Why God Won’t Go Away-
Is The New Atheism Running On Empty?
By Alister McGrath
“Christopher Hitchens recently slammed Mother Teresa, declaring her ‘a fanatic and a fundamentalist and a fraud,’ arguing that ‘millions of people are much worse off because of her life‘ It was a shame, he declared, that there was no hell for her to go to. It was a foolish move, and Hitchens later generously apologized for it. (One of Hitchens’s former colleagues drolly commented, ‘My sympathies were with Mother Teresa. If you were sitting in rags in a gutter in Calcutta, who would be more likely to give you a bowl of soup?’)”
The above quote is found on page 37 of Why God Won’t Go Away. This is a quote belonging to Christopher Hitchens, who is one of four contemporary authors who have been nicknamed, “The Four Horsemen.“ According to this book, the other three authors include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett, who all have contributed atheistic ideology that have collectively become known as “The New Atheism.”
Why God Won’t Go Away is a scholarly critique of this movement. The critique is divided into three parts. The first part defines “The New Atheism,” and investigates the main fathers of this movement, analyzing the arguments put forward by each of the authors. The second part of the book discusses “The New Atheism” within the framework of three themes: violence, reason and science. Part three discusses the current status of “The New Atheism” and where the future may lead. This also concludes the critique of the movement postulating that the purpose of the movement, that being the end of religion, has failed.
Initially, before reading this book, I was intimidated by the subject matter, with which I am not well versed. My fear was that the details would be above my understanding from start to finish. This was not the case. The author painstakingly and patiently explains this ideology from the beginning of the movement, including commentary from bloggers and other world authorities from many different disciplines. Although the ideas are very deep at times and the vocabulary is sometimes challenging, it follows a logical thought pattern and is very illuminating. Basically, the author shoots down the logic of “The New Atheism”, and explains the fallacies to the theory.
I recommend this book for anyone who is capable of critical thought and who is even remotely interested in the current and historical debate between atheist thought and religious thought.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Rumors of God
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copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins