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The God Dialogues: A Philosophical Journey 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195395594
ISBN-10: 019539559X
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  • The God Dialogues: A Philosophical Journey
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Total price: $117.87
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This is a splendid book. The authors have thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the material, and their negotiation of the overall dialectic is extremely sharp. It will be the best introductory text on this topic on the market. The dialogues present a fair and balanced account of the arguments, and for that reason the book will be an attractive option, even in conjunction with an anthology."--Derk Pereboom, Cornell University


"The greatest strength of the book is its combination of readability with commendable thoroughness in the topics undertaken. The level is generally perfect for introducing this material to undergraduates."--J. Gregory Keller, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


"A darn good book." --Robert Gressis, California State University, Northridge


About the Author


Torin Alter is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama.

Robert J. Howell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University.

They are the coauthors of A Dialogue on Consciousness (OUP, 2008).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019539559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195395594
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Clayton Littlejohn on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book does a number of things very well. It serves as an introduction to the philosophy of religion that covers a significant amount of territory while at the same time dealing with issues in some depth. While it does introduce the reader to issues and arguments, it is challenging without being impenetrable and accessible without insulting the reader's intelligence. If you work through this book (something that is easy to do, by the way, because the dialogues are fun to read), you come to see how things look from very different perspectives. If you want to know why reasonable and thoughtful people come to believe that God exists, this book shows that it is not just by some "leap of faith" that you can end up a believer. There are rational arguments for God's existence. Are they successful? It is hard to say. The atheists and agnostics get to offer their responses and the reader can decide who has the upper hand in this debate. The authors show that there is a difference between atheism and "new atheism". If you want to know why some reasonable and thoughtful people believe there is no God, you can see that there are actual reasons that could lead someone to conclude that there is no God. It's nice to see atheism get a fair hearing and atheistic arguments offered that show that there is more to the atheist's perspective than is captured in Hitchens or Harris. There is also a nice discussion of the significance of religious belief (or lack thereof) in a person's life.

While this book is written by philosophers, I imagine that non-philosophers will really enjoy this book. It would make an excellent gift for the literate theist, atheist, or agnostic in your life.
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Format: Paperback
I use The God Dialogues in my Introduction to Philosophy course at the University of Southern Miss' (along with Plato's Five Dialogues, Descartes's Meditations, another introductory book on free will, and various other readings). This book is an excellent introduction to the major philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God. It is perfect for an Introduction to Philosophy course, or as supplementary text for an undergraduate course on Philosophy of Religion, or simply as a fun read for anyone who wants to survey philosophical work on the issue without reading the original texts (which can be tedious, highly technical, and dry). I would even recommend the book for serious philosophy students or professional philosophers (like myself) with little or no background in philosophy of religion. It only took me a few days to read, and I feel that I have gained a good grasp on the basic issues and arguments.

The book is written as a series of nine dialogue between three characters--a Christian, an atheist, and an agnostic--taking place during a long road trip. All of the major arguments for and against the existence of God are clearly and fairly explained, assessed and critiqued, including the design argument, the cosmological argument, the ontological argument, the problem of evil, Pascal's wager, and the appeal to religious experience. The authors manage to make the material easy to read without dumbing down the arguments, and they are fair to both sides of the debate. Most of my students, many of whom are typical southern conservative Bible-thumpers, enjoyed (or at least appreciated) the book.

The dialogue is sometimes a little stilted and the jokes can be corny.
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This was a required reading book. I found it helpful. There were 3 friends going on road trip and broke down the views of philosophy on the way.
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Definitely provides great insight from the three different perspectives of the existence of God
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