David Niose‘s new book Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans gets a stamp of approval from trade publication Publishers Weekly. On their site, Niose explains “Why Secularism Is Good for the U.S.”:
Unlike previous generations, young people today are more likely to consider religious skepticism an important part of their personal identity, viewing open secularity as a way of expressly rejecting the agenda of the Christian right. There may be many ways of telling the world that you are appalled by right-wing attacks on birth control, environmental regulation, and education, but few do it more efficiently than the simple statement, “I’m an atheist.”
As literature, “Free Will” has some mild humor — “If I want to put a rabbit in this sentence, I am free to do so” — and some ringing pronouncements: “We are working directly with the forces of nature, for there is nothing but nature itself to work with.” But it is also generally prosaic, as most such intellectual treatises perforce tend to be. Harris often resorts to the thought-experimenters’ clichés of inventing examples that involve violence (shooting the president) or the quotidian (“I just drank a glass of water and feel absolutely at peace with the decision to do so”). But if you want to acquaint yourself with the chapbook basics of this essential argument, “Free Will” is a good, cogent and readable… um, choice.