Atheism: The Case against God

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Overview

"Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' "

"You are about to read a minority viewpoint."

With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme being. With...

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Overview

"Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' "

"You are about to read a minority viewpoint."

With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad "proofs" offered by theists - the defenses of sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the average religious layman. He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general - and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern, rational man.

"It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism . . . (but to) demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879751241
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1979
  • Series: Skeptic's Bookshelf Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 355
  • Sales rank: 348,414
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

George H. Smith is the author of the world's most popular book on nonbelief — Atheism: The Case Against God--and Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(9)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Reassuring!

    I have always felt strange about theism. Something has not been right about it. With this fascinating book, I´m finally coming to my senses. I work in health-care and I have always asked myself how does god allow so much suffering and pain?. The answer is quite simple: suffering exists and if god doesn´t know about it, he cannot be omniscient. If god knows about suffering but is not able to make changes, he cannot be omnipotent. And if god is well aware of the suffering and choses not to intervene, than he cannot be omnibenevolent. If the above characteristics of god are true, he cannot be a god (nor a superhuman being), and therefore it is logical to infere that such a being cannot exist! In any case, I don´t want to beleive in a supreme being that allows so much suffering and evil in the world. Until proven otherwise, I´ll remain being a non believer!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Good intro

    This book is a decent introduction to atheistic arguments. Not too complex for the layperson and very concise. If you are considering atheism or just want to know more about it, this is a great place to start.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    While looking for a book to buy I ran across this one. At first

    While looking for a book to buy I ran across this one. At first I was reluctant to purchase it because of the 9 people that gave it a one star. After looking into the written reviews from the one star reviewers, I discovered that they rated it so poorly because of their own personal beliefs. Their opinion did not have anything to do with the author's writing style or quality. "God is real" is not what I would consider a reliable book review; therefore, I bought the book and rate it a 5. Pathetic!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    Deconvert with smiths book

    In short, this is what made me into an atheist

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    terrible

    god is real and he loves you

    2 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Cogent Defense of Atheism and Critique of Theism

    This book is one of the finest defenses of Atheism and crtiques of theism I have ever read. Mr. Smith covers territory ranging from the problems of defintions in relation to the concept of God to the realm of Meta Ethics. He truly demonstrates, with logic and evidence, the irrationality of believing in God and/or the supernatural. He examines many of the arguments Theists and Theologians make in defense of God and deconstructs them masterfully. He also makes the case for a happy and fulfilling life without recourse to the supernatural.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Very Important Book in it's Field.

    On a plane flight back from out west, the gentleman next to me revealed that he was a Professor at the Harvard School of Divinity, after having seen the above book on my lap. He remarked that he was well aware of the book and had reccomended it to many of his colleagues. He said, Smith offers one of the fairest analysis of the theist position that he has ever read. He noted that Smith points out current major problems with defining god as an issue of delimiting their god--boundaries theism is not willing to impose. If a professor of Theism has nothing but good things to say about the book--it is definitely a must read.
    I think Smith's Book is one of the best epistemological and logical dissections of theism that has ever been written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2006

    The Atheists Need Sartre Back

    Wow, i couldent beleive the praise givin to this book by so many people who seemed so reassured in their own intelegiance. Smith attacks evil, and why suffering disproves God, but he dosen't go back far enough, ok suffering seems wrong, is that objectively wrong? if so then there is a God, because if there are absolute morals then there must be an eternal mind to think them(sort of a play on a fameous line by Sartre), if suffering is not objectivily wrong, then Smiths' feelings are totally subjective, how can you argue aghinst an objective being with subjective feelings, these feelings are not meaningfull in the least to an argument. You can not objectively demonstrate chocolate ice cream is better than Vanilla(at least not sereously), because that is subjective feelings, and thus has no standing in the objective(which God is presupposing he exists). If these are some of the greatest arguments aghinst theism, then i'm feeling very comftoriable in my faith. I don't want to ramble, but looking back it seems like atheists give excuses for not beleiving in God, rather than disproving Him. If you realy want to read profound thought read anything by Joseph Ratzinger(the current Pope), or Fyodor Dostoevsky

    2 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Atheism: The Case against God

    So, how does believing in nothing make one happy? It would make me feel rather alone. Also, how did the 'big bang' happen when nothing was there to explode? (That is generally what atheists believe, correct?) No amount of logic and science can answer that.

    2 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Atheism: The Case against God

    God created free will. That's the reason for evil. Why did God create free will? So that it would not be forced love, but willing love. Love is not love if it is not a choise. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.

    2 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Very Nice

    Im curious as to how the previous reviewer can make a comparison between standing in front of a truck and thinking your belief will evaporate the truck and not believing in god with resultant happiness. Those two arguments are no parallel in the least--additionally the conclusion alludes not to the unhappiness of theists, but the contradictions inherent in religion and the hypocrisy of most religious heads. If you want to laugh, check out the Life of Brian in addition to this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Atheism: The Case against God

    What a liberating book! Tired of being shackled to your preconceptions? Do you wish to de-programme the 'knowledge' that was force-fed to you at a time when you could not rationally and logically cooperate? This book is a great start! This book shows how the crutch of religion is not only harmful, but the source of mental pain and misery. The crutch of religion cannot be kicked away from the theist. First what needs to be demonstrated is that humans do not need this hindering and illogical crutch. This book does that and then some. Read and re-read (then re-read) this book. It'll pay you back in dividends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    completely unconvincing

    If one is to search for truth in hopes of even finding it, one must put claims to the test of opposing arguments and evidence. Smith presents arguments against theism, but does not argue against hardly any of the objections and then claims 'truth'. Take his first argument against God. Smith claims that for anything to have meaning it must have a limitation. The only way a thing can have being is if it is limited. Note what the implications are of this. It means that words such as infinity, limitless and so on are either self contradictions or meaningless on further analysis. Smith argues the latter because the former is false on its face. Philosphers have known that something cannot come from nothing, because it is an evident contradiction. If no God created the universe, then it must be eternal. But eternal implies infinity. What Smith is implying then is that the eternal must be limited to fit his arguments for meaning. Its either this or the universe came from nothing. His argument is full of absurdities and is nothing more than verbal juggling. He then analyzes the negative traits of God such as immutable, ineffable, and others and and writes that since they describe what God is not, God therefore doesnt exist. This is the same as saying that if a horse is not a man, a lion or a mouse therefore the horse doesnt exist! It seems there is no such thing as deductive logic either. Since deductive logic tries to find what a thing is by eliminating what it is not. These are only a few of the numerous fallacies in this book. It is unconvincing at the very least. Although it is unrelated to the arguments about Gods existance, I suggest the interested reader go through the book Economics in one lesson by Hazlitt. He shows how to reason well and especially shows how logic is also the science of tracing the implications of arguments. Smiths book could use a lesson in that.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Recommended

    A demonstration that belief in god is irrational and the havoc has been caused by religion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A Decent Introduction

    I actually made this an employee recommendation when I used to work at Barnes & Noble. I returned to it recently when I was reading the novel "The Atheist's Church" by Prometheus, and I still think this book holds up, which is why I'm now recommending it online.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Solid

    With a philosophical flair, Smith attacks Christianity in a thorough and effective manner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    No proof book

    There is a god and he is omnipresent and omnipitent all the proof is there

    1 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2007

    Air-tight arguments against belief

    George Smith unceremoniously goes about dissembling religion in this lucid, excellent book. He provides the proper definition for one who describes him/herself as an atheist (it means one has rejected theism) and dismantles each argument for a supernatural power. Highly recommended reading for anyone open-mined enough to consider the follies of organized religion. Dry reading at times, but more than made up for by his debate skills. Personally, I'll take this title over any of the more recent publications on atheism (The God Delusion, God is Not Great, Letter to a Christian Nation, etc.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    excellent

    well written thought provoking full of reason all in all an outstading addition to the library of any free thinking individual.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    Very Useful Critique of Theism

    Smith's book is quite effective at deconstructing and refuting numerous arguments for theism. If one desires succinct yet forceful responses to Judeo-Christian apologetics, 'Atheism: The Case Against God' is a great place the look. On a side note: you will have noticed that I gave this book 4/5 stars rather than a perfect score. This is for two main reasons: 1. Smith's favorable citation of Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden and Objectivism in general, 2. The language used in this book can get rather stuffy at times. Overall, though, I would recommend this work to anyone interested on the so-called 'God question.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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