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Does God Exist?: A Dialogue

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0872203433
ISBN-10: 0872203433
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872203433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872203433
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This little book is in the form of a "transcribed" dialogue between three friends. It starts off with the trio playing a game of pool, where one person is up at the table and says to himself "Please God, just let me get this shot." Although this man _does_ believe in God, he says his words were "just an expression". Still, one comment leads to another, and eventually lauches the "God" debate between himself, his atheist friend, and a third friend who doesn't end up revealing where exactly she stands on the issue (but seems to be the most intelligent of the 3).
Now there have been lots of specific arguments (some pro, some con) over the years regarding the existance of God. Some are historical and some are still commonly used by most atheists and theists. What this book does is go through these old arguments (and old counter-arguments) and show their flaws, challenging them well. Whether "God" is defined as the creator of the universe, or the controller of all human's fate, or a performer of miracles, an omnipotent being...these points and more are addressed.
Then it offers some refreshingly different thoughts on this classic question, and not necessarily all in the form of more pro/con arguments.
Again, this book is not biased to atheism nor theism (nor even agnosticism). I see both atheists and theists who usually fall back on the same trite arguments to justify their beliefs. This book gets you to THINK, no matter where you stand, and might even strengthen those beliefs you already have. And all in a rather slim book.
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Format: Paperback
Moody's conversation between 3 bright students is short (96 pages, 8 chapters), fair (no one "wins"), comprehensive (most of the classic issues are present), provocative (a well-versed discussion leader should be delighted), accessible (almost none of the traditional jargon), and rigorous (the arguments, though brief, require careful attention). This is not a "teach yourself" book. Though any reasonably intelligent reader can profit from it, the careful treatment it deserves calls for guidance from someone knowledgeable in the philosophy of religion. The opportunities for such an instructor to segue from the book into additional topics are abundant and are aided by an excellent annotated reading list.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really excellent book. In a short 90 pages, through an easy flowing discussion format between three students (one a theist, one an atheist, and one a philosopher), and without philosophical jargon, it manages to introduce the reader to the most famous philosophical arguments related to theism. And manages to do this without trivializing the arguments.

And then goes beyond the actual arguments to the existential dimension of religion. Here is a quote at the very ending of the book I especially liked: "I think our free assent to God's existence is somehow important, maybe because it strengthens us in some way. It takes more determination and courage to believe in God than it does to believe in, say, the rings of Saturn."

I can't imagine a better first introduction to philosophy of religion. Oh, actually I can. The book was published back in 1996. The argument from consciousness was a rather speculative one then, but is much better developed today. The argument from morality needs to find a place in the book too. It would be delightful to see Oscar, David, and Sophie discuss Plantinga's EAAN. Finally, perhaps it should be pointed out that theism is not so much the claim that beside many other things God also exists, but rather a claim about the very nature of existence. Anyway, a second edition of the book is sorely needed. Please.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with those who have reviewed this book positively. In a short book (91 pages of trialogue) Moody covers the basics in an engaging manner. Too often this issue is clouded over by easy arguments or jargon too technical for the average person. Since it is written as a discussion between three college students, it goes quickly and smoothly allowing the mind to move easily from each position. This book is thought out and is certainly recommended for people who are just getting into the subject. The main point of the book is to expose the reader to what other thinkers have thought concerning the perennial question. At the end of the book, Sophia says:
"...No one is suggesting that you throw away the tools of critical reasoning. But we have spent some time talking about the arguments for God's existence. We haven't proved that he exists, but we have learned why the arguments are at least plausible to those who are inclined by their personal religious experince to believe in God. We also have shown that belief in God isn't bizarre or delusional. We come back to tolerance again. If God can give us the space to form a rational belief in him without compulsion, maybe we can learn to do the same toward each other."
Other books of interest may include: The Brothers Karamazov by Fydor Dostoyevsky, C.S.Lewis's A Grief Observed and Miracles (anything by him is enlightening), Philosophy of Religion ed. Brian Davies, The Psalms, and The Othodox Way by Bishop Kallistos.
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