I really need to stop doing this.
With every book that I have read regarding belief and counter-apologetics I have lamented the diminishing returns I feel from the effort I put into them vs what I feel I get out of them. This isn’t a fault with the books themselves, but much more the case that I have gotten to the point where I don’t have anything left to gain from reading such books.
Guy P. Harrison’s 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God is one of those lovely books that delivers exactly what it says on the cover, but it gives you a little more. Not only does it present 50 very common reasons people give for believing in god, but it also debunks them.
Harrison does this well. He writes well, and he seems to go through the argument and counter-argument with the patience of a concerned relative trying to set you straight. It was a pleasant read all things considered. Many of the anecdotes and arguments were very interesting, or at least would be if I hadn’t been familiar with them.
I don’t always write these book reviews with a potential audience in mind. Part of it is written as I would a journal entry – that is to say , more for myself than anyone else. This blog really exists to oblige me to engage with my reading at some minimum level, to ensure that I am in someway engaging with the material that I read, and not just reading passively. Thus, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this book per se. There is something wrong with me and my reading it. When it comes to counter-apologetics, I don’t really have anything left to learn. For the community I live in and the conversations I have, I don’t really have an need for these discussions. They just aren’t happening. I will hopefully think twice before I pick up any more counter-apologetics books, unless something either changes in my life or a significant amount of time passes.
However, if you are struggling with religion, you may find very good answers in this book. I actually would recommend it. But speaking personally, I need to move on from apologetics. It’s been a decade of study, I think I have learned enough.