My thoughts on the book, 50 Voices of Disbelief, Why We Are Athiests, edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk. Written as I read them in no particular order. The page number of the essay is provided at the top of each entry.
P86 Phillip Kitcher “Beyond Disbelief”
This one will be hard to top. I mean that in a good way. He names several authors and titles that are now on my “must read” list. He weaves his own journey from choir boy to atheist with the history and philosophy of religion, and includes important stepping stones that readers may find themselves on. He provides a lot of historical analysis of the early church in a very short space.
He almost concludes that the world would be better off without religion then shifts to a well measured discussion of what might be worth preserving and the danger of simply eliminating something so entwined in our culture. Near the end he says,
“The temporary eradication of superstition, unaccompanied by attention to the functions religion serves, creates a vacuum into which the crudest forms of literalist mythology can easily intrude themselves . . .” then suggests, “…reflecting on ways to disentangle what is valuable from what is inevitably corrupted by falsehoods and absurdities.”