After identifying as an indifferent agnostic for 25 years, John Rae decided he needed to dig further into what he believed and why. The Agnostic’s Tale is the written account of Mr. Rae’s research and journey.
While the book is a short read, it kept me interested. Rae’s goal was to remain open minded and speak not only to Christians from different beliefs, but to atheist both dogmatic and not. In the end he hoped to have a better grasp on what it was he believed. Time and again Mr. Rae was told by those that believe that the reason there is a god is because of the capacity to love unconditionally and our ability to be unselfish. Of course, he was also told by those that are unbelievers, such as Richard Dawkins that our ability to be unselfish is an evolved trait.
One of the biggest questions John Rae struggled with was why anything exists at all. Of course, no one could answer that and it was the knowledge given to him by Martin Rees that someday the earth will cease to exist and along with that it’s humans, that had Rea so hesitant to believe in any god at all.
I cannot help thinking about the time when the sun will die and the earth with it and the fact that there will be no trace, no memory anywhere in the universe that life on earth ever existed. The thought that the human adventure is going to end in oblivion may tilt my agnosticism, if not towards atheism, then at least towards Pessimism rather than Hope. Page 6
In the end, Rea reached a conclusion about what he believed. He like many before him and many after, went in search of answers of the existence of a god. When those questions could not be answered he drew the only conclusion he could. A god does not exist.
I enjoyed Mr. Rea’s approach. While he ended up retaining his non belief, he retained his respect for the tradition of religion and respected it’s followers and leaders. I would suggest this book to those who’d like to see a variety of answers to the same questions, by both believers and unbelievers, it’s a easy thought provoking read.
John Rae passed away in 2006, however his wife Daphne Rae, had his book published as it was his wish. You can read a recent interview with Daphne Rae here.
Disclaimer-I received this book free. All that was required of me is that I write a review on my site after I was done reading.