‘Burt Flannery’s book “What’s God got to do with it” is a highly valuable addition to the growing number of publications critical of religion. In its wide-ranging 370 pages the author combines a comprehensive history of the major religions with an in-depth look at the obvious fallacies inherent in all of them. All of it in a gripping, easily read narrative, applying unanswerable logic when examining the misguided religious beliefs still so widely held. For example in a chapter on chance he highlights the completely random nature of natural disasters where a supposed omnipotent God behaves in complete concordance with the fall of a dice, saving 30 trapped miners in Chile and shortly after condemning a similar number in New Zealand. Miracles and unmiracles. The author marvels at the ability of believers to thank the Lord for events in their favour and to ignore totally misfortune befalling others. In an amusing yet penetrating section on the afterlife he demonstrates the impossibility of an joyful, harmonious, everlasting existence in paradise. In the chapter on evolution v. creationism he points out that the scientist has centuries of scientific discovery to provide him with a foundation for his work whereas the creationist can merely rely on the revered texts of a few primitive, impressionable people, ignorant of the world around them. In the contest between religion and science religion has always been proved spectacularly wrong and this process is bound to continue into the future.
But the main purpose of the book, hinted at by its title, is the comprehensive rebuttal and dismantling of the traditional pro God arguments. Having dealt with the likes of Aquinas, Anselm and Descartes, he then turns to the less philosophical and much more obvious reasons why a god figure could not possibly exist. The existence of a benevolent, omnipotent creator cannot be reconciled with recurring natural disasters, devastating pandemics, horrendous cruelty in the animal world, the ability of mass murderers to carry out their deeds unhindered. Although the author leaves no stone unturned in making his case against religion, nowhere does he resort to abuse or overt militancy. He simply piles on the arguments until even the most dyed in the wool believer cannot escape a pause for thought. Because of its historical and philosophical content and the accessible use of language this book has great educational value and ought to be stocked in every school or college library.’