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The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief Paperback – February 1, 2010
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"The Making of an Atheist is a helpful book that introduces the reader to a biblical analysis of the nature and roots of unbelief. While not disparaging the use of apologetics in laying out a case for theism, Spiegel shows that the central issues influencing disbelief are often more a matter of a commitment to moral and spiritual independence than to an objective assessment of the evidence."
Greg Ganssle, Yale University department of philosophy and the Rivendell Institute
"Most of the work being done today in response to atheism focuses on intellectual issues and arguments against belief in God. In The Making of an Atheist, James Spiegel has crafted a clear, crisp, compelling case that there are non-rational moral and psychological dynamics that lead to unbelief. Rooted in Scripture and argued with the precision of a trained philosopher, this powerful little book is a must read for theists and atheists alike!"
Chad Meister, Bethel College philosophy professor, author of Building Belief and co-editor of God Is Great, God Is Good
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He begins by referencing the atheists themselves, such as Thomas Nagel who has said that he doesn't want God to exist. They are willing to accept wild theories rather than accepting the evidence for God. For example, both Francis Crick and and Richard Dawkins are open to the notion of directed panspermia, which is that life appeared because aliens planted it here.
He also argued that certain factors, specifically fatherlessness and immorality, predispose people to reject God. I suspect that these factors led to significant resistance to Spiegel's hypotheses, though probably for emotional, rather than logical reasons.
At the end of the book, he concludes with a short chapter on The Blessings of Theism. A common ploy from many of the new atheists is to talk about how theism is bad for society. Reality proves otherwise.
If you have an interest in why people think the way they do, this may be a good read for.
But what about those of faith? To my mind that is the bigger question here. Does a lifestyle which rejects the basic tenants of Biblical morality lead to a rejection of God by those of a Biblical world view? Does moral compromise through generations insidiously erode the foundations of faith? After reading The Making of an Atheist, I believe you’ll find the answer to that question is an unfortunate yes.
I think the history of higher education in this country is a good example of Mr. Spiegel’s premise. Who doesn’t know that Harvard, Yale and many of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the US were started by those of a Biblical world view to promote not just higher education but a Biblical moral standard? And today? Those very same institutions are bastions of secular humanism which is the very antithesis of their founder’s intentions.
Morality by its very nature is a God attribute. Without God mankind’s competing self-interests are ultimately destructive. Without God each of us becomes merely the next meal in an endless evolutionary food chain. Is that really how we want to see the beauty and mystery of the world around us?
Spiegel wastes no time describing the New Atheists' opposition to Christianity. At the beginning of the book, he cites the belligerent quotes of three prominent players in the movement. Sam Harris declares, "The biblical God is a fiction, like Zeus and the thousands of other dead gods whom most sane human beings now ignore." Christopher Hitchens said, "Religion poisons everything." Richard Dawkins calls God a "delusion" and labels Him "a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, blood thirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." Spiegel points out that the only new thing these men offer the atheist position is their "degree of bombast" and a prose that "seethes with outrage." Though their intellectual arguments have been repeatedly rebutted by Christian and non-Christian philosophers and theologians over the centuries, they present themselves as having arrived at their conclusions by intellectual inquiry. Spiegel's central thesis contradicts this very idea.
Spiegel explicitly states, "I want to show that atheism is not ultimately about arguments and evidence." He elaborates further, "Atheism is *not at all* a consequence of intellectual doubts.Read more ›
J. Budzisewski would concur with Spiegel that : "It’s a funny thing about us human beings: not many of us doubt God’s existence and then start sinning. Most of us sin and then start doubting His existence."
I will recommend this book to those who wish to view atheism from a Biblical point of view. This book does not offer case for or refute case against God but try to find the moral reason that ground disbelief in God.
It is different from other apologetics books I have read before, and I am glad to have come cross it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well presented and should be read by Pastors, and be shared to congregations..Published 4 months ago by inethio
This book was a good introduction into investigating the topic of a person forming a personal conviction to be an atheist. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Definitely written to encourage believers, and that it does. This is not apologetic in the sense of presenting a wholly objective case. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Andrew L Duke
So let me get this straight... After seeing the state this world is in and the incredible injustice of this world and all the tragedy and how God doesn't even lift a finger to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Andrew Goering
Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. Excellent book. Should be in everybody's library. Must read.Published 12 months ago by K. A. Bailey
James believes the rise in new groups of atheists is because of one or two factors. You may not agree with his diagnosis but it is certainly and interesting proposal. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Paul Allen
There are several critical flaws in James S. Spiegel's book "The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief. Read morePublished on September 23, 2013 by TallySkeptic
This book logically shows that the atheist chooses his worldview not because of the evidence, but rather because of the influence of sin and of his choice of an immoral lifestylePublished on August 15, 2013 by RdB