Finally! An update on my “beta testing a book” project!

After a long period of not working on my book project, I took the time to make some revisions to chapter two, which you can download in PDF form here. It’s titled “The many gods I don’t believe in (yours included),” and some of it may help explain the annoyance I’ve been expressing with liberal Christians over the past few days.

In case you’re wondering, the previous version of the chapter rambled on a bit too much in the beginning, needed work on the organization, and didn’t wrap up well. Next step in the project is to start in on chapters even more badly in need of revisions.

  • The Other Weirdo

    You have this line in your chapter:

    The Treatise car nearly two decades before

    I think car should read came.

  • Eclectic

    On p. 1, I’d suggest a paragraph break after the citation [4] to the Dawkins quotes. The paragraph stands better by itself without mixing in your and McGrath’s opinions in the last sentence.

    The last line on that page is definitely confusing. You quote “the ‘God I don’t believe in either line.’”, and that may be a verbatim quote from somewhere, but the sentence reads if if you’re using quote marks to make the use-mention distinction, in which case the final word “line” should not be included. Since it would still be an accurate quotation if you shrunk it, I’d suggest “the ‘God I don’t believe in either” line.”

    On the top of page 2, “King’s College” should have an apostrophe. I know that in London there are numerous places whose traditional names use the apostrophe in idiosyncratic ways, but here an apostrophe is the standard usage.

    In the statistics on p. 2, that’s what they claim to believe when asked. I don’t know if you want to get sidetracked into the distinction at this point, but there is an issue. You could refer to it in passing by saying “A 2009 Harris Interactive poll found that 82% of Americans claim to believe in God, 76% in miracles, …”.

    Also the last parenthetical comment would read better as the tighter “(vs. 45% in Darwin’s…).” The “who” makes for a different grammatical structure than “45% of Americans (claim to) believe in” which all of the other statistics fit, so it feels awkward.

    Also on p. 2: “Great! That means you think there are no gods in the sense most people mean in the US mean.” The second “mean” is wrong and should be deleted.

    At the top of page 5, three exclamation marks in a row is a bit much. Could perhaps the one at the end of “Be like Spinoza, not Haught!” be demoted to a full stop?

    On page 9, you write “The Eagleton’s and Armstrong’s words are impossible to take seriously as arguments, they only make sense as automatic negative reaction to forthright atheism.”

    Two things I’d fix: the leading definite article is definitely wrong and should be deleted. Second, I think the comma would do better as a semicolon.

    On p. 10, if Hedges has not been introduced before, the title of his book would be a useful bit of context for the quote. By itself, the quote sounds like he’s completely agreeing with atheists! (Except, of course, for the fact the one thing those statements are not is self-evident; they are conclusions derived from overwhelming external evidence. They’re not self-evident to anyone but him, and they’re not evident at all to lots of people ignorant or in denial of the evidence.)