From Publishers Weekly
Does agnosticism constitute a belief system? Are science and religion compatible? This compilation of views from the agnostic to the antireligious spans two millennia and poses those questions in excerpts from world history's great nonbelievers. Joshi's collection provides an unflinching look into the minds of doubters, atheists and freethinkers, exposing much that is wrong with religion and posing alternatives to it that constitute various nonreligious ethical systems. Many points of view are represented here, including the non- or anti-religious sentiments of Lucretius, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Clarence Darrow, Thomas Henry Huxley, Emma Goldman, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Bertrand Russell, H.L. Mencken, Nietzsche, Hume, Darwin and others. The delightfully readable Carl Sagan compares demonology to the modern UFO cult and a bitter, nearly ranting (but brilliant) Gore Vidal examines the threat of fundamentalist politics to American freedom. Some contributions display an openly mocking wit, as when Darrow wonders aloud why mint sauce is not offered with the sacrificial lamb. Well-conceived and thematically organized (though perhaps a tad long), this collection is definitely for persons who enjoy intellectually challenging reading and who are not offended when what the contributors see as the crimes of Christianity are called to the dock. (Nov.)
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"...a worthy addition to any thinking person's library." -- Michael Martin, professor of philosophy emeritus, Boston University