Nice Nihilism

Richard Marshall in 3ammagazine:


Theatheistsguide‘This is a book for atheists’. Rosenberg makes this explicit in the preface. Atheism requires a whole view of the world based on science that is ‘demanding, rigorous, breathtaking.’ There’s a feeling you get when reading Rosenberg that he’s fed up with atheists who avoid facing up to the big persistent questions such as: ‘what is the nature of reality, the purpose of the universe, and the meaning of life? Is there any rhyme or reason to the course of human history? Why am I here? Do I have a soul, and if so, how long will it last? What happens when we die? Do we have free will? Why should I be moral? What is love, and why is it usually inconvenient?’ Rosenberg demands that atheists just stop arguing with theists, for one because ‘contemporary religious belief is immune to rational objection’ but also because it eats into the time atheists should be taking to work through the implications of their own worldview. Atheists need to spend more time getting to grips with what they should know about the reality we inhabit because science reveals it is ‘stranger than even many atheists recognise.’

So he’s just not all that interested in going over the old arguments that keep getting reheated by lazy atheists who haven’t any news but do have a publishing deal. The God Delusion, God Is Not Great, Letter To A Christian Nation and so on are dull books that probably make more sense in the USA than from where I am but they bring nothing new to the table, play to a home crowd and change no one’s mind. Rosenberg is doing something different from being a cheerleader. He’s bringing a few home truths to the table. I suspect some atheists will not be able to swallow them whole and that just like the theists will also find ways of ducking the question.

More here.