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On the Nature and Existence of God Paperback – July 30, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0521457231 ISBN-10: 0521457238

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521457238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521457231
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...[a] highly readable discussion of issues and arguments central to the philosophy of religion....Throughout, Gale's discussion is never simplistic or rushed, and is generally insightful and original (not to mention humorous and sometimes irreverent)....Gale's book is splendid. No one working in philosophical theory can afford not to take note of it." Thomas D. Senor, The University of Arkansas, from Faith and Philosophy

"Gale's book has many impressive features. Its argumentation displays a high level of technical sophistication and is overall of a very high quality--rigorous, yet clear and enlivened by many amusing anecdotes and examples, and containing many new insights...this detailed discussion is full of insights and helpful analyses, and is well worth the price of the book." Review of Metaphysics

"The central thesis and the problems are here formulated in unusually clear ways--in some cases, more clearly than anywhere else that I know of." George Mavrodes, University of Michigan

"...a genuine contribution to the literature in the philosophy of religion." Nelson Pike, University of California, Irvine

"Gale has written a cogent and critical response to the recent attempts by analytic philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, Robert Adams, and Richard Swinburne, to shore up the case for theism....Gale's book is a treasure of contemporary philosophy of religion. Closely and cogently argued, with wit and good-willed wile, it's Philonic provocations would have made the Scottish Skeptic proud." Louis P. Pojman, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

"...the most important response to date to the resurgence of classical theism in contemporary philosophy of religion....Gale's book is, I believe, a major contribution to the contemporary philosophy of stands among the significant 20th century skeptical works on phiosophical theism. It is written with a degree of wit, clarity, and philosophical rigor seldom equaled in contemporary philosophy." William L. Rowe, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"...they [readers] will be treated to brilliant criticisms of recent noninductive arguments for the existence of God that purport to make it acceptable to theists and immune from deductive atheological arguments." Free Inquiry

Book Description

In considering arguments for and against the existence of God, new versions of cosmological, ontological, and religious experience arguments are critically evaluated to justify faith on the grounds of its prudential or moral benefits.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1997
Format: Paperback
Gale's book is introduced as a critical response to the analytic arguments offered by Plantinga, Swinburne, Alston, and others. He begins by discussing several atheological arguments, which he uses to clarify the nature of God's attributes instead of refuting God's existence. He then proceeds to refute different versions of ontological, cosmological, religious-experience, and pragmatic arguments for God's existence. Technical, yet very witty. Recommended reading for anyone with an academic interest in the philosophy of religion. -- Jeffery Jay Lowde
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "freethoughtmecca" on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I came across this one at a local book store in my neighborhood, and it was a very good find. I had never heard of this book, nor do I recall any other Atheist sites that list it, yet I rate it with Martin's Atheism: A Philosophical Justification as one of the better books on the subject. The author does not cover the basics anywhere near as thorough as Smith does, but the book is a nice introduction to Atheological arguments. Attempts are made to discredit the existence of God, and the very concept of some of His attributes (such as omnipotence, omniscience, et cetera). Most entertaining of all, Gale touches on the question of things God can and cannot create (such as four-sided triangles, et cetera). While these are questions that many theists have tried to wave off as absurd or even sophomoric, Gale does a great job of giving them a more sound quality
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Gale casts a skeptical eye on the metaphysical issues surrounding philosophy of religion with keen perception and a good dose of blatant silliness. Issues explored include: the coherence of the Anselmian God of classical theism, Plantinga's much celebrated Free Will Defense, modal realism and theism, ontological arguments, modal cosmological arguments, religious experience, and prudential arguments for theistic belief. Gale doesn't just point out possible objections to theistic arguments, he explores their reasoning thoroughly; when he is finished, whether you agree with him or not, you understand the issues much better. A secondary, if still pressing, reason to read the book is Gale's sense of humor, which makes for odd (and engrossing) reading, with goofiness and sober logical analysis often side by side (quick example: in discussing the concept of a logically necessary God, Gale challenges Plantinga and others with an argument for the possibility of a world that is strongly inconsistent with God's existence; when Phil Quinn of Notre Dame responds with differing modal intuitions, Gale challenges him to a Modal Intuition Bowl, to be held between Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.) Fun, challenging, and enlightening reading.
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