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Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God [Hardcover]

Theodore M. Drange
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Aug 1998
Can God's nonexistence be established by good, clear, objective evidence? It all depends on what is meant by "God." This book expands the frontiers of philosophy by exploring this nest of issues in more detail than ever before, while presenting a strong case for atheism.

The two major arguments in support of nonexistence, the more established Argument from Evil and the recent Argument from Nonbelief, are explored individually and in parallel development while defending both against the strongest objections.
Included are examinations of the free-will problem, the possibility of an afterlife, arguments by theists, and positive atheism. Drange also discusses specific concepts of the duty e.g. of evangelical and liberal Christianity, and orthodox Judaism to demonstrate how theological and atheological arguments depend upon the conception of God one accepts.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (19 Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573922285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573922289
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 15.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,190,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Drange's book, with more clarity and meticulous attention to detail than perhaps any other on the subject, demolishes traditional beliefs with two simple arguments. The existence of nonbelief (in God) and evil (premature death and suffering), as Drange persuasively demonstrates, may very well constitute an insurmountable challenge to theists, especially evangelical Christians. Whether one is a Christian, Jew, or merely a theist in general, Drange's work presents a forceful and formidable threat to several popular belief systems. Both arguments severely undermine the basis of Western theology, exposing the flagrant fallacies and inconsistencies thereof in clear, straightforward language. In each chapter, Drange swiftly obliterates a common theistic defense against the arguments, first focusing primarily on the dilemmas faced by evangelical Christians and then considering other concepts of a deity, namely those of Orthodox Judaism and God in general. No matter what theodicy is brought forward, Drange amply demonstrates why it fails, ultimately concluding that it's exceedingly unlikely that there exists a god of the sort in which people typically believe. He assigns scores to both arguments as applied to the various concepts of God, thereby assessing the overall strength of each and the probability of their conclusions' truth. In so doing, Drange renders it obvious that most Western concepts of God are irreparably flawed, asserting that evangelical Christians in particular are utterly irrational in clinging to their beliefs. In the final pages of the book, Drange explains why he belives ANB (the Argument from Nonbelief) to be the more forceful of the two, a contention which, while some may not concur with it, certainly has its merits. I unreservedly and enthusiastically recommend that everyone read this book, particularly those who are confident in their theistic beliefs and have failed to duly explore opposing arguments.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Over the last 2 years I've read several books in the philosophy of religion and I must say, whatever your stance on the "God question", that this one is a must read. I've yet to learn of a good theistic response to Drange's argument from nonbelief. Nonetheless, this book explains and explores several old and new issues relevant to this debate in a relatively non-technical and clear manner. A worthy read, in my opinion, for all citizens of our age.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Drange offers a thorough and systematic presentation of the argument from nonbelief and the argument from evil, and defends them from every imaginable rebuttal, from the most serious to the most pathetic. I enjoyed the even-handedness and comprehensiveness of the book, and appreciated how Drange managed to stay calm in the face of common objections the foolishness -- and often the callousness -- of which caused my blood pressure to shoot through the roof.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to digest 26 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the strength of the other reviews. I have no doubt that the book has powerful, rigidly defined arguments for the non-existance of God. This was evident in the rigorous nature with which casual arguments are taken apart.
However, to my eyes, it is tortuously difficult to assimilate. You are bouyed by an appealing argument, then let down by flaws. This is followed by a few more such episodes, and you try to work out exactly where the text is going.
I just get the distinct feeling that proof of the existance or of the non-existance of God should somehow be more concise. Or maybe that is the point - God is deemed to remain elusive. To agnostics such as myself, atheists by definition, and probably to many believers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best presentation of the two arguments 27 April 1999
By A Customer
A must read.The best book i have read on these two atheological arguments.Author is clear,comrehensible,objective and fair. Although the main target is God of evangelical christianity other concepts have also been touched But muslim God has largely been ignored although they constitute a large portion of world population.I hope next edition takes care of it. This book gives value for money and i highly recommend it to all Atheists and Theists alike.
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