Instead of simply defending a denial of God's existence, Le Poidevin presents a way of interpreting religious discourse which allows us to make sense of the role of religion in our spiritual and moral lives.
..". clear, honest and fairminded; it makes a good introduction, not just to the question of God, but to metaphysics in general." -"Donald Cupitt, Emmanuel College, Cambridge ..."Arguing for Atheism is the best recent introduction to the philosophy of religion. Le Poidevin writes in a clear and engaging manner withou
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: The Limits of Theistic Explanation 1. Must the Universe Have a Cause? 1.1 The mysteries of existence 1.2 A first cause 1.3 The temporal and modal cosmological arguments 1.4 Problems with the first premise 1.5 Summary Further reading 2. Is God Necessary? 2.1 Possible worlds 2.2 The ontological argument 2.3 The modal ontological argument 2.4 God and modal realism 2.5 Summary Further reading 3. Could the Universe Have an Explanation? 3.1 A trivial explanation 3.2 Causes and casual explanations 3.3 Personal explanation 3.4 A necessary cause? 3.5 Summary Further reading 4. Are We the Outcome of Chance or Design? 4.1 Analogy and the teleological argument 4.2 Probability and the teleological argument 4.3 The concept of chance 4.4 The weak anthropic principle 4.5 Summary Further reading 5. Does the Universe Have a Purpose? 5.1 The strong anthropic principle 5.2 Teleology and casual reductionism: the selfish gene hypothesis 5.3 Teleology without casual reductionism 5.4 Summary Further reading Part II: Moral Arguments for Atheism 6. Are God and Ethics Inseparable or Incompatible? 6.1 Plato's dilemma 6.2 Descriptive versus prescriptive morality 6.3 Moral realism and moral subjectivism 6.4 Pluralism and autonomy 6.5 Summary Further reading 7. Is there a Problem of Evil? 7.1 Disaster, depravity, deity and design 7.2 Determinism and human nature 7.3 Human freedom from the divine perspective 7.4 Can the theist refuse to answer the problem of evil? 7.5 Summary Further reading Part III: Religion without God 8. Is God a Fiction? 8.1 Realism, positivism and instrumentalism 8.2 Radical theology 8.3 Fiction and the emotions 8.4 Atheism and religious practice 8.5 Summary Further reading 9. Is 'Does God Exist?' a real Question? 9.1 The deflationist argument 9.2 The argument applied to theism 9.3 Deflationism deflated? 9.4 Summary Further reading 10. Should the Atheist Fear Death? 10.1 Riddles of morality 10.2 The river of time and the sea of ice 10.3 Death in the mirror 10.4 Immortality: real and vicarious 10.5 Summary Further reading Glossary Bibliography Index
Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Robin Le Poidevin
Robin Le Poidevin
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