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How to Think About God Hardcover – March 1, 1980
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are looking for proof that Abraham's God exists, you will not find it here. However, as one who has only recently begun a serious quest to come to terms with the idea of God, I highly recommend this book. It has provided me a foundation for subsequent reading and instruction in the process of discriminative thought---both of which have proven very helpful as I continue seeking.
"Two Thumbs Up!"
Adler begins his explanations writing about the beginning of the world itself, and how it could be explained. He then writes about what the word "God" means. Adler states that the notion of God is a theoretical construct, or supreme being. He reviews some traditional arguments to God's existence, and shows their flaws. Adler also writes about the cosmological argument that if the existence of the cosmos is to be explained, and cannot be by natural causes, then we must look at the existence of a supernatural cause.
It was interesting to read about how Adler could propose this unseen, unknown being with simple facts and critical thinking. He was very clear and the entire book was extremely readable. Sometimes throughout the book, it seemed that Adler dragged on about the same point for too long. He has some great ideas and concepts, but maybe could have presented them in fewer words.
Obviously, I believe in God already, and love Him dearly, but I enjoyed reading about God in a different light.
He rejects the "best traditional argument" for the existence of God, the argument from contingency, because the contingency we actually observe in the universe is only superficial, involving mere transmutation. Yet radical contingency, involving exnihilation and annihilation of entities, is what the argument presupposes. Adler supposes instead a principle of inertia of being. With inertia "bodies set in motion continue in motion without the action of any efficient cause...and...come to rest only through the action of counteracting causes." Individual things of nature may also be brought into existence by natural causes and continue so until the action of counteracting natural causes results in their perishing.
Having rejected the third premise as traditionally understood Adler now recasts it. While radical contingency may be implausible of individual things in the cosmos, it might be true of the cosmos as a whole. What is true of the whole is not always true of the parts.Read more ›
Adler's objective in this book is to prove the existence of God beyond a reasonable doubt. He argues that scientifically nothing can be annihilated or exnihilated without the existence of a supernatural being or God. With this said, whether or not the cosmos were caused or uncaused could prove the existence of God. Adler stats that "that which cannot be otherwise also cannot not exist", and since the cosmos today has the possibility to not exist the cosmos is radically contingent. With the cosmos being radically contingent the existence of the cosmos would not be if it were not caused and a cosmos that needs a cause for its existence needs a supernatural being or God. Adler concludes with this being his proof for the existence of God.
I feel that Adler makes a complete argument that was logically consistent and fair in relations to the evidence presented and his treatment towards the opposing side. In fact he used such fair treatment towards the opposing side that I found myself questioning what side he was on. The argument was deductively valid and I think Adler used good reasoning and presented true premises.
In conclusion Adler's argument on whether or not God exist was extremely interesting and I enjoyed reading it. My favorite part was when he puts it all together about how the cosmos cannot exist without a cause which lends to the existence of a supernatural being or God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book to try to understand why theists believed in God (a logic that completely escaped me). Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kelly L Wilbur
I don't remember everything about this book but I have to highly recommend it--even disregarding the rest of it, the cosmological argument alone is well worth the book. Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by The Great White Father
It was lots of fun reading. But must clarify that it is not a simple book to read. What made me love it? Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Danny Sosa
Dr. Adler (RIP) makes improtant and complex ideas accessible to the likes of common people as me (I'm 2/3 through my 3rd read). Read morePublished on March 26, 2013 by drmeisel
Mortimer Jerome Adler (1902-2001) was an American philosopher, educator, and popular author, who worked at various times for Columbia University, the University of Chicago,... Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Steven H Propp
Really deep. I'm a really big fan of Mortimer Adler and this was a really incredible and really inspiring present.Published on December 29, 2012 by Noah Franklin Wilmore