Saturday, September 03, 2011

Books: God, No! by Penn Jillette

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The tall half of the famous magical duo Penn and Teller wrote this book ostensibly to talk about his atheist views on religion and libertarian views on politics. But it is far from a screed against religion and government as Jillette adds raunchy (and some downright filthy) anecdotes from his life and show business career to lighten what could become an overly serious topic. He is an engeging storyteller and no matter how vulgar he gets, the stories remain laugh-out-loud funny. So he basically interweaves funny stories with more thoughtful chapters about how to raise children in an atheist environment, and coping with the death of beloved family members without believing an an afterlife. It's a thoughtfully laid out argument, using the Christian bible's ten commandments as a starting point for each chapter, and then offering an atheist's alternative to those ideals that focus on mutual respect, dignity and living for the moment rather than focusing on the fear of God and living for the afterlife. So this book can be read strictly for entertainment value as a humor book or as a primer on Jillette's own particular brand of non-belief. Either way, it's an eye-opening experience. God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales -

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