A personal attempt at crafting a comprehensive handbook of atheism.
In his nonfiction debut, Andrews embarks on a calm, systematic study of organized religion in human history, seeing faith as a psychological or even biological compensation rather than an indication of the divine. He establishes early on that although he respects some of the good that religion has done in the world, he is an atheist who views religion as self-serving delusion on the part of the faithful, and, as such, his book is addressed to fellow nonbelievers: “There is plenty of evidence now, that in spite of the pseudoscientists’ claims,” he writes, “the supernatural is just wishful thinking by people who desperately want an afterlife to exist, mostly because they cannot handle the idea that this is their only chance to enjoy the majestic universe.” He asserts the superiority of secular action over religious faith (“Helping one child survive, without the promise of a reward in the afterlife, is a far greater deed than praying to a non-existing entity to cure a sick child”), and he spends the bulk of his book refuting popular arguments of Christians and other religious adherents, such as the creationist tactic of characterizing atheism as just another religion, the Christian assertion that the New Testament must be divine because it fulfills so many prophecies from the Old Testament, and the idea that the Quran predicted many modern scientific discoveries. He summarizes each of these arguments fairly and then dispels it with a combination of common sense and deductive reasoning. The text itself, though earnest, is filled with typographical errors (one page, for example, refers to Thomas Paine as “Thomas Paine,” “Thomas Payne,” and “Thomas Pain”), so a stronger edit should precede any future editions. But the heart of Andrews’ case will be engaging reading for atheists new and old.
A rational case for the need for humanity to move beyond faith.