Richard Marshall reviews The Atheist’s Guide To Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions, by Alex Rosenberg. (Leon Wieseltier over at The New Republic calls it the Worst Book of the Year)
This review is fun, though I imagine not if you are a serious New Atheist:
So what are his answers to the persistent questions . . . the ones we have that begin early in life, get crowded out by thoughts of sex in adolescence and then come steaming back afterwards? There is no God. Reality is what physics says (and evolutionary biology). There is no purpose to anything, anywhere. Never was, never will be. There is therefore no meaning to life. I’m here because of dumb luck. Prayer doesn’t work. There is no such thing as a soul. There is no freewill. When we die, everything stays the same except without us. There is no moral difference between good and bad, right and wrong. You should be good because it makes you feel better than being bad. Anything goes. Love is a solution to a strategic coordination problem. It’s automatic, programmed so there’s no need to go out looking for it. History has no purpose (see above) because the future is less and less like the past. Ditto economics. . . .
Reality is what physics says! Does that include the Shroud of Turin? Darn.
The real irony, of course, in denying freewill is then atheist’s lose all grounds of saying they’ve been more ‘rational’ than theists in choosing their worldview — they’re atheists via determinism while theists are theists via determinism.
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