Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 21

I asked Jonathan MS Pearce to look over my reviews of the first five chapters of Christianity is not Great so I thought I would return the favor and review his chapter in the book. Chapter 21 is entitled: “Tu Quoque, Atheism?” — Our Right to Judge. He asks: “Do we nontheists have an epistemic…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 5

David Eller writes chapter 5: Love Your Enemy, Kill Your Enemy: Crusades, Inquisitions, and Centuries of Christian Violence. He summarizes his chapter as follows: This chapter will focus on two episodes of Christian violence, violence that was not only protracted but officially authorized and highly institutionalized — namely, the Crusades and the Inquisition. However, these…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 4

Peter Boghossian writes chapter 4: Faith, Epistemology, and Answering Socrates’ Question by Translation. See my index of reviews for his book A Manual for Creating Atheists for more criticisms of his ideas. According to the author, there is no way around the following three facts: Faith is an epistemology. In religious contexts, the term faith…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 3

The late Victor Stenger (1935-2014) wrote chapter 3: The Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Christianity. I thought the chapter jumped from topic to topic in a rather haphazard way. Short assertions with few details or argument are common. I’ll try to focus on the main alleged incompatibilities between science and Christianity and…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is entitled “The Failure of the Church and the Triumph of Reason.” It is a reduced selection of Robert G. Ingersoll’s (1833–1899) “A Thanksgiving Sermon.” The editor (Loftus) informs us that Ingersoll’s rhetoric is exaggerated in some places but he “seems to be largely spot on.” It is not reassuring to read that…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Chapter 1

John Loftus writes chapter 1: Religious Violence and the Harms of Christianity. He addresses seven issues in a question-and-answer format. (1) What is it about religion that instigates violence like nothing else? In this section he summarizes, but does not really argue for, the views of Jack David Eller. Eller says there are six levels…

Review: Christianity Is Not Great: Foreword

In the foreword Hector Avalos summarizes the book: Christianity Is Not Great swiftly demolishes one of the greatest and subtlest myths promoted by believers. The demolished myth is that Christianity, even if it cannot be proved to be true, has at least been good for the world. It has supposedly freed slaves and fostered science.…