For millennia priests and holy men have told countless conflicting tales about humanity's genesis and fate. Is it all nonsense? You bet it is. For round about the same amount of time they have also been saying that anyone devoid of faith is evil, immoral and responsible for all of society's ills. How wrong they are.This book contains all you need to know about what to pack for your journey on the enlightening road to atheism including a brief history of free thought - it goes back further than you think - all the way to an introductory who's who in purgatory for knowing there isn't a god. Learn that there are five types of atheism. Find out the difference between an atheist and an agnostic - a term invented by T.H.Huxley, famous for his defence of Darwin and how a deist differs from a theist. Discover the oxymoronic fact that Christians were originally called atheists. Read who Lucretius was and what his fellow materialists were about. And revel in the fact that atheists have nothing to defend but are happy that way...
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Michael on 04-01-09
Take out the references to and quotes from other books and this is little more than a 2 hour riposte to claims made by small-minded dogmatists. Unfortunately all he succeeds in doing is bring himself down to the level of those he is reviling. It puts me in mind of a 17 year old A level student in a debating society proposing the topic 'All religious apologists are brainless idiots - discuss'. There are much better books than this on the subject matter, many of them referred to by the author. Do yourself a favour and choose one of them instead of this.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Susan on 02-06-08
Read Dawkins or Harris or Hitchens
There is not much new here. God is Not Good, The end of Faith and The God Delusion are all much better. Its a nice refresher to help remind you that atheists are moral and ethical even though "they" tell us we are not.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Aleyda on 15-01-09
A good job for an overview
It's been pointed out on previous comments that there's nothing new in this book. Had it been, indeed, Harding's intention to produce ground-breaking contributions to the religion controversy, it'd be all the reason in the world to call this book unsuccessful. But, at lest to my mind, that's not the case. Rather, I think, the author’s purpose was to present, in a condensed form, the “atheist case”: most effective arguments, history, outstanding figures, etc. And in this, as I said in the title to my comment, I believe Harding achieved his goals, and his book is as good (systematic, compelling, etc.) an introduction to the matter as can be found.
Good points: I found particularly informative the last section (list of principal figures, glossary, further reading).
Weak points: Harding’s historical views appear too unsystematic to me (Renaissance, for instance, was a far more complex cultural period than the author makes of it). Also, I think it’s necessary to acknowledge the numerous contributions made by religious people to universal culture, in numberless fields (philosophy and art, for instance, to name but the most noticeable). In this regard, his appreciation that religion has given humanity not much more than “a couple of crumbling buildings” in very unjust.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful