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Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist Paperback – January 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456445944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456445942
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A compelling read...Rabbi Averick has dramatically spiked the ball back into the court of the non-believer." --DR. EDWARD PELTZER - Senior Research Specialist, Ocean Chemistry (California)

"Very persuasive, often amusing, and rich in ready-to-rumble argument and insight." -- MICHAEL MEDVED - syndicated talk-radio host and bestselling author

"Rabbi Averick turns the tables on atheists by exposing the irrational faith-based nature of their "reasoning"...he effectively dismantles the atheists' assertions that Science can provide satisfactory materialistic answers." --DR. RICHARD WEIKART - Professor of History at University of California-Stanislaus and author of, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

About the Author

Rabbi Moshe Averick was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem in 1980. For the past three decades he has taught spirituality, theology, and religious philosophy in the United States, Canada, and Israel. He lectures regularly at university campuses on the topic of atheism and belief in God. He currently lives in Chicago and is the proud father of eight children and an ever growing number of grandchildren. Learn more at RabbiMaverick.com

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Customer Reviews

I strongly recommend this book for Christians as well as for non-believers.
E. N. Smith
After reviewing the "scientific" literature, Averick notes there is good reason to believe no naturalistic explanation will ever be forthcoming.
Fritz R. Ward
He has a lot invested in the idea of God's existence, and cannot stand the idea of a Godless universe.
Steven D. Ahlquist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The main aim of this book is largely achieved, namely the demonstration that atheism requires certain "leaps of faith" in order for it to be adopted as a personal worldview, and that those in the pursuit of scientific knowledge seem to hold strong biases against the possibility of a divine creator as a possible solution.

The book, which is written by an Orthodox rabbi, opens by criticising atheists for paraphrasing Jewish religious texts in advancing their assault on religion, or for applying their own interpretations to Jewish scriptures, which he claims is done out of context and without the requisite knowledge which can only be obtained through intensive study of these texts.

The early chapters of the book focus on the lack of scientific advancement and abundance of conjecture regarding the origin of life, and cleverly highlights that even if there were proof that life began by a natural process, this could only be demonstrated by experiments in a laboratory, which would only prove intelligent design not the lack thereof.

The author tries to show that there is strong evidence for the non-physical aspect of the universe, which is contained within the transfer and interpretation of information and language, which cannot be fully explained by physical processes alone. As for whether this proves the existence of the "spiritual", this is unclear, as the author does not consider that these could potentially be explained as being manifestations along the spectrum of intelligence, and whether these are in fact evolutionary tools, as opposed to something divine. After all, even simple animals survive by reacting to their environment and making judgements on how to act based on sensory interpretation of external stimuli.
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148 of 223 people found the following review helpful By Steven D. Ahlquist on February 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some books give you an embarrassment of riches, some are just embarrassments. This book is the latter. Rabbi Moshe Averick's response to the recent spate of "New Atheist" books by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and all is an unfortunate collection of poor critical thinking and straw man arguments. The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book, when Averick plucks a few lines from various atheist authors, puts them together into an argument no reasonable person would make, and then criticizes the argument.

Averick puts his straw man argument in the first chapter under the heading "Reality Check Please." First, Averick claims that atheists believe that "objective reality life has no meaning, purpose or value" and uses as his example Freud, Stephen Weinberg and William Provine. Of course, non of these men ever said that life has no purpose. Averick finds that conclusion to be "implicit in [their] worldview."

Averick's next claim is that atheists "find inspiration for humanity in the fact that we are all related to ground worms." For this rather odd claim he uses Christopher Hitchens, who was ruminating on the idea that Darwinian evolution provides a means by which to consider all life on Earth as being related, including us mammals and "ground worms and other creatures."

These are the first two steps in a five point argument that Averick is making, and we can see quite clearly how dishonest this approach is. The first line rewrites and freely interprets three different atheists to produce a statement that none of them said, or would admit to believing. (If a quote were available from any of them, why not use it?) The second line grabs a metaphorical rumination from a completely different person, and uses that as line two of an argument.
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52 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rabbi Moshe Averick offers a new perspective to the recent debates on the new atheists. Unlike other volumes, which have explicitly defended Christianity, or in the case of David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion more credibly argued the scientific pretensions of atheists are actually another variant of religion, this little book attempts defends a belief in God as rational, and suggests the alternatives posed by today's atheists are unconvincing. Indeed, Averick gives multiple illustrations showing that what new atheists lack in intellectual coherence is made up for by their pompous declarations of a certainty they do not possess. Nonsense of a High Order is not a defense of any particular religious tradition, but astute readers will see in this book an insistence on clearly phrasing objections and arguments that rabbinical students learn early at any yeshiva. Needless to add, Averick finds that the new atheists fall woefully short in this regard.

Averick offers several objections to the arguments of the new atheists. In the first instance, he finds that their reliance on Hume or Darwin to defend atheism is woefully inadequate. Indeed, for the most part neither author really addresses the main arguments for the existence of a deity. Averick concedes the case that Darwinian thought "explains" the diversity of life on Earth, but then notes, as most honest defenders of Darwin will, that it cannot explain the origin of life itself. After reviewing the "scientific" literature, Averick notes there is good reason to believe no naturalistic explanation will ever be forthcoming. Claims to the contrary amount to little more than statements of faith.
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