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Customer Review

on 2 January 2011
A delightful little gem of a book at around 100 very short pages, beautifully bound, a casket packed tight with essential ideas and information on the perennial theism/atheism debate. It is elegantly and clearly written and though its author is a professional philosopher you need no technical knowledge to understand it. If you have children you should buy it for them when they are 16+ as an essential part of their education. It contains a brief historical overview of the arguments against theism (and necessarily the arguments for) as well as a review of the more recent literature (the new atheism as it is called). It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant religious people often are of the arguments against their (or any) faith - arguments that have been around hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of years. Most of them have never heared of Hume or Kant. Every time you enter a debate its like starting again from scratch. Earlier proponents of religion would laugh at them - they made it their job to know the enemy - if you are are going to believe at least get informed - don't do so in ignorance. For the uncommitted it's a great introduction to the debate - you will not find a clearer explanation of the issues anywhere. Yes the author is an atheist and the book is all the better for being a passionate advocacy of atheism. A neutral exposition of the arguments would be anaemic. ( If you want balance follow it up by reading Anthony Flew "There is a God" - you won't find any new arguments here but at least you can view them from the other side). If I have any quibbles at all with Grayling its with his occasional expression of an over simplified view of the history of science - if you want to know why you will have to write and ask!
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