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Atheism; A Philosophical Justification

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thousands of philosophers—from the ancient Greeks to modern thinkers—have defended atheism, but none more comprehensively than Martin. His lengthy arguments, detailed and incisive, are sharpened by modern developments in logic and inductive reasoning and by special attention to contemporary thinkers whose subtle writings are unknown to the general public.... Atheists should read it to bolster their creed, and theists should read it to test their faith against the deadly force of Martin's attack."
Martin Gardner, The Humanist

"A tour-de-force for the mind.... This is a book to be read several times and savored while being slowly digested.... If one follows Martin's reasoning throughout this book, one will have gone through the most thorough and vigorous examination of the logical arguments surrounding atheism and theism that has ever been offered."
Gordon Stein, American Rationalist

"[This book] has the impact of a runaway train. It is certainly the best philosophical justification of atheism that I have ever read.... Even readers with little philosophical background will find themselves richly repaid."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877229438
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 541
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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).
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2001

    Powerful refutation of theistic arguments

    Dr. Martin's book is a powerful and thorough engagement of the spectrum of arguments for existence of god. He begins by asking whether religious language is even meaningful; if it is not, then the discussion can stop right there. Even if such language is meaningful and coherent (and there is no conclusive reason to believe it is), then he argues first for 'negative atheism,' that is, the position that there is no good evidence for god. He takes on both traditional and contemporary arguments, and in a combination of linguistic analysis and symbolic logic shows that negative atheism is a viable position. Then he goes further to make the case for 'positive atheism,' the position that there is good evidence for the non-existence of god. Arguing from the existence of evil and other key concepts, he establishes that even this more radical position is defensible. This book is not for the faint of heart or those with no understanding of philosophy, but if you have the background and the courage to tackle it, it is extremely rewarding. There is no other book supporting atheism at this level of sophistication, at least that I am aware of.

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