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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New review of 50 Voices of Disbelief in Psychology Today

Not a bad review - brief but positive.

10 comments:

myrana said...

Yeah, this article speaks of a book that discusses the many reasons people are/become nonbelievers, too.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/04/believe-it-or-not

Russell Blackford said...

If that's Hart's article, I've blogged on it previously.

mryana said...

"..But the latest trend in à la mode godlessness, it seems to me, has by now proved itself to be so intellectually and morally trivial that it has to be classified as just a form of light entertainment, and popular culture always tires of its diversions sooner or later and moves on to other, equally ephemeral toys.

Take, for instance, the recently published 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. Simple probability, surely, would seem to dictate that a collection of essays by fifty fairly intelligent and zealous atheists would contain at least one logically compelling, deeply informed, morally profound, or conceptually arresting argument for not believing in God. Certainly that was my hope in picking it up. Instead, I came away from the whole drab assemblage of preachments and preenings feeling rather as if I had just left a large banquet at which I had been made to dine entirely on crushed ice and water vapor..." (Hart's quote)


I'm sure you've blogged about it somewhere, I just found this part of his article curious and interesting.

Russell Blackford said...

Hart didn't like the book; I didn't much like his article. There's also some discussion of his article over at Richard Dawkins' site.

myrana said...

It's hard for most people to take that man seriously anymore after his big bumbling act during an interview with Ben Stein. A good number of atheists have dis-associated themselves from this man. Atleast, that's what I've seen and heard on various atheistic blogs.

Russell Blackford said...

I'm starting to think you're a troll myrana.

myrana said...

I'm starting to think you can't handle the truth, Russel.

Shatterface said...

'It's hard for most people to take that man seriously anymore after his big bumbling act during an interview with Ben Stein. A good number of atheists have dis-associated themselves from this man. Atleast, that's what I've seen and heard on various atheistic blogs.'

[Citation needed]

'I'm starting to think you can't handle the truth, Russel.'

[Citation needed]

myrana said...

First Citation: look up any atheist blog of your choice.

Second citation: re-read this blog and Russel's comments.

If you can't get it by then: no one can help you "get it".

Robert N Stephenson said...

The review stated clearly why the reader didn't like it, and it does serve to help me a possible reader decide whether or not to buy it.

I did see some commentary of the 50 Voices when it was released and even then something didn't gel with me with how it was being delivered.

Perhaps I would like to know, out of the 50 voices does anyone actually not diss the concept of religion - does anyone not in someway belittle peoples belief in a God.

You see, for me to read reasonable argument and positions at least 50% of the book (25 Voices) would need to deliver good sound arguments that do 'not' debase anyone in the process. This is the logic of reason.

The review suggests that not even one argument climbed higher than preaching. I can get that from any atheist at any time - and do naturally. You know I can still make a reasonable sound argument for being an atheist today without delving into anything remotely offensive. But I can also do the same for being a Christian without belittling or demeaning the position of the atheist...

My gut said not to buy the book when it was released; not because of who was in it or who the editor was - these were the major selling points for me: but I wasn't sure the arguments would be anything more than I have had shouted at me in newsgroups.

The review might not be a good one, and naturally it is a person's opinion; but to try and discredit the reviewer only goes to show, to this reader, that perhaps the view is closer to the truth of the matter.

I received a scathing review of my novel Uttuku - I could have jumped up and down and said bad things, but I didn't. I looked at the book, withdrew it and then rewrote it - because the reviewer was right. My new version of Uttuku should be out in about 2 weeks.

Everyone can shout all they like, but it just takes one person to listen to get the message