THE ATHEIST'S GUIDE TO REALITY by Alex Rosenberg

THE ATHEIST'S GUIDE TO REALITY

Enjoying Life Without Illusions

KIRKUS REVIEW

A cocky, relentlessly arrogant treatise on the true nature of all things human.

Can’t sleep nights worrying all life is meaningless? If you haven’t got the stones to confront the dictates of science, then Rosenberg (Philosophy/Duke Univ.; Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, 2011, etc.) recommends Prozac. Really. That’s his advice. Undeniably brilliant, the author may very well be correct about the entire human experience, but that’s no reason for him to be so gratingly obnoxious about it. Even Richard Dawkins, the atheist’s atheist, gets slammed as something of a weepy-eyed weakling here. Rosenberg is aware that his arguments may be difficult to swallow, yet he does nothing to sway the unconverted. Not only is there no old man with a flowing white beard watching from above, there is no you behind your reflection in the mirror. The author provides a painstakingly investigated and expanded repackaging of the fully automatic model of the universe. The closest Rosenberg comes to softening admittedly troubling material is dubbing it “nice nihilism.” Meanwhile, “blind variation” and “environmental filtration,” the Darwinian processes of evolution, are invoked so much that their mention starts to feel like an incantation or a religious article of faith.

Opt instead for the profane sleight-of-hand Penn Jillette weaves in God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales (2011), a decidedly less pretentious and deftly comic look at all things ungodly.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-393-08023-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011




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