This does not mean that the book is good; only that it may possibly serve a purpose. The book regularly mischaracterizes believers, religious arguments and misstates historical fact. It substitutes rhetoric for argument frequently and suffers from a particular Western European hubris in its interpretation of history, philosophy and value. In fact, responding to each of these issues would require a book unto itself, so this review will be restrained to larger issues. As such, I plan to focus on two major criticisms that underlie the work; its ignorance of the traditions that it argues against, including current formulations, and its failure to provide an escape from nihilism.
There was nothing. For no intentional reason, from nothing sprang everything. The result had “no purpose, no design, no evil and no good.” This unintelligent movement of matter accidentally formed into complex structures that would later be called “life.” This life sought, in an unintentional and unconscious manner, its self-preservation at all cost. After a short period of time in respect to the eternity of nothingness before, these meaningless assortments became conscious and intelligent, but consciousness and intelligence are themselves no more valuable on a cosmic scale than non-consciousness and unintelligence. These conscious beings are run by DNA that “neither cares nor knows…and we dance to its music.” Furthermore, it’s apparent “free will is an illusion…thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control” Thus, any worldview arises not from rationality, because it has no will to choose or change on its own. Even its logic is a byproduct for survival. Human persons are an unintended assortment of matter, with no cosmic value greater above that of mountains, space junk or dog vomit. All are arbitrary, meaningless assortments of matter. On a cosmic scale, there is no moral difference that places a mass murderer above a good Samaritan.
Apologetics 315 Book Reviewer G. Kyle Essary loves studying Scripture, and the Old Testament in particular. He and his family live in Southeast Asia where he strives to live for the One to whom the Old Testament points.