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Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism by [Plantinga, Alvin]
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Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Length: 376 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"His thesis is both controversial and straightforward...His arguments are clear, forceful, and often compelling... The result is a feisty and formidable work, one that deserves a broad reception and careful evaluation." --Trinity Journal

"Where the Conflict Really Lies is an ambitious volume.... A careful reading repays the reader with insights developed by one of the sharpest minds in the conversation."--Karl W. Giberson, The Christian Century

"Recommended for readers seeking a rigorous philosophical survey of complex religious thought. " --Publisher's Weekly Religion Bookline

"It's astonishing that so many scientists, philosophers, and theologians think there is a serious conflict between science and theistic religion. In this superb book, the world's leading philosopher of religion explains, with characteristic wit and perceptiveness, why none of the main reasons for thinking there is such a conflict are even remotely successful." --Mike Bergmann, Purdue University

"Argues that these is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but that there is superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism."--The Chronicle Review

"It is never philosophically superficial...I expect the book to generate considerable secondary literature."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Alvin Plantinga is John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus ofPhilosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His other booksinclude Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism and Warranted ChristianBelief.

Product Details

  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199812098
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 30, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005X3SAHY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Robinson on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alvin Plantinga is back for his third very resilient attempt at confuting naturalism via the theory of evolution.
From his science vs. religion exposition, Plantinga relaunches his Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN) in this popular-level volume: "Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism." Much has changed in twenty years, from the non-theistic cast to the bombastic rants of the New Atheists, but the big change is the sundry ways atheists have attacked theism including the philosophically naïve abjuration of Plantinga's EAAN.

As a high-volume reviewer of apologetic books, I am regularly sent books and E-files that I review on Amazon. The prominent and the unknown scholars behind these philosophical and apologetic works claim to defeat non-theism and attempt to argue faithfully for Christian truth.
Some contain arguments that lack precision as they often take too much for granted when approaching sophisticated unbelieving thought. I have not given their contentions much weight, but their apparent unsupported disputations make books like "Where the Conflict Really Lies" that much more gratifying.

Herein, Alvin Plantinga offers insightful analysis that defies many of our presumptions of what science is and how religion relates to it.
Much of the territory Plantinga surveys will be familiar to philosophers, epistemologists, and apologists, yet less theoretically oriented readers are likely to find it assessable and intriguing--and often related with creditable simplicity.
The central proposal of this work is that the true conflict is not between theism and science, but is between naturalism and science.

Some Christian theists, in selected ways, feel a bit troubled by nominated aspects of modern science.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alvin Plantinga's book `Where the Conflict Really Lies,' is not an easy read for a layperson. As I read the book, it felt like he was addressing a particular audience. I had difficulty sifting through his arguments without a basic understanding of the context, the authors that he referred to, or the philosophical schools of thought that he was attacking. I also found it difficult to wade through the logic symbols he used to make his case. I did like how he summarized his arguments at the end and beginning of each chapter. The summaries provided a road map through a difficult read.
Summarizing his points, he doesn't feel that religion and science have conflicting positions. Instead, religion and science are both in conflict with the philosophy of naturalism. Naturalism states that only natural laws operate in the universe and nothing exists beyond the natural universe, nor do any supernatural forces effect the natural universe. Naturalism is opposed to supernaturalism. It is an atheistic philosophy.
Many readers may equate naturalism with particular scientific theories such as evolution. Mr. Plantinga attempts to shatter this illusion within his readers mind. Instead, he calls naturalism a philosophical add-on to the theory of evolution. Furthermore, he attempts to show that scientific theories could be compatible with religion as long as the theories demonstrated that the universe was guided by a supernatural force. He then utilizes specific examples from the evolution - creation debate to illustrate his case that evolution could be compatible with religion as long as it demonstrated guidance from the supernatural.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book ties together several areas that Plantinga has been writing on and doing lectures on college campuses over the past several years. He goes methodically through the current discussions on quantum mechanics and evolution and discusses the relevance each has for naturalism and theism. The book progresses towards Plantinga's conclusion that naturalism is in conflict with science where he further develops his evolutionary argument against naturalism. The book contains the latest developments in science and many of the footnotes will reveal that the articles and books cited are current within the last decade (for instance, Robin Collins recent formulation for the fine tuning argument in the Blackwell companion to Natural Theology).
What I appreciate most about the book is Plantinga's ability to separate what he believes are the facts from what would make the best argument. He is rather candid in his assessment of probability theory concerning the various fine tuning arguments that may surprise or disappoint some theistic readers but this is a major strength of the book; Plantinga puts forth what he believes are the limits of some of the theistic arguments which makes the book all the more rigorous in its approach. Even for those that disagree, Plantinga's careful approach should provide the reader with ample material to assess their position. In other words, Plantinga does not seek to automatically stack the deck in his favor.
Lastly, a great feature of the book is the separated fonts throughout the books' arguments; the primary material is presented in one font and the more advanced philosophical discussions are in another font so that the reader can decide whether they want to skip ahead or not, thereby easily benefiting readers of various philosophical or scientific levels.
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