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The Atheist's Primer Paperback – 15 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd (15 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551119625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551119625
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,059,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This book is excellent. Well-written, masterfully concise, easy to follow, and correct in nearly every detail, with an occasional hint of intellectual humor on almost every page. Well-sourced, with helpful notes and up-to-date citations of scholarship, Murray takes on not just conservative theism, but knocks down all the leading props of liberal theism, too. Though not attempting to be comprehensive, Murray nails the core basics, making it the ideal place to start for anyone considering the God question. Theists will be deeply troubled by it. Atheists will find in it new arguments, and new ways to phrase old ones. And for anyone on the fence, it's a must-read." - Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Sense and Goodness without God.

About the Author

Malcolm Murray is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hande Z TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is not a big book (226 pages of text) but it covers a great number of topics and arguments for the existence of God and the rebuttal against them. The sheer scope of topics covered in such short (relatively speaking) length meant that the discussions were not lengthy. Consequently, the author was obliged to make his points short, crisp, and clear. This Murray had done so admirably. However, some topics deserved greater exposition. The chapter on intelligent design is one of them. Others, such as the questions of free will and time and the immutability of God were handled brilliantly. Murray explains why the concept of an immutable God renders God impotent. His arguments were clear, simple, and powerful. The print and the paper quality were not of the best standards unfortunately, and that raises the question was the book a little overpriced?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JA Foxton on 26 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult to see how the price of this book can be justified. It's just a rather ordinary paperback though, evidently, it does have the virtue of being printed on 100% post-consumer fibre. If the book were cheaper, I would have few problems with it. Indeed, it would probably warrant a five star review.

Why might you be approaching a book like this? One possible reason is that you are looking for something a little more philosophically demanding than the popular fare. Unless you are determined to spend this amount of money, I would suggest that 'Atheism Explained' by David Ramsay Steele may prove a better bet. Equally good, but at half the price.

If you are determined to spend this amount of money, then may I suggest that you should consider stepping up two gears, rather than just one, and invest in 'The Non-existence of God' by Nicholas Everitt? Although it is more demanding, it impressed me greatly on my first reading and I have returned to it again and again: something which I don't think will happen with Malcolm Murray's book.

In summary, Malcolm Murray has produced a very good book. If it cost half as much, I'd have no problem recommending it. At its current price, I would strongly recommend that you find an alternative.

Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (Ideas Explained)

The Non-existence of God
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Best Little Book on Atheism in My Whole Library 25 Mar. 2011
By Richard C. Carrier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I got a chance to read this before its final publication, and I was so impressed my praise for it is now printed on its back cover, which says enough on the matter I'll just repeat it here:

This book is excellent. Well-written, masterfully concise, easy to follow, and correct in nearly every detail, with an occasional hint of intellectual humor on almost every page. Well-sourced, with helpful notes and up-to-date citations of scholarship, Murray takes on not just conservative theism, but knocks down all the leading props of liberal theism, too. Though not attempting to be comprehensive, Murray nails the core basics, making it the ideal place to start for anyone considering the God question. Theists will be deeply troubled by it. Atheists will find in it new arguments, and new ways to phrase old ones. And for anyone on the fence, it's a must-read.

I have an extensive library on atheism and have read far more even than I own, and this is the best in its class (of size and readability). Murray is a first rate philosopher, and yet nothing here is too technical or dense. It's easy for any educated reader to follow, yet still destroys every argument with a crushing blow. Anyone who wants the best of the best on their shelf should have this among them.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Prime mover 19 April 2010
By Hande Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a big book (226 pages of text) but it covers a great number of topics and arguments for the existence of God and the rebuttal against them. The sheer scope of topics covered in such short (relatively speaking) length meant that the discussions were not lengthy. Consequently, the author was obliged to make his points short, crisp, and clear. This Murray had done so admirably. However, some topics deserved greater exposition. The chapter on intelligent design is one of them. Others, such as the questions of free will and time and the immutability of God were handled brilliantly. Murray explains why the concept of an immutable God renders God impotent. His arguments were clear, simple, and powerful. The print and the paper quality were not of the best standards unfortunately, and that raises the question was the book a little overpriced?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
One of the best introduction to atheism books! 19 July 2011
By Tim K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! It was very well-written and always kept my attention, even when the material got a little technical. As the author notes, this isn't a comprehensive book on atheism, but is supposed to introduce the reader to atheist arguments and how theistic answers to problems aren't sufficient.

Murray did a wonderful job accounting for many of the arguments given for the existence of god(s). His treatment of the arguments were well-put, even to the point where theists would completely agree, even though they disagree with his refutations and conclusions. The author focused many times on the philosophical and logical foundations of the arguments, which I appreciated.

I learned a great deal from, "The Atheist's Primer." Old arguments were put into a new light, and I learned new ways to refute certain claims. Even if you're already an atheist, you will learn a lot from this book; Theists will be challenged, but will appreciate the authors treatment of their arguments; and people who are in the middle will gain a lot.

I also recommend Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity
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