John W Loftus has edited the seminal Christianity is not Great.  It is no friend to Christian claims as you can tell from its nod to God is not Great by Hitchens.

The book argues that morality depends on atheism not on belief in God.

Suppose morality, protecting people from harm where possible, is true whether there is a God or not. Suppose it is a standard that is independent of God. Imagine if God blocked our minds from seeing this. We would then think that morality is whatever he commands even if it is reprehensible. What if for example he commanded us to dismember babies alive for no reason? If God is to be loved with all our hearts as Christ commanded then clearly he is to be loved in preference to morality. So we are to dismember the babies for him. That this is hypothetical doesn't matter. It is still about what we are suggesting when we adopt belief in God. It is no comfort to reason, "God would never ask me to kill the babies" when you think it is okay if he does.

Christians are usually virtue ethicists. The book says the virtue ethicist thinks more about what an action says about a person as a person than the action itself. For example, a person is cruel if he thumps a baby. I just wanted to mention that for it refutes the Christian lie that they love the sinners and hate the sins. This is impossible for if you hate the sin you must hate the person for the person is the sin in the sense that it their bad character that is the problem. The sinner has good points. It is hypocritical to say, "I don't hate that murdering individual because he is not all bad." It denies that evil people need to mask their evil intentions and carry them out by feigning good. And if we really believe the person is not all bad that is WHY we hate him. We think a person is hateful for he could do better and doesn't. And Christianity teaches we are not sinners because we sin but we sin because we are sinners. Christianity is a religion of - usually polite and passive aggressive - hate.

The book mentions consequentialist ethics in which the act that brings about the best consequences is the right act. What if a consequentalist worked out that a war was the best option and started one? Because this is a human assessment, nobody involved in the war will suffer an emotional disconnect from the suffering that will result. You will suffer the pain of feeling that man might be wrong and this war might be so wrong. But if you think God wants the war it is a different story. Religion will say that if the war is right, God will use it for good even if the war fails. So a war is always won in a sense if there is a God.

The book says that if a priest abuses a boy, believers have to think that God must let it happen because there is something in it for the boy. That would be exactly what a child molester or child rapist would want to hear! And it insults those whose lives are hell because of the abuse.

Some say there is nothing in it for the boy but it is part of a complicated plan that benefits others.

If it is about helping others then that would mean God is using the boy as a means and not as an end. Some would say that if God is forced to treat the boy as an end, it is a necessary evil if it is the only way to give good the best chance. No believer wants to see themselves as a means to accomplish the divine plan even if it is unavoidable! Nobody can deny that if there is a God and God is forced to tolerate evil then that means being forced to treat some people as a means to a good end.

A belief that even suggests that God might be allowing the abuse to happen to benefit the boy should be discarded like excrement. A belief that raises the question is disgusting.

Do not forget that believers in God argue that though it is great to be happy that is not what life is about. Life is about loving God even if - this is hypothetical - it brings you nothing but 100% agony. Religion says that if God is forced to choose between making you happy or unhappy but moral he must choose the latter.

The atheist who helps another cannot be accused of thinking there could be a magic reward for it. The believer can. Who can be or is the better person?

Most Christians say that if there is a God, he is going to bring good out of evil and lets evil happen for a sufficient reason. So there is a God to fix the damage if we omit to help others or fail to. That in a sense leads the believer to think that if you sin that is bad but in time the sin will bring about benefits! So you sort of get a reward or somebody does for your sin! The atheist is the better person for he knows that his evil is not part of a plan and should not happen and will not be semi-rewarded.

I love James A Lindsay's chapter which reminds us that if there is no God to help others we have to be like god to others and help them. If atheists did that better, religion would be widely flushed down the toilet. I would like to end this review by quoting the words of "At the end of the day, it's not what you say; it's what you do."

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