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Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,342 ratings  ·  207 reviews
Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn't.

Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Bantam Press
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Anna The book does not assume the existence of god. It refers to outgrowing the indoctrination, the blind belief.…moreThe book does not assume the existence of god. It refers to outgrowing the indoctrination, the blind belief. (less)
Anna Easier to read and shorter, which makes it more accessible for a younger audience or people who found The God Delusion to be too long. Some of the…moreEasier to read and shorter, which makes it more accessible for a younger audience or people who found The God Delusion to be too long. Some of the arguments and examples are new but the points he makes are essentially the same. (less)

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Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so this review is long and some of it is personal. I realise that some of you want to know solely about the book and so I've noted with a --------- line where the actual book review begins. Feel free to skip the beginning; I promise not to pass out any exams

Once upon a time I was a girl who believed in God. I believed in the Christian god (but none of the other thousands of gods; I, of course, believed in the "right one"). I believed the Bible was to be taken literally, that Adam and Eve,
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was quite the ticket. Everything written here was crystal clear, graspable, progressive. I've never read Dawkins shifting from atheism to biology, to chemistry and physics before.

I gave the book 5 stars, as you see. I think it's better than the God Delusion. It's less provocative (which I don't mind) and it's gently coaxing the reader in the desired direction, that of understanding.

I gave many books this year a perfect score, yet is there such a book as a perfect one? Outgrowing God is
Ryan Boissonneault
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everyone wants to compare this book to The God Delusion, for obvious reasons. But I would rather review it on its own merits, for what it is, recognizing its purpose and intended audience. While the content is similar, there are differences; it covers more of the Bible, has expanded coverage of morality, and is a more concise and focused presentation of atheism and evolution that is more accessible to a younger audience or to the beginning skeptic. In that regard, it deserves its own treatment, ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First half of book is basically the god delusion restated , more concise , framed better, Dawkins has either learned himself more about the religions or has had help writing on those bits ( maybe both ?).

Second half is a gorgeous yet simple introduction and overview on evolution.

The mix prompts questions that should be asked. Thus belongs on every young person’s bookshelf. For me as an adult, I read the god delusion and that was my first ( of many ) steps out of religion. I read TGD as a
Taylor Sines
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was pretty disappointing. His opening point is that the existence of many false religions means all religions are false.
Does the existence of many falsified scientific theories mean all theories should be discarded? Of course not.

Dawkins attacks the biblical canon by conflating the recognition of the canon at Nicea with determining the canon. Recognizing what was received as authoritative scripture is not the same as picking/choosing scripture.

He argues that because people tend to believe
Carolina Ibanez
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good book, specially the first part. The second part (in my opinion) had too many details and very specific examples of evolution which I consider were a bit repetitive.
Nevertheless, the author is very clear to expose the arguments and it’s an easy reading.
Tom Gilson
Oct 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing new here, and nothing interesting

Dawkins has written all this before. He’s said many times, for example, that any God who could create the cosmos must be as complex would have to be more complex than the cosmos, and would need his existence explained just as much. He’s been answered many times, but he only repeats himself. It’s as if there were no intellectual world outside his own head; as if intellectual integrity never called for a thinker to respond to other thinkers.

The same goes
Angela Groves
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent, concise, clear argument for atheism. Written with humour, it gives clear logical reasoning for turning away from the belief in a higher power, backed up with evidence that is not overly bogged down with scientific jargon. It allows opportunity for further reading. It really is the ideal introduction to atheism.
Angus McKeogh
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It occurs to me after reading this book that such books exist in a sort of paradox. Here Dawkins clearly tackles many subjects. He discusses how he came to question the existence of a god, which I found remarkable considering I came at it with the same reasoning. Taking a global view, he imagined as a teenager that if he’d have been born somewhere else on the globe and was raised by different parents that he’d be a different religion. Logical. But why was “his religion” the correct one if it was ...more
Anuradha Gandhy
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, atheism
Flawless reasoning:

As i had moved intellectually out of beleif from a Christian god since 2010 the first part of this book which deals with topics who wrote bible, is the christian god moral ? is New Testament historicaly relaiable) there isn't much i learned from this have Bart d Ehrman , Richard carrier and John Dominnic crosson for detailed study on these topics.

The highlight of the book is the second part ...Overview on evolution and natural selection .In fact i am planning to
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A much easier read for me than The God Delusion. I like the points Dawkins makes. Kinda skimmed through the heavy biology stuff but I enjoyed the points discussed and the breakdown on evolution
Gavin Long
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So simple even the fundamentalist nut jobs could understand it - though they`d never bother reading it. Quite a light read written by one of the greats. ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, science
5 stars
If you want to decide for yourself if what you were taught about religion were true, I’d highly recommend this book along with Stephen Hawkings’ “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” Here Dawkins goes through the biology of evolution, Hawkins goes through the cosmology of why a god is unnecessary.
Unfortunately I think it will be largely ignored, I think it’s very hard to persuade superstitious people to have the courage to give up their superstitions, especially today when so many
Eric Wilson
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has its share of interesting facts, but in the end, it truly is a beginner's guide. The arguments made are no different than those raised for years against religion--and that is really what Dawkins attacks here, more than any basis for or against a greater being called God.

In full disclosure, I do believe in God, but wanted to hear Dawkins' arguments. Sadly, he resorts to a lot of silly names and wordage instead of staying objective, for which I would have had more respect. His bias is
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn’t realize Dawkins had a new book until I heard him on Dax Shepard’s podcast a few days ago. That was quite an interview. Dax - an atheist - was totally fanboying and I loved it! Anyway, this book is insightful. “You don’t have to believe in a higher power to be good.” Simply stated, yet so true.

I do think Dawkins could be a bit less condescending with his book titles, but I like what he has to say within.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outgrowing God: A Beginner's Guide by Richard Dawkins

“Outgrowing God” examines the need to move away from the gods and to embrace the grandeur that is reality. Iconic intellect, best-selling author and fellow of the Royal Society, Richard Dawkins provides readers with an accessible guide on how to outgrow God. This clearly written 284-page book includes the following twelve chapters: 1. So many gods!, 2. But is it true?, 3. Myths and how they start, 4. The Good Book?, 5. Do we need God in order
David Robertson
Sep 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism, science
I wrote a full published review which you can access here -

But in summary:
n summary, all I can say is that he’s done it again. Richard Dawkins has managed to produce a book on theology, history, philosophy, ethics and science that is even worse than his first.

Outgrowing God is a dumbed down version of TGD, which itself was a dumbed down version of more classical atheist arguments. Apart from the half of the book that is about evolution and where the
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Evolution, biodiversity, yeah yeah, fine. Nothing here explains why God doesn't exist or why anything exists in the first place.

The book was incredibly poorly written, cited sources include "many historians" and "most Christians." Historically and factually inaccurate and in many places just plain wrong. It's as if he did no research or preparation on the history of religion or biblical exegesis beyond a YouTube comment box.
Zaaf Fiir
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dawkins never fails to amaze.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-bookshelf
My favourite science author this man's a genius! Should be in every school's library! & every adult's library! ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
What better way to start 2020 than Outgrowing God!

Everything that exists wouldn't be existing if it wasn't beautiful to somebody. And as it goes with beautiful things, we come to assume that they must be designed by someone, that there exists a figure that designed everything.

While having this belief doesn't harm us as individuals, but they keep us away from the courage to listen to and support scientific evidences. Being in a world which is constantly asking questions is far better than a
Johannes Jansson
Oct 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was hoping to read a more worked through and structured version of the God delusion. I was disappointed.

The two first thirds of the book are so filled with random weak underdeveloped arguments against God that it’s impossible to untangle them as one is reading, without re-reading several times with pen and paper. It’s even more impossible to remember or understand exactly what his points are. (I want to point out that I’m not referencing Dawkins condescending tone here, but his structure and
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
It was good as a refresher on religious history, but Outgrowing God was very much a beginner’s guide on evolution, philosophy, and the general debate against religion. If you are just starting to consider the idea, this would be a good place to start. I was hoping Dawkins would focus more on the evolutionary reason for religion, which he only touched on in a surface level.
I absolutely enjoyed this book! I think it’s a must read for anyone who is questioning their faith and would like a small intro into evolution. This is a beginners guide, don’t expect a lot of details or depth, but just enough to get you interested and want to explore the topics further.
Brianna Silva
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This was slightly better than The God Delusion. I think Dawkins' summary of various scientific concepts in the second half of the book was great.

But I still find his general rhetoric about religion rather unhelpful. I don't see how a critically minded religious person could be convinced by the ways he frames his arguments.

The only reader I could see finding this book useful would be someone who already is very much doubting their faith, and is on their way out of religion, but just needs a
Sep 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
"Brexit is now a religion"
Richard Dawkins

Outgrowing God....Or the ineffable nature of ...Brexit.
Kaltrim Perzefaj
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark OceanG
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins. This is his new book and it was excellent. He can certainly not be criticised by those with a religious faith of not knowing his Bible. His forensic assessment of the text, the history of the book and the contradictions contained therein (and thereout, in the books excluded from the canon) I have not seen done before and it was a revelation (pardon the pun), and I think I generally know the Bible pretty well already. With me, although he was already preaching ...more
Anthony Ruta
Richard is a great, learned and highly intelligent man. His views as a scientist will make atheist proud to be atheists and even convince others to come out of the closet. Though Outgrowing God seem like a version of The God Delusion for a younger reader, Dawkins is still aiming at people who have their doubts about religion but see no easy way to reject or separate themselves from it.

Nevertheless is a nice read and i recommend it.
Michael Kress
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, 2010s, 2019
I overheard some co-workers (one of them being an engineer, ironically) having a "philosophical" discussion, and one of them said that he believed in adaptation, but not evolution. The other one agreed and had some ridiculous comments to add. It then occurred to me that I may be the only one of my coworkers who believes in evolution. That's frustrating, and religion is to blame for them not accepting this scientific fact. They should outgrow god.

I've read anti-religion books by Nietzsche and
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“Pantheists are a little vague about what they believe. They say things like ‘My god is everything’ or ‘My god is nature’ or ‘My god is the universe’. Or ‘My god is the deep mystery of everything we don’t understand’. The great Albert Einstein used the word ‘God’ in pretty much this last sense. That’s very different from a god who listens to your prayers, reads your innermost thoughts and forgives (or punishes) your sins—all of which the Abrahamic God is supposed to do. Einstein was adamant that he didn’t believe in a personal god who does any of those things.” 3 likes
“Isn’t it remarkable that almost every child follows the same religion as their parents, and it always just happens to be the right religion!” 3 likes
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