Hi, I’m an Atheist!: What That Means and How to Talk About It with Others

David G. McAfee. St. Martin’s Essentials, $14.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-250-78208-3
McAfee (Disproving Christianity) encourages atheists and nonbelievers to open up about their lack of faith in this basic primer. Having once been accused of being an “atheist activist with an axe to grind” while applying to a graduate religious studies program, McAfee makes a case for “telling people you don’t believe” as a way to challenge misconceptions and “the (very false) perception of atheism as something that is anti-god or even pro-evil.” He provides tips for “coming out” and answers common questions posed by theists, such as how a moral compass can be trained without a belief in Jesus. McAfee’s assertions are cogent and useful, though he gives short shrift to the emotional intensity many readers might encounter in, for example, addressing faith and family conflict. It also feels more theoretical than lived when McAfee delves into struggles specific to losing one’s faith, such as when he claims, “The way I see it, everybody is born an atheist, and without submersion into religion as a child, we would most likely maintain that position” (which accords with the author’s own background; he shares that he was raised by a nondenominational Christian family but was never religious himself). McAfee keeps a calm and measured tone throughout, though he tends to describe religion with terms that may be inflammatory (such as indoctrination and superstition). While cursory, this is a reasoned guide for atheists ready to begin speaking up about their convictions. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/27/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Religion
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