Disbelief 101: A Young Person's Guide to Atheism [NOOK Book]

Overview

Filled with wit, humor, and clear metaphor, this exploration into atheism is written specifically for young adults, though any adult interested in learning more about atheism will find value within. Not just focused on atheism, this crash course in logical thinking addresses the issues of indoctrination, whether it be religious, political, or commercial, and makes the case that morality is created through reasoning and logic, not through divine communication. Many hot topics are touched upon, such as traditional ...

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Disbelief 101: A Young Person's Guide to Atheism

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Overview

Filled with wit, humor, and clear metaphor, this exploration into atheism is written specifically for young adults, though any adult interested in learning more about atheism will find value within. Not just focused on atheism, this crash course in logical thinking addresses the issues of indoctrination, whether it be religious, political, or commercial, and makes the case that morality is created through reasoning and logic, not through divine communication. Many hot topics are touched upon, such as traditional arguments for God’s existence, the relationship of evolution and religious belief, the incompatible nature of science and religion, and the harmfulness of both Christianity and Islam.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Nancy K. Wallace
"There is no god." The author begins his book with a bang and sets out to prove "the absurdity of all religions." The first chapter substitutes "the Invisible Flying Clown" for "God" in a dialogue between a believer and a nonbeliever to illustrate the ludicrousness of many religious claims. He debunks the virtue of faith when faced with scientific evidence. Advocating listing all beliefs in two columns—one titled "faith" the other titled "science and reason," he separates beliefs backed up by evidence and those that are not. He states that the "disdain for evidence . . . and the accompanying willingness to believe almost anything, is why all religious belief, no matter how benign it seems, is dangerous." Lastly he believes that "religion does irreparable harm to everything." Hitchcock states that religion exists primarily because of its "indoctrination of children" and reiterates by saying, "If you are a young person who . . . is being forced to go to church . . . then you've been abused mentally." He concludes with the words, "God doesn't exist. Say it with me. God doesn't exist. He doesn't." Oddly enough, scientific data is scant in this slim volume. Little is included regarding atheism in an historical context or the prevalence of people who adhere to this viewpoint. Many particularly scathing statements appear to stem from a personal vendetta against Christianity. The author's logic and reason are laced with anger, giving the book an unprofessional quality. The publisher states that the book is published under a pseudonym to protect the writer from reprisals. Look elsewhere for a definitive work on atheism for young adults. Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This brief and uneven treatise on the central tenet of atheism and the arguments in its favor is meant to encourage and fortify readers who are questioning their religious beliefs. It isn't an impartial look at freethinking; instead, Hitchcock sets up and attempts to demolish arguments for the existence of God, including the lack of evidence, the contradiction in an omnipotent God who allows bad things to happen to innocent people, and the fallacy of personal feelings as proof of God's existence. Unfortunately, the quality of the analysis varies from fairly cogent explanations of scientific and philosophical concepts to smug asides like, in a discussion of original sin, "Talk about sick." The treatment of some themes (evolution, for example) is too shallow, although a brief bibliography guides readers to further resources. Sporadic cartoon-style illustrations add humor: a bearded God on a wanted poster, for one. Although the author acknowledges the special difficulties of young people who find themselves questioning their family's or community's deeply held religious beliefs, it's hard to say just who this is for: anyone who appreciates Hitchcock's arguments probably needs something more meaty, and anyone who isn't so sure about the whole subject might be put off by the cocky tone.-Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

Kirkus Reviews
Hitchcock's abrasive and condescending approach to showing "the absurdity of all religions and their shared notion of a god or gods" is unlikely to convince readers who do not already share his views. While writing in the vein of such recent bestselling proponents as Christopher Hitchens, this author lacks their intellectual finesse. The text is most effective in revealing the anti-intellectualism, contradictions, inconsistencies and hypocrisies inherent in the dogma and sacred texts of major world religions, citing examples from the Old and New Testaments and the Koran to advance his arguments. He undermines his credible assertion that the indoctrination of children is an important tool of religion, however, by outrageously equating it with child abuse. While conceding that "not . . . all religions are equally harmful," he insists that religion "does irreparable harm to almost everything" and that "church organizations are parasitic" and "add nothing to a community." The indelible role of religious faith in motivating such humanitarians as Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa negates these arguments. This belligerent tract is unlikely to win over converts and will disappoint readers seeking information about atheism. (Nonfiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884365546
  • Publisher: See Sharp Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • File size: 627 KB

Meet the Author

S. C. Hitchcock has won a national award from the Society of Professional Journalists, was published in a journal by the National Council for Social Studies, and his fiction has been published in small literary magazines. He lives in the Midwest. Tom Flynn is the editor of Free Inquiry magazine, director of the Center for Inquiry, founding coeditor of Secular Humanist Bulletin, director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum, and coauthor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. He lives in Amherst, New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    great book!!

    Im a young athiest and it was nice to find a book that was easy to read and understand. Strongly disagree with the reviews after reading this book, its intended for young novice reader like myself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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