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Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness
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Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In a series of bold, unsparing polemics, A C Grayling exposes the dangerous unreason he sees at the heart of religious faith and highlights the urgent need we have to reject it in all its forms, without compromise. In its place he argues for a set of values based on reason, reflection, and sympathy, taking his cue from the great ethical tradition of Western philosophy.
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Oberon Books (first published April 1st 2007)
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Apr 09, 2011 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any doubter or atheist who needs help in clarifying their situation
Recommended to Wayne by: GOD, before she died.
This appears to be the briefest polemic against religion to have been published so far and that makes it one of the best.

Grayling does not bother discussing the absurd intricacies of theologies whose proponents, the theologians, are called by Grayling:"those master-wrigglers when skewered by logic". Their houses are built on sand, so once one disposes of the sand there is no need to enter or consider the illogic of the theo-logics, because their arguments, theories, proposals are really so much...more
'Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.' --Thomas Jefferson

The current atheist vs. believer debate is marked by dogmatic pronouncements from both sides. That this is true of the justifications put forth by the faithful is obvious and expected, but the proselytizing of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al. on behalf of atheism is characterized more by statements of ideology than by an...more
Jennifer Vanderbes
This book is filled with so many sweeping generalizations, it's hard to know where to begin attacking it. Grayling claims to be arguing against religion , but he is effectively arguing only against Islam and Christianity, and actually, only against the most extreme believers/proselytizers. He consistently alludes to violence done in the name of religion (crusades, suicide bombers), conveniently ignoring the non-violent tenets of, say, Buddhism. He refers to things such as "the predictable respon...more
This was a terrific little collection. I confess I have a soft spot for AC Grayling, not a little bit because he tickled Shannon's feet and made her giggle. But I really enjoy his writing and what he has to say, and I respect him tremendously for his academic work.

This was not his typical gentler* tone because these were short essays and he was trying to make a point quickly, which he admits. But they were very readable and made excellent points (what else would I expect?).

I highly recommend th...more
Al Bità
Clear, precise, and to the point. Grayling applies Ockham's razor to the 'arguments' regarding religion, and delivers a concise, easy to read and understand series of arguments unencumbered by side-issues — and all in just 64 pages total! Recommended.

We really must not be afraid to proceed along the path indicated by Grayling in these essays. We have nothing to lose except the chains religion has tied us up with.
Sho Dwivedi
Excellent book. On occasion Grayling makes arguments upon the basis of broad streaks, and inappropriate extrapolation (despite his disclaimer at the beginning that expounding all logical links within the essays would be difficult, and unlikely). Nonetheless, the book is excellent!
The final quote just hit me hard:
"And this is for the sake of this life, in this world, where we suffer and find joy, where we can help one another, and where we need one another’s help: the help of the living human ha...more
Manuel Alejandro
This is a book that I would recommend to any person interested in atheism. I wish I read it earlier. The way it's written (six essays) makes it easier for the beginner to understand. A.C. Grayling surprised me with his concise words.
Miguel Soto
Otro librito breve leído para clase de Epistemología. Aquí se esgrimen interesantes argumentos contra la práctica real de la religión. Ojo, no es un libro que desarme con fineza lógica y filosófica la existencia de divinidades ni nada por el estilo, sino una severa crítica a la intolerancia que puede surgir de las creencias religiosas, o a la búsqueda de privilegios por el mismo motivo. También aclara algunas cuestiones sobre posturas no religiosas, que tienden a confundirse, y termina proponien...more
Più un pamphlet che un saggio articolato.
Very vocal, concise and straight to the point. Most of the points made by him are those that people on the epistemology, philosophy and rationalistic ideas' sides find hard to go against, though not exactly impossible. One thing about the book is that it is somewhat a little bit too harsh in terms of writing style and tone, which I guessed may be intended all along.
A small collection of short, polemical essays on various topics related to the intersection of religion, atheism, and the rise (and fall?) of secularism. Grayling says nothing new, but says it well, and concisely. Believers will be annoyed, and nonbelievers will have heard it before, but it's a message that deserves repetition.
Very concise, basic guide intended to 'piss on the theists parade' by relating all religious dogma and belief in realist, rational terms.

Grayling does not disappoint.
Rhys Jeffs
A perfectly delicious elucidation of the arguments against religion. I love it.
A brief but powerful group of essays.
An understated little book that nevertheless contains all of the fundamental arguments against the existence of an all-powerful creator.
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Anthony Clifford Grayling, FRSA, FRSL (born 3 April 1949) is a British philosopher and author. He is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London and a supernumerary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. He has an MA and a DPhil from Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts.
More about A.C. Grayling...
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