Mateo's Reviews > Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

Irreligion by John Allen Paulos
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's review
Mar 18, 2010

really liked it

This is a nifty little (150 pages) book that takes the major arguments for the existence of God and dispatches them quickly and more or less painlessly, simply by examining the logic behind them. All of the hoary favorites are here (Argument from First Cause, Ontological Argument, etc.), plus some newer, less formal sources of belief, each presented in the form of a syllogism that Paulos examines and breaks down. For the most part, Paulos doesn't bother with marshaling facts and evidence against theistic arguments, but concerns himself solely with the logic (or lack thereof) behind them. Thus, for example, in discussing the Argument from Design, he doesn't try to show how bacterial flagella or the mammalian eye could have evolved; he points out that the general argument that things are too complex to have arisen without a designer begs the question of what "too complex" means; necessitates a greater (supernatural) complexity whose origins are inexplicable; and then details, from a mathematician's perspective, how probability works in favor of, not against, evolution. The discussions are quick, to the point, and effective. Now if someone would just shoot Kirk Cameron.
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message 1: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Hancock SOunds like a good stocking stuffer for Bible Belt relatives ....

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