On the attack
The Australian Book of Atheism
edited by Warren Bonett
Scribe, $35 pb, 442 pp, 9781921640766
Once mainly associated with shrill killjoys and desiccated reductionists, atheism has recently received a jolt of adrenaline from Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and others. Yet while these writers delight in exposing religion’s philosophical deficiencies, their tone is predominantly negative. Fortunately, The Australian Book of Atheism goes beyond simply rehashing the New Atheists’ explanations of Why God Doesn’t Exist. Divided into ‘Overview’, ‘Personal’, ‘Education’, ‘Social and Cultural’, ‘Politics’, ‘Philosophy’, and ‘Religion and the Brain’, this collection offers a more nuanced picture of atheism than does the recent crop of celebrity-authored blockbusters.