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The Happy Atheist Hardcover – August 13, 2013
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Myers’ exploration of his atheism is brilliantly designed and executed to entertain and enlighten, but also to be shocking; for some, it will surely be hurtful. He uses words almost as weapons, calling religion “a kind of parasite of the mind,” calling God “a lazy invisible man in the sky.” But he’s not just doing this to be insulting; Myers has a plan. He wants us to be appalled, to be angered—to be so steamed that we’re compelled to try to refute his arguments, which are, it must be said, usually cogent and well presented. (Heaven, he says, no matter which way you look at it, would strip us of our humanity.) Readers of the author’s popular blog Pharyngula, from which many of this book’s chapters are drawn, know him to be outspoken and a bit on the antagonistic side, but even they might be surprised at the linguistic and thematic extremes he goes to here. This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book, but it’s definitely not for all tastes. --David Pitt
“Presents plenty of interesting ideas and arguments . . . a punchy and provocative read.”
—Washington Independent Review of Books
“Brilliantly designed and executed to entertain and enlighten. . . . This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book.”
“Punchy. . . . Written in accessible, informal style, [Myers] lashes out at the Catholic Church for its sexual-abuse scandals, at the faulty science employed by anti-abortion activists, and at proponents of intelligent design. . . . Myers is able to deftly present serious scientific and philosophical counterarguments to belief in God, but he also acknowledges the necessity of humor—of fighting fire with fire: after all, ‘religions sure do promote some goofy stuff.’ Effectively kick[s] the legs out from beneath the wobbly logic that undergirds religious thought.”
“PZ Myers sets himself apart from the rest of the New Atheist authors by talking, not just about the bigger picture of God, but about religion as all of us experience it on a daily basis. Yes, he tackles the philosophers and theologians, but he also reserves energy to take on casual believers and the myths we come across every day. Nothing—not Communion, not the Holy Spirit, not even death—is too sacred to dissect. And that’s what he does, dismantling religious clichés with ease, making you reconsider all those ideas you grew up with (and may still hold). If you’re still religious after reading this book, you didn’t read it carefully enough."
—Hemant Mehta, author of The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide and blogger at FriendlyAtheist.com
“With a style that blends confrontation, humor, irreverence, and common sense, PZ Myers has become an important voice for America’s growing nonreligious demographic. The Happy Atheist is quintessential Myers—ridiculing absurdities, exposing contradictions, rejecting claims of authority, and reminding readers that religious dogmatism too often obstructs reason and critical thinking.”
—David Niose, Author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans and President of the Secular Coalition for America
“PZ Myers is well known as an angry man in the land of 140-characters and blogs where he made his name. That anger is also here in this book, and it's always a righteous anger. But PZ Myers is also a happy man, amused as well as bemused by religious follies.”
—Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association
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Myers covers all the issues that surrounds religions and expresses valid concerns in a kind of...Read more