The God Delusion and The Shack

“If you really don’t want to pay for it, but don’t want to steal it either, try your local public library.”

Question from Brian:
I keep arguing with this christian in one of my classes, and as part of an agreement, I’m going to be reading a book called “the shack.” However, I only agreed to this if he would read a piece of atheist literature. Specifically, the God Delusion. However, I don’t own a copy. Is there somewhere I could download it from without signing up for something?

Answer by SmartLX:
The New York Times has (most of) the first chapter, but I’m not sure where you could legally download the whole thing for free even if you did sign up for something. You could of course illegally download it by torrent or whatever, if you can justify doing so to yourself.

TGD is four years old now, and the paperback’s been through several editions, so you should be able to get it quite cheaply if you find the right bookshop. (I saw this for myself when I bought a second copy while my first was circulating among my friends.) If you really don’t want to pay for it, but don’t want to steal it either, try your local public library.

FYI: The Shack is a work of fiction wherein God personally lays out his own theodicy, i.e. explains in general why bad things happen, to a victim of tragedy. As an apologetic tool it’s most useful when a potential convert to Christianity is specifically struggling with the Problem of Evil. I don’t know whether that applies to you. In any case, even among Christians the book has its advocates and its opponents. Just in the link to Amazon above, you can see people separately trying to defend the book (Finding God in The Shack) and attack it (Burning Down The Shack).

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it, and your friend’s thoughts on TGD, if you want to comment when you’re done.

10 thoughts on “The God Delusion and The Shack

  1. I doubt my library would have it. I live in an extremely religious town. Like 15,000 people and seven churches

  2. Just give it a try, Brian, really. It might be there, even if it’s surrounded by its entourage of “fleas”, e.g. God Is No Delusion, The Dawkins Delusion and The God Solution.

    Even if it isn’t there, it won’t be a wasted trip. If the American public library system is anything like the Australian one you’ll be able to search a county, state or even national database to see whether any nearby libraries do have it.

  3. Incidentally, think about those seven churches among 15,000 people. How many weekly services does each one have, and how many would come on average? What percentage of the population, therefore, are regular churchgoers?

    While I’m sure there are some very religious people in your town, it’s worth having a go at the math to see whether the town itself qualifies as religious.

  4. Basically everyone I know goes to one of them, except my closer friends. I don’t really know how many people are in my town, it’s an estimate. Suffice to say there aren’t many atheists in my town.

  5. I looked for The God Delusion at our library. Closest thing was a book called God is Great: Why Religion is Still Relevant

  6. Well, bad luck.

    What you have there is an equivalent “flea” or knee-jerk response book to God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Dawkins’ fellow “New Atheist” author Christopher Hitchens. Interesting that the response is present, but not the book to which it responds.

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