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Why Atheism? Paperback – November 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...prose is clear, straightforward, and relatively easy to follow--no small achievement when wading through centuries of epistemology and metaphysics." -- Journal of Church and State, Autumn, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Smith begins by discussing the credibility and methodology of atheism, and continues on to examine the relationship of belief with doubt, knowledge, and free will. A great deal of attention is devoted to the history of ideas and those who developed them. Such thinkers as Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Benedict Spinoza, and Arthur Schopenhauer, to name a few, are discussed at length. In addition to a chaper paying tribute to the philosophers of the seventeenth century, two others are devoted to a fascinating survey of the roots of modern ideas of atheism and secularism.
Objectivists and others interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy should be particularly interesting in his discussion of Rand's theory of knowledge. Drawing on the work of Rand's supposed "successor" Leonard Peikoff, Smith rejects the Objectivist theory of contextual certainty in favor of a more traditional variant of correspondence theory.
While each chapter is highly stimulating and informative, I particularly enjoyed those which dealt with the lifestyle of the philosopher, the Ontological argument for God's existence, and the atheistical view of death.Read more ›
Ultimately, the layout is great. Here is why: He lays epistemological ground by defining terms, discussing knowledge, justification, faith, reason, Occam's Razor and burdens. Then he discusses what philosophers such as Locke and Bacon had to say about reason (they said it was fallible whereas Descartes said otherwise) in great detail. His critique of Ayn Rand's (and Leonard Piekoff's) contextual theory of knowledge is excellent in that he effectively refutes it in only a few pages. It's short and to the point!
Then he goes on to explore the Ontological argument which is one of the highlights of the book since it is clearly written and easily understood. Thankfully, draws on a lot of sources for criticisms of the argument as well. Next comes two fairly long chapters on the roots of modern atheism. In the first, quotes a lot of arguments from ancient Greeks, some of which still have validity today.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Smith presents a comprehensive, clear, and concise summary of the progression in philosophical thought about atheism from Aristotle and Bacon to Locke, Spinoza, and Schopenhauer,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by John Leonard
A tiring, and dull read. Not half as sharp, clear and well written as his book "Atheism - The case against God"Published 8 months ago by Henrik
As a liberal Christian with a background in religious studies I have read a number of books of similar atheist apologetics and thought they were quite interesting and worthwhile. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Shamgar with an Ox Goad
"Show me in the Bible where it says God is an Atheist? I don't want to hear your made up' philosophy." [End Quote]
Sure! Read more
Does not address any of Aquinas' major arguments for God's nature . His infinite nature proceeds from his absolute nature.Published on July 25, 2009 by Alan Eggers
I'm somewhat biased, if I hadn't read "Atheism: The Case Against God," I doubt I'd have ever finished this book. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by M. Williams
I raved on and on about Smith's earlier book "Atheism: The Case Against God", so I thought I could not go wrong with reading another from him...
Sadly, I was mistaken. Read more
For readers seeking an introduction to the basic ideas of atheism this book is probably not what you are looking for. Read morePublished on December 29, 2005 by Chris Luallen