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Cuando empezaba a despuntar el movimiento del nuevo ateísmo, los heraldos del ocaso religioso que acabarían siendo conocidos como los "Cuatro Jinetes" ―Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett y Sam Harris― se reunieron para tomar una copa y a modo de experimento grabaron la conversación. Así surgió esta charla rompedora y apasionante que enseguida se hizo vir Cuando empezaba a despuntar el movimiento del nuevo ateísmo, los heraldos del ocaso religioso que acabarían siendo conocidos como los "Cuatro Jinetes" ―Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett y Sam Harris― se reunieron para tomar una copa y a modo de experimento grabaron la conversación. Así surgió esta charla rompedora y apasionante que enseguida se hizo viral. Los cuatro intelectuales, a cada cual más ocurrente, afrontan en ella las cuestiones fundamentales de la existencia y se animan mutuamente a expresar sin tapujos las propias posturas respecto a Dios y la religión. El debate atañe la crítica cultural, la espiritualidad sin religión, la discusión con los creyentes, las infinitas corrientes del ateísmo moderno y las claves para vivir de forma íntegra. Esta memorable conversación, ahora convertida en libro, constituye una obra de máximo rigor y erudición, pero al mismo tiempo es hilarante e imprevisible. Los participantes que aún viven, Dawkins, Dennett y Harris, han hecho nuevas contribuciones para la presente ocasión en las que reflejan cómo han evolucionado sus opiniones y destacan momentos especialmente ingeniosos de este épico diálogo. El cómico Stephen Fry prologa la edición.


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Cuando empezaba a despuntar el movimiento del nuevo ateísmo, los heraldos del ocaso religioso que acabarían siendo conocidos como los "Cuatro Jinetes" ―Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett y Sam Harris― se reunieron para tomar una copa y a modo de experimento grabaron la conversación. Así surgió esta charla rompedora y apasionante que enseguida se hizo vir Cuando empezaba a despuntar el movimiento del nuevo ateísmo, los heraldos del ocaso religioso que acabarían siendo conocidos como los "Cuatro Jinetes" ―Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett y Sam Harris― se reunieron para tomar una copa y a modo de experimento grabaron la conversación. Así surgió esta charla rompedora y apasionante que enseguida se hizo viral. Los cuatro intelectuales, a cada cual más ocurrente, afrontan en ella las cuestiones fundamentales de la existencia y se animan mutuamente a expresar sin tapujos las propias posturas respecto a Dios y la religión. El debate atañe la crítica cultural, la espiritualidad sin religión, la discusión con los creyentes, las infinitas corrientes del ateísmo moderno y las claves para vivir de forma íntegra. Esta memorable conversación, ahora convertida en libro, constituye una obra de máximo rigor y erudición, pero al mismo tiempo es hilarante e imprevisible. Los participantes que aún viven, Dawkins, Dennett y Harris, han hecho nuevas contribuciones para la presente ocasión en las que reflejan cómo han evolucionado sus opiniones y destacan momentos especialmente ingeniosos de este épico diálogo. El cómico Stephen Fry prologa la edición.

30 review for Los jinetes del Apocalipsis: Una conversación brillante sobre ciencia, fe, religión y ateísmo

  1. 4 out of 5

    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 "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't describe Christopher Hitchens with just one word. Historian? Journalist? Contrarian? Sage? Even collectively they fall far short.) One of my utopian fantasies would be to live in a world where all of us could practice and embrace rational discourse at this level. It's a pipe dream that has absolutely no chance, but I like to ponder the implausible. (I have a lesser utopian fantasy where I'm spooning with Uma Thurman, but I digress...)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    "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 "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 End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon are among my all-time favourite books. I thought this book, a conversation amongst the four authors of those books, would be incredible. However, it's just that... a conversation. It is intelligent and witty and energetic, and I enjoyed reading the book, but it's not astounding. Not incredibly deep. Not what I was expecting, though again, I'm not sure what it was I was expecting. There were a few bits I really loved, some witty remarks and I do love straight talk about religion and how dangerous it is. They discuss the particular dangers of particular beliefs for our modern times and also point out the intellectual and moral courage of atheism. I prefer a deeper discussion than what is in this book, but it's still worth reading if you're interested in the subject or admire these men as I do. You can watch the conversation here if you prefer to view rather than read it. "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." ~Richard Dawkins

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    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 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 "revolution" also seems preposterous. After all, 12 years after date, there seems to have been no upheaval at all: religions are thriving as well or as bad as before, and you can hardly say the atheist movement is flourishing. Another reason to be outraged by this booklet: the transcribed conversation did indeed bring together four prominent voices of the new atheism, but you can hardly call it a discussion. After all, you are dealing with four like-minded people here, united by their visceral aversion to everything that has to do with religion (which is their right, of course, but that's not the point). The consequence is that the participants mainly are preaching to the choir, and it does not help that they are four white, Anglo-Saxon males. To be honest, in the end Sam Harris seems to initiate some critical remarks about their stance, but it is significant that he is systematically gagged by the others, especially Hitchens. But is is the publisher that gives the death blow, by giving this book the pretentious title “the Four Horsemen”. Of course, there are some interesting elements in this book (for example, the introduction by Richard Dawkins). But the conversation itself remains very superficial, and it makes you only a little bit wiser about the content and arguments of the new atheism (namely that it focuses almost exclusively on the 'truth-question' in religion). On top of that, after 12 years many of the contextual references (politics and such) in the conversation are dated. So I don't understand why it was published now? My advice is to better read the works of the participating authors themselves. In fact, that is what I'm doing right now. (rating 1.5 stars)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    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 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 creators and supernatural interferers. I think you could make an aesthetic case that you'd want to get rid of faith. - Indeed, the veer off into fetishizing religion is charming. HITCHENS: It's a good old Norse booze-up. And why the hell not? - Psst. They all had Christmas trees. HITCHENS: We would, for the reasons given by Sophocles in ANTIGONE, have a natural resistance to profanity and desecration. We leave it to the pious to destroy churches and burn synagogues or blow up each other's mosques. And I think that's a point that we ought to, we might, spend more time making. Because I do think it is feared of us--which was my point to begin with--that we wish for a world that's somehow empty of this echo of music and poetry and the numinous, and so forth. That we would be happy in a Brave New World. - When I first read Brave New World I was unsure if it was suppose to represent a dystopia or utopia. I thought it sounded peaceful. They discuss the irrationality and cognitive dissonance people live with and they finally come around to broaching the sociological framework that religion provides in secular states. Obviously, in theocracies it's a whole different ball of wax. Arguments that religion inspired great artwork dances around the issue that for centuries it was the primary source of funding; therefore, religious based art. They never made the leap into how absolute monarchies also funded extraordinary art, of course, when you claim your right to rule is given by a deity it muddies the water. But there are works from the Russian, French, Austro-Hungarian, and Italian states, not to mention Mughal, Chinese, and Japanese empires that also have fantastical artworks. It's all about excessive wealth. I think Dawkin's parting comment during his introductory statement is spot on: As an atheist, you have the moral courage to live to the full the only life you're ever going to get: to fully inhabit reality, rejoice in it, and do your best finally to leave it better than you found it. There's nothing new here for me, but it was entertaining. I can't believe this will be what will get me to watch Youtube.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 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 move through the book in order. It opens with an introduction from Stephen Fry which consists mostly of what I’ve come to think of as the ‘no true strawman’ fallacy. He portrays the religious as all being so intellectually bankrupt that the only argument we have to fall back on is the no true Scotsman fallacy. It’s really quite silly but I didn’t buy this book to read what Stephen Fry thinks so I’ll excuse this from my rating. Then we have an essay from Dawkins who makes some well formed and utterly valid criticisms of the abhorrent abuses of power and sheer arrogance shown by religious institutions. In moments like this I am thankful for people like Dawkins who will call out this kind of behaviour. Bizarrely however, he then lists a load of scientific facts and says ‘ha! None of these discoveries owe anything to theologians’. I’m quite sure this is true but I shouldn’t think they owe anything to bakers, gardeners, or policemen either. When Dawkins talks about science and the scientific process, it really is beautiful and compelling. When he talks about theology, he seems remarkably out of his depth. Daniel Dennett offers rather a disappointing essay in which he says ‘some religious people are nice’ then proclaims that no religious people are concerned with proof. I’ll confess that I thoroughly dislike Sam Harris and his style of writing so perhaps it’s no surprise that I was unimpressed with his essay. He makes the frankly ridiculous claim that suffering is a categorical proof that God does not exist and uses a heartbreaking example of a woman being bitten by a mosquito carrying the Zika virus. This causes her twins to be born with microcephaly. According to Harris, nobody has ever dealt with this problem, which I think would come as a great surprise to the hundreds, nay thousands of Jewish and Christian (speaking only from my own knowledge) writers and philosophers who have spilled gallons of ink over thousands of years on this very problem! Harris also offers up ‘art, literature, sport, and philosophy’ as what he calls ‘true sources of hope and consolation’. All truly wonderful things but quite how they help the poor woman mentioned above, he does not say. How I wish Hitchens were still here to contribute an essay. Few men can write with the biting wit and absolute charm that he could. Then, finally, we reach the real treat. The actual conversation. And it really is a joy to read. Regardless of your beliefs, reading a discussion between such brilliant thinkers (ok, maybe only two of them are ‘brilliant’) is compelling and intriguing. I appreciated that it was presented without any annotation other than the occasional footnote to add context to names discussed. It’s also very interesting to read them talking in an unrehearsed and untidy way so to speak. It highlights just how witty and intelligent Christopher Hitchens was. He is consistently the most interesting, insightful, and thoughtful of the group. Unfortunately, these four horsemen usher in rather a disappointing apocalypse. Again, they argue very compellingly that religion has caused a great deal of suffering. I absolutely agree. The rest falls into self-congratulatory destructions of straw men. Sam Harris claims faith is ‘belief without evidence’, one of them (I think Dawkins) says Christians don’t take certain bits of the bible literally anymore because science has beaten them (no mention of the wide array of styles and genre in the bible and the need for very simple literary understanding), and, most amusingly, Christopher Hitchens states that all religious arguments are old. We offer nothing new! Despite my grumbles, I did enjoy reading this book. However, for me it typifies some of the worst excesses and delusions of the so called ‘new atheists’. There is so much wisdom to be taken from these men, so much wonderful instruction and education to be drawn from them. I have been moved almost to tears on occasion, listening to Richard Dawkins talking on biology. It’s beautiful. Please don’t take that as cynical concession of ground to lend my criticisms more weight. I really do admire the minds of these men. Sadly, these insights are often lost amidst self adulation (we’re all so terribly courageous), poor theology, and a rather nasty tendency to get very personal with arguments (usually immediately followed by saying ‘but we mustn’t mock people. We’re humble and above such things). As I said, despite my misgivings about the content, I am giving this three stars because it’s a fascinating read and it delivers on its promises. My dissatisfaction with the content prevents me from rating it any higher, my love of interesting books prevents me from rating it any lower.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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 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 would have been immediately discarded for its very low standards. The discussion that took place and is narrated in this book is a poor reflection of the way scientific minds analyse various issues. Quite frankly, I expected good logically developed arguments, based on peer reviewed articles and rational opinions shared by scholars; instead, I felt that I was reading the conversation of four simpletons who had nothing else to do but bitch (what I read here wasn’t well articulated criticism) about religion; moreover all four: Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens uttered arguments based on well established fallacies. If you want to learn about how NOT to make a case then read the arguments they poorly articulate here. Make sure you identify the following types of fallacious arguments: argumentum ad verecundiam, false dichotomy, petitio principii, hasty generalisation, etc,. I paid for a book that I thought would explore the subject logically and critically; I did not pay to read an emotional rant, a conversation that could have been held by four uneducated people having drinks in a pub Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens claim to support scientific rigour yet they have no qualms making ridiculous claims- that can easily be obliterated by more rational minds. I will be quoting some their overstatements below: Hitchens (2019:68) ‘no religious person ever...’- Hitchens consistently makes overstatements, has he spoken to every single religious person who has existed since human life appeared on Earth? Harris (2019:56): ‘And every religious person makes the same criticism of other religions that we do’ - Clearly, here Harris makes another bold claim, which facts have proven to be incorrect , anyway. Dawkins (2019:118): ‘Anybody who makes that criticism couldn’t possibly have read any of our books’ - Oh, Dawkins! How risible is this! A reader can critique a book he or she reads, and identify weaknesses even if the author of that book thinks there aren’t any weaknesses in his/her work! How obnoxiously petulant is Dawkins’s statement’ Dennett: (2019:68) ‘And believe me, if they grudgingly admit that there is a proof, it’s a proof. And there’s nothing like that in religion- nothing like that!’ - History has proven you wrong, Dennett! Your opinions are not facts, so deal with it! There is strong evidence that supports the notion that many religions have evolved and changed positively, even if they are far from flawless. Objectively talking several religions have embraced new modern points of view and their members have admitted past misdeeds. Dennett’s words suggests that he hasn’t really undertaken serious religious studies (from a researcher perspective), or undertaken any research on the field; he just makes claims without proper reflection whatsoever; claims that even a serious atheist scholar who studies religions can easily refute. Generalisations are a big ‘no no’ in the scientific world, we scientists refuse to make them. Generalisations cannot be proven, generalisations are expected to be uttered by the populace not by respected members of the academic community. Ironically, these ‘four men’ accuse religious people (all of them), they refer to believers as arrogant and simple minded, yet this book evidences that these four are guilty of these defects. Another topic of discussion was art and religion. These four ‘horsemen’ went as far as to affirm that very little or nothing good comes of religion and even dared to claim that Michelangelo could have built a great ‘ceiling museum of Science’ that was as outstanding as the Sistine Chapel, has he being inspired by science! Seriously! ‘if, if, if’. These four men have niches in which they are considered experts, but they are clearly not intellectuals. They are unidimensional and cannot move across topics. Finally, one of the reasons why agnostics like me, (real agnostics not people who label themselves as agnostics without knowing fully well what being an agnostic means) and a great percentage of atheists disapprove of these four anti-theists ‘horsemen’s is because these anti-theists’ arguments seem to come from a place of hatred, rancour, and disdain; rather than from logical and analytical thinking; ergo, their bias are conspicuous. In sciences reflexivity is essential yet Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens don’t seem to be familiar with that the term or with what it entails. Moreover, the four horsemen’s academic degrees alone cannot make the argument for them. Their academic qualifications may help them promote and sell their ideas/books well,specially to those who like to refer to the ‘four horsemen’ because of their names, but the argument presented in this specific book will not stand scientific scrutiny. Certainly, as an agnostic person, I too want to be free to criticise any religion or ideology I believe is oppressive without being accused of any ‘ism’, but I cannot ignore many of the positive aspects/roles that religious beliefs play in some communities for doing that would be irrational and infantile of me. Paradoxically, Dennett presentation starts admitting that but when he starts talking to the other three he completely changes his tune, did he feel pressure to retract from his original views? Admittedly, this conversation took place when Hitchens was still alive. Dennett doesn’t seem to be immersed in the anti-theism movement anymore and has distanced himself from both Dawkins and Harris. By the way, I would like to finish this review emphasising that my criticism is a criticism of this book, I am not criticising the four horsemen’s general position and neither am I criticising their previous works. I give this book two stars because I enjoyed the first and last pages of the book, they bestowed it with some balance. Having said that, in principle I disagree with anti-theism because it is not a scientific position. Agnosticism, on the other hand, is the position that is best aligned with scientific enquiry for it is rational not emotional. It is fact based. It is in harmony with the tenets of science. I was going to give Dawkins’s books a go but I will have to reconsider that. I have enjoyed Harris’s Free Will and I didn’t hate Hitchens’s God Is Not Great even though I though if it as mediocre. I found Hitchens’s Mortality to be really good and it made me tear; so I am not a hater but neither I am sheep , I am a critical, logical reader and an academic and my review reflects this. I shall edit this review later, I truly don’t have time to do it now and neither do I have the desires to make changes to my review at this stage.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Talenelat

    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 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 horizon on the subject was considerably broadened through this reading. My view on religious intolerance, for instance, has changed. Pick up 4 great thinkers and put them in a room, something fruitful is bound to come up. I found the four interesting and I will now proceed to read their distinct works in due time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gendou

    This is a wonderful, casual discussion between some of my favorite philosophers. The topic meanders a lot but there are some real gems in there.

  9. 4 out of 5

    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 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 (Dawikins) to not much (Harris). Then comes this, and I found it on a bookshop shelf and couldn't resist. I wish I could... Hardcovers are expensive after all. This is a conversation that happened among the four a decade ago when Hitch was still alive and it is hyped to be The Conversation. It is not... It is intellectually shallow in addition to being condescending and at times pure silly. It is easy, to start with, to "debate" with people you entirely agree with... no opposition or other opinion except what you are generous enough to mention... any of the four would have been more interesting debating a believer. Secondly, one cannot help but feel the privilege of middle aged white men with Western education and entitlement oozing condescension to everyone who doesn't exactly share every detail of their opinion. I am "on their team" and yet I do not share all their convictions and I have no doubt that they would have torn me to pieces if I was present there in their debate. They weren't defending "the oppressed", they were ridiculing them, and that made me angry. I did finish the book, grudgingly, and I am a little sad that I did this to myself. I used to like them, and that should have stayed the case as I read them when I was young and more impressionable... I believe now I would be much more critical if I read their books again. One thing that will keep me from being entirely regretful, is that this line of reading got me to reading more of Hitchens who writes absolutely beautifully and is worth reading for that if not for anything else. May he rest in peace... or not, since he doesn't believe in it anyway!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    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 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 writings. Just sort of stumbled on them. I don't need any more proof since I attended Episcopal schools most of my life & have actually read most of the King James version of the Bible. I've never understood why more haven't thrown up their hands after reading it. This seems to be a common attitude among the 4 & they discussed how to best to get people to look at it logically. They didn't come to any conclusions, but had a few suggestions, all very polite even though their detractors generally aren't. All in all, it was good to spend time listening to them. Definitely recommended, although I think their books expanding on their ideas are probably better. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens is good & Dawkins' The God Delusion is absolutely fantastic. I'm looking forward to reading more by all of them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    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 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. Unfortunately for the world, Christopher Hitchens died in 2011. I need to read more Dennett. I've read some Harris and own a few more of his books that are on my TBR list. I own most, if not all, the Dawkins there is to read. He is my favorite living scientist and it was an absolute thrill to meet him in Dallas last fall. I still can't believe it. It was wonderful to read a book in which these four great minds skewer all things religion. Reality is a beautiful thing. Embrace it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kendall Cherry

    The most influential conversation of my adolescence. Most importantly, it introduced me to Christopher Hitchens.

  13. 4 out of 5

    AAmell

    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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    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 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 an appropriate place to refute them, I will suffice it to say just that: some of it is bogus! (But they think I'm just as full of malarkey as I think they are. Ehhh...) Even if I don't agree, this discussion is interesting and thought-provoking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    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 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 that they accuse believers of committing toward them. Having said this I would hope that, despite disagreement, if we met we could be civil and discuss matters freely. When it comes to Christian belief I was disappointed that the information shared about Christians comes from a very narrowly reduced focus. I say this referring to the fact that their sources are quotes from Popes from a much different age then the one we live in now. They seem reluctant to recognize that many beleivers do not recognize the authority of the Pope or the Roman Catholic church. There are zero references to or quotes from contemporary theologians. Yet the beleiver is accused of being stagnant and not searching for new revelation or understanding in the same way that they say science is the be all and end all of honestly seeking truth. I found it humourous that Hitchens at the end of the book refers to the battle agains Islam in Iraq and Afghanistan by the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions as the battle engaged by the United States against theocracy. I believe this is actually a battle not against Islam in general but radicalized Muslims who have lost the way with respect to their faith i.e. ISIS. I think many, even in the military units mentioned, would be disappointed to think that their efforts are claimed by Hitchens as the effort of the United States to finally undertake war against theocracy. I think this would be particularly disappointing to troopers in those units who are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddist, Hindu, etc. These are just a few of the inconsistencies noticed in the transcript. I found myself making copious notes and in the interest of honest research hope to look into the writings of these men further. Let me also not that I have read Hitchens work on Thomas Jefferson and found it interesting and enjoyable reading. But then he was a historian and not a theologian. I look forward to more research in this field.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Al Bità

    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 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 Stephen Fry, and specially commissioned essays by the three remaining Horsemen (Dawkins, Dennett and Harris. Sadly, Hitchens died in 2011; this book is dedicated to him and his memory). The transcript of the discussion itself follows. It could be argued that the the overall effect of this discussion is a kind of master class on how to conduct discussions and conversations on “touchy” subjects in general. Whether one agrees or not on the subject of the discussion, one can learn how to negotiate about it, appreciate divergent opinions, change or qualify one’s own opinions as well as the opinions of others, and so on. In other words, I think it is important to keep in mind that these four atheists approach their subject from their own particular backgrounds, and this provides unique perspectives, each for the others. This gives us a richer, more universal approach, both in particular and in a more general sense, forming fertile grounds for others to explore and develop. From this perspective there is much that the casual reader can glean from this work. It could encourage more intensive explorations and developments in determining who we are, and how we interact with one another on a human level, constructively rather than destructively — and all this by emphasising joy and cohesion rather than sorrow and estrangement or alienation.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    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 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 of their efforts to be. This makes for fascinating conversation and insight into the number of angles such erudite scholars/writers have found to address issues of great importance. Though of course, more than 10 years later, there have been numerous idiotic simplifications, lies, distortions, caricatures, and re-statements of their work from the mouths of the ever-willing-to-boast humble religious types and tedious regressive leftists but this has amounted to merely the whine of a gnat amidst the roar of the ocean. Having read all of the books each of these authors has written I am a very biased source but I can say that conversations such as these would be a welcome regular occurrence in society at large. The introduction from Stephen Fry is worth the price of admission alone and the new articles from the three surviving members of this quartet provide a wonderful précis to the larger discussion that follows. If you haven't viewed the original, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DKhc...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim Williams

    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 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 achievable? What kind of world do we wish for as atheists? A lively debate and a very good read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    James Scheid

    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 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 their presence for a short while.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angus McKeogh

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    JZ

    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 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 delivered with a British accent. lol But, still, it's an absolute delight to see this is in general circulation, particularly since the opening conversation about how the religious attack, and become so offended at every comment on any commentary about their particular beliefs about their big friend in the sky, and their rules regarding same. "Breath-taking arrogance." lol I'm watching the YouTube video next. There were a couple of places where I'd like to have the opportunity to read lips.

  22. 5 out of 5

    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 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 cheapening to believe in God and supernatural creators and supernatural elements. Although a lot more could have been incorporated into this but I guess for starters this much is enough to get the brain rolling in the right direction. And when I say enough I mean the genuine persuasion based on rational and logical claims rather than stories and fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    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 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 philosophy they already are full off. Its for people who are looking for "We are westerners and Superior by logic to anyone else".

  24. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alan Fuller

    "On the other hand, my concern is actually not so much with the evils of religion as with whether it’s true. And I really do care passionately about the fact of the matter: is there, as a matter of fact, a supernatural creator of this universe? And I really care about that bogus belief." - Dawkins, p.121 People are not perfect, and neither is religion because it is composed of people. Four leaders of the New Atheists discuss the shortcomings of religion more than whether there is a God or not, de "On the other hand, my concern is actually not so much with the evils of religion as with whether it’s true. And I really do care passionately about the fact of the matter: is there, as a matter of fact, a supernatural creator of this universe? And I really care about that bogus belief." - Dawkins, p.121 People are not perfect, and neither is religion because it is composed of people. Four leaders of the New Atheists discuss the shortcomings of religion more than whether there is a God or not, despite the assertion of Richard Dawkins.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jaer Mertens

    Intellectual locker room talk by four grey white atheists. Even though occasionally someone steps up to play the devil’s advocate, they are mostly just preaching to their own choir. I honestly believe that the four individuals have plenty of interesting arguments to make about this topic, but they are not forced out in this discussion. I would have loved to read more about the ‘why’-question of life and how they approach these kind of question that are not suitable for science. In this book they Intellectual locker room talk by four grey white atheists. Even though occasionally someone steps up to play the devil’s advocate, they are mostly just preaching to their own choir. I honestly believe that the four individuals have plenty of interesting arguments to make about this topic, but they are not forced out in this discussion. I would have loved to read more about the ‘why’-question of life and how they approach these kind of question that are not suitable for science. In this book they are mostly aiming for the low hanging fruits and gushing over their own righteousness. Disappointing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kress

    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 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 time. This makes it no different from a podcast, though much better than most of the podcasts I’ve heard. It removes the novelty of a book, however, making me wish I’d read this particular one in its visual form. I was an interesting discussion though; I wish I knew people I could sit around and talk to like this. It’s easy to empathize with Dawkins’s frustration; I too have little patience for people who don’t believe in evolution. And I am always entertained by the quick wit and humor of the late Christopher Hitchens too. But I found the discussion toward the end about whether some religions are more problematic than others to be lacking. In parts of the world where extreme poverty and warfare exists, it is much easier to radicalize people; religion is not the only factor.

  29. 5 out of 5

    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 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 men was whether or not an atheist can enjoy art, music, etc., that comes out of the religious experience, and whether or not organized churches should disappear or not.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cade

    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.

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