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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 23, 2012
Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina

"Why Are You Atheists So Angry?" is a book that had to be written. It's the inspirational, outspoken, thought-provoking, grounded on reality book that makes you proud to be an atheist. Iconic voice of the atheist movement and widely-read blogger Greta Christina provides a much needed book in a growing movement that is grounded on reason and evidence. In this exciting book, Christina replies directly and so powerfully to questions presented to her by believers. Her responses are direct, compelling and ultimately persuasive. A real treat and a much needed resource for all those who care about their beliefs being truthful. This 272 KB book is composed of the following fifteen chapters: 1. Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, 2. Some Answers to the Questions I know I'll Get Asked, 3. Why This UIs Religion's Fault, 4. Yes, This Means You: Moderate and Progressive Religion, 5. Yes, This Means You: New Age Religion, 6. Yes, This Means You: "Spiritual But Not Religious", 7. Yes, This Means You: Ecumenicalism and Interfaith, 8. The Top Ten Reasons I Don't Believe In God, 9. Why "Religion Is Useful" Is a Terrible Argument - The Santa Delusion, 10. What Do You Want, Anyway? One Atheist's Mission Statement, 11. Is Atheism Activism Valid?, 12. Is Atheism Activism Effective? 13. On Other People's Anger and Compassion, 14. What Now? and 15. Resources.

Positives:
1. Anger has never been so eloquent. A well-reasoned book grounded on reality and accessible to all.
2. A thought-provoking, reason-grounded rant of evidence-based proportions.
3. An outspoken yet respectable tone throughout. A feat on its own.
4. Christina is able to put in words what many of us have trouble to put in thoughts.
5. Fascinating questions and profound yet intelligible answers!
6. I can finally embrace my anger with newfound confidence. A welcomed indelible mark of wisdom, thank you!
7. I love unique voices in the atheist movement, and it's refreshing to have a female voice!
8. The Litany of Rage! That alone is worth the price of this book. Many will be familiar with many of the points, some are new but all are well stated. Excellent!
9. The importance and necessity of anger.
10. One of the most important points of this book, "why religion sucks and why so many atheist are pissed off about it". Amen, strike that, I concur.
11. So many thought-provoking and intellectual treats, "it makes me feel more compassion for religious people -- and more anger about religion".
12. In support of the First Amendment!
13. The importance of coming out.
14. God as a hypothesis. Interesting stuff.
15. Understanding religion: the claims, the doctrines, the armor.
16. The problems with religion.
17. Same-sex marriage.
18. Great quote, thoughts throughout, "there's an equally important way that woo can do harm. And that's that it leads people away from valuing reason, and evidence, and reality. Woo, like every other religious or spiritual belief, ultimately prioritizes faith over reason; personal experience over external evidence".
19. Some of the best heartfelt rants I've ever read, "But it's disingenuous at best, hypocritical at worst, to say that criticism of other religious beliefs is inherently bigoted and offensive...and then make an exception for beliefs that are opposed to your own". That's what she said.
20. Religious ecumenicalism...a callous disregard for the truth. Can I hear an Amen?? Never mind.
21. A foundation for reason, "Do you care whether the things you believe are true?"
22. I really enjoyed the Top Ten Reasons I don't Believe in God. David Letterman take note.
23. In defense of the scientific method.
24. Debunking the soul...always a personal favorite.
25. The lack of solid evidence for God's existence...oh my Science.
26. A total destruction of the argument for utility.
27. One of the few authors that I can say that I agree on practically every point, "I don't want religion ended by force. I want it ended by --persuasion". Organic atheism.
28. Facts, "The fact that religion is unfalsifiable doesn't mean we have to accept it as reasonable possibility. It means the exact opposite. It means we should reject it wholesale, on that basis alone."
29. The problem with religious evangelism.
30. One of the most compelling arguments why the defense of reason, evidence, atheism is needed and necessary.
31. Why atheists are angry?!! The best book I've ever read that addresses the subject of this book.
32. Great links and an invaluable resource chapter, thank you!!
33. A treat to read from beginning to end.

Negatives:
1. Alan Turing wasn't included in the Litany of Rage. Alan Turing was a hero, the father of modern computer science, whose work was instrumental in breaking the wartime Enigma codes, a genius if there ever was one and whose only "crime" was being gay and was ultimately forced to castration and ultimately committed suicide. That's how they treated a World War hero in England...it's so infuriating.
2. If you are expecting an in-depth dissection of religious beliefs the author provides references. This is not that kind of book.
3. It felt more like an appetizer than the main course, but it was still delicious nonetheless and left you wanting for more.

Overall, I loved this brief book. Greta Christina gets it and knows how to convey her message loudly and lucidly. It doesn't matter how many books I read about any given topic a good author is always able to leave an indelible mark of wisdom. Greta Christina in few words was able to accomplish that and then some. I can for one embrace my anger with a newfound confidence that I didn't have before. My worldview is stronger and I have obtained a new wind of inspiration to spread the word of reason. I want to thank Greta for being such a wonderful voice in a community that needs heroes. I can't recommend this inspirational book enough, I highly recommend it!

Further suggestions: "Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment" by Phil Zuckerman, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity" by John Loftus, "Why I'm Not a Christian" by Richard Carrier, "Man Made God: A Collection of Essays" by Barbara G. Walker, "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand, "Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson" by Jennifer Hecht, "The Portable Atheist" by Christopher Hitchens, "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists" by Dan Barker, "Christian No More" by Jeffrey Mark, "50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God" by Guy P. Harrison, "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism" by Susan Jacoby, "God: The Failed Hypothesis" by Victor Stenger, "Faith Healers" by James Randi, "The Atheist Camel Rants" by Bart Centre, "Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars" by Sikivu Hutchinson, "Bible Thumper to Atheist" by Tom Crawford.
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on March 20, 2012
I'm one of Greta Christina's longtime blog fans who's been begging her to do this kind of book for years. Greta has a way of answering lay people's greatest fears about atheism. She makes you feel like progress and respectful communication are, YES, possible. She's fierce, she's funny, sympathetic and yet impeccably reasoned. Why didn't I have this book when I was locked down in Catholic School! It would have been so fun to quote to the nuns.
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on March 27, 2012
Do not be fooled by the title of the book. This is not a screed. In an engaging and conversational manner, the author explains why atheists are angry. She superbly demonstrates how to be angry without losing either your temper or losing sight of the goal. In short, she's constructively angry. She got me angry. I hope that you will be angry too, after reading this book.

Ms. Christina emphasizes the point that religion is a hypothesis. The religion hypothesis is supported by scant evidence that has only dwindled as history advances. As she notes, there are numerous situations where natural phenomena formerly explained by "God" are now explained by science. There are exactly zero instances where something formerly explained by science was deemed to be explained only by supernatural events. The book does a great job explaining why the evidence for a God is so scant and evaporating by the day. The book does not address all of the philosophical arguments for God such as the Cosmological or Kalam arguments, nor does it directly address the claims of various theologians over the centuries. I expect that reviewers will criticize this neglect of historical theological thought.

That criticism will be unfair. The book points out that if religion was true in any sense then there would not be as many significant conflicts between religions. Reincarnation and heaven can't both be true. Neither can free will, justification by works and predestination all be true. The numerous internal contradictions alone casts sufficient doubt on religion in general that exhaustive critique of theological thought over the centuries is not required to make her point. Until theology achieves some sort of intellectual rigor in dealing with internal inconsistencies, it can safely be ignored. The religion hypotheses all remain unproven.

Ms. Christina is justifiably angry that a failed hypothesis is given so much deference in our laws, in our politics and in our worldviews. Religion inflicts harm on many people and those who are non-religious are characterized as "Evil Little Things." She convincingly argues that we would be much better off simply relying on reality.

Finally, in channeling the anger into productive activities, the book sets out an action plan and also provides a list of resources. She challenges individuals to do just one thing, so I wrote this review. The list of helpful resources is also very helpful, if you are like me and relatively new to the subject.

Is Greta Cristina an angry atheist? Sure she is. But, she's passionate and articulate. She speaks for many people and she comes across as a fun person to have a beer with, whatever your religious beliefs may be. Greta Christina's book is excellent. You'll enjoy it.
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on March 23, 2012
This isn't "The God Delusion" or "Breaking the Spell", nor is it trying to be. If you want a rigorously-reasoned, dispassionate defense of atheism, look elsewhere. Christina is appealing more to your heart than your mind, and she does it well, in her usual engaging style.

She approaches the question of religion not as a scholar, but as an ordinary person with, you know, other things to do with her life than read 3000 pages of Aquinas and Plantinga. Rather than dissecting the Kalam Cosmological argument or Unmoved Mover argument, she points out that religious people have yet to reach a consensus on how many gods there are and whether they're intelligent beings that meddle in the universe, or just abstract ideals. That religion is often justified by threats of hellfire or "but look at all the good religion has done!", and if you have to resort to such arguments, you've already conceded that you can't make a good case for the existence of your gods/saints/fairies/reincarnation/whatever.

She's not just pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, she's putting the video on YouTube and encouraging others to do the same.

If you've been reading her blog, you'll recognize not only a number of arguments, but also whole passages taken directly from her posts (for which I'm deducting one star). This is not to say that this book is just a collection of old posts: it has been edited and rewritten to flow smoothly and stand on its own.

The book is a quick read -- I breezed through it in two days, while holding down a full-time job. I don't agree with everything she says, but I agree with her enough that I'm happy to recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the "new" atheists and why they do and say the things they do.
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on March 28, 2013
The bottom line - If you REALLY want to know why Atheists are angry - get the book. Even if you are a believer, you can still see why Atheist have every right to be angry (and so should you). Great job Greta Christina!
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VINE VOICEon October 11, 2013
The author has pretty much nailed it in describing the things that some religionists do, advocate or preach that seriously infuriate atheists. And I strongly suspect that her honesty and pull-no-punches writing will piss off some theists - especially the more rabid variety. But the book expresses my feelings on the subject perfectly.
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on March 21, 2012
Am only 50% through , already worth The price, the early angry bit made my blood boil, rightly so, have just gone past the hair dryer bit, funny as... the stuff on moderate xians, new agers etc intersting. is late . will update tomorrow when I finish . as I have already given five stars, hmm might have to give six based on current rate of progress :)

Ok finished, definitiely well worth the money. The book starts with a fabulous rant of 100 things ré makes her angry, delisciouly biting yet relevant. The book keeps up the pace all the way through, finishes with some good tips about reducing the stuff that makes her ( and others angry )
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on April 8, 2013
I liked her writing and her humor. I enjoyed hearing the truthful responses to the usual questions/ arguments thrown at Atheists/non-believers. It's a great book to add to my collection. I think other Atheists and those questioning the nonsense will really get their money's worth with this read.
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on June 17, 2013
This was a book that was recommended to me through the Amazon Kindle recommendation after reading the excellent "God is not Great" by C Hitchins. This was a very easy easy, because it reads like an email Greta has just written to you.

The tone of the book is definitely passionate and filled with language that is more apt in a less formal communication than a book or article. The points of view on offer is nothing really new if you have read a lot of previous books on this subject, they are merely presented in a manner that feels more conversational.

Now that said, it does make reading this book very quick - I nailed it in one day. Where Dawkins and Hitchins will present a long winded scientific explanation of a given side of the debate, Greta presents all the arguments in a bumper-sticker single sentence format. I highlighted many pithy clever remarks and retorts that are definitely worthy of a read.

Overall, good book, maybe a little high priced for what it is, but worthy of adding it your collection.
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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2012
Atheism in the U.S. is emerging on the public scene. According to a 2012 Pew study, atheists now comprise about 7% of the population. That's about the same share we see from GLBTs. And like gays prior to the 1980s, atheists have long been treated as second-class citizens who are still largely in the closet in many parts of the country because of Christian-fueled bigotry that dominates many aspects of the culture.

Being in the closet has meant the opponents who motivate one to be in the closet have the luxury of describing those they despise. In this case the atheists' chief opponent in this country happens to be an incredibly dishonest group, conservative Christians, who eagerly defame atheists. Bigotry towards atheists remains pervasive enough it's an inherent part of our public policy, in spite of the disproportionate contributions by atheists to society - e.g., only about 7% of U.S. scientists are theists. However, atheists are becoming less tolerant of being defamed, more demanding of securing the protection of their equal rights, and now enjoying an increasing opportunity to have a voice given the rise of people in the country who are not religious.

Greta Christina is an emerging leader in the second wave of new atheism. The first wave's leaders - Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett, made `in-your-face' arguments that atheism was the only compelling and intellectually honest conclusion that scientifically literate and reasonable people can take. Ms. Christina instead promotes non-atheists end their bigotry and defamation of atheists by revealing what many atheists actually think and act like. She also promotes atheists take on a progressive political agenda where Ms. Christina is an influential leader in the "A+" political movement, which is comprised of atheists promoting progressive politics.

The `nones', those who are affiliated with no religion, is also growing according to that same Pew study. They're also a little over a quarter of the Democratic Party's voters where atheists also comprise more than a quarter of the `nones' and are seemingly the most vocal. So politicians will increasingly need to listen to the `nones' and by default, atheists, merely for their own political survival. Especially given how the `nones' are disproportionately young while their chief U.S. nemesis, white conservative Christians, are a dying demographic. A dying demographic who are increasingly incapable of convincing their progeny to hate and persecute gays and atheists or reject experts, history, and reality.

Just because Ms. Christina is part of the most vocal and activist aspect of this emergent group of `nones', that's not a sufficient reason to read what she has to say about atheists interacting in the public square. Instead she's worth reading because:
a) She vividly illustrates the perspective of many well-educated atheists steeped-in and supportive of founding American values. And the type of thinking that has led to moral and technological progress.

b) The value to society of considering both the agenda and people she represents in the public square. Where Ms. Christina is prudently careful to repeatedly note that she doesn't speak for all atheists. I do think her positions are highly correlative to those atheists who are well educated, well informed politically, and scientifically literate.

c) Ms. Christina presents a credible, compelling argument, both because she's a wonderfully interesting writer and has developed a very cogent argument. Maybe she's not as entertaining as Christopher Hitchens from a literary perspective, but she presents a much tighter more defensible argument than Mr. Hitchens' always interesting though frequently sloppy arguments.

Understanding the perspective of U.S atheists is of paramount importance given their both being in the closet and the gross defamation they suffer from Christians. So truth alone should motivate us to consider her book.

We've been lied to regarding the nature of atheism and atheists, where those lies hurt even the liars. The latter because their children are less apt to enter STEM-degreed jobs, especially those in the physical sciences given those children's parents' fierce anti-intellectualism and antipathy towards scientific methodology and inconvenient facts which they dishonestly deny as true.

Conservative Christians are especially eager to bear false witness against atheists, e.g., Rick Warren. Mr. Warren goes on national news shows like Meet the Press and falsely claims U.S. atheists are authoritarians like Stalin or Mao. That's an ironic and hypocritical psychological projection given Bob Altemeyer and other scientists' findings that conservative Christians are predominately rightwing authoritarians. See Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality to both validate and understand this phenomenon beyond Altemeyer's work.

These Christians also falsely claim atheists are all moral relativists when in fact more than 50% of atheist philosophers subscribe to an objective moral framework. Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape provides a vivid illustration of one aspect of atheistic morality that is objective. So Ms. Christina's `99 reasons atheists are so angry' provides enormous utility in helping to clear the public water regarding atheists and atheism. It also serves nicely as a handy reference guide when these all-too-popular mischaracterizations crop up.

In addition the `new atheist' leaders were often iconoclasts and therefore not representative of atheists in general, particularly Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens frequent advocacy of rightwing positions. Ms. Christina appears to be far more representative of the group for whom she advocates. So by understanding her perception, we've better advanced our understanding of this emergent group whose politics will begin to have more influence on public policy.

And where conservative Christians wrap themselves into a false version of the U.S. founding to promote their theocratic authoritarian agenda, Ms. Christina promotes positions either consistent with conclusions or consistent with the same approach taken by our framers. So understanding her perspective helps one understand the evolvement of critical thinking emanating out of the enlightenment movement over time and this liberty- and truth-based approach to thinking leads to a progressive political agenda. So this book is a fine appendix to Susan Jacoby's authoritative history of secularism in the U.S., titled, "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Precisely because Ms. Christina's argument is a natural progression from the secularism our framers advocated and implemented to the present time.

And for those who enjoy a wonderfully crafted argument regardless of the topic, this book is easily worth your money and time on that aspect alone. There are few defectively narrow framings or logical fallacies while Ms. Christina comes across as smart, engaging, and heartfelt. Heartfelt in spite of the logic of her claims where that's no easy task.

My primary beef with this book is in regards to citations where I have two related aspects regarding my frustration.

First, there's a paucity of citations for some of Ms. Christina's more provocative claims. Intellectual atheists' biggest advantage over religionists is the approach these atheists take towards finding objective truth, which is wholly reliant on independently validated facts derived using the toughest approaches employed when it comes to understanding objective truth. And unlike the tribalism we encounter from conservative Christians who celebrate "Liars for JesusⓇ", those who are loyal to the approach scientists and historians employ hold our own accountable on their fealty to objective truth. Where in this book, there are simply too many provocative un-cited claims to earn this book five stars.

Secondly, I read the Kindle version of this book on my iPhone 4S using iOS 6.0.1. Many of the cites Ms. Christina did provide went to webpages displayed within the Kindle app, where it was impossible to resize the page to read on my iPhone or find and copy the URL of that page in order to read it in my web browser app where I could then resize the webpage to be readable. So reading even the insufficient set of cites provided was an exercise in futility.

However, in defense of Ms. Christina, it's my perception this was a book done on the cheap since she's new on the book scene. I would hope future book deals would come with a budget that will allow the extra effort it takes to properly validate a book via citations, where I'm confident I'll be reading her future work, but not at all tolerant if Ms. Christina again fails to sufficiently cite her work.

However, because I'm a high-information voter who closely follows the culture wars, while also a student of critical thinking, it's my perception that Ms. Christina is a very honest person sufficiently revealing an increasingly popular perspective within the U.S. So for those of us who work to remain high-information, we need to consider how atheists are changing the dynamics that frame our politics and policy debates. Ms. Christina's book provides great value in improving our perception of her movement.
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