A.C. Grayling - The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism (2013), 1/10

Grayling writes what amounts to an insult to both philosophy and religious history. His arguments are laughably weak, this criticism coming from an atheist who agrees with almost all of the points he presents in his shockingly poorly written collection of opinions. If you are religious Grayling will undoubtedly insult you within the first page and if you are not he will equally insult your intelligence by providing no insight, yet grasping at straws to make absurdly wide blanket statements about religion and its history. The latter half of the book discussing humanism is mediocre at best, as it is again a clunkily written discussion of a philosophy that has been presented much more eloquently in the past. The tone of the writing suggests a lack of understanding and perhaps a self-awareness that betrays its own intentions. The foundational argument of the text has been made much more successfully before and since, so one must ask why this was even written. It seems to be more of a case of personal theory than anything worthwhile, especially for anyone educated enough to see through Grayling's half-baked claims and surface level observations. Humanism is a worthy subject of study, but it is not done justice here, only surpassed in triviality by his argument against religion. If religion is as ridiculous as a belief in fairies, an consideration actually posed by Grayling, why assemble such a pathetically weak argument against its validity? Certainly if it is a ridiculous institution there should be a strong logical argument that can be made against its truthfulness even if one cannot be made against its usefulness. Of course, these are points that are understood by many but apparently not this author who ignores prevailing opinion, scholarship, and reason in order to make a wholly unnecessary and trivial point about organized religion. If Grayling was indeed a humanist he would not have plagued bookstores with this feeble, disheartening project and would have spent more time thinking logically and critically rather than simply writing to cash out on skeptic optimism. Still, even Grayling's linguistic style is poor, both in form and logic. If you disagree with his opinions you will not be swayed and if you agree there is no sense of pleasure in reading this crudely reported assemblage of clunky speculation or thought. Not worth your time or energy.