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God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction


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 provides an investigation into what may be the most unpleasant character in all fiction. Barker combs through both the Old and New Testament (as well as thirteen different editions of the “Good Book”), presenting powerful evidence for why the Scripture shouldn’t govern our everyday lives. This witty, well-researched book suggests that we should move past the Bible and clear a path to a kinder and more thoughtful world.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Advance Praise for God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

“If you thought Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion was hard on religion, gird your loins for Dan Barker’s book on God because he makes the New Atheists sound like diplomatic accommodationists in his unrelenting deconstruction of the Bible, a book he knows better than the Four Horsemen combined since he used to preach from it. You will never read the Good Book the same way again.”
Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the author of The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Bend Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom

“Dawkins and Barker have both written books encouraging readers to become atheists. Who knew all they had to do was direct everyone to the Bible?”—Hemant Mehta, Editor of FriendlyAtheist.com

“With a twinkle that belies the canard that atheists are ‘strident’ and ‘militant,’ Dan Barker cheerfully refutes the common claim that morality comes from the God of the bible.”—Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of Our Nature

“After reading Barker’s book, the absurdity and monstrosity of God is undeniable. Let us hope that Barker takes humanity a few steps further down the path of abandoning religion.”— Marshall Brain, author of How “God” Works

“Dan Barker, a former preacher who knows the Bible far better than most Christians, has produced an excellent handbook for those who doubt the moral depravity of the biblical god.”—Dr. Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and author of The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics (2015)

“Barker’s scholarly index will both stupefy and enlighten even the well-informed reader.  And it proves beyond doubt that Dawkins’ condemnation was right—there is no more repugnant character in all of fiction than the Judeo-Christian god.”—Hector Garcia, PsyD, author of Alpha God

“Rich in reason, candescent in clarity—this is a must-read for any serious student of the Bible.”—Marian Wiggins, former senior editor, children’s curriculum, Gospel Light Publications

About the Author

Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister, is co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, cohost of Freethought Radio, and cofounder and board member of the Clergy Project. A widely sought-after lecturer, debater, and performer, he regularly discusses atheism and life’s meaning and purpose in the national media, with appearances on Oprah Winfrey, The Daily Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, and many others.

Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Literature, and has Honorary Doctorates in both science and literature. His many bestselling books include The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press), The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (W.W. Norton & Co.), and The God Delusion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).