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The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and Against the Existence of God

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  151 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The late John L. Mackie, formerly of University College, Oxford
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 13th 1983 by Oxford University Press, USA
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The God Delusion by Richard DawkinsGod Is Not Great by Christopher HitchensThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganLetter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
Notable Atheist Books
62nd out of 350 books — 855 voters
The Impossibility of God by Michael MartinAtheism by Michael MartinArguing about Gods by Graham OppyThe Miracle of Theism by John Leslie MackieThe Best Argument Against God by Graham Oppy
Philosophical atheism
4th out of 39 books — 11 voters

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Mar 04, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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 make
May 10, 2016 Daniel rated it liked it
Shelves: atheism
As a Christian, I have been tired of the neo-Athiest movement and its caustic rhetoric. Mackie is definitely not in the class of Dawkins, Krauss, Hitchens, or Dennett. After reading Mackie, I suspect he would distance himself from such characters. I could be wrong about this, but based on his writing he seems to at least have respect for his theistic academicians.

It should be noted that this book is first and foremost an academic treatment of atheism and theism. Atheists and theists who are use
Reinhard Gobrecht
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.
Aug 28, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
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.
Jelle de Jong
Mar 05, 2013 Jelle de Jong rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, philosophy, religion
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)
Grasped in Thought
Jul 08, 2012 Grasped in Thought rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 20, 2013 Liya marked it as unfinished
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.
Apr 29, 2010 sam rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion, atheism
A lot more boring than I had hoped. Rehashes old arguments you should have had in Phil 101. Perfect for insomnia.
Charles Curtis
Jun 30, 2012 Charles Curtis rated it really liked it
Best work I have ever read from an atheist. Arguments are well developed and thoughtful.
Tarek Sweedan
Mar 10, 2013 Tarek Sweedan rated it it was amazing
just as expected...another masterpiece written by Mackie...
Sep 24, 2011 Jezier rated it it was amazing
Trudna, głęboka, satysfakcjonująca. Polecam.
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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.
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“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.” 1 likes
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