Or does God exist only in our heads? Is the Bible truly God's Word, or a jumble of fanciful myths? This book is your front-row ticket to mankind's most enthralling debate. An atheist for thirty years, David Mills argues that God is unnecessary to explain the universe and life's diversity, organization and beauty. This unique and captivating book rebuts every argument ever offered to "prove" God's existence and the Bible's credibility - arguments from logic, common sense, Christian apologetics, philosophy, ethics, history, and up-to-the-minute science.
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It's all here for you in one richly entertaining, comprehensive, and easy-to-read volume. Few other books provide such spellbinding inquiry and arrive at such a controversial and well-documented conclusion. Honest, frank, and right to the point! I found it very fine reading. David Mills says very ably and clearly all that needs to be said. Commenting on Chapter 3 What's on the Cover? Introduction: Is This Book an Outrage?
This book specifically addresses these questions, and many more;. This deceptively compact book pages, including 35 pages devoted to an introduction, references and an index , is a powerhouse of detailed and useful information that will appeal to all freethinkers, whether they are christian, agnostic or atheist. Mills' argument is developed logically in clear prose and the book is conveniently formatted so this information is easily and quickly accessed. Besides this book's lively and readable style, Mills demonstrates a good understanding of prevailing scientific thought regarding the origins of the universe, a reasonable grasp of our current understanding of the evolutionary process, and a keen awareness of the conflicts between science and religion, particularly between evolutionary biology and christianity.
The book quickly engages the reader by starting with a chapter of pithy quotes by famous people who also happened to be atheists. Mills then quickly moves on to the next chapter, which sets the stage for topics discussed throughout the remainder of the book. This particular chapter is a large and readable essay combined from transcripts from three live radio interviews and presented in a conversational tone.
Now that Mills has his reader's attention, he then proceeds to tackle in more detail each of the main topics raised in this interview-essay. He begins by providing the scientific definition of scientific "Laws" and "Theories". For example, he defines Physical Laws as. Having defined his terminology, Mills then argues that the universe could not be created from nothing at the Big Bang.
Bright star of the atheist universe
Instead, he invokes the Laws of Thermodynamics conservation of mass and energy to show that the universe always existed in one form or another. In the next chapter, Mills develops a very insightful and important analysis that he refers to as "The God of the Gaps". Basically, this argument observes that humans have always created a "God of the Gaps" to fill an intellectual vacuum. For example,. A mother, unaware of the existence of viruses and microorganisms, would ascribe her daughter's illness to the wrath of God or perhaps the devil.
Unaware of biological evolution, medievil man considered the complexity of his own anatomy to be evidence of Divine Creation.
The wider the gaps in scientific understanding, the greater the historical need for a miracle-working "God of the Gaps. This "God of the Gaps" argument appears again and again throughout the remainder of the book. In this book, Mills also raises a number of interesting Biblical conflicts in an almost casual way including, for example, the observation that the genealogies in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke present detailed but contradictory male lineages for Jesus from Joseph back to King David.
According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the result of a virgin birth, without any blood relationship to his father, Joseph, so why wasn't Jesus' lineage to King David instead traced through his mother, Mary? This chapter is lucid and well-developed in a direct question-and-answer approach, and each point is clearly presented. Everyone should read this chapter, if for no other reason than to more clearly understand the sharp differences between science and religion, especially with regards to current ongoing battles over teaching "ID" in science classrooms.
Throughout this book, Mills contrasts the rationality of science with the Bible's lack of veracity, noting at one point that, as far as accuracy is concerned, "the Bible is a non-prophet organization. As an unfortunate result, many religious people will probably throw this book into the trash before finishing it, without thinking deeply about the arguments presented. But I hope that a few of them will come to appreciate Mills' logic as they come to a clearer understanding of what atheism is and is not, and will realize why atheism is a rational position for anyone to hold.
I highly recommend this insightful little book to everyone who is seeking to understand other ways of thinking and who wish to further define their own personal philosophies, whether they are atheists, agnostics or christians. Included in the Carnival of the Godless Issue One of the greatest ironies of the human mind is that the very nature that requires us to devise religion to comfort our fear of the unknown is the same instinct that requires us to deny truths discovered that threaten our illusions.
This means it's not just "stupid Americans" that are problematic, and we should all redouble our efforts to educate.
Review of "Atheist Universe" by David Mills
Of course atheism is a rational position. And given the debased nature of organized religion, it's also a wise and healthy position. I tend to agree with Simone Weil, who, while Christian herself, felt that the concept of God as set forth by the Church was so flawed and evil that atheism was often a necessary purification. Her hope was that people would go from there to a greater understanding of religious obligation i.
But even if they didn't give up their atheism, she felt it was far better for people to disbelieve in god altogether than to worship a false god. My view is that morality is inherently metaphysical - for now, at least - and that religious thinking is a natural and even logical outgrowth of this indeterminacy. But morality is also totally separate from dogma. The most supererogatory forms of obligation to others e. My complaint with religion isn't that it fails as science hell, so do art and poetry. My complaint is that it so often fails as theology. The fundamentalists' unwillngness to make simple logical accomodations to the physical nature of a world they believe was designed for them strikes me as a lot weirder - and a lot more heretical and dangerous - than accepting gay marriage.
Y'know, I think it's really unfortunate that so many atheists frame the debate about God's existence around Christianity and its problems.
And not just any form of Christianity, but typically the most fundamentalist and backwards form they can find. I'm tired of it. It's so pointless! Not that I agree with most fundamentalist Christian views, mind you. But whether there is a God or not is a question largely separate from the squabbles between religious fundamentalists and equally-fervent atheists. That is, whether there's a God or not is immaterial to most of the real problems that we face today.
The mistake far too many atheists make is holding up the Judeo-Christian-Islamic idea of "God" as the object of their refutation. In truth, that's just a straw man.
If you want to confront fundamentalist Christianity about its backwards beliefs and illogical policies, by all means, do so - I encourage it. But don't confuse the issue by bringing God's existence into things - just because they fall back on God as the excuse for all their irrationality doesn't mean you should argue with them about God. That just muddles the issues and rarely accomplishes anything.
I myself am an agnostic. I find it pretty naive and presumptuous to assume there is a God - and I find it equally so to assume there isn't. Sure, the optimistic part of me hopes there's a higher purpose to this thing called Life, but the fact is, there's no way any of us will ever know for sure while we're still on this mortal coil.
Oh, dear. His philosophy might be all right, but if he says that, he needs to read up on physical cosmology. Energy is not globally conserved in general relativity which is a well-confirmed theory. It can be defined as conserved if you make a more or less arbitrary definition of the mass-energy inherent in the gravitational field, but that definition does not correspond to a physical entity and doesn't generalize well to the whole universe. This strange feature of the theory actually held up Einstein for a year or more while he fruitlessly tried to get rid of it.
There's a more general statement known as "covariant conservation" that does hold in the theory, but it allows the generation of energy from nothing under some circumstances, e. Some cosmologists think that that's in fact where everything came from. And even barring that, covariant conservation only holds within space-time.
If space-time had a beginning in a Big Bang singularity, all bets are off. So modern cosmologists don't actually hold mass-energy conservation as an absolute law, and I'd be skeptical of attempts to use it to speculate about what happened before the Big Bang. Atheists in America argue with the existence of the Abrahamic God because that's the one that people keep pestering them to believe in. Devotees of other gods tend not to bother them, so there's not much point in arguing.
I consider myself a nontheist. I just don't think about it one way or the other. Who has that kind of time and patience? After all, you can think about it literally forever, because you will never know the answer. But mostly, I just don't think about it. I am, however, strongly adverse to organized religion, which, as best I can tell, is just one more excuse for people to hate and kill.
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Like we need more reasons So what happens if I am wrong? God will be pissed? God will laugh at me? I have that covered. To hedge my bets, 5 seconds before I die, I am going to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior.