Why are atheists angry? Is it because they're selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God? Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry - and are ready to do something about it? Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it. This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but also to believers who want to understand the so-called new atheism.
Why Are You Atheists So Angry? drops a bombshell on the destructive force of religious faith - and gives a voice to millions of angry atheists.
©2012 Greta Christina (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"I found this book informative and enraging! Leave it to Greta to inform and elucidate like no other. I highly recommend this book to everyone, everywhere. And I hope never to get Greta angry at me. :)" (David Silverman, President, American Atheists)
"Greta Christina’s analysis of religion is acute and witty, and at the same time fair and compassionate. And I'm jealous: I sure wish I could write as well as she does." (Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics, New York University)
While I find the subject of religion very interesting, I live in one of those Scandinavian countries Greta mentions in her book as being secular, where religion governs less and less of our daily life.
Therefore, much of the angriness Greta speaks about doesn't really apply to someone from Scandinavia. Most of the US-related issues, such as being prevented from certain positions, political engagements, career-paths etc., don’t apply for me. Our laws and customs are changing, and religious views no longer play a part in law making. I can happily claim to be an atheist with no risk or retaliation. Religion is losing foothold every day.
In fact, I even refuse to call myself an atheist. I see absolutely no reason to label myself according to a concept I do not acknowledge. To me, it's makes as much sense as if I must label myself as a "hexagonal", because humanity suddenly introduces a concept where we all must be labeled according to the shapes of geometrical figures.
No one flinches or questions your moral upbringing if you claim to be an atheist in this country. There are very few positions, jobs or career-paths being denied me because of my lack of religious view. I didn't need to read this book. I could have said almost everything Greta said, but less elegant. Most of the 99 reasons Greta lists also makes me appalled and frustrated, but I already know what frustrates me about religion. And most people agree with me in this country.
The book does serve as a reminder though, that we must not ever relax our stand. We must constantly be on alert. The world is changing, and suddenly we might again find ourselves in a time where religion gains ground, even in Scandinavia. Just as I write this, a woman from my country is sentenced to 16 month of prison in Dubai for having sex outside of marriage while on a business trip. She was raped at the hotel, and upon going to the Dubai police to file a report, she was arrested. I see no international media jumping onto this story; it is not mentioned on CNN or BBC. I see no politicians jumping on their private jets with the purpose of defending basic human rights. It’s my reason number 100. This woman did not drive too fast. She did not try to smuggle narcotics, she didn’t kill someone, and she didn’t steal anything. She was raped. And for that, she is sentenced to 16 months in prison for violating laws based on religion alone.
Therefore, the audiobook ranks quite high on my list when it comes to importance. For me, it does not bring anything new to the table, and as such, it wasn't a necessary listen for me.
I guess Richard Dawkins comes to mind, although Greta focuses less on religion itself, but rather provides daily examples of religious encounters and how to debate and argue.
I think it's better to consume this book in batches. Some chapters and paragraphs leaves the listener to think a bit, review and ponder on the practical implications and how this applies to his or her daily life. By listening to the book in one go, parts of the self-insight and debating tips might be lost.
Honest, Surprising, Insightful, Revelation
It kept me thinking through the whole book.
I'm glad she read her own audio book. I like hearing it in the author's own voice and inflection.
I know this sounds trite but the whole book moved me. I have been the black sheep of my family all of my life. At times I felt guilty for being godless. My mother used to say "you are an athiest" but meant it in a bad way. The book made me finally, at 49, feel comfortable with my thoughts and being godless.
I kept saying to myself..."that's what I think!"
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I wish everyone, atheist or non, would listen to at least the 3rd and 4th chapters of this book. We're all aware of the reasons why anger is sometimes an appropriate reaction to organized religion, but the book, to me, was not primarily about that. It's about reason and justice and whether or not human beings are really willing to offer more than lip service to these ideals which we claim to revere.
I would argue that those who consider themselves religious will not be particularly offended by this book, despite its "angry" title. You don't have to agree with Greta Christina to gain something from listening and to realize (and hopefully admit) that she makes some valid points here.
The author reads her book well and with conviction and humor - happily, not with anger. It's bound to make the listener look at religion in new ways.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Having had the benefit of listening to Greta Christina's thesis, I am more athiest and less angry than I might otherwise have been had I continued to avoid the debate. She makes a strong argument for taking the fight to the barricades of religion, orthodox and unorthodox alike. I'm not sure I'm up for the fight on the front line (in fact I'm sure that I am not), but I won't be slinking off (as I did) to buy the next round if the fight comes to me!
The arguments are of course made to the converted, so they go down easily with me, but they are worth hearing in this considered way, in one collective mass. There's no new argument, but there is no new argument to refute, either.
The author's reading is an important part of her message. She happens to sound like a friend and colleague of mine, so it was like having a discussion with her and so, so easy to listen to.
I agree that there are many more than 99 ways to piss-off the godless, but this book is not one of them. I thoroughly recommend it to athiests, people who say they are agnostic (as I did many years ago when I was unsatisfied by the religion that I was being taught in Secondary School), true believers and believers, perhaps not alike, but just the same. You may not like what she says, but if you're honest about it, you'll admit that she has a fine way of saying it.
This book raised many critical questions that both theist and atheist should listen too. Whilst being more prescriptive on the atheist side (understandable given the title and intent), this book also has a elements of science which is neutral. The narrator / author sometimes maximises intonation it almost feels like a conversation (one sided of course - given it s an audio-book).
Until Richard Dawkins came along and so elegantly skewered religion with his razor sharp intellect, I did not self-identify as an atheist but as just another former catholic. And then I was hit by the triple whammy in quick succession: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late and truly lamented Christopher Hitchens. I have never looked back. Yet, as good as their arguments are, they did not prepare me for the barrage of vitriol that most atheists face when they come out. And that, in a nutshell, is what Greta Christina's book is all about. Religions, she argues, exist on the continuum between good and evil. Some religions may be less evil than others right now, but the trend over time for all religions is toward evil. A few religions are explicitly evil, but the majority that are not lend credibility to those that are and thus they aid and abet evil.
Dawkins et al provide the intellectual arguments against belief in the supernatural, but Greta provides nuts and bolts arguments that I can put in my back pocket for the next time someone tells me that I'm no different from the believers . She is angry, it is true, but her arguments are reasoned, not shrill, and her anger fuels the impulse to try to make things better. I am angry right along with her because, for example, I loved the Boy Scouts but can no longer suppress my revulsion. Hitchens liked to say that religion as a way of understanding the universe belongs to the childhood of our species. This book is a step along the way toward leaving our imaginary friends behind, growing up, and taking responsibility for ourselves in the one and only life we get.
Perhaps not destined to receive any literary prizes, but a fun read for atheists. Considering the number of books that I wasn't able to finish, or had to struggle to finish, I would have to rate this book in about the 80th percentile.
The fact that it listed all of the diverse reasons that religion has been a bad influence in human society as well as being unsupportable as being true.
She managed not to make it sound like a rant. Her diction was clear and appropriately paced, with just enough emotion to emphasize her points.
Finally, an objective discussion of religion!
Most of the arguments and facts that she presented were already known to me, but she put them all together into a clear and compelling book.
I'm new to audiobooks, so the fact that it ranks in my top ten is meaningless, but I would listen to this title again.
I thought the arguments were laid out well and I liked the author's conversational tone (and performance), the lightness of the humor and that the message was delivered, but not in such a way that it seemed like a lecture.
I really appreciated her "vocal performance." She wrote the book in her first person voice and it seemed so natural and clear to hear her read her words in a conversational tone. It was like having coffee with her. I would love to have coffee with her because of this reading.
Yes. This is book was short and intruiging to me. While I was unable to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, it might get a repeat play in one sitting in the near future.
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.
This book begins with a collection of 100 reasons why religion, generally speaking, stinks. Almost all reasons given fall into one of the three following categories: 1) Religious people behaving badly (ex systematic child molesting) 2) Religious people receiving special treatment (ex people excused because they've dice something for religious reasons and 3) non religious people being discriminated against (ex can't get elected president). These 100 reasons are presented in a rather haphazard unstructured way. Moreover, because 100 reasons are presented in a short amount of space, don’t expect any depth of analysis. Most reasons are just 1-4 sentences. To take a few examples:
Atheists are angry because…
- 53 percent of Americans don’t want an atheist president
- Because the catholic church protected child rapists from being prosecuted
- 40% of Utah homeless people are outcast gays
- That polite atheists are deemed intolerant
- Writing about your atheist opinion can [in some countries] result in death
To be fair to G.Christina, she does acknowledge that her list is unstructured and that there is a lot more to all of the arguments. The list I suppose could be seen more as a starting point for further discussions. It also provides many reminders for atheist readers such as myself about all the things that are wrong with religion.
Beyond the list, the book provides answers to some frequently asked questions that are typically directed at atheists, such as “isn’t atheism just another religion?”, or “why do you not make a clear distinction between moderate religious practitioners and fundamentalists?”. As such this book can provide interested readers with a somewhat shallow overview explaining why atheists don't like religion. However, compared to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (which is probably trumped by other books), this is an inferior book in almost every respect. The God Delusion does everything that this book does, only better, and it is also more well written. The one advantage that this book have is that it is shorter. So, if you have a tight schedule this book might be an alternative. However, even in the short introduction to atheism category, a better alternative is Sam Harris book, letter to a christian nation which drives home the same points in a more powerful and coherent way.
Usually I hate books where the author chooses to be narrator, rather than hiring a professional narrator. But in this instance, the author narrates well; probably because she is also a public speaker.
The book sets forth a persuasive case for atheism by using logic and reason and does so without being inflammatory or contentious. It is a book that teaches.
Thought-provoking, compassionate and true.
Well, considering that this isn't so much a story as it is a book full of reasons to be angry at religion, it's hard to answer that. Atheists, especially the "angry" ones, are often accused of being heartless and mean, but Greta Christinas compassion and love for other humans is so obvious. The anger stems from love, not from hate - and the unwillingness to sit around and watch how religion repeatedly cause harm to people all over the world.
I can completely relate to her feelings, so obviously this book speaks to me.
No, I don't think there are any others.
Repeatedly made me angry and sad. I was already familiar with a lot of the reasons she lists, but listening to a full list of the negative impact religion has on so many people's lives is heartbreaking.
"Opened my eyes"
As an atheist in the UK, where it's pretty much the norm now, it opened my eyes to how far behind us the US is.
I fear for the future of that great country if they continue to alienate rational thinkers, the scientific community, and so on. We've seen the outcomes for countries who let religion colour their thinking and politics, and it is always disastrous for its citizens.
I've read a lot of books by the famous atheist writers and they all have something to offer but this little book packs a real punch. It describes, with laser like precision, a compassionate and enlightened humanist world view and why the, at best muddle headed and at worst downright sociopathic, influence of religion drives us godless up the wall. It also takes no prisoners when it comes to believers who fancy themselves as "progressive" or "just spiritual". Funny, refreshing and highly recommended.
"Simply the best book on religion I've ever read"
Chapter one is:
The rest of the book is pretty good too.
A must read for atheists and the religious alike.
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