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God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion Paperback – April 24, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis:

"I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."
-Richard Dawkins, author of the New York Times best-seller The God Delusion

"Marshalling converging arguments from physics, astronomy, biology, and philosophy, Stenger has delivered a masterful blow in defense of reason. God: The Failed Hypothesis is a potent, readable, and well-timed assault upon religious delusion. It should be widely read."
-Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

"Extremely tough and impressive...a great book...a huge addition to the arsenal of argument."
-Christopher Hitchens, author of the New York Times bestseller God Is Not Great

About the Author

Victor J. Stenger (1935 - 2014) was an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He was the author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, God and the Atom, God and the Folly of Faith, The Comprehensible Cosmos, and many other books.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Original edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616145994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616145996
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Spinozanator VINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quotes by the author: "Science flies us to the moon....religion flies us into buildings"...."The problem is that people think faith is something to be admired. If fact, faith means you believe in something for which you have no evidence"...."From the very beginning, religion has been a tool used by those in power to retain that power and keep the masses in line."

Stenger takes us on a quick and lively ride. Each chapter briefly covers data that volumes have been written about. Those familiar with the history of science and familiar with the perennial conflicts between science and religion will see familiar names and will have read many of the books in his bibliography.

Preface: From the beginning, all religions have been concerned with keeping the status quo. Science, on the other hand, is continuously being fine-tuned, as new evidence is found and studied. Religion is based on things supernatural that have proven to be undetectable by scientific methods. Science is based on things observable and testable. Although many have tried to demonstrate otherwise, science and religion are incompatible. Scientists who are religious, when they enter their churches, usually check their scientific hats at the door.

Chapter 1 Introduction: Despite efforts to rewrite history, science was effectively squelched by religion from the last days of the Roman Empire until shortly before the Enlightenment. "All the great pioneers of science - Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton - were believers, although they hardly had a choice in the matter. Open nonbelief was nonexistent in the West at that time.
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I cannot express enough in a short review just how incredible this book is. Contrary to a certain other review, Stenger is just the atheist I have been waiting for. An atheist who argues without ridiculing any religion or religious individual. Instead he argues with pure logic. To see this book as an "assault" on religion is a complete misunderstanding. What this book is is an assault on irrationality, ignorance, and arrogance. It is a fight for true knowledge. True knowledge that can only be achieved through science. Stenger writes an a most admirable way. He isn't overly articulate but that's not to say that he writes in a "pop-sci for dummies" fashion. One must possess a certain degree of understanding in science and physics to fully admire certain chapter. I simply cannot put this book down since i bought it. Every weak argument any creationist has to spew out is more than likely covered in this book. One must simply approach the book with an open mind. I have made the fun journey of first being an atheist, then becoming a catholic, and I have now returned from my trip to the realm of reality. When I believed there was a god, I still had a deep obsession with science and constantly looked at the bible skeptically (as only a rational individual could). The only excuse I could make for the fallacies in the bible were that the book was a metaphorical code of ethics. But I finally asked myself after a series of life-changing experiences, just what purpose does this idealogy really serve? Why metaphors when we have facts? This book answered those questions irrefutably. Stenger has given me the grounds to finally abandon my faith in favor of absolute reason. We as a species could progress further than ever possible if we could only chose reason over the folly of faith.

In conclusion I tip my hat to the religious institution I was a part of for the mental excersise of faith. Now I must carry on with more productive mental excersises, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
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Format: Paperback
This book by Victor J. Stenger is a tour de force. Among the published atheists trying to bridge the gap between scientifically minded people and people of faith, I think Stenger is the best.

The reader is treated to the history of the conflict between science and religion where Stenger argues there is a fundamental conflict between the two. "Science" he writes, "has earned our trust by its proven success. Religion has destroyed our trust by its repeated failures. Using the empirical method, science has eliminated smallpox, flown men to the moon, and discovered DNA. If science did not work, we wouldn't do it. Relying on faith, religion has brought us inquisitions, holy wars, and intolerance. Religion does not work, but we still do it." (p. 25)

Stenger writes in hopes that he can stem the tide of the growing distrust of science in America. It is a call for scientists and other rationalists "to join together to put a stop to those who insist they have some sacred right to decide what kind of society the rest of us must live in--for the sake of the future of the planet and the betterment of mankind. Hopefully in perhaps another generation America will have joined Europe and the rest of the developed world in shucking off the rusty chains of ancient superstition that stand in as an impediment to science and progress. (p. 30)

Believers generally do not trust science. Stenger's book is the antidote. Believers will see just how science works and why it is to be trusted over anything religion has ever produced. "Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible," Stenger argues, "because of their unequivocally opposed epistemologies--the separate assumptions they make concerning what we can know about the world." (p.
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