Mr Mackie does an above average job of introducing arguments for the existence of god. The title of the book is a bit misleading: The miracle of theism is not what Mackie is espousing here. His book is in the same genre as Smith's Atheism: A Case Against God, but goes into a bit more detail, philosophically speaking. This is a nice middle-ground between George Smith and Michael Martin, more on Smith's side of things in terms of ease of reading. Mackie is thorough, but not so thorough as to makeMr Mackie does an above average job of introducing arguments for the existence of god. The title of the book is a bit misleading: The miracle of theism is not what Mackie is espousing here. His book is in the same genre as Smith's Atheism: A Case Against God, but goes into a bit more detail, philosophically speaking. This is a nice middle-ground between George Smith and Michael Martin, more on Smith's side of things in terms of ease of reading. Mackie is thorough, but not so thorough as to make reading his book a job in philosophical thinking. I think that Mackie's purpose here is to present well-worn religious arguments and present the reasons that they do not work, which he does nicely. Also, a nice aspect of this book is that it is not limited to metaphyscial arguments, but includes moral and even epistemological arguments. If the reader has some familiarity with modern philosophy it would be helpful but is not necessary. This is a good introduction to both atheism and secular humanistic thought. Mackie is one of the authors that most likely had a hand in the recent surge of "atheist" books. Written in the 80's, the book still holds its own. Check it out....more
Mackie diskutiert Argumente für und gegen die Existenz Gottes. Er beschreibt Humes Argumente gegen Wunder, Descartes Argumente und Gedanken zu einer ersten Ursache (Gott) und die Sachgehaltsbeziehung zwischen Ursache und Wirkung. Das Problem des rein denkbaren Gottes (Anselm). Das Problem der Existenz (als außergewöhnliches Prädikat)(Kant und Frege). In diesem Buch findet man ontologische, kosmologische, moralische und teleologische Argumente. Ebenso das Problem des Übels und Pascals Wette. u.v.a.
This is definitely one of the most rigorous and critical examination of the arguments in favor for Theism from the skeptical perspective. Furthermore, Mackie was able to give the most charitable interpretation possible to any theistic arguments from Descartes to Kierkegaard. While it is open to dispute whether Mackie undermined particular arguments such as Plantinga's Freewill defense argument, this book is nonetheless valuable to anyone who desires a very robust argument.
begin sterker dan het eind. Alle mij bekende goede filosofische Godsbewijzen worden behandeld op een manier dat ik ze nu beter begrijp dan daarvoor. Daarna bestudeert deze kerel of ze houdbaar zijn. Naarmate het boek naar het einde nadert begint zijn schr; uitgeleend aan Marnix (20110824)
This is a fantastic introduction to the philosophy of religion. Mackie gives a fair treatment of theistic arguments and then provides some very strong objections. The one problem I had was his section on miracles in which he basically re-iterates David Hume's position.
Despite what it says on the back, I doubt that the general reader can follow the discussion. My brain was certainly broken. Giving up after 100 pages. Leads me to believe I should avoid philosophy books in future.
John Leslie Mackie was an Australian philosopher, originally from Sydney. He is perhaps best known for his views on meta-ethics, especially his defence of moral skepticism. However, he has also made significant contributions to philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.
“The argument from design, therefore, can be sustained only with the help of a supposedly a priori double-barrelled principle, that mental order (at least in a god) is self-explanatory, but that all material order not only is not self-explanatory, but is positively improbable and in need of further explanation...this double-barrelled principle is recognizable as the core of the cosmological argument...The argument will not take us even as far as Kant seems to allow without borrowing the a priori thesis that there is a vicious metaphysical contingency in all natural things, and, in contrast with this, the 'transcendental' concept of a god who is self-explanatory and necessarily existent. It is only with the help of these borrowings that the design argument can introduce the required asymmetry, that any natural explanation uses data which call for further explanation, but that the theistic explanation terminates the regress. Without this asymmetry, the design argument cannot show that there is any need to go beyond the sort of hypothesis that Hume foreshadowed and that Wallace and Darwin supplied... The dependence of the argument for design on the ideas that are the core of the cosmological one is greater than Kant realized.”