Here is another review to my Little Book of Unholy Questions – a 4/5 to add to six 5/5s. Er, buy it! (please… – click on the cover image to access it on amazon)
“God” is not the Answer, “God” is the Question, March 17, 2014
“The Little Book of Unholy Questions” is the thought-provoking book that asks 501 questions about our existence as a mechanism to separate the truth from fiction. Professor of Philosophy, Jonathan M.S. Pearce provides the readers with a provocative interrogation of the Christian “God”. This entertaining 228-page book is broken out by a series of topics and associated philosophical questions.
- Accessible and fun book to read. Pearce engages the readers.
- The fascinating topic of religion through a series of provocative questions.
- Simply profound. The best attribute of this book. The questions are easy but the answers may not be.
- Generally, well broken out by topics. Pearce proceeds to give a brief explanation and follows with a series of topical questions.
- I’ll share some of my favorite questions through the rest of my review. “Why did you wait 13.5 billion years to create man?”
- “With regards to praise and worship, I have always wondered why a perfect being with no needs should demand, want, enjoy or expect praise and worship.” Hmmm.
- The classic question, “Why have you never miraculously grown back an amputee’s arm or leg?”
- One of my favorite questions. “God, how come every time you want to tell humanity a message, you do it through one person, in private, when you could easily use your super-powers and communicate it to the whole world?”
- Perhaps the question that bothers me the most and every answer provided is an insult to human intelligence. “Given that you had the perfect opportunity to expressly do so, why did you never explicitly condemn slavery?” Another one, “Given your foreknowledge and that you would have known that the bible would have been used incorrectly for 2000 years to countenance slavery, would it have been wiser to explicitly condemn slavery beforehand?”
- Provocative. “Seeing that you consistently preached about equality, railing against social inequality, and since you taught that life (and the afterlife) for rich people was potentially a negative ordeal, would you consider yourself one of the world’s first Marxists?”
- Another poignant question, “Do you think sacrificing yourself to sit on your own right hand in an eternal heaven is the ultimate sacrifice that could be made?” Interesting.
- Questioning the validity of the bible. “Thousands upon thousands of people were supposedly witness to your many miracles throughout your entire ministry. These would have been the most amazing things any of them would ever have seen by a long shot. Yet none, no one, not a single contemporary person or witness to these events wrote anything down or created any inscriptions or artifacts about these events (at least that we know of). This was eventually done some thirty to a hundred years after Jesus’ death in the form of the Gospels. Why was this?”
- “You said you would come back within that generation. Why, after 2,000 years, are we still waiting?”
- Heaven and free will. “However, if heaven can exist with free will and no evil, then this should surely be an option on earth, especially if God is as loving as he is purported to be.”
- “If Satan is a fallen angel, and you have omniscience, you knew that that angel was going to fall, and so why did you create that angel?”
- Morality. “As many critics ask, is this God really the moral benchmark that is claimed of him?”
- Misogyny rears its ugly head. “This is not only a decree from you that values human life in monetary terms, but it also shows quite directly that the value of a woman is less than the value of a man.”
- Never thought of this one. “Since two-thirds of all fetuses perish naturally within the womb, and you have the power to stop this happening, why do you allow this `natural abortion’ to take place, and on such a massive scale?”
- “How do you sleep at night knowing that people are being raped and murdered around the world?” Ouch!
- “At what (arbitrary?) point in evolution did hominids get a soul?” So much more…
- Bibliography and a small notes section included.
- Perhaps a bit nitpicky but I would have liked the biblical verse associated with each questions.
- It’s not a comprehensive book.
- Some questions overlap.
In summary, I really had some fun with this book. The approach is very simple but there is more than meets the eye. Professor Pearce doesn’t provide all the answers but he asks the right questions. God as it turns out is not the answer but the question. It’s not a groundbreaking or a revolutionary book but it’s a stimulating book that is accessible to the masses. I recommend it.
Further recommendations: “The Religion Virus: Why we believe in God” by James A. Craig, “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God” by Guy P. Harrison, “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, “God Virus, The: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture” by Darrel W. Ray, “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason” by Sam Harris, “Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion” by Phil Zuckerman, “Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker” by David Eller, “Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith” by J. Anderson Thomson Jr., “The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Shermer, Michael unknown Edition [Hardcover(2011)]” by Michael Shermer, and “Why I Became An Atheist” John W. Loftus.