, frankly, am sick and tired of this being another male-dominated subject. Where are the women? You can't tell me that Madalyn Murray O'Hair was the last female atheist with a brain and a mouth.

Of course, it sounds smarter if de
...more
Nishant
The is so just lame debate between the westerners. I believe they did not debate any issue but what their environment would provided as a mostly Christian society.

Not one person in the group could debate about other religion than Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

What Debate they have is the basic debate we have in Hindutva very early on.. And the best part is the debate it with ourselves. The Hindutva in total is so vast that they would need multiple lives to understand if they do not empty the p
...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
An interesting discussion which presents some provocative, but underdeveloped arguments about various aspects of religious belief. Not really of much interest to people who have read the participants' books on the subject.
Michael Kress
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2010s-late
I’ve read books by all four of these men and am quite a huge fan of Dawkins; The Selfish Gene is one of my all-time favorites; it and many of his other books piqued my interest and fascination with evolutionary biology. So, when I saw that this book had been released, it immediately and without question went on my TBR. When my monthly credit on Audible rolled around, I chose this. It clocks in at just over three hours, with the bulk of it just being a conversation between the four men in real ti ...more
Carl
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great transcript with updates of a talk done by the best thinkers of the new atheist movement with Hitchens gone we still have three of the four horseman left to give us hope in a world mad with religion.
Joe Stack
I give 4 stars to the first essay, "The Hubris of Religion, the Humility of Science, and the Intellectual and Moral Courage of Atheism," by Richard Dawkin, but overall this book did not meet my expectations because there wasn't anything new for me to glean from this dialogue between these four brilliant minds. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy what I was reading. It feels good to receive affirmation of my own thinking. Two particularly interesting parts of the discussion between these four m ...more
Cade
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable to read a conversation between some great thinkers. Even if you don’t agree with them, it is hard to say they have not thought about what they believe.
Udit Nair
Wonderful discussion between some of the great intellectuals of our time. It becomes important to read this work because atheists have the intellectual courage to accept reality for what it is and this book is just a reflection of that. An atheist have the moral courage to live to full the only life he is ever going to get:to fully inhabit reality ,rejoice it and do the best finally to leave it better. Also the universe is grand, beautiful,wonderful place and it's petty and parochial and cheapen ...more
James Scheid
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Expose yourself to 4 brilliant minds and witness a conversation about religion, science and atheism. Though they admire the art and beauty of the religious art of Michelangelo and the music of Bach and Beethoven their assessment of religion is concise, clear eyed and at times scathing. One of their main points is science requires experimentation and proof and religion does not. These four horsemen know and have thought more about religion than most clergy persons. It was a pleasure being in thei ...more
Outdoors Nerd
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For those not familiar with these 4 (our greatest modern polemics, philosophers, contrarians writers etc...this is a great introduction. For those that do, this transcription of them casually debating their atheism is a cerebral treat.

The depth of their knowledge, the capacity of their recall and the speed of their reasoning is stunning.
Lance Johnson
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! I love this book and the questions it raises.
Rachel
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Out of these four ‘Horsemen’, I’ve read Hitchens (engaging) and Dawkins (slightly drier); I’ve never heard of Dennett; and my main touch-point for Harris is as a frontman for Islamophobia. In recent times I’ve been gifted a subscription to Wake Up, and I am finding it genuinely helpful and engaging in a way that Headspace and Calm weren’t, mainly because Harris has a quietly-stated but extremely passionate agenda of self-determination that matches my own. So I need to find out more about him to ...more
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Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist, and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more

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“Ignorance, to a scientist, is an itch that begs to be pleasurably scratched. Ignorance, if you are a theologian, is something to be washed away by shamelessly making something up.” 4 likes
“Even the constantly reiterated insistence that we are miserable offenders, born in sin, is a kind of inverted arrogance: such vanity, to presume that our moral conduct has some sort of cosmic significance, as though the Creator of the Universe wouldn’t have better things to do than tot up our black marks and our brownie points.” 2 likes
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