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Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins [Paperback]

Keith Ward
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Aug 2008
Richard Dawkins recently claimed that 'no theologian has ever produced a satisfactory response to his arguments'. Well-known broadcaster and author Keith Ward is one of Britain's foremost philosopher- theologians. This is his response. Ward welcomes all comers into philosophy's world of clear definitions, sharp arguments, and diverse conclusions. But when Dawkins enters this world, his passion tends to get the better of him, and he descends into stereotyping, pastiche, and mockery. In this stimulating and thought-provoking philosophical challenge, Ward demonstrates not only how Dawkins' arguments are flawed, but that a perfectly rational case can be made that there, almost certainly, is a God.

Frequently Bought Together

Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins + The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine + The God Delusion
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books (22 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745953301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745953304
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A witty and engaging addition to the ongoing debate between atheists and Christians, written by a reputable author, broadcaster and academic --The Guide

About the Author

Keith Ward is former Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, and Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Oxford, an Anglican priest, Canon of Christ Church, Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of over 20 books, including Is Religion Dangerous? (Lion, 2006)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 160 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doubting Ward 18 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
With such a preponderance of books attacking Dawkins tending to uncritically recommend each other, it is hard to choose which makes the best case for theism to read as a foil to Dawkins. While the evangelism of John Lennox (or even the heartfelt sermonizing of David Robertson) might appeal more to committed Christians (and atheists playing "spot the special pleading"), this book comes closer to addressing Dawkins directly. More challenging than McGrath's rushed polemic, Ward describes his underlying position with clarity.

Having written books attacking fundamentalism, Ward shows himself a more reasonable apologist than most with statements such as "The judgment as to whether or not the resurrection happened as recorded in the Bible is likely to depend on whether or not you already believe in God." Unfortunately the same is likely true for the claims of this book. Key claims such as the fundamental validity of personal explanation are justified briefly by (tenuous) analogy, a "most philosophers agree that..." assertion, and the implicit "trust me, I'm a much nicer guy than Dawkins". More space is devoted to Ward's musings on consciousness and quantum mechanics.

The book starts inevitably with praise for Dawkins' previous works followed by castigation of his temerity to comment on faith and a list of historical theist philosophers, with more barbed insults popping up throughout. For a book directly addressing Dawkins, Ward needs understand what he criticizes more carefully. For example he seeks to characterize "the ultimate nature of reality", and assumes Dawkins is attempting to do the same.
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41 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More fallacious arguments for theism 8 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
I thought long and hard about how to write a review of Keith Ward's book, 'Why there almost certainly is a God?' precisely because reviews of theistic books are normally perceived as being merely partisan - 4-5 stars from theists and 1-2 stars from non-theists - and it's not my desire to write a merely partisan review, so I want to detail, clearly, those things that I believe to be the most egregious failings. So, beyond the fact that I don't find Ward's book even slightly persuasive, what is one to make of it?

The title is borrowed from one of the chapters in Dawkins' book, 'The God Delusion' with, in Ward's words "... one little difference: I have changed the word 'no' to the word 'a', because I think that change reflects the situation more accurately."

So, this is partly a 'response' to Dawkins' book but, more importantly, it is also an attempt to justify the claim that 'there almost certainly is a God'. Does it succeed? Well, firstly, I don't doubt that Dawkins' book is flawed, in some respects, and that a competent philosopher ought to be able to illustrate 'why' Dawkins' book will not be the last word on the subject of 'God' but, then again, it wouldn't take a professional academician to accomplish that. With reference to the rather more ambitious project of demonstrating that 'there almost certainly is a God' does Ward succeed? No - of course not.

On that score, Ward's book offers approximately the same combination of questions gone begging (i.e. circular arguments) and arguments from ignorance that one has come to expect from any book attempting to defend theism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an academic discussion but easy to follow 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellently argued, an academic discussion but easy to follow, very convincing although I didn't need convincing, and makes much more sense than the improbable and subjective views that are postulated by Richard Dawkins and Co. who are hell bent on proving that there is no God. Why on earth would a so called intellectual like Richard Dawkins spend his life arguing against something/one that doesn't exist! It doesn't make sense. I think that perhaps he is too biased and stubborn to admit to another point of view.
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35 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surely someone can do better than this? 29 July 2010
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book because the reviews seemed to indicate that it was the best of the responses to 'The God Delusion'. I was, therefore, astonished to read a series of arguments that were so riddled with flaws and fallacies that my sixth form Critical Thinking students would be able to tear it to shreds. From my own experiences as an undergraduate, I assumed that everyone who studied Philosophy would have to take a course in Logic. What I don't understand is how someone as eminent and respected as Keith Ward could have gone through his entire academic life without studying Logic, for this is the only explanation I can find for this crude attempt at rebuttal (NB I am sure there must be another explanation but I want to give a flavour of the nature of Ward's arguments). I would love to spend some time with Ward going through his book paragraph by paragraph and hearing from him in person what he was actually thinking when he wrote it and whether he genuinely believes what he wrote has any grounding in logic.

There is so much circularity, assertion, poor use of analogy and factual (and conceptual) inaccuracy in this book that I felt cheated by the author. This is certainly not the 'satisfactory response' by a theologian to Dawkins that Polkinghorne claims on the back cover. Buy this, if only to see how not to construct logical argument.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear.
I only bought this to see what sort of nonsense he would come up with.

If you want to see some wonderful examples of completely foolish and illogical arguments, buy... Read more
Published 3 months ago by FatIgor
4.0 out of 5 stars A reasoned contribution to a passionate debate.
Professor Dawkins is a man apparently consumed by passion; this is often no bad thing but in a debate about the issues of god/God, religion etc there is an utterly compelling need... Read more
Published 4 months ago by EileanNaHearadh
4.0 out of 5 stars Why this was almost certainly helpful
An almost certainly helpful critique of Dawkins' least credible and creditable offering. Ward's arguments are not as accessible to the reader as Lennox or Polkinghorne. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David
1.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the person who already belives in god
I bought this book as a recommendation from a religious friend on the basis that it might convince me to believe in god. (A big ask! Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Harvey
4.0 out of 5 stars Refuting Dawkins
Several books have been written which challenge Richard Dawkins views. The writers are also eminent people in their own field. Read more
Published 22 months ago by shirley cresswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear, likeable and easy to follow
I'd certainly recommend this book to anyone. Extremely clear and concise with a very humble tone throughout. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2012 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL philosopher shows Dawkins how to do it.
Consistent, coherent and, above all, conversant with philosophical method, this book demonstrates the many shortcomings of Dawkin's materialism. Read more
Published on 30 April 2012 by Bobby Davro
3.0 out of 5 stars 'almost certainly' is a bit of an oxymoron isn't it perhaps?
This is a well written book but is quite difficult to read because it is too philospohical for the average reader. Read more
Published on 14 April 2011 by dand
3.0 out of 5 stars Zen Paradox
Is there a God? Is there no God? How about this from Zen Buddhism: All is God and there is no God. Sheesh!
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by Robert Bishop
2.0 out of 5 stars Doubting reality
Reading this book I was reminded of the line in Frasier where his production assistant Ros calls him "the dumbest smart guy I ever met". Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2010 by William Robertson
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