- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (19 July 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591023815
- ISBN-13: 978-1591023814
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 21.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Improbability of God Hardcover – 19 Jul 2006
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"The book is very interesting and is especially distinctive in that it includes very recent essays about the improbability of God. The book includes many of the most significant philosophers who have recently published articles or books on the improbability of God's existence.... This makes the book stand out from the majority of books on the philosophy of religion or atheism, which tend to contain in large part the well-known essays by prominent figures in the history of philosophy or often reprinted articles originally published prior to the 1990s....This book is necessary reading for any philosopher who wishes to keep abreast of the most recent developments in the philosophy of religion and atheism."
Quentin Smith, Professor of Philosophy
Western Michigan University
About the Author
Michael Martin is professor emeritus of philosophy at Boston University and author of numerous books, including Atheism: A Philosophical Justification; Atheism, Morality, and Meaning; and The Big Domino in the Sky and Other Atheistic Tales.
Ricki Monnier (Ph.D. in mathematical logic) is director of The Disproof Atheism Society.
Top Customer Reviews
The book has 4 main chapters:
1) Cosmological arguments of natural and randomize quantum fluctuations to refute the attempt from theists to use the big bang as proof of theological style creation from a deity. In a modern multiverse cosmological theory the alleged fine tuning of the natural constants of this universe are much more likely showing that there was no creator at all, or if there was a creator it must be a very incompetent one.
2) Teleological arguments where the creation or `intelligent design' is refuted by mountains of evidence of natural selection and tons of very stupid biological design best explained by Evolution and not the creation of a all-knowing perfect deity.
3) The argument from Evil, where the apologetic theist have yet to come up with a proper theodicy why all the suffering is in the world. The free will defense of apologists is frequently refuted here, and the only argument from theist left is "God is unknowable - beyond human ken and moves of course in mysterious ways", so we mortal humans can't see the "big divine plan and intention" from all the suffering. Why free will should also be a theist defense argument for suffering animals, who don't have a free will in the human sense at all to decide their belief in Jesus is also left unanswered in theological arguments.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
It can be a bit heavy going at times but overall it is very good.
I should mentioned that I preferred The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) (which I would give 6/5 stars if I could).
some interesting arguments against the claim that God existense is highly
Many of these papers are papers that have been published in philosophical
journals, such as Philo, Nous, American Philosophical Quarterly, and
others, and they are not one's everyday casual reading. They are,
nevertheless, accesible to non-philosophers too.
I found the "The evidential Arguments from Evil" (by W.Rowe, in Part 4)
and the "Indirect Inductive Argument from Evil" (by M.Martin, in Part 4)
the most interesting, but the rest are good too. For example, many
scientific-minded readers would appreciate, and enjoy, the series of
5 papers by Q. Smith in Part 1 on Bing-Bang Cosmology, and how Hawking's
Theories could be used to preclude the existence of a creator of the
universe. Quite useful is also the "Reply to Plantiga" (by W. Rowe, in
Part 4), since Plantiga is one of the biggest proponets of theism today.
This anthology is a small treasure for serious atheists (debaters,
writers, etc), not only because of the quality of the arguments
presented in the papers, but also for the practical reason that those
arguments are all collected in one book which makes their access easier
Congrats to the authors, great work.
Assist. Professor, Mathematics
One thing did puzzle me though. Everitt, 'The Argument from Scale', makes a surprising claim that his argument 'does not even claim that theism is probably false' (124). Very odd indeed in a book entitled 'The Improbability of God'!
These volumes aren't typical summer reading fare and aren't likely to find their way into the bag of anyone headed to the beach for an afternoon of sun and fun. However, they are well organized and include contributions from a distinguished group of authors. And though some of the discussion requires a bit of heavy lifting from the reader, the clarity of the presentation makes it accessible and useful to the novice as well as the academic.
Any who take an interest in the various iterations of the god hypothesis, especially the "God" of conventional theism, will find these anthologies rewarding.
I highly recommend them.
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