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The single most persuasive case for atheism,
This review is from: Atheism: The Case against God (Skeptic's Bookshelf) (Paperback)
More than 30 years before Dawkins penned his own bestseller, Atheism: The Case Against God was first published and went on to become one of the biggest selling atheist books of the twentieth century. Quite right too, as this excellent critique of theism is a magnificent testament to the power of logic. It's somewhat astonishing to learn that author George H. Smith was still in his early 20s when he wrote it.
Concentrating on the philosophical arguments against God's existence, the deep intellectual passion on display here is a joy to behold. Meticulously cutting through all the theological double-talk with his fine scalpel of a mind, Smith exposes the glaring contradictions and absurdities of theism, and in so doing, makes the single most convincing case for atheism I've yet read. (From the outset, Smith explains that if a person is not a theist, then they are an atheist. Agnosticism simply refers to the (un)knowability of a god and is a separate matter that can co-exist with either position.)
His pursuit of reason (and his pursuit 'for' reason) is relentless. This is no bandwagon book of smug posturing and pithy retorts - Smith makes a real effort to present the best arguments of his opponents, often exhaustively so, before proceeding to dismantle each one with devastating precision. While I found myself questioning his train of thought on a couple of points, the book is nevertheless hugely and enjoyably successful in what it sets out to do. More philosophically in-depth than many of the recent crop of atheist titles, I really think this one deserves much wider recognition today than it currently receives.