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Part one, definitional disproofs, comprises arguments for the impossibility of God based on a contradiction within the definition of God. Startling contradictions are found, for example, by J.N. Findlay, when God is defined as the adequate object of religious attitudes, and by Douglas Walton, when God is defined as a being than which no greater can be thought.
Deductive evil disproofs--based on a contradiction between the attributes of God and the existence of evil--compose part two. J.L. Mackie formulates and develops the famous logical argument from evil for the impossibility of an onmiscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God. Several scholars, such as Quentin Smith, explore and further develop this argument.
Part three contains doctrinal disproofs, each based on a contradiction between God's attributes and a particular religious doctrine or story. For example, Christine Overall shows that a God with the attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence is inconsistent with the doctrine of miracles. Richard Schoenig demonstrates that this God is inconsistent with the theistic reward/punishment doctrine regarding the postmortem fate of humans.
In part four, multiple attributes disproofs expose a variety of unexpected contradictions between different divine attributes. Theodore Drange, Matt McCormick, and many others offer arguments for the incompatibility of such attributes as omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, omnipresence, agency, and immutability. Michael Martin, for instance, argues that omniscience and omnibenevolence contradict one another.
The last part comprises single attribute disproofs, each based on a self-contradiction within just one divine attribute. For example, J.L. Cowan formulates and defends an argument that omnipotence is self-contradictory, and Patrick Grim presents a battery of arguments, including indexical, Cantorian, and Godelian arguments, that omniscience is self-contradictory.
Finally, in the appendix, there is a remarkable selection written by Paul Thiry d'Holbach in 1770 that anticipates many of the insights in this anthology.
By providing a diverse collection of arguments for the stunning conclusion that God cannot exist, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF GOD is an invaluable resource for anyone who ponders the nature and existence of God.
Co-editor Michael L. Martin (born 1932) is professor emeritus at Boston University, and sits on the editorial board of the philosophy journal, Philo. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Steven H Propp
I don't know what is the problem with these negative reviews. This is a stimulating book for people to read with an interest in advanced philosophy of religion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TW
While the book's topic is fascinating, it is difficult slogging through these dense chapters. The language is overly academic, stilted and thus it quickly loses the reader--well,... Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by Dr. Morbius
I finally got around to reading this. Great stuff. While I had to have help with the symbolic and mathematical logic, it was well worth the trouble. Read morePublished on April 30, 2011 by Tiger Ridge
One looks around an enclosed space--like the universe. Unable to locate either 1} a constructor or 2} an architec, one concludes that one or both doesn't exist. Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by Charles Wenzel
Great and concise discussions for the fact G-D does not exist. It helps solidify what I believed.Published on October 20, 2007 by Joel Kravetz
Herbert Spenser once said that since "God" can neither be proven or disproved the only realistic position for the intelligent man is "agnosticism". Read morePublished on August 26, 2007 by Richard E. Noble
Hey Dennis and other nonsensical thinkers....
How can you posit a god in which nothing could be said about him/her/it? Read more
Proving there is a god is rather like proving Mickey Mouse shot Kennedy. Getting there is bizarre and if you did, what use would it be? Read morePublished on December 23, 2006 by Francis McInerney