A most wonderful book

As an emerging agnostic, verging on atheist, who’s interested in many aspects of belief and non-belief, I’ve read books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitches, and Sam Harris. They all give excellent, rational reasons for non-belief in a supernatural being such as “God”, all of which I agree with. There is a certain amount of anger that comes through in what they say, though, and, maybe, a missing sense of awe and pleasure in living  life and in the Universe.

The book I’ve recently finished (who’s title I think I misstated in a previous post) is The Age of Atheists, by Peter Watson. It’s the finest, most meaningful book that I’ve ever read on this subject. It’s about a large variety of people, who were artists, novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians and philosophers, and how they expressed their ideas and reasons for non-belief. Dawkins, Hitches and Harris are covered too. There are many quotations, expressing the way that I feel about the subject, in words more beautiful than I could ever write. It’s not all “happiness and light”, and includes the subject of evil, including the Holocaust, as a major indictment against the idea of a “loving, but all-powerful God”. It’s, in the end, an expression of how and why I and we can and should appreciate being alive I this Universe, and make the most we can of that life,  without a need to invoke “God” and expecting a life in “Heaven” after we die.

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