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Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up Paperback – June 9, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Reasoned, cool and concise--a good-natured primer for infidels.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“[Paulos] is as sure-footed as a tiger as he prowls through the theocratic landscape, pouncing on sloppy thinking. To a large extent he succeeds in demolishing the arguments of believers.” ―Phillip Manning, The News & Observer (Raleigh)
“[Paulos] knocks the props from under the classic arguments for the existence of God . . . The book is written with a charming skepticism that is not off-putting or arrogant.” ―Chuck Warnock, Amicus Dei blog
“Few of the recent books on atheism have been worth reading just for wit and style, but this is one of them: Paulos is truly funny.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Irreligion will, I'm confident, take a distinguished place in what one might call the canonical literature of the New Atheism.” ―Norman Levitt, eSkeptic
More About the Author
John Allen Paulos is an extensively kudized author, popular public speaker, and former monthly columnist for ABCNews.com, the Scientific American, and the Guardian. Professor of math at Temple University in Philadelphia, he earned his Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Wisconsin.
His new book (November, 2015) is A Numerate Life - A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours. Other writings of his include Innumeracy (NY Times bestseller for 18 weeks), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (on the Random House Modern Library's compilation of the 100 best nonfiction books of the century), Once Upon a Number (chosen as one of the best books of 1998), and A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (a brief tenant on the BusinessWeek bestsellers list). He's also written scholarly papers on probability, logic, and the philosophy of science as well as scores of OpEds, book reviews, and articles in publications such as the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Nation, Discover, the American Scholar, and the London Review of Books and has an extensive web and media presence.
In 2003 he received the American Association for the Advancement of Science award for promoting public understanding of science, and in 2013 the Mathematics Communication Award from the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics.
Top Customer Reviews
Plenty of the arguments for God's existence here are well known; in fact, they are classics, and have been the subject of discussion and refutation for centuries.Read more ›
The book would not convince religious people whose minds are closed, even if they read it. It will not convince people who deny the role of reason in the question of God's existence. And it is not a polemic with ivory tower theologians.
This is a gentle book. Paulos does not bring up the horrific facts of the criminal history of religion that Dawkins, Hitchens and others have explored in recent books. He concentrates on a few common arguments for God's existence, and shows how an intelligent person would find them wanting.
Paulos is not one to convince a worried six-year-old that no Monsters lurk under the bed. Sure, he could logically and incisively prove Under-the-Bed-Monsters do not exist, as he exquisitely disproves a dozen different beliefs older people use to explain God. His logic, reasoning and explanations are impeccable - - but hollow. When anyone deals with Monsters, Ghosts, Angels or God, they are dealing with emotion rather than logic.
This is a delightful book for those who already know God is false. But it doesn't address the central issue: Why are so many Americans, and especially engineers and technology workers, so committed to God-cults? Why are so many Americans "crusaders" for God, just as so many Moslems are "jihadists" for Allah? In Iran today, there is a separation of mosque and state with each having separate leaders. In America today, a prime requirement to be president is an absolute faith in a close personal relationship with God.
Richard Hofstadter said Puritan resistance to old religious and civil hierarchies in England launched a fervent opposition to all book learning in America. This founding principle of the United States led to the War of Independence, but it has also produced a trend to self-chosen religion instead of what the state imposes. Today's mega-churches, extreme fundamentalism and televangelists are part of a rich American heritage; a direct product of Salem witch hunts, frenzied tent revivals, the fanaticism of radio evangelism and unrestrained freedom itself.
Disproving God is similar to disproving Monsters. If the emotional origins are understood, a parent can comfort such fears.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As with most writers who use reason to battle faith, reason wins. The definition of faith is belief without proof. People use reason in almost every aspect of life. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joe R. Mcauley
Well written and articulate. Fast read. Hopefully, this book will open the minds of some. I plan on reading more from this authorPublished 4 months ago by Leslie H.
Mathematician and author John Allen Paulos wrote in the Preface to this 2008 book, "if there is an inborn disposition to materialism... then I suspect I have it... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Steven H Propp
Very too read on a subject of interest to me. Glad I got it on my Kindle.Published 8 months ago by Clifton Berrier
I read this book because I really enjoyed Innumeracy, another book by this author. While I totally disagree with the author on many points about his beliefs , or "mis"... Read morePublished 20 months ago by C J. Polk
I liked it. Some interesting angles (sorry) and fluid. Enjoyable. Recommendable but I like math in titles... And I hate religion...Published 21 months ago by rob0bOy
I like his writing style, his reasons and logical arguments appear to me to be quite solid, and just an over all delightful way to spend an after noon learning some really valuable... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kerry Shirts
C. S. Lewis once wrote of people who "are not silly, but who, consciously or unconsciously, want to destroy Christianity. Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by David Marshall