Rosenberg is a fearless naturalist, whose ‘nice nihilism’ doesn’t imply that we can become nihilists. He disturbs the comfy domestication of the naturalistic world view. Evolutionism and physics gives us a nihilist universe, purposeless, meaningless, ultimately devoid of everything we think is important. But it has constructed us as having evolutionary reflexes that grant us illusions of freewill and purpose we cannot but believe. Of course, this is hardly the last word on the matter. There are plenty of people, naturalists and non-naturalists, who contend that he’s plain wrong. But the strength of his book is that it sets out his position clearly and therefore allows those who disagree to know what they must do to answer him.
Richard Marshall reviews Alex Rosenberg‘s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality.