662 of 706 people found the following review helpful
Can we talk about the book?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Atheism - The Case Against God (The Skeptic's Bookshelf) (Paperback)PLEASE WRITE A REVIEW ONLY IF YOU'VE READ THE BOOK!
It seems many reviewers haven't done their homework. At best I see one or two quotes from Smith's book which are generally secondary arguments and are chronically made out of context.
To defend the standpoint of the atheist, Smith need not answer the question "Is the universe eternal" or any of these other off-topic questions raised in earlier reviews. Please consult your local cosmologist for opinions on that subject matter.
Smith's argument is plain and simple. Forget everything you've learned on the subject of theism (to remove bias and address the issue objectively). Now let the theist propose his theory of God. Evaluate each line of argument posited by the theist. Smith identifies the logical flaws, inconsistencies, and unclear definitions in the theist's arguments. His conclusion is that if the theist can't convince you, using logic and evidence, of the existence of a God, then if you accept the existence of God, you are doing so irrationally. Atheism then stands as the rational alternative, equivalent to saying to the theist "You have not convinced me that 'God' exists." ATHEISM IS NOT A PROOF THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST. INSTEAD IT IS THE ASSERTION THAT THEISM DOES NOT PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Many of the reviewers of this book have missed this very critical and highly essential pillar of the book, and have instead chosen to attack less important issues or formulate overly-simplistic proofs of why God HAS to exist. Had they actually read the book, they would have found that many of these arguments are addressed.
This book will do you no good if you thumb through it and pick out a line or two from a page in the middle and then scoff at it. Like I said earlier, you have to eliminate all your bias on the subject and allow the theist a chance to persuade you to his beliefs. If he doesn't succeed at proving the existence of God, then welcome to atheism. Let Smith's book guide you through the theist's arguments and help you avoid the logical pitfalls and philosophical illusions contained therein.
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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 1, 2006 9:58:59 PM PST
The Nellernator says:
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2006 6:48:53 PM PST
D. Smith says:
The only fact that atheism shows is that if you are an atheist, you do not believe in a god, Atheism alone is not enough to prove a god does not exist, you have to look into it more and that is exactly what this book shows, it shows flaws in arguments provided by theists to show that the logical standpoint on religion is atheism.
Posted on Jan 9, 2007 5:23:42 PM PST
C. Stephens says:
Atheism is *N.O.T.* the proof that god does not exist. Have you ever spoken to a real atheist or do you only speak to theists who think they know what it means to be atheist?
I am an Atheist, and I do not claim that god definitely does not exist. I claim that there is not enough evidence for me to believe god exists. Please try to understand the difference instead of preaching misinformation.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2007 3:06:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2007 3:17:21 PM PST
M. Ruff says:
Atheism = Without theism. Lack of belief in god(s).
Atheists assert there is not enough proof to say that god exists. Agnostics assert there is not enough proof to say God does or does not exist.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2007 7:54:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2007 7:55:24 AM PST
Michael Aherne says:
Atheism is the negative of theism -- its opposite.
The theist statement is "I do believe that God does exist."
There are 2 ways to negate this statement.
1) I do NOT believe the God does exist.
2) I do believe that God does NOT exist.
BOTH are atheism. The first one is broader, and is a statement of doubt -- it is NOT a proof of the nonexistence of God.
This is not a hard concept to grasp. If someone says "Do you believe in the Chinese Gate Gods?" and your answer is "What the heck are those?" -- you are obviously an atheist with respect to those gods, without having proof that they don't exist. You can't believe in something you haven't been exposed to yet. We are all born atheists.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2007 8:06:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 23, 2007 8:07:57 AM PDT
The Nellernator: You are entirely wrong. See comments by Stephens and Ruff for the correct definitions of atheism. Again, atheism does not entail proving that God does not exist. Also, you say atheism is a religion. Do you mean that as an insult or a compliment? Atheism has no "book of rules", no houses of worship, no rituals, no demands, no prayers...how is it a religion? The Nellernator is ENTIRELY mistaken in his conception of atheism. Evidently, all he knows about atheism has been spoon-fed to him by religious authorities.
Posted on May 25, 2007 3:10:21 AM PDT
D. Christensen says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2007 1:45:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2007 1:48:13 PM PDT
J. Davidson says:
If you read the first chapter of this book you would better understand the etymology of the term 'atheism', which equates a disbelief in the assertion that there is a god. Maybe you should try that next time before commenting on something you are obviously ignorant to.
Posted on Jul 14, 2008 5:25:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2008 5:27:23 AM PDT
C. Coryn says:
I've read Smith's book, and rate it a tour de force that I refer back to frequently. Smith has a logical mindset that obviously frustrates true believers, as there is simply no evidence of the supernatural, nor of the thousands of gods and goddesses, trolls and toothfairies of history.
And as many have said, atheism is simply the absence of belief in a god or goddess.
Posted on Aug 12, 2008 8:40:53 PM PDT
J. K. Page says:
Thanks you for posting one of the few pertinent reviews of this book, I know what you mean, alot of fundamentalists choose to just supress and attack the subject matter without addressing the rationale of the burden of proof. And logic at all, for that matter.