Atheism: A Philosophical Justification
In this book Michael Martin provides logical reasons for being an atheist. Carefully examining the current debate in Anglo-American analytic philosophy regarding God's existence, Martin presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God, showing in detail their relevance to atheism. Claiming that atheism is a rational position while theistic beliefs are not, he relies both on logic and evidence and confines his efforts to showing the irrationality of belief in a personal supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and the creator of heaven and earth.
The author's approach is two-fold. By presenting and criticizing arguments that have been advanced in favor of belief, he makes a case for "negative atheism." By offering arguments against atheism and defending it from these attacks, he presents a case for "positive atheism." Along the way, he confronts the views of numerous philosophers—among them Anselm, Aquinas, Plantinga, Hick, and Swinburne—and refutes both classical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced through the history of this debate.
In his conclusion, Martin considers what would and would not follow if his main arguments were widely accepted, and he defines and distinguishes atheism from other "isms" and movements. Building on the work of religious skeptics and atheists of the past and present, he justifies his reconstruction of this philosophical dispute by citing some of the most interesting and important arguments for atheism and criticisms of arguments for the existence of God that have appeared in recent journal articles and have yet to be systematically addressed. Author note: Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and author of several books, including The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal and The Case Against Christianity (both from Temple).
The Scope of Nonbelief
The Meaningfulness of Religious Language
The Ontological Argument
The Teleological Argument
The Argument from Religious Experience
The Argument from Miracles
Some Minor Evidential Arguments for
Atheistic Teleological Arguments
The Argument from Evil
The Free Will Defense
Soul Making Theodicy
The Finite God Theodicy436
The Degree of Desirability of a Conscious State Theodicy444
ATHEISM DEFINED AND CONTRASTED
accept According actions actual appear argues argument assume atheism attempts basic belief better bring cause Chapter choice Christian claim clear completely concept conclude confirm Consequently considered correct created creatures criticism defense definition entails entity epistemic ethical evidence evil example existence explained fact faith false follows freedom further give given God's Hick human hypothesis Ibid impossible inductive inference infinite interpretation justified kind knowledge language laws least less logically logically possible maintains meaning miracles moral natural necessary object observational omnipotent omniscient particular perfect person Philosophical Plantinga positive possible world premise present Press principle priori probability problem properties proposition question rational reason religion religious experience result says scientific seems seen sense sentence sort statements suffering suggests supernatural suppose surely Swinburne theory things tion traditional true truth understand universe
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Reason & Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Michael L. Peterson
No preview available - 2003