Irreligion

Author: John Allen Paulos
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780809059188
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Argues that there is no logical reason to believe in God, refuting twelve arguments commonly proposed to prove the existence of God, while offering commentary on such topics as miracles, cognitive illusions, and creationist probability.

A Numerate Life

Author: John Allen Paulos
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1633881180
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Best-selling mathematician John Allen Paulos describes this autobiography as “a meta-memoir, even an anti-memoir.” Employing ideas from mathematics, he raises questions that most of us don't think to ask, but arguably should, about all memoirs or even when thinking about our own lives: How do we really know that? What part of memory is reliable fact versus creative embellishment? By conjoining two opposing mindsets—the suspension of disbelief required in story telling with the show-me tentativeness inherent to mathematics—Paulos has created an interesting hybrid, a composite of memories and techniques for testing their validity. Along with entertaining tales ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, meeting his wife Sheila, and the joys of grandchildren, the reader receives a painless introduction to some very useful math. If you're wondering how to apply some logic to the helter-skelter of your own life, Paulos will show you a few tricks of his trade: how simple arithmetic can put life-long habits into perspective; how higher dimensional geometry can help us see that we're all strange; how nonlinear dynamics can explain why small genetic differences can result in two very different siblings; how logarithms and exponentials shed light on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and much, much more. For fans of Paulos's previous books or newcomers to his work, this witty, debunking, and educational commentary on his life—and yours—is indispensable reading.

Believing Bullshit

Author: Stephen Law
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616144122
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book identifies eight key mechanisms that can transform a set of ideas into a psychological flytrap. The author suggests that, like the black holes of outer space, from which nothing, not even light, can escape, our contemporary cultural landscape contains numerous intellectual black-holes—belief systems constructed in such a way that unwary passers-by can similarly find themselves drawn in. While such self-sealing bubbles of belief will most easily trap the gullible or poorly educated, even the most intelligent and educated of us are potentially vulnerable. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers have fallen in, never to escape. This witty, insightful critique will help immunize readers against the wiles of cultists, religious and political zealots, conspiracy theorists, promoters of flaky alternative medicines, and various other nutcases by clearly setting out the tricks of the trade by which such insidious belief systems are created and maintained. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Group Theory in the Bedroom and Other Mathematical Diversions

Author: Brian Hayes
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429938570
Format: PDF, ePub
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An Award-Winning Essayist Plies His Craft Brian Hayes is one of the most accomplished essayists active today—a claim supported not only by his prolific and continuing high-quality output but also by such honors as the National Magazine Award for his commemorative Y2K essay titled "Clock of Ages," published in the November/December 1999 issue of The Sciences magazine. (The also-rans that year included Tom Wolfe, Verlyn Klinkenborg, and Oliver Sacks.) Hayes's work in this genre has also appeared in such anthologies as The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Norton Reader. Here he offers us a selection of his most memorable and accessible pieces—including "Clock of Ages"—embellishing them with an overall, scene-setting preface, reconfigured illustrations, and a refreshingly self-critical "Afterthoughts" section appended to each essay.

I Think Therefore I Laugh

Author: John Allen Paulos
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231119153
Format: PDF, Docs
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The preeminent explicator of mathematical logic to non-mathematicians, John Allen Paulos is familiar to general readers not only from his bestselling books but also from his media appearances, including The David Letterman Show and National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" and "Science Friday," as well as articles in Newsweek, Nature, Discover, Business Week, the New York Times Book Review, The Nation, New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. Paulos originally wrote this charming little book on analytic logic, its mathematics, and its puzzles in 1985. And as in his later books, he uses jokes, stories, parables, and anecdotes to elucidate difficult concepts, in this case, some of the fundamental problems in modern philosophy.

Philosophers without Gods

Author: Louise M. Antony
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199839786
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an "anything goes" lifestyle. Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief. These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists, providing a portrait that will surprise most readers. Many of the authors, for example, express great affection for particular religious traditions, even as they explain why they cannot, in good conscience, embrace them. None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive, and several even express regret that they cannot, or can no longer, believe. Perhaps more important, in these reflective pieces, they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit. For instance, if God is dead, is everything permitted? Philosophers without Gods demonstrates convincingly, with arguments that date back to Plato, that morality is independent of the existence of God. Indeed, every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong. Moreover, they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life. A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges--to pursue our goals without illusions, to act morally without hope of reward--challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives. 'This Atheists R Us compilation differs markedly in tone from Hitchens and Dawkins. Excellent fare for Christian small groups whose members are genuinely interested in the arguments raised by atheists.'-- Christianity Today 'Rather than the foolishness of Dawkins or Hitchens, these [essays] are compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront....'-- Tikkun 'Taken as a group, these readable, personal, and provocative essays make it clear that there are many kinds of non-believers, and even many different elements that make up a single skeptical outlook. Contrary to the popular image, atheism isn't all rebellious trumpets and defiant drums. That part of the orchestra is essential, but here we have all the varieties of unreligious experience, a full symphony of unbelief.' -- Free Inquiry 'This collection strikes me as an excellent example of how comprehensible philosophical writing can be at its best. By and large, the essays are written in a clear and direct style, free of philosophical jargon. Many who read it will find themselves also engaged at a level that is not merely academic.'--George I. Mavrodes, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

The God Delusion

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1784161926
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

Atheism

Author: Michael Martin
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 9780877229438
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In this book Michael Martin provides logical reasons for being an atheist. Carefully examining the current debate in Anglo-American analytic philosophy regarding God's existence, Martin presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God, showing in detail their relevance to atheism. Claiming that atheism is a rational position while theistic beliefs are not, he relies both on logic and evidence and confines his efforts to showing the irrationality of belief in a personal supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and the creator of heaven and earth. The author's approach is two-fold. By presenting and criticizing arguments that have been advanced in favor of belief, he makes a case for "negative atheism." By offering arguments against atheism and defending it from these attacks, he presents a case for "positive atheism." Along the way, he confronts the views of numerous philosophers—among them Anselm, Aquinas, Plantinga, Hick, and Swinburne—and refutes both classical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced through the history of this debate. In his conclusion, Martin considers what would and would not follow if his main arguments were widely accepted, and he defines and distinguishes atheism from other "isms" and movements. Building on the work of religious skeptics and atheists of the past and present, he justifies his reconstruction of this philosophical dispute by citing some of the most interesting and important arguments for atheism and criticisms of arguments for the existence of God that have appeared in recent journal articles and have yet to be systematically addressed. Author note: Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and author of several books, including The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal and The Case Against Christianity (both from Temple).

The Atheists Way

Author: Eric Maisel
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1458730662
Format: PDF, Docs
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A BLUEPRINT FOR A MEANINGFUL LIFE. In The Atheist's Way, Eric Maisel teaches you how to make rich personal meaning despite the absence of beneficent gods and the indifference of the universe to human concerns. Exploding the myth that there is any meaning to find or to seek, Dr. Maisel explains why the paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning is this century's most pressing intellectual goal. ''Unlike many other books on atheism, which deal with the question of God's existence, The Atheist's Way attempts to answer a different question: So you don't believe - now what? How do you bravely face the world as it is and create meaning for yourself without the crutch of a divine benefactor? Eric Maisel's wise suggestions, musings, and insights are a wonderful resource for your quest.'' - JOHN ALLEN PAULOS, author of Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

God in the Age of Science

Author: Herman Philipse
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199697531
Format: PDF, Docs
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Herman Philipse puts forward a powerful new critique of belief in God. He examines the strategies that have been used for the philosophical defence of religious belief, and by careful reasoning casts doubt on the legitimacy of relying on faith instead of evidence, and on probabilistic arguments for the existence of God.