Book Review: Why I became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments by John W. Loftus
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Trafford Publishing (November 7, 2008)
I think this book is for Christians, or recent Christians. Its discussion concentrates on the flaws in the Christian argument, rather than any substantial justification or expansion of atheist ideas. So, the arguments presented are of limited interest to a long-term infidel like me who is not interested in the details of Christian theology or their refutation.
To be fair, I have not yet read Loftus’s “Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains.” This current volume supplements that book in providing a collection of personal reflections and additional arguments. Some of these presumable originate from his popular blog “Debunking Christianity.”
He covers topics like his personal motivation for his blog, religious funerals, the plight of the preacher, advice for people leaving a faith, various arguments advanced fro Christianity, the problem of evil, virgin birth, reincarnation and Pascal’s wager. On the other hand he does deal with an atheistic ethic, freethinking and “new atheism.” However, my feeling is that even with these later subjects his perspective is still strongly influenced by his recently rejected theology. So I find his idea of “new atheism” more of the caricature normally presented by apologist opponents. He seems to accept their argument that “new atheism” is about evolution, not capitalising the word “God”, or referring to “God” with masculine pronouns. He appears to accept the argument the “new atheists” are militant and lack respect for the opponents. I think this is inadequate. Similarly I found his description of the scientific process inadequate.
But that’s my perspective. I grant there will be much here for the Christian or ex-Christian with an interest in theology.