I found this an engrossing, stimulating and yes, life-changing book.
It was refreshing and encouraging to me to find so many historical figures have applied some very deep intellectual rigour to the claims of religion, with spectacularly clear conclusions of impeccably clear logic, all exposing the lies, self-deception, illogicality, unreason and inhumanity of religious thought and practice.
There were times I felt sorry to be reading some of the passages describing the excesses of religious behaviour, but these only firmed my resolve to stop pussyfooting around and become more outspoken in my opinions regarding the uselessness of religious belief.
I especially liked one author's rejection of the term atheist, as below: -
There were so many statements which just set me back on my heels and made me think that
I should be memorising them as useful tools in demolishing pro-religious speech.
A few examples:
Islamic thought says of those whose bodies have been dismembered or destroyed, allah has the "power to create their like" at the last day of judgement. To punish or reward a replica seems as illogical as punishing one twin for the sins of another.
Not a single German catholic was excommunicated before, during, or after WWII. During this period the church continued to excommunicate theologians and scholars in droves, ...proscribe books, ...not a single leader of the Third Reich - not even Hitler himself - was ever excommunicated.
The simple point that the christian "god of love" is so utterly horrible as to send people to hell, with outrageously cruel suffering, forever, just because they haven't followed all his rules. How "the hell" can anyone believe that their all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing god could be such a vindictive sulk? (Actually, this applies to the islamic god as well.)
[My own personal observation is that there is not a single religion on the planet whose god ever appears, anywhere, ever. This fact alone is a bit suspicious, to say the least!]
A few more example quotes direct from the book:
I was aware of some of the material included regarding the unreliability of the bible, but was fascinated to find that scholars have also utterly destroyed any grounds for believing the koran is the infallible word of allah and all true, as islamic doctrine dictates. For a start there are numerous contradictions, numerous versions, and numerous obvious revisions. What kind of infallibility can a god have, that needs to reveal something in writing, then come back and "revise" it?
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to apply intellectual reason to the strange claims made by adherents of religions, and anyone befuddled by religious propaganda who is trying to free themselves of the strange beliefs they are encumbered with.
Read as an e-book borrowed from Auckland Libraries via Overdrive, on my Kobo Touch e-reader.