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50 Great Myths About Atheism 1st Edition
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“Overall, Blackford and Schu¨ klenk’s work is a valuable contribution to the debate between believers and non-believers.” (Journal of Contemporary Religion, 1 August 2014)
Review appeared in Times Higher Education - 2 January 2014
“I recommend it as useful reading both to those who are freethinkers (whatever they call themselves, be it atheists, agnostics or secularists) and to "believers", particularly the hard-core religious ones, though it might prove "heavy-going" for them at times, and they are unlikely to be able to suspend belief and permit scepticism to intrude into their "blind faith".” (New Nurturing Potential, 1 September 2013)
"I am happy to report that Blackford and Schüklenk’s collaboration has given us an intellectually rigorous yet compositionally relaxed book. It is clearly written, clear-headed, and amusing on occasion (especially with the inclusion of comics from the Jesus & Mo website). It is simply organized, as the title indicates, with the authors taking on the 50 Myths one by one." (Neworld Review, Vol 6. No. 46)
“It has been my lot to have encountered all but three of the 50 Great Myths about Atheism listed by Blackford and Schüklenk, most of them many times. It is useful to have them all listed in one book – and so readably and authoritatively refuted. The long final chapter treats theological arguments with more respect than I would have bothered with, but the refutation is all the more convincing for that. The whole book builds inexorably to its conclusion: the Reasonableness of Atheism.”
—Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion
“With humor, wisdom and sound philosophy, Blackford and Schüklenk dismantle 50 important myths about atheism. In doing so, they have done atheists and religious believers a great service, for putting aside the myths enables us to see where real differences remain.”
—Peter Singer, Princeton University
"Atheists are routinely called ‘aggressive,’ but their strong values include a tolerance rarely shown them by the religious. This book's calm ripostes defend atheists everywhere against unreasoned assaults from the dwindling faithful. "
—Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
“Busted! Fifty times over! So say Blackford and Schüklenk — the New Mythbusters—with reason, conviction and style. I enjoyed this book immensely.”
—Graham Oppy, Monash University
“A brilliantly wide-ranging exploration of misconceptions about atheism and their relationship to our ideas about minds, human nature, morality – for pretty much everything we care about.”
—Ophelia Benson, co-author of Does God Hate Women?
“This is a book that’s as enjoyable to read as it is informative. Sharp, clever, and witty, it systematically dismantles misconceptions about atheism. Even God could learn something from it!”
—Ronald A. Lindsay, President, Center for Inquiry
Top Customer Reviews
The first thing I noticed about this book was that Richard Dawkins has thankfully changed his mind about recommending books like this one, in which religious beliefs are treated with respect.
The second thing I noticed was the title itself. The authors had edited a previous book titled, "50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists" which is a great book. Guy P. Harrison has written three books of 50 reasons, beliefs and questions himself. Why 50? I don't know but authors and editors like to publish follow-up books with similar titles. It can become their signature book titles, unique titles assigned to them alone. I am doing likewise with some of my book titles. My anthologies are being titled after the books of the so-called New Atheists. There is something pretty cool about doing this, although I have been criticized for not being original with mine.
In the Introduction to their book the authors tell us why it's needed, how they chose the myths to be dealt with, and what they hope to accomplish.
The book is needed, as they say, because "a falsehood repeated often enough will eventually be taken as truth. This is, of course, likely to be true if those who propagate such falsehoods also control large segments of the mass media" (p. 1). Because these myths are so prevalent they have "had outright harmful consequences for people known to be or believed to be atheists" (p. 4).Read more ›
As for the reasons why I'd want to award at least 4, and ideally 4.5 stars, the book is enormously instructive. For the patient reader, the level of detail in many of the chapters is superb, and even for "myths" that you're already very familiar with, you'll often find a citation or example you didn't yet know about. The book begins by asking you to consider what are quite tricky questions, even before proceeding with discussing the myths - namely in discussions of who "counts" as an atheist, and what should count as myths. In my view, this could be described as one of the more challenging elements of the book to write, in that there are all sorts of opportunities for readers to take issue even at that early stage, rejecting the authors' definitions, and choosing to adopt an uncharitable attitude to the rest of the book as a result.Read more ›
Other things that were noticed were that some of the entries deviate quite a lot from the original claim and sometimes irrelevant material is discussed, while other entries are not really myths (they admit to core parts of some claims as being true) and some myths are redundant, obvious, or repeated. One thing I found to be very pointless was that there are many cartoons of Jesus and Mohammad "Jesus and Mo" throughout the book, that really serve no intellectual purpose at all but to waste space that could have been used to enhance the myth busting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delightful read, and very handy to have around for reference.Published 23 months ago by Edward Clint
When Russell and Schüklenk use the word myth, they are referring to a widely held and persistent belief that is demonstrably false. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Randal Rauser
good information, well written, well organized, many references available
good arguments presented
lots to think about and share with friends, a stimulating
Very smart book that explains (and destroys) most popular opinions against atheism. Quite illustrative, the author make his points with clarity and knowledge.Published on March 9, 2014 by Alberto Mendez
After hearing the same tired, long-debunked claims about atheists and atheism repeatedly over the course of many years, I found myself longing for a single book that directly... Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Vulpix
There are many myths about atheists and atheism. Blackford and Schuklenk do a wonderful job dispelling 50 of the greatest (or at least most prominent) myths about atheists and... Read morePublished on December 10, 2013 by Tim K
This book discusses just about everything people think about atheism or atheists that are wrong. It's very comprehensive in breadth of coverage but of course with 50 myths each... Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Book Fanatic
Great book. A lot o research was put into it. It did give some logical explanation of myths in the bible and a logical person is able to make decision .Published on November 25, 2013 by mentoni