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There is not much new here. God is Not Good, The end of Faith and The God Delusion are all much better. Its a nice refresher to help remind you that atheists are moral and ethical even though "they" tell us we are not.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
It's been pointed out on previous comments that there's nothing new in this book. Had it been, indeed, Harding's intention to produce ground-breaking contributions to the religion controversy, it'd be all the reason in the world to call this book unsuccessful. But, at lest to my mind, that's not the case. Rather, I think, the author’s purpose was to present, in a condensed form, the “atheist case”: most effective arguments, history, outstanding figures, etc. And in this, as I said in the title to my comment, I believe Harding achieved his goals, and his book is as good (systematic, compelling, etc.) an introduction to the matter as can be found.
Good points: I found particularly informative the last section (list of principal figures, glossary, further reading).
Weak points: Harding’s historical views appear too unsystematic to me (Renaissance, for instance, was a far more complex cultural period than the author makes of it). Also, I think it’s necessary to acknowledge the numerous contributions made by religious people to universal culture, in numberless fields (philosophy and art, for instance, to name but the most noticeable). In this regard, his appreciation that religion has given humanity not much more than “a couple of crumbling buildings” in very unjust.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Take out the references to and quotes from other books and this is little more than a 2 hour riposte to claims made by small-minded dogmatists. Unfortunately all he succeeds in doing is bring himself down to the level of those he is reviling. It puts me in mind of a 17 year old A level student in a debating society proposing the topic 'All religious apologists are brainless idiots - discuss'. There are much better books than this on the subject matter, many of them referred to by the author. Do yourself a favour and choose one of them instead of this.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful