09 December 2013

Book Review: The Making of an Atheist

The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief (2010) is an interesting apologetic text by philosopher James Spiegel. Typically, apologetics books deal with arguments themselves whereas Spiegel's book examines atheism from the perspective of morality. Working from biblical evidence such as Romans 1, he contends that the reason individuals reject God is because of their immorality, which causes them to reject the clear evidence for God.

He begins by referencing the atheists themselves, such as Thomas Nagel who has said that he doesn't want God to exist. They are willing to accept wild theories rather than accepting the evidence for God. For example, both Francis Crick and and Richard Dawkins are open to the notion of directed panspermia, which is that life appeared because aliens planted it here.

He also argued that certain factors, specifically fatherlessness and immorality, predispose people to reject God.  I suspect that these factors led to significant resistance to Spiegel's hypotheses, though probably for emotional, rather than logical reasons.

At the end of the book, he concludes with a short chapter on The Blessings of Theism. A common ploy from many of the new atheists is to talk about how theism is bad for society.  Reality proves otherwise. 

If you have an interest in why people think the way they do, this may be a good read for. 

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