The Impossibility of God / Edition 1

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Most people, believers and nonbelievers alike, are unfamiliar with the variety and force of arguments for the impossibility of God. Yet over recent years a growing number of scholars have been formulating and developing a series of increasingly powerful arguments that the concept of God, as variously understood by the world's major religions and leading theologians, is contradictory in many ways, and therefore God does not and cannot exist.
This unique anthology brings together for the first time most of the important arguments for the impossibility of God that have been published. The collection includes papers and book selections by J. L. Mackie, Quentin Smith, Theodore Drange, Michael Martin, and many other distinguished scholars. The editors provide a general introduction and brief summaries of the arguments to help the reader grasp the crucial issues involved. Both students and teachers of philosophy and the philosophy of religion will find this anthology to be an indispensable resource.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
All first published from 1770 to 2000, these essays present logical arguments for the nonexistence of God. Martin (philosophy, emeritus, Boston Univ.) and Monnier (director, Disproof Atheism Society) bring these essays together for the first time, organizing them into five sections. Each section gets a brief but helpful introduction, and each author's contribution and arguments are briefly summarized. In regard to disproving the existence of God, reprinted articles hardly present new materials. Theologians over the centuries have devised many theories for proving the existence of God, from Pascal's wager theory (by betting on God's existence, at least there is a chance of winning; by not betting, one is sure to lose) to the ontological argument that states that a being greater than God cannot exist and therefore God exists. Theories such as these are given radical critique in this book, and theistic propositions are shown to be illogical, contradictory, and impossible. Mathematical and philosophical logic dominate the work, giving reason the upper hand over myth and superstition. One major flaw is a lack of a list of the numerous contributors and their backgrounds. Nevertheless, theologians need to pay attention to these arguments since such a logical challenge is directed precisely at their work. Highly recommended for all libraries.-James A. Overbeck, Atlanta-Fulton P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021209
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/25/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 425
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Martin is professor emeritus of philosophy at Boston University and author of numerous books, including Atheism: A Philosophical Justification; Atheism, Morality, and Meaning; and The Big Domino in the Sky and Other Atheistic Tales.
Ricki Monnier (Ph.D. in mathematical logic) is director of The Disproof Atheism Society.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
Introduction 13
1 Can God's Existence Be Disproved? 19
2 God's Non-Existence: A Reply to Mr. Rainer and Mr. Hughes 27
3 Proving the Non-Existence of God 31
4 Can an Ancient Argument of Carneades on Cardinal Virtues and Divine Attributes Be Used to Disprove the Existence of God? 35
5 God and Moral Autonomy 45
6 Evil and Omnipotence 59
7 The Problem of Evil 61
8 Plantinga on the Free Will Defense 97
9 A Sound Logical Argument from Evil 106
10 Unjustified Evil and God's Choice 116
11 The Paradox of Eden 127
12 A Moral Argument for Atheism 129
13 Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of God 147
14 Miracles and God: A Reply to Robert A. H. Larmer 154
15 The Argument from Unfairness 167
16 Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey 185
17 Omniscience and Immutability 198
18 Omniscience, Eternity, and Time 210
19 On the Compossibility of the Divine Attributes 220
20 A Disproof of the God of the Common Man 232
21 Conflicts between the Divine Attributes 242
22 Why God Cannot Think: Kant, Omnipresence, and Consciousness 258
23 God and the Best Possible World 274
24 Agency and Omniscience 282
25 The Incompatibility of Omniscience and Intentional Action: A Reply to David P. Hunt 300
26 The Paradox of Divine Agency 313
27 The Concept of the Supernatural 326
28 The Paradox of Omnipotence 330
29 The Paradox of Omnipotence Revisited 337
30 Against Omniscience: The Case from Essential Indexicals 349
31 Is Omniscience Possible? 379
32 Logic and Limits of Knowledge and Truth 381
33 The Being That Knew Too Much 408
App Of the Confused and Contradictory Ideas of Theology 423
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