Atheists In America Essay

2597 words - 11 pages

In David A. Williamson and George Yancey’s book, There Is No God Athiests in America, they do a great job of stating a clear argument that they will be testing throughout the chapters in the book. The chapters are also split up into easy to read topics that allow for a better understanding of the book. They start off by giving the reader a brief history and understanding of Atheism before discussing who the atheists really are. After a few chapters about that they go into the ways atheists view religion as being foolish and how politics is a principle of atheism. They wrap up the book by writing about atheism in the United States and giving a final conclusion where they restate their initial hypothesis and bring it all together too summarize what their studies have found. In the following paragraphs I will be giving my critical review of this book and examining what great things the authors have done and things they may have been able to do to make the book better.
In the first chapter of the book, the authors describe and try to get an understanding of atheism in the United States. Here is where the authors set up boundaries for the people they are going to be considering atheists for the continuation of the book. Those people they are focusing on are the ones who refer to themselves as atheists and make up 24% of the 5% of Americans that reported they did not believe in God. It is clear in this chapter that as the generations are changing, so has atheism and religion in the United States. With this new atheism comes a surge of numbers for people who report themselves as atheists, although the numbers may still be the same, more people may be publicly saying they are atheist.
Through their research for writing this book, the authors have found that atheists seem to speak and act to negate language and actions of the dominant religion in their culture. They have also found a strong correlation between atheists and science, and that control plays a large factor in this issue and that atheists tend to replace faith in God with humanism. This can be seen throughout the research in the book and the replies by the atheists that are interviewed. Through online surveys and face-to-face interviews they had also found that most atheists just dismissed religion entirely and considered it foolish but, this may be from the person personal experience with religion.
Williamson and Yancey then give a brief description of atheism so that the readers can gain a better understanding of where and why they originated. The word atheist can be traces back to fourth or fifth century Greece and is also referred to in the Hebrew scripture. Atheism had not always meant that you do not believe in god or any supernatural deity, it used to refer to people who believed in a different god then the one dominantly worshiped in the area and was at one point linked to communism during the times of McCarthyism. Atheism has recently been connected to groups such as the...

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