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Customer Review

1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. But no substitute for a summary or overview., 15 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Paperback)
Not so much a review of the book itself, which is actually very well written for what it's attempting to do, but of its primary use on the Leeds University Philosophy course. Listing a heavily weighted argument for atheism on a Philosophy of Religion course makes perfect sense and is absolutely fine. However setting such a text as the *main course* reading for such a module is irresponsible, and to my mind not particularly conducive to proper learning.
Just for the record im not a theist, so id be writing exactly the same if this book was a heavily slanted argument in favour of God. The point is however, a religious philosophy course should always aim to give the student a fair and balanced *overview* of both the theistic and atheistic positions. Such a course should not be used as a opportunity for lecturer to disseminate his or her personal views on the subject to the point of almost completely drowning out all other voices.

As i said - as a book in its own right this is perfectly acceptable stuff. But not for an introductory module.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 May 2009 16:09:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 May 2009 17:11:13 BDT
That's a review of the Leeds Philosophy course, not of the book itself... you shouldnt be using an amazon book review, "as a opportunity ... to disseminate ... personal views on the subject ". As for the use on the course, the book isnt so much an "arugment for atheism", as its title suggests, but a critical look at "arguments for god". The arguments are presented in the most generous fashion possible then they are looked at critically - this is perfect for a philosophy course.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2011 12:50:21 GMT
A. Rodgers says:
In strict logic, it is true that a book review is not the place for a review of the design of a university course which uses that book as its main text, but the review is fairly written, it gives the book 4 stars (and describes it as "great"), and I have a lot of sympathy for the position the writer finds himself in. I've seen many much worse and less helpful reviews at Amazon!

Posted on 17 Oct 2011 07:42:24 BDT
Peljor says:
Your complaint is that the book is unfair to the theist's position. This criticism is quite unfair. This book is a metaphysical exploration of the main arguments for theism, and gives them a fair reading. Compare this with the standard text-book for many Philosophy of Religion undergraduate lecture series: The Philosophy of Religion by Brian Davies O.P.; Davies' text is far too complaisant on the serious criticisms of the main arguments for theism, and often ends his chapters on the weakest of weak arguments against his opponents. The title, Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, gives the author's ultimate conclusions at the very beginning, I suppose, but this was the idea of the editors not the author. However, it is not honest to claim that the book itself is biased because of this. It is not prejudicial and full of half-hearted inquiry in the way Brian Davies OP's book is. Robin Le Poidevin does now regret the last chapter which is a defence of fictionalism in religious belief: the view that religion can still be defended as mere stories to model ones life on. The last chapter is nonsense, but the rest is a genuine metaphysical inquiry into religious belief and the reasons there might be to think them true. (Furthermore, a critique of a course you didn't like is not a book review!)
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