A cranky, atheistic philosophy professor loves to shred the faith of incoming freshmen. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer-generated world exactly like ours. Much to his frustration every model he introduces—from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Relativism, to Buddhism—fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he's ever believed, and he hates it. But even that doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law. The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally live and explain it. He does. So now there are two of him—the one in our world and the one in the computer world. Unfortunately a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things grow worse until our computer-world professor sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course, it's clear to all, including our real-world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save their computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.
JenniferB (Canada) (2011/03/04):
I have so been looking forward to reading The God Hater by Bill Meyers. With an intriguing sci-fi premise (artificial intelligence, virtual communities, consciousness transfer) the story does require some suspense of disbelief, but is a fast-paced, engaging read that I’ll be keeping on my shelf.
Using a virtual society, Travis McKenzie, the brother of the reclusive and God-hating university professor Nicolas McKenzie, is attempting to build an accurate model of human life that can be used as a market research model. Unfortunately his models keep self-destructing. Each and every society based upon evolutionary, atheistic models fails utterly as a barbaric ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality eventually cases each community to self-destruct.
Travis eventually calls in his brother Nicolas for help. The pair of them, along with Nicolas’ Christian colleague Annie, and her young son are swept into a web of danger that none of them have foreseen or could have imagined.
I blasted through this engaging read in only a day, and I love way Meyers has portrayed the logical results of atheism, and spiritual philosophies devoid of a holy creator. The parallels that Meyers has drawn between this virtual world’s need for a moral law, and thenceforth, for salvation, and the world that we ourselves dwell in, are fascinating. Even I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out, and what connections Meyers would make – even though the book’s premise was made quite clear from its promotional copy.
There were a few minor loose ends and inconsistencies within the book itself, and, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to set yourself into suspended disbelief mode in order for some of the technology present to jive for you. That being said, I still highly recommend The God Hater as a fascinating read – its both entertaining, and a thoughtful exploration of the viability of various philosophical stances.
Reviewed at quiverfullfamily.com