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Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith Paperback – February 28, 2011


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Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith + Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus + Not the Impossible Faith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456588850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456588854
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Carrier is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Not the Impossible Faith, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about him and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.

More About the Author

Dr. Richard Carrier is a published historian and philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of naturalism and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. He's a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard with a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in History and Classical Civilizations, and a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University. He has written extensively for the Secular Web and in various periodicals and books, and discussed his views in public all over the country and on TV.

Customer Reviews

Very well written book.
Avid Reader
If you've ever had any doubts about the Christian faith and the existence of a higher being, this book will answer your questions.
M. J. Davis
After all, when we suffer, our human father's comfort us, but God doesn't.
S. J. Simmons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on April 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me get the snark out of the way: Dr. Carrier has no shortage of ego, from the rather self-congratulatory way he introduces the book to his choice of book title (historically I think more people have been more curious as to why Bertrand Russell was not a Christian: Why I Am Not A Christian And Other Essays On Religion And Related Subjects)

Having said that, Carrier's confidence this time seems very well-placed. Not only is his reasoning sound, but his arguments are forceful. Having been an educated evangelical Christian for a couple of decades, I could hear the still small voice in my head formulating arguments contra some of the things Carrier was stating, but at some point it's all too obvious that those "arguments" amount to little more than fancy rhetorical footwork. Any idea that must be propped up by an ever more Byzantine, bizarre Rube-Goldberg scaffolding of ad hoc speculation should perhaps best be permitted to topple.

Nowhere in the book was I more impressed than when Carrier took what might have been a labored and complex argument about the authorship and credibility of the New Testament and through the skillful use of analogy successfully set aside that entire argument. It was a brilliant conceit that anyone could follow, regardless their state of biblical literacy, and only those hopelessly committed to nonsense could fail to be swayed by it.

Let me praise the book, too, for its admirable brevity. We atheists, being mostly rather (and maybe rather TOO) cerebral, create these often dry, complicated tomes...for each other.
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99 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why I am Not a Christian by Richard Carrier

Why I am Not a Christian is a fantastic brief account of why Dr. Carrier rejects the Christian religion. His four main reasons are: God's silence, God's inaction, the lack of evidence, and the debunking of the fine tuning argument. This short book of less than 90 pages is composed of the following six chapters: Why This Book, God is Silent, God is Inert, Wrong Evidence, Wrong Universe and a Conclusion.

Positives:
1. It's a book by Dr. Carrier so you know it's well written and well thought out.
2. A brief intellectual appetizer. I like that.
3. A direct logical response to the question, "Why I am not a Christian."
4. Great quotes. One thing that I admire most about Dr. Carrier is his ability to convey his thoughts in a lucid manner. Consider the following thought, "The fact that believers can't agree on the content of God's message or desires also refutes the theory that he wants us to be clear on these things." You see what I mean.
5. Great defense of all his positions.
6. I always learn something new from Dr. Carrier. Always thought-provoking.
7. Priced right, an eloquent essay at a fair price. Worth it!

Negatives:
1. Having to wait for Dr. Carrier's next book, " On the Historicity of Jesus Christ."

In summary, I enjoyed this short book. It should be placed at every hotel and motel room. I think people would get a lot more out of it. Dr. Carrier proposes four reasons why he is not a Christian and they all hit the mark. A short but satisfactory book as every great appetizer should be.

Further suggestions: "
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful By ken on June 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a former believer, i wondered how much bang Mr. Carrier could deliver in under a hundred pages. Apparently, quite a bit! The first chapter is a concise and unique distillation of the arguments from nonbelief and the hiddenness of god. The second is a fresh restatement of the problem of evil, and the strangely obvious conclusion that god never appears to do anything...ever! The third gives some excellent reasons to be skeptical of the accounts of Jesus' miracles, and the fourth shows how different our universe would look if Christian theism were, in fact, true. The breezy style of this book, at first reading, belies the power of these arguments, but, man, they sneak up on you! Since deconverting, I've been looking for the theological "killing joke" - that thing you could say to a believer that would slowly but ineluctably open their eyes about their beliefs. This book might just be it!!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bunnell on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book today, and finished reading it five minutes ago. So, first impressions first. Carrier's critique of Christianity is concise, potent, and devastating. An expert himself in philosophy as well as in the historico-theological "defenses" of the Faith, his arguments, in my opinion, are unassailable. The only reason, oddly enough, that I didn't give the anti-tract (to use Dan Barker's excellent term to describe a polemic against faith) a deserved five-star rating is owing to my own stubborn prejudices as a former fundamentalist/triumphalist Christian with an MA in NT Theology from ORU. Even now, as a long-since avowed atheist, I kept wanting to say, "Yeah, Richard, but..."
His fourth chapter, "Wrong Universe" is reminiscent of the very best of Victor Stenger in his "God: The Failed Hypothesis," which I consider to be the best explication of the thesis that "this universe is exactly the one we would expect if there were no God."
And still, my "Yeah, Richard, but" objections seem to ring hollow. Atheism appears to be the very best explanation possible for the universe in which we live. It would indeed be "nice" if we could believe in an omni-benevolent God who cares for us, hears our prayers, and relieves our suffering. But as Carrier amply demonstrates in chapter 2, "God is Inert," all of the available evidence indicates that God, at least in a Christian definition, does not exist.
I agree with the publisher's back cover blurb: "Ideal for door-to-door missionaries." This tract is a near-perfect answer for all believers in a Bible-based, evangelical Christianity.
Read it, absorb it, memorize it, and make it your own. Why? Because the good believers in this world deserve all of our love and compassion in pointing out that it is not we but they who are deceived. May we all see the light of reason!
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