A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add up

Book - 2008 | 1st ed.
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A Lifelong Unbeliever Finds No Reason to Change His Mind

Are there any logical reasons to believe in God? Mathematician and bestselling author John Allen Paulos thinks not. In Irreligion he presents the case for his own worldview, organizing his book into twelve chapters that refute the twelve arguments most often put forward for believing in God's existence. The latter arguments, Paulos relates in his characteristically lighthearted style, "range from what might be called golden oldies to those with a more contemporary beat. On the playlist are the firstcause argument, the argument from design, the ontological argument, arguments from faith and biblical codes, the argumentfrom the anthropic principle, the moral universality argument, and others." Interspersed among his twelve counterarguments are remarks on a variety of irreligious themes, ranging from the nature of miracles and creationist probability to cognitive illusions and prudential wagers. Special attention is paid to topics, arguments, and questions that spring from his incredulity "not only about religion but also about others' credulity." Despite the strong influence of his day job, Paulos says, thereisn't a single mathematical formula in the book.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780809059195
Branch Call Number: 212.1 P331
Characteristics: xvii, 158 p.

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morrisonist Mar 09, 2016

Because Nihilism stems from pessimism and skepticism, it leads to the idea that nothing has any value, and therefore, should not be worth doing. As it stands, this is an immensely irresponsible

oldhag May 20, 2012

Irreverent, funny, and yet, respectful, as usual: "This is not to say, of course, that religious and irreligious people cannot respect each other's struggle to make sense of the world".
Unfortunately, Paulos didn't the answer the question that has long plagued me: When things go right, I hear religious people say, "All praise to God". But when things go wrong, I don't hear those same people curse God. How come God gets the credit for good things, but the "believer" gets the blame for bad things? Seems inconsistent to me.

holtbyb Jan 31, 2012

Brilliant, scintillating and concise arguments that utterly demolish all "proofs" of god(s). Easily surpasses the strident bombast of Dawkin's God Delusion.

Oct 20, 2011

I was really looking forward to this book, but I was kind of disappointed by the writing style. I was hoping for a really accessible argument for atheism, but I almost feel like Paulos was purposely trying to make his argument more complicated by his vocabulary. It's not that I can't handle big words, it just got tiresome having to reread sentences just to figure out what exactly he was trying to say. While short, I quickly lost interest and didn't finish it. Too bad.

Sep 21, 2011

Excellent book, that takes a new look at an old controversy. A must read for those of you who are skeptical about the various religions in the world.

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