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Atheism: The Case Against God (The Skeptic's Bookshelf) Paperback – July 12, 2016
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PRAISE FOR THE ORIGINAL EDITION:
“A hard hitting attack against belief in the Christian God as well as all other supernatural beings.... This book might well be used in a beginning course in the philosophy of religion as a fair representation of contemporary atheistic thought. Students would...find it more provocative and challenging than some other treatment that may be technically more sophisticated. The author's direct and forceful way of making his points has great appeal; clearly, it is a book written with deep intellectual passion.... All in all, Smith's book provides a lively introduction to atheism.”
About the Author
George H. Smith is a freelance writer who writes a weekly article for the Cato Institute (libertarianism.org) titled “Excursions into the History of Libertarian Thought.” He is the author of Atheism: The Case against God; Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies; Why Atheism?; and The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism. Since 1971, he has written more than one hundred articles and book reviews that have appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Arizona Daily Star, Newsday, Reason, Free Inquiry, the Humanist, and Inquiry , among many others. He was formerly senior research fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American history for Cato Summer Seminars, and executive editor of Knowledge Products.
Top customer reviews
That said, there is a lot here that is a bit academic and confusing, and that almost lead me to give it 4 stars, just because it was a difficult read at times and over my head on a number of occasions.
So, why should atheists, believers and those on the fence read this old book (it was written in the 70's....)???
Well they should read it because it's more relevant today than ever, religion is more dangerous, more damaging and needs to be fought on every front by people that believe having strong ethics and values in a godless world is what will best elevate mankind into a better age.
The logic and reasoning that Smith uses in this book is very damaging to the belief in God and what I enjoyed about it a lot was his specific attacks on Christianity as that is the belief system I left, so I understand it the most and see it's harmfulness from first hand experience.
Christianity is a powerfully dangerous and damaging mindset, and Smith shows why very clearly, his sections dealing with things that Jesus actually said (or is reported to have actually said, as the case may be) was very good, he really nailed it here.
A Manual for Creating Atheists should be on the bookshelf of every free thinker, the author lays out why we that see religion as harmful have a reason to exercise our minds in the public square fighting against faith.
The Subversion of Christianity should be on the bookshelf of every believer as it's a clear outline of the fact that Christianity as it is practiced today is wrong from a moral perspective (and from a true Biblical perspective if one is going to remain "faithful" to that worldview). It's a good place to start if you're questioning whether or not something is wrong in Christianity.
And both groups should read this book, it's a philosophical treatment of the question of whether a god(s) exists or not and then specifically if one can logically accept Christianity as being the specific type of god that is true.
I highly recommend this book, don't let the age of it fool you, it's still very relevant.
However, as he rebuts theism and shows it is nonsensical on other grounds, this is not strictly necessary. Some of his criticisms are also based on Objectivism, specifically Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden, which readers who disagree with them may find problematic. We must remember though that good arguments may come from those we otherwise disagree with, and there is no obvious problem with them. I would urge readers who disagree with Objectivism to not let this bias their assessment of the book (this constitutes only a small part of the material). Smith does not go into his views in great detail, asserting an agent causation theory of free will here for instance without making arguments for it or going into this further. The book is not about that, of course, and he does argue to support his position against theism. Overall despite some areas where more information could have been interesting, this is a good book against theism, easily accessible to readers who are not versed in these issues.
The book showed that religions are nit the source of ethics and morality. At the end of the book it openly attacks christianity and showed that it added nothing new to morality and all its content was from the old the old jewish tradition. The book showed also that christianity showed jesus as divine, but he is not, and for that reason all his teachings appear more ethical and moral than they actually are. the morality of Jesus is much less than it looked even compared to Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy.
The book is written 25 years earlier and there are more scientific facts and sophisticated arguments revealed, but the is still is very good, simple and concise book and I recommend it for everybody who stated to question the existence of god and the futility of religions.