I am an atheist, and this subject is always touchy because, invariably, someone will be offended. I am setting out to review a book here, and I do not intend to get into a theological debate. I am generally of the belief that 99% of the population are firm in their beliefs in a higher power, religion, afterlife – or lack thereof. Those who do change their belief system generally do so through a combination of major life experiences and influential people. A book on atheism or Catholicism will not cause one to flip-flop their beliefs. I have always felt that books on atheism are a little unnecessary. Let’s be honest: there’s not a whole lot to atheism. Do you believe in the existence of a god? No? Hey, look, you’re an atheist.
Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy by David Ramsay Steele offers a case for atheism. I feel that atheism can be defended easily through basic logic. For those that feel that they need a little back-up, Atheism Explained is a good handbook. It is basically a collection of theistic arguments for the existence of a god, and different arguments you can use to defend atheism.
For example, Steele presents the Ontological Argument, which tries to use logic to prove a god exists. The basic premise of this argument is: “Nothing greater than god can possibly be thought of. A god who exists is greater than a god who does not exist. Therefore, god exists.” Of course, the term “greater” is subjective. Even if you believe in a god, but you also believe in the Big Bang Theory, you may believe that the Big Bang is greater than a god. So didn’t you just disprove your logic?
Steele also offers arguments against The Bible being the word of god with such arguments as: If The Bible comes word-for-word from a higher being, why would he not make any reference to irrefutable scientific fact that even those most devout cannot deny, like the way in which disease is spread, or the body’s circulatory system?
Atheism Explained is a good primer for atheists who want to bring a gun to a knife fight, but most of the arguments are pretty obvious.