Goodreads | Darren Hancock (Canada)’s review of Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World
You are probably an atheist.
Before you object to this statement, read on to realize how, and why this is not a bad thing.
According to militant activist David Silverman, president of American Atheists and author of the new book “Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World”, the word atheist unjustly gets a bad rap. When you apply the true etymology of the word “a-theist”, like “a-symptomatic” (without symptoms), “a-typical” (without type), “a-moral” (without moral quality), “atheist” simply means without a belief in a God or gods. Silverman clearly draws the line; the terms agnostic, humanist, or freethinker are all nebulous and confusing (“secular” being one of the most unclear in intended meaning). If you absolutely believe there is a God, you are a THEIST. If you use “God” as a term denoting the beauty and awe of Nature, or are following a set of religious traditions thinking there is no actual “man in the sky” observing and judging you, believing Heaven and Hell and the resurrection and the holy text are metaphors for moral guidance… YOU are an atheist. ONLY if you absolutely believe in the true and real existence of a God or gods are you NOT an atheist. Silverman says embracing the word atheist and spreading it’s true meaning is an important positive step in removing the stigma associated with the term, and utilizing what he calls “firebrand atheism” to assertively inoculate believers from religious dogma.
Similar to Peter Boghossian’s approach (author of “A Manual for Creating Atheists”), Silverman councels targeting the beliefs themselves, NOT the people who hold the beliefs. That’s where the similarity ends, as Boghossian’s “Socratic method” is left in the dust in favor of more aggressive attacks on the pillars of the beliefs religious people hold. When Silverman describes the atrocities committed in the name of religion and reveals that the atheists quest for EQUALITY is perceived as militant – the faithful are offended when they are not regarded as “privileged” because of their faith, or when their belief is even questioned – and how religions are tax exempt, it begins to look more and more like a big scam.
The book is eye-opening, informative, and once the veil of perceived sacrilege about questioning faith is lifted, seeing the man behind the curtain will make the reader think about religion and the belief in a higher power with more scrutiny and scepticism; a healthy approach to any activity that affects how we behave and live our lives.
“I’d rather have questions I can’t answer than answers I can’t question” -Richard Feynman