Imagine there’s an Invisible Flying Clown, or IFC. This IFC is an all powerful force that created the whole universe only 6000 years ago. All he asks is that you believe in him and his son. His son was born of a virgin, walked on water, healed the sick by touching them, was killed then came back from the dead.
This is the opening salvo of S.C.Hitchcock’s book Disbelief 101: A Young Persons Guide to Atheism. As the title suggests this book is written for young people struggling with faith. Although written a couple of years ago it’s still very relevant, especially for people, like myself, faced with the possibility of having to send their children to a faith school.
The book begins by putting the Christian/Islamic/Jewish view of god in perspective. The IFC argument is a simple but effective way of explaining how ridiculous the basic beliefs of these religions are. Later chapters put the dangers of these beliefs in context. Hitchcock explains how religions deny scientific evidence and rely on ‘faith’ to support their views on creation, intelligent design, homosexuals, women and the existence of god.
This book is written as a tool to aid young people who are faced with inevitable arguments when they deny the existence of god. At times these arguments are a little hard to follow and seem to ramble, but in general they are well thought out. Hitchcock provides the ammunition needed to combat the challenge that Atheism is just another form of belief, and argument that many atheists face.
The distain shown by the author towards religious arguments is well deserved but could be quite off putting for a young person filled with the fear of hell and damnation. Having said that, the same young person should find in this book the confidence to break out of the dangerous confines of ‘faith’ and become an open minded critical thinker.
The last chapter ‘Religious Indoctrination of Children Is Child Abuse’ compares religion to fast food corporations. Both snare people at a young age at a time when they are unaware of the dangers of the products. We only have to look at Freedom Church in Hereford to see how modern churches are recruiting impressionable young people. Although eating unhealthy shit sold by unethical companies is bad, I’m not aware that MacDonalds tells its customers to kill homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13), or Kentucky Fried Chicken see incest and rape as good things (Genesis 19).
I read this book from the perspective of an adult atheist. I found it refreshingly easy to read compared to Dawkins or Hitchens, it’s full of humour and a great starting point for someone shaking of the shackles of religion. 7/10
Buy the book here