Book Review: “Outgrowing God” by Alan Jeskin

Alan Jeskin’s “Outgrowing God” will keep you in page-turning mode from the minute you pick it up until you are done.  If you get the Kindle edition, your battery will run down before you are ready to put the book to rest.  Jeskin, a decorated Navy officer and son of Liberian immigrants, offers up his transition from theist to deist to atheist in a format that takes his readers from his own evolution to atheism to a critical look at the bible and then moves us on to the broken promises that religion offers, ending with his unique outlook for moving beyond religion and finally, outgrowing god.  One of the many aspects that I like about this book, and the primary reason it is on my recommended reading list, remains Jeskin’s “testimonial” style of writing.  There are many books on the market that offer good information for the skeptic, and this one is no exception, as it has a very helpful and insightful appendix.  However, Jeskin’s take on how religion has effected his life, profession, relationships and his eventual acceptance of reason over religion is something that we all can identify with ona personal level.   Alan identifies atheism in a way that I have not heard since picking up his book, and his definition is worthy of quoting, and I shall do so here:

“I personally view atheism as evidence of an uncommon capacity for rational thought that is uncorrupted by superstition, religious indoctrination and dogma”

Jeskin’s book is well-researched, well-written and has been well-received by everyone who reads it, and for good reason.  I have my copy nestled in my bookshelf next to Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennet and Stenger and I use it often in my research for the articles I write.  I strongly suggest that you make it a point to add this to your reading list.  You will not be disappointed. 

  4 comments for “Book Review: “Outgrowing God” by Alan Jeskin

  1. November 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I thank you for your review of Alan Jeskin’s “Outgrowing God””.

    Perhaps it is obvious we can think beyond the limitations of atheism too.

    My opinion, after reading Alan Jeskin’s “Outgrowing God”, the document in my opinion is limited in scope and is defined to a limited context of comparison and contrast with theism and therefore not fully characteristic of modern transcendent thought.

    We need to outgrow our level of thinking about atheism as simply comparison and contrast with theism too.

    Perhaps at this level the the statements do not fully support his underlying thesis and could have been expressed a shade differently and at a higher level of comprehension.

    His statement is good but could be even better: “I personally view atheism as evidence of an uncommon capacity for rational thought that is uncorrupted by superstition, religious indoctrination, and dogma”

    Maybe it would have been:

    If I am using my brain’s uncommon capacity for rational thought that is: thinking which is uncorrupted by superstition, religious indoctrination, and dogma then there is more evidence for the support of atheism and also for “what comes next”.

    My opinion is this:

    Even if you support the tenants of atheism, there is always that next level of advanced thought which “transcends beyond our well defined thinking about atheism”.

    That level of thinking exists which will evolve our thinking further and to a much higher level much in the same way we must stretch our minds to understand the next state of matter is a ______(what can we predict or what might we expect that it might be?).

    (for example the different states we are able to comprehend and observe things or think about the existance of matter in our Universe are: dark matter, singularity, solid, liquid, gas, plasma, quantum locality or quantum Non-locality, dimensional information, et alia.)

    Obviously the question is therefore advanced to “what’s next?”)

    The hypothetical illustration is of an artist’s rendition of a hypothetical image of what a look ahead in the future based on current knowledge to an evolving planet Earth is like in say a million years.

    Earth may look like this or not?

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