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Away with All Gods!: Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World

Overview

Is believing in gods actually harmful? How has Christianity for centuries served as an ideology of conquest and subjugation? Why is the "Bible Belt" in the U.S. also the "lynching belt"? Why is there a rise of religious fundamentalism throughout the world? In the intensifying conflict between U.S. imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism, is the only choice to take one side or the other? Why is patriarchy and the oppression of women foundational to so many religions? Can people be good without god? These are just ...

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Away With All Gods!: Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World

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Overview

Is believing in gods actually harmful? How has Christianity for centuries served as an ideology of conquest and subjugation? Why is the "Bible Belt" in the U.S. also the "lynching belt"? Why is there a rise of religious fundamentalism throughout the world? In the intensifying conflict between U.S. imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism, is the only choice to take one side or the other? Why is patriarchy and the oppression of women foundational to so many religions? Can people be good without god? These are just some of the questions explored in this provocative work by Bob Avakian.

Bringing a unique revolutionary communist voice to the current discourse about god, atheism and morality, Avakian demystifies religious belief and examines how, even in its most progressive interpretations, religion stands in the way of the emancipation of humanity. A thread deeply woven throughout Away With All Gods! is the need to fully rupture with all forms of superstition, and to take up instead a truly scientific approach to understanding and transforming reality. Whether you believe in god, or are an agnostic or an atheist, Bob Avakian will challenge you with his powerful critique of long-established traditions and his liberating vision of a radically different world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Forceful, scathing, and timely. While I did not personally agree with everything Bob Avakian has to say in this book, I found his arguments cogently articulated and provocatively put forth. Angry, humorous, provocative, and hopeful in equal measure, this was an enjoyable and engaging read."  —Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology, Pitzer College

"Bold, wide-ranging, down-to-earth, provocative. One needn't be a Marxist to learn a lot from this work. I especially like the forthright critique of the obfuscating epistemology of religion, and of religion's appalling consequences for women."  — Laura Purdy, professor, humanities and philosophy, Wells College

"Lots of people haven't actually studied what that Bible says. Bob Avakian has. He exposes the hypocritical bullshit. . . . This book is serious reading."—Eric G., former Black Panther member

"May just spearhead a return to the Age of Reason."  —Harry Lennix, actor, instructor

Necessary, critical and timely. . . . Everyone should read Away With All Gods because it is necessary, critical and timely, but also because it is a book written with joy and humor."  —John Hutnyk, professor and academic director, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

"His new book opens up a much needed conversation about the role of religion and spiritual belief in the overall fight for justice, along with questions of morality and what it will take to bring about an end to white supremacy and patriarchy."  —Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president, Hip-Hop Caucus

"Whether readers enthusiastically embrace or reject its claims and arguments, [this] is a book that cannot be ignored."  —Peter McLaren, professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California

"A wide-ranging and unapologetic four-part critique of the harm caused by religion."  —San Francisco Atheists Newsletter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976023685
  • Publisher: Insight Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 837,430
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author


Bob Avakian has been the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, since its founding in 1975. A veteran of the revolutionary upsurges of the 1960s and early 1970s, he has spent the past several decades critically analyzing and evaluating the experiences of the first wave of socialist revolutions, in Russia and then in China—distinguishing their historic accomplishments from their shortcomings, and identifying the causes of their ultimate reversals. On this basis, and drawing from a broad range of human experience in many different fields, Avakian has brought forward what he characterizes as a new synthesis of communism—arguing provocatively for the necessity, the possibility, and the liberating potential of revolution in the U.S. itself, as part of a worldwide struggle for communism, enabling humanity as a whole to finally move beyond relations of exploitation and oppression, and the antagonistic conflicts to which they give rise.

Bob Avakian’s extensive body of work includes numerous books, other writings, and talks.

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Table of Contents

Publisher's Note     ix
Where Did God Come From... And Who Says We Need God?     1
"God Works in Mysterious Ways"     3
A Cruel and Truly Monstrous God     4
The Bible, Taken Literally, Is a Horror     15
Christian Fundamentalists, Christian Fascists     16
Seeing Jesus in a True Light     18
What About the Ten Commandments?     28
No New Testament Without the Old     31
Fundamentalist and "Salad Bar" Christianity     32
Religion and Oppressive Ruling Classes     38
Evolution, the Scientific Method-and Religious Obscurantism     43
If Gods Do Not Exist, Why Do People Believe in Them?     46
Why Do People Believe in Different Gods?     52
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam-Rooted In The Past, Standing In the Way of the Future     59
The Historical Development and Role of Christianity: Doctrines and Power Politics     61
Christianity as a New Religion: The Pivotal Role and Influence of Paul     72
Demystifying Jesus and Christianity     81
Islam Is No Better (and No Worse) Than Christianity     84
Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism and the "War on Terror"     96
Why Is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today's World?     102
Rejecting the "Smug Arrogance of the Enlightened"     113
The Growth of Religion and Religious Fundamentalism: A Peculiar Expression of a Fundamental Contradiction     114
Religion-a Heavy, Heavy Chain     119
Religion, Patriarchy, Male Supremacy and Sexual Repression     121
The Bible Belt Is the Lynching Belt: Slavery, White Supremacy and Religion in America     136
Christian Fascism and Genocide     150
Religion, Fundamentalism, and the Slave Mentality     152
God Does Not Exist-We Need Liberation Without Gods     155
The "Left Hand of God"-And the Right Way to Go About Winning Liberation     157
The Myth of the Truthfulness and Positive Role of Religious Myth     199
Reason Has Not "Failed Us"-Reason Is Absolutely Necessary-Though, In Itself, It Is Not Enough     211
Religious "Faith"-Let's Call It What It Is: Irrational     216
God Does Not Exist-And There Is No Good Reason to Believe In God     217
Religion as an Opiate of the People-And an Obstacle to Emancipation     222
There Is No Such Thing As Unchanging, and Unchangeable, Human Nature     226
Liberation Without Gods     234
Bibliography     239
Index     249
About The Author     257
Praise for Other Works   Bob Avakian     259

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