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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and eminently quotable, 29 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
Books of quotes are more likely to be used for randomly dipping than cover to cover reading. Certainly that's how I immediately began to use this book, opening pages at random and picking out quotes from recognisable names. And there are plenty of recognisable names, some of whom I knew were atheists and others who took me by surprise, for example Bob Geldof. The names you would expect are present and correct: Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Rushdie et al. However some of the best - and most quotable - aphorisms come from more obscure sources, for example Stanislaw Lec (Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivor): "I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward."

It's worthwhile resisting the temptation to dive straight in and instead read the introduction by Jack Huberman, because the religious will defend their faith as harmless and personal to them. Here in the U.K. that may be true, at least as far as the Church of England is concerned, but before they bury their heads back in the sand it's worth reminding them of the danger and factual history of religious fundamentalism, whether based in Afghanistan or America. Huberman makes all of that perfectly clear.

The problem with books like these though (and the reason for not giving 5 stars) is that only atheists, sceptics and the braver agnostics are ever likely to read it. Most of the quotes are perfectly true but use reason to make their arguments. There's little point in quoting them to a believer because "you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into". Ridiculing religion is all too easy but the depressing reality is that the majority of the world's population is either willfully ignorant, uneducated, indoctrinated or just plain stupid.

To quote Jack Huberman, "Do I really believe this book will convert believers...? Yes. A few. Three, I estimate. Two for sure."
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Vinman666
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Essex, U.K.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 777