Epstein argues that yes, we can
be good without God. But is being good enough? The Bible has a few things to say about that (not that humanists care what the Bible says, but...).
It was interesting to see Epstein avoid blatant religion-bashing (as Hitchens and Harris are wont to do), instead opting for a peace-and-love view of cooperation. This is a double-edged sword. While it's nice to feel like you aren't in a war zone, I don't know if Epstein uses all the firepower at his disposal. Epstein might convince more moderates than will Hitchens, but he certainly isn't going to get the same level of readership with this book. (I had an ARC and decided to read it; I didn't go out and look for this book specifically.) So while Epstein's writing is perhaps more thoughtful than that of the New Atheists, it isn't as flashy or subject-specific. Dawkins and Harris are scientists and Hitchens is an acclaimed journalist; Epstein's approach definitely lacks the specificity of their books.
There was nothing particularly bad about Good Without God
, but it wasn't that great either. It serves as a pretty basic introduction to Humanist doctrine, as it were. Epstein makes a few hand-wavey arguments that I didn't care much for (being a mathematician, hand-waving proofs is not something I'm allowed to do), and ultimately I wish Epstein had been a bit more assertive in his presentation.