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The Improbability of God Hardcover – 19 Jul 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description


"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this new book of Michael Martin he similar has assembled a variety of essays and articles from different authors and also here like in his book "The impossibility of God" follows the arguments between atheist and theists philosophers over the years for specific topics.
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going but very good 30 Mar. 2013
By Andrew Webster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The chapters on Big Bang Cosmology where excellent. They were however written around 15 years ago and it would be interesting to see how the authors would formulate their arguments in light of the increased understanding of quantum mechanics over the past few years. The authors often focus specifically on the theistic arguments presented by Professor William Lane Craig.

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).
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improbability of God 8 April 2014
By Kerry Shirts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love anthologies where various scholars of different backgrounds and views contribute. This book is incredibly diverse, intelligent, fundamentally soundly argued, and I really found it enlightening! I am deeply impressed with it! If you want to see the other side of the Godly, there is nary a finer book to get the tails side of the coin here. Magnificent information powerfully argued. Yes, all vague and general, but read it, it will get you thinking in new terms and ways you never thought of doing before. I rather really liked it!
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Papers 15 Jan. 2007
By Michael Aristidou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is, indeed, an excellent collection of papers each of which presents

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

and faster.

Congrats to the authors, great work.

Michael Aristidou

Assist. Professor, Mathematics

Renton, WA
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine collection 11 April 2010
By E. L. Bess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you're not well-versed in or familiar with the jargon of philosophy, logic, and probability theory, there are several essays you'll probably want to shun: much of Smith in the cosmological section; Ikeda and Jefferys, and Salmon in the teleological section; Smith again in the problem of evil section; maybe Schellenberg in the nonbelief section. These bring the more advanced atheological arguments in the volume. Other's don't seem very strong or complex, but disappointment in that might only reflect preference for sophistication over simplicity because the first can create the illusion of superiority. Perhaps less decorated arguments for atheism are preferable for their perspicuity, e.g., those by Rowe, Sinnot-Armstrong, Stenger, or Drange, and sometimes Martin. The appendix by the 18th-century Paul Thiry d'Holbach was actually very touching as well, vicariously expressing the quest of atheistic hearts everywhere.

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'!
37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthologies make worthwhile contribution 16 Jun. 2006
By George Ricker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With "The Improbability of God," editors Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier have created a new anthology that----along with their previous collection, "The Impossibility of God"----is a worthwhile addition to the library of anyone seriously interested in the subject matter.

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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