Dispatches of disbelief-part 2

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
-William Butler Yeats


Next we have a couple of books written by academics who dispute the existence of God. The two books could differ greatly from each other. One, written by an American mathematician raised in a nominally Christian home environment is short, relatively easy to read and all things considered charming and good natured. The other book, written by former Muslim from Pakistan is polemic, long and very detailed. While I learned a great deal from both books, there weren’t the best books I’ve read regarding the truthfulness of religion and the existence of God.
The first book would be Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up by Temple University mathematics professor John Allen Paulos. As always, this is yet another one of those books I saw at the library and I
just HAD to grab it. While I enjoyed his casual, good natured style to
be honest I did not end up liking his book to the degree I thought I
might. Paulos, being a mathematician, uses a lot of logical proofs to
illustrate his points. And I hate proofs. Still, it is quick read and
Paulos does a pretty good job contributing to the ongoing debate on
God’s existence or lack thereof.
The other book would be1995’s Why I Am Not a Muslim
by Ibn Warraq. Born in Pakistan and now teaching in the United States,
Warraq slams pretty much all of Islam, right down to its origins and
core beliefs. This book is dense, meaty and uncompromising. More than
just a book against Islam, it quite critical of the core beliefs of
Christianity and Judaism as well. Warraq’s book compliments other
recent books by such atheists as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.
My major complaint against Warraq’s book has nothing to do with his
arguments or his beliefs but his writing style. While his scholarship
is impressive, his editing is not.  There is just too much information
and the gifted hand of an editor could have streamlined the book and
made it much more readable for the non-academic population.  Still,
it’s an impressive and very well researched critique of Islam.

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Filed under Agnostic/Atheist/Skeptic, History, Islam

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