The first chapter ‘How it all came to be?’ is skeptical in tone and emanates the awareness of reader and intrigues him/her to think and be inspired from the immensity of ourselves and the universe. The second chapter ‘On Religion & War’ stresses the idea of god and its position in context to warfare that our civilization has been through. It references to history and justifies its argument wherever necessary. The third chapter ‘Science & its Limitations’ gives a dialectical perspective of what science is all about and defines science as an evolving body of knowledge based on reason,and accompanied by certain paradigm shifts. It shows how science is a catapult of model dependent realism and gradually proceeds by inciting the idea that science is subject to change.
The fourth chapter ‘Science and Religion’ explains how science and religion are fundamentally different. It juxtaposes these positions to scrutinize and see which makes more sense. It explains how religion which is more concerned about pleasing human mind, is irrelevant to answer big questions of the world, giving ground to why people appreciate religion more than do science. If you think one of the fundamental limitation of science is its inability to answer questions of ‘why’ like ‘why does the universe exist?Why are we here?, the fifth chapter ‘Curiosity and the nature of morality’ will convince how the questions of ‘why’ necessarily posit some miraculous that we can’t understand and thus terminate our curiosity into asking further. It explains the foundation of our morality and justifies that it is irreligious in origin. It goes against the idea of scientific naturalism but maintains that scientific naturalism isn’t necessary in order for science to make sense.
The origin of religious beliefs and their continuity in individuals is explained in the sixth chapter ‘How religions survive at all?’ It proceeds with a different look at the idea of indoctrination and asserts that it is not necessary to be defiant about being indoctrinated but poses some moral responsibilities upon the adults. It maintains that denying religion isn’t the solution by giving account of our evolutionary history.
The Seventh chapter ‘Why are all religions different’ explains how religions are influenced more by the culture of the time and the life stories of its founding fathers. By bringing in the perspective of behavioral truth and scientific truth it explains how religion has been a code of the culture that people have been living in. It gives references to many religious good of our history and the now.
The eighth chapter ‘Is atheism a religion?’ first explains what atheism is and gives context to other different versions of it. It shows how atheism is a neutral position which doesn’t mean anything in itself and gives a map of historical events that shaped atheism into its form today.
The ninth chapter ‘An Expedient’ is the central chapter of the book. It proposes a prospect forward from the mess that we are in. It defines religions and our ideologies to be derivatives of a false spirit of a greater identity responsiveness and stresses that the solution lies in the form of an expedient to first think and reason about our ideas and ourselves. Finally, the last chapter ‘Contesting ideas’ gives some of the possible ideologies of the future where civilizations can prosper.