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Outgrowing God: A Beginner's Guide

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,073 ratings  ·  434 reviews
Should we believe in God? In Outgrowing God, written for a new generation of thinkers, the brilliant author of The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene explains why we shouldn't.

Richard Dawkins was fifteen when he stopped believing in God. Deeply impressed by the beauty and complexity of living things, he felt certain they must have had a designer. Learning about evolution ch
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Random House (first published September 19th 2019)
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Ana 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 arg…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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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 E
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide was a great read, and it was incredibly thought-provoking. And, despite the fact that I'm no beginner in the process of outgrowing God, I am so glad that I bought it, and it has inspired me to read more of Dawkins works.

When I was a merely a child, I believed in God. I believed every word that was written in The Bible, I relentlessly attended church, sat through service after service like my life solely depended on it. I said my prayers umpteen times a day, pra
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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 Christ
Taylor Sines
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Kevin Shepherd
“...cut yourself adrift from comforting, tame, apparent certainties and embrace the wild truth” ~RD

Dawkins can get carried away with his science writing, often forgetting that not all of us are versed in the vernacular - but not here. Here, in theology, he writes with meticulous intent. Imagine Einstein speaking to a class of college freshmen, not just blurting out E=mc2, but rather taking the time to explain that “E” represents “energy” and “m” represents “mass” and “c” represents the speed of
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 f
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 writi
Carolina Ibanez
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Kress
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, 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 Hi
The book is in 2 parts. The first is an excellent overview of why we shouldn't believe in any religion or take them too seriously. It's less provocative & far more likely to convince believers than some of his other books, although he certainly shows why Christian bibles are just collections of myths. Not very good ones for moral instruction, either. The second is an overview of evolution & the current theories on the birth of the universe.

The only hole in the book is typical - there's nothing
Angela Groves
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Angus McKeogh
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Johannes Jansson
Oct 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf
My favourite science author👍 this man's a genius! Should be in every school's library! & every adult's library! ...more
Gavin Long
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Outgrowing God: A Beginner's Guide, by Richard Dawkins is a book that looks to disprove major discourse that a religious person may offer to an atheist in a discussion or debate. The book looks at why religious texts are kind of silly; from major logical issues in the bible, to the violence of God, to contradicting ethical issues, and so on. Topics like biology (intelligent design vs. evolution), morality and ethics, philosophy and how myths evolve into religions are all touched on very lightly. ...more
Anuraag Sharma
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
The bold step into the frightening void of what seems improbable has turned out right so often in the history of science. I think we should take our courage in both hands, grow up and give up on all gods. Don’t you?
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
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 unscient
Stephen Byrne
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes yes roll out the shouts of this is just a small version of the God Delusion as well as roll out all the angry complaints from peed off Christians (the usual shouts of childish arguments and sneering mockery). As stated by Dawkins, this is a book aimed at teens, so, if you have read The God Delusion and even his books on Evolution, I still recommend this book.

Though it's a much easier read than previous books, there is still plenty of enjoyable interesting science to love and behold, and of-
Zaaf Fiir
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dawkins never fails to amaze.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Arun Divakar
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wide-eyed adoration, that is how religious indoctrination would have begun for me. Listening to the tales of the Gods and Goddesses from the epics would have been the first step in the journey and the rich and vivid tales would have certainly sowed the first seeds for the process to begin. Over the years, an understanding somehow took root in me that there is a personalized wish granting machine called God somewhere out there in the vast unknown. As a schoolgoer, I remember praying for a lot of ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outgrowing God: A Beginner's Guide is Dawkins 101, the shorter, gentler, and more accessible sibling to The God Delusion. It is targeted at younger people, and is therefore an introduction in to the world of critical thinking so to speak. Unfortunately, I believe the young indoctrinated-at-birth who should read this would never pick up something they consider blasphemous, and it will only be enjoyed by those already leaning away from the world of magic and the supernatural, and grown-up Dawkins ...more
Eric Wilson
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
SJ Loria
Oct 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Dawkins and the Religion of Science

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. -Einstein

I didn’t read the book, but I did listen to his podcast with Joe Rogan and click through the preview. The old dog ain’t quite learned many new tricks. There’s a lot to like about Richard Dawkins. He’s a good story teller and can argue very well against religion. If you are in a bizarre cult and want
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