Book review: The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

Wow. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone. Regardless of your beliefs, this book will force you to examine your own belief system through new eyes. You will not just read what was said but also when it was said, how it was said, to whom it was said, and who was really saying it. As an atheist, my beliefs did not go untouched by Robert Wright’s brilliant work. He broke apart atheism in a way that I have never seen before, and while I’m still an atheist, it left me things to contemplate, and I love that.

The real power of this book is its kid gloves. Wright treats every sacred doctrine as…well…sacred. But that doesn’t stop him from researching the origins of particular beliefs in the religions that claim that the books are the word of God/gods and then question strong held beliefs of cultures that contradict the sacred scriptures. The religions that you think you know, you really only know the cultures, cultures that have been shaped by histories of power struggles, manipulations, and outright lies. To read this book and come away unchanged is unthinkable to me.

#Book Review: Paradise Earth: Day Zero by Anthony Mathenia

I bought Paradise Earth Vol 1: Day Zero at a book fair from the author. On the surface, the book looks to be a traditional surviving the holocaust book, but as you read further in the book you find that the book is actually far deeper and less predictable than it first appears. Paradise Earth is less about the end of days than it is about the Jehovah’s Witness and the inner workings of the cult. Sounds like a weird bridge to cross, right? It works though. Mathenia is able to draw you into the setting of the Hall and make the end of days seem not just expected, but late in its arrival. Mathenia has no love for the sect, but you can tell that he has a passionate affection for many of the members within and those that have been cast out.

While Mathenia develops the story of the end, the story of the past creeps in, and rings of regret, self-doubt, and personal morality over authoritative morality. With that said, as I finished the book I was left feeling that it wasn’t quite what I had been hoping for, yet as the book simmered in my mind, I found that it was perhaps better than I had hoped for and reached me on a deeper level.

I struggle with who to recommend this book to, as I am an atheist and enjoyed it, I wonder what those who hold faith in any religion would think of it, as I believe the morals of the story can be tilted to show the corruption and evil in all religions, but I must say, Mathernia’s protagonist doesn’t reject God in any way, just the organization of the Witnesses.