Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Simple Book Review: "The Making of An Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief" (2010)

The Making of An Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief (2010)
by James S. Spiegel

"Perhaps we should consider the possibility that sceptical objections are the atheists' facade, a scholarly veneer masking the real causes of their unbelief," writes James in this book that looks at how morality or the lack thereof plays an important role in the rejection of God. "[Atheists] willfully reject God despite the fact that the entire universe proclaims His existence." Can immorality lead to unbelief? Surprisingly (or maybe not), Spiegel argued, many well-known atheists are not reticent in acknowledging the volitional aspect of their atheistic beliefs.

But what about those of faith? To my mind that is the bigger question here. Does a lifestyle which rejects the basic tenants of Biblical morality lead to a rejection of God by those of a Biblical world view? After reading this book, I believe you’ll find the answer to that question is an unfortunate - Yes. Scary!

According to Spiegel, "the root of the problem, apparently, is not a lack of intelligence but rather a hardness of heart that is itself caused by immoral behaviour." Morality by its very nature is a God attribute. Without God mankind’s competing self-interests are ultimately destructive. Without God each of us becomes merely the next meal in an endless evolutionary food chain. Is that really how we want to see the beauty and mystery of the world around us? Is science enough? With God, will it be fuller?

I know James tried not be bias as Christian philosopher, tried to be generous and graceful in the first chapter ("Atheistic Arguments, Errors, and Insights"), I respects him for that. Theists and atheists (even sceptics) will be benefited by reading this book. My most uneasy part in this book is when he examines "the faith of the fatherless." The "defective father hypothesis" - the notion that a broken relationship with one's father predisposes some people to reject God. He ends this book well by telling the benefits of being theist and especially as Christ's followers.

Read it! Or watch James's talks/sermons online. Worth it!

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