If God Were a Space Alien: A Different Kind of Atheism [NOOK Book]

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.

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

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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.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000690697
  • Publisher: James Hamilton
  • Publication date: 2/25/2009
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 120,543
  • File size: 141 KB

Meet the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 149 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(21)

1 Star

(51)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 150 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    The Right Direction is Here but it Goes Down the Some Strange Tracks

    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.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2010

    Flawed argument

    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.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Very disappointing content.

    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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An interesting idea but not really taken far enough...

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    the author couldn't make his own argument

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Intetesting

    Good logical arguments. Examples seem fairly well thought out. Interesting perspective.

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    beautiful

    marvelous! too much fun

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  • Posted November 25, 2010

    Food for thought. A different point of view.

    Although I was not pursuaded to change my spiritual views, the book provided a thought provoking and fresh point of view.

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