Those immoral atheists

A Christian philosopher, James S. Spiegel, has a new book out, The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief.

It’s getting some press in Christian circles. I don’t imagine it’ll get much attention elsewhere; its thesis seems transparently ridiculous. Atheism, apparently, is a manifestation of moral rebellion, the psychology of having a weak father, and immorality-induced blindness to overwhelming evidence for the reality of God and the truth of the Bible. In other words, the book doesn’t look like research so much as a description of what the world should look like if conservative Christian doctrines were correct.

I’ll try to take a proper look at the book if I run into it in a used book store or something. Still, it’s too bad someone doesn’t write a real book on the subject. It would be interesting to find out more about psychological dispositions toward nonbelief. And much atheist literature does, in fact, overemphasize moral disgruntlement with religion or the notion of God. But a “Christian philosopher” is probably not the right person to say anything useful about such things.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • Jim Thompson

    Check the interview at Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot.

    I couldn't get through the whole thing, it was plainly stupid

  • Mark

    Yes, here's a link to the interview with Spiegel:

    It turns out that the evidence adduced by the author for his thesis that most people's atheism is caused by immorality amounts to the following:

    1. A bunch of studies of motivated cognition, agrees upon by everyone and applying to everyone;
    2. Some vague analogy with Paul Vitz's terribly weak evidence that atheism = rebellion against weak father figures;
    3. Scriptural support from the Bible.

    Seriously, that's it. Near the end of the interview, Spiegel concedes that it's a theological argument. I wouldn't really bother checking it out.

  • Andrew Atkinson

    Here is my review of the book at amazon. Check it out.

  • DM

    Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…



    atheists deny their own life element…

    add some comment moderation to your blog of blasphemy…idiot…

  • Rachael

    I think it would be more interesting to have a book which explored the reasons behind why people believe – the psychobabble about absent fathers and immorality would be far surpassed by the pyschological state which requires, to name a few examples, needing something to lean on, needing answers to questions that haven't yet been answered ("well, God did it, why do we need to question any further?") and a blind disregard of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  • Mikko

    Atheism still alive and growing :)