If God Were a Space Alien: A Different Kind of Atheism

If God Were a Space Alien: A Different Kind of Atheism

2.6 149
by James Hamilton
     
 

This short book presents a variety of thought experiments designed to expose people to some rational ways of thinking about their god or gods. An attempt to distinguish a visit from god from a visit by space aliens is just a light-hearted introduction to more serious material. The underlying theme is that whatever way you have of knowing about god is evidence, and

Overview

This short book presents a variety of thought experiments designed to expose people to some rational ways of thinking about their god or gods. An attempt to distinguish a visit from god from a visit by space aliens is just a light-hearted introduction to more serious material. The underlying theme is that whatever way you have of knowing about god is evidence, and can be explored as such.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940000690697
Publisher:
James Hamilton
Publication date:
02/25/2009
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
154,021
File size:
144 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Software developer at various organizations, including Apollo Computer, Avid Technology, and SLAC. Now retired.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

If God Were a Space Alien 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 150 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will state up front I didn't finish the book. The concept behind the book is good, but the author's writing just isn't there. He never seems to fully complete thoughts and changes directions too often and too fast to make the book easy or enjoyable to read. I really was looking forward to the concept but felt this book just fell flat on delivering. Best of luck on his next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author's argument is basically that an alien might be able to present itself as a sort of counterfeit god, thus we can't know that God really isn't just an alien playing a trick on us and, therefore. the best policy is to be an atheist. It is the same as arguing that because we can't know for sure that any particular piece of paper money isn't a counterfeit then the best policy is to believe there is no such thing as authentic money. Now if we don't a priori know that something is counterfeit and if there is no way to distinguish it from the real thing, then for all practical purposes it is the real thing. If some mystery liquid has the same boiling point as water, the same freezing point, the same elemengtal analysis as water, the same molecular weight etc. etc. then by the prinicple of Occam's Razor, it is water. If an alien could with perfect accuracy fool everyone forever that it was the Biblical God, then why not treat it as if it were the Biblical God? So Hamilton's argument cuts both ways--even though he doesn't seem to realize it. Then there are a number of just sloppy aspects to the book. Hamilton confounds religion with theism. He counds the word "God" with the word "god". (Remember that Apple makes the iPhone, but that apples don't make iPhones. Capitalization can change the meaning of a word.) He even employs a common consent argument once on behalf of atheism. (He points out that most people would think you were crazy if you said that aliens communicated with you in your dreams. Tsk tsk.) On the other hand the book is free. I guess one gets what one pays for.
exangel More than 1 year ago
I was interested in the subject matter, and because the eBook is free, I was compelled to download. Having studied some atheist/theist/religious debate at great length in my youth, I hoped this book would provide some intelligent and realistic arguments. Unfortunately, this book reads like the project of a teenager or young adult who has self-published because a real editor would have told him it needed extensive rewriting to be a piece of literature. At first, I intended to read the whole book as it is only 77 pages total; but, I found myself so irritated by the author's laziness in writing style that I archived it after the first chapter. If Hamilton would have had this edited by a professional merely for the grammar and punctuation it could have been worth more than one star.
wookietim More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that has such an interesting premise that one can overlook some of it's problems... But in the end, many of the arguments advanced in it are more in the realm of word games than actual arguments. That's not to say that it is devoid of real depth or that you shouldn't read it, but it is to say that it should not be seen as the last word on any of this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
77 pages of very bad writing. Reads like a bad jr high project. Even being a free book it is a total waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good logical arguments. Examples seem fairly well thought out. Interesting perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago