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I Wish I Could Believe in Meaning: A Response to Nihilism [Paperback]

Peter S. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 2005
I Wish I Could Believe In Meaning is a life-affirming argument for objective meaning and purpose from British philosopher Peter S. Williams.

Peter invites us to seriously consider some of life’s big questions – about truth, knowledge, goodness and beauty. Drawing on the resources of philosophy and the latest scientifi c research, and illustrating his argument with examples from contemporary culture (from J.K. Rowling to Steven Spielberg), Peter builds a convincing case for belief in objective meaning and purpose.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 499 pages
  • Publisher: Damaris Publishing (Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190475306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904753063
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 11.9 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong philosophical case for God 2 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to stretch your mind about the meaning and purpose of life (or lack of it) then this book is for you. Peter Williams is a philosopher who has immersed himself in the literature and the book is exaustively referenced. He very beautifully and logically discusses the evidence for a purposeful creator. He is particularly strong on the objective evidence for beauty in the universe. He also covers the reasons why fundamentalist Darwinism is flawed and he successfully tackles atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins - showing up their naturalism as incomplete and unsatisfactory. The book builds a foundation of hope in a world where many see no purpose in life.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of the better pro-God books 18 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's interesting to read a book with which I disagree with almost every single word. But unlike the recent spate of pro-God responses to Richard Dawkins, at least Williams makes a decent stab at an argument. There are plenty of holes though. Williams thinks that the only way there could be objective meaning in the universe would be through God. This is false in two directions. First, unlikely though it would be, the human race may have been manufactured by an alien race and given a purpose without the need of a God. Second, even with a God, there is no reason to think that our lives would have objective meaning. As cogs in God's machine, it's difficult to see why this would generate any more meaning than being cogs in a God-less machine.

More criminally, Williams makes the same mistake that CS Lewis does. He provides pro-God arguments and then leaps to the assumption of a Christian God without providing any arguments to bridge the gaping chasm between these two claims. But what argument could he seriously have offered? Any claim that the Bible is the Truth because it tells you so is circular. Any claim regarding personal faith would apply equally to believers of all other faiths. Best just not to mention it and hope no one notices.

I was reading this book mostly for the pro-objective meaning and pro-objective morality arguments it espouses in the first few chapters for a couple of essays I was writing at the time. Nothing it contains offered any serious challenge to the anti-objective meaning and anti-objective morality stance I was already taking, but it's worth a read though.
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