web site hit counter Atheism: The Case Against God - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Atheism: The Case Against God

Availability: Ready to download

Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' " "You are about to read a minority viewpoint." With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' " "You are about to read a minority viewpoint." With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad "proofs" offered by theists - the defenses of sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the average religious layman. He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general - and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern, rational man. "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism . . . (but to) demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity.


Compare

Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' " "You are about to read a minority viewpoint." With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' " "You are about to read a minority viewpoint." With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad "proofs" offered by theists - the defenses of sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the average religious layman. He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general - and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern, rational man. "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism . . . (but to) demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity.

30 review for Atheism: The Case Against God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Onyango Makagutu

    Every rational person should read this book. It comes close to being the second book after the bible to justify atheism

  2. 5 out of 5

    Artiom Karsiuk

    This book is a mindfuck and a half. Having gotten that out of the way, let me explain why. You know how LEGO toys have these convenient age ranges/suggestions on their boxes? This book should most definitely have an IQ sticker on it saying "120 or above". You see, I used to consider myself a bright guy. I did. Not an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination, but, let's say, nine times out of ten I could tell clay and toffee apart. But this book was meant for a far more educated or, to put i This book is a mindfuck and a half. Having gotten that out of the way, let me explain why. You know how LEGO toys have these convenient age ranges/suggestions on their boxes? This book should most definitely have an IQ sticker on it saying "120 or above". You see, I used to consider myself a bright guy. I did. Not an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination, but, let's say, nine times out of ten I could tell clay and toffee apart. But this book was meant for a far more educated or, to put it in simple terms, SMARTER reader than me. When I picked it up, I was under the wrong impression that this will be something like the Zeitgeist movie (only without the bullshit). I though it would be this entertaining little book debunking the Bible and Christianity, concentrating on the flawed facts or lack thereof in "The Book". You know, the fun stuff, like a 600 year old man building an ark, a talking serpent, the immaculate conception and so on. The hits, so to speak. Nope. The literal content of the Bible was hardly even touched on in this book - instead, it dug into the roots of Christianity. A very philosophical book that I was completely unprepared for - I never even read a "Philosophy for Dummies" for starters, not to mention a real philosophical book, up to this point in my life. The arguments presented in this book were so well crafted and perfectly worded, that I had to hold this book in one hand and a dictionary in the other. Moreover, I caught myself re-reading many paragraphs and passages over and over again to understand at least the gist of it. On several occasions, I had to stop reading altogether for a minute or two, to give my Pentium III of a head time to process the information I was ambushed with. Several years down the road, when I am no longer a manchild, I will be sure to take another shot a this book, because after reading it this first time I feel like I took away only a fraction of it's content. First, though, me getz me some BRAINZ:)

  3. 4 out of 5

    M.

    I believe the reason this book is so underrated and overlooked is because George H. Smith isn't a decorated academic and/or isn't outspoken enough to be considered one of the important "celebrity" atheists of our generation. Don't let this fool you, because Smith is a skilled logician and an effective writer who presents a razor sharp and pragmatist worldview where the idea of god is useless and contradictory, serving no purpose for anyone who cares about logic and reason. I will point out that I believe the reason this book is so underrated and overlooked is because George H. Smith isn't a decorated academic and/or isn't outspoken enough to be considered one of the important "celebrity" atheists of our generation. Don't let this fool you, because Smith is a skilled logician and an effective writer who presents a razor sharp and pragmatist worldview where the idea of god is useless and contradictory, serving no purpose for anyone who cares about logic and reason. I will point out that this is a much different book in contrast to The God Delusion and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, which are much more overblown with examples of religious atrocities, scientific explanations, and personal experiences. This book, however, does not attempt to explain evolution through endless examples, or dabble in cosmology and physics in order to prove it's point -- this book is a logical sledgehammer that obliterates the notion of god, minus the longwindedness of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens. Atheism: The Case Against God is a concise and well organized summary of all the major philosophical arguments, presented in a methodical, dialectic fashion covering the arguments for god (primarily St. Thomas Aquinas), and the arguments against god; questioning the validity of religious doctrines as well. It also puts forth an exact definition of atheism, agnosticism, and theism. Smith is so precise and careful in his arguments that he properly defines and distinguishes his references to God by establishing rules for capitalization (which he uses throughout the book, without fail) in the first chapter: the lowercase god is the deistic, pantheist god, while the uppercase God is the monotheistic God of Christianity and Islam. That way, you always know which god he is referring to during each argument he presents. Simply brilliant. This book serves as a clear and accessible guide for a skeptic and naturalist, and just about any serious agnostic atheist. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Several of the hosts and guests on Point of Inquiry (one of my favorite podcasts) refer to this as The Book. After reading it, I can see why. Smith boldly states his aim early on: "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism...but to demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity." Using amazingly clear log Several of the hosts and guests on Point of Inquiry (one of my favorite podcasts) refer to this as The Book. After reading it, I can see why. Smith boldly states his aim early on: "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism...but to demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity." Using amazingly clear logic, and a breadth of scientific knowledge, I'd say Smith accomplishes his goal. Many mystics will reply "so what? We've known that god is beyond reason for some time." Smith addresses this view--and pretty much every other justification for the existence of god--in well-written prose. Since Smith wrote this, many others have elaborated on Smith's lines of reasoning, and some of them have come up with better refutations for the belief in gods. And Smith falters a bit, IMO, in the discussion of Jesus' ethics. This book is also a bit dense. It's a tour-de-force of logic and philosophy, and it can't be read very quickly. Still, highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark Wilson

    This is a profitable book for a Christian to read, as it presents an intelligent critique of theism. Unfortunately, I felt that the case against the Christian God never got as strong as I hoped, with the preference being to reduce Christian theism to be akin to generic "well, uh, I believe in something higher that this" variety theism. I wouls have liked him to have approached head on the concept that the Bible is God's self-revelation, and to have used how the Bible defines God, rather that nam This is a profitable book for a Christian to read, as it presents an intelligent critique of theism. Unfortunately, I felt that the case against the Christian God never got as strong as I hoped, with the preference being to reduce Christian theism to be akin to generic "well, uh, I believe in something higher that this" variety theism. I wouls have liked him to have approached head on the concept that the Bible is God's self-revelation, and to have used how the Bible defines God, rather that name a number of characteristics that Christians use, define them himself and debunk those. However, this is a challenge to Christians to ensure that they don't fall into the same trap - we must make sure that we listen to God's description of himself carefully, rather than half-listen then fill in what we half-heard with our own fancy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    More than 30 years before Dawkins penned his own bestseller, Atheism: The Case Against God was first published and went on to become one of the biggest selling atheist books of the twentieth century. Quite right too, as this excellent critique of theism is a magnificent testament to the power of logic. It's somewhat surprising to learn that author George H. Smith was still in his early 20s when he wrote it. Concentrating on the philosophical arguments against God's existence, the deep intellectu More than 30 years before Dawkins penned his own bestseller, Atheism: The Case Against God was first published and went on to become one of the biggest selling atheist books of the twentieth century. Quite right too, as this excellent critique of theism is a magnificent testament to the power of logic. It's somewhat surprising to learn that author George H. Smith was still in his early 20s when he wrote it. Concentrating on the philosophical arguments against God's existence, the deep intellectual passion on display here is wonderful. Meticulously cutting through all the theological double-talk with his fine scalpel of a mind, Smith exposes the glaring contradictions and absurdities of theism, and in so doing, makes the single most convincing case for atheism I've yet read. (From the outset, Smith explains that if a person is not a theist, then they are an atheist. Agnosticism simply refers to the (un)knowability of a god and is a separate matter that can co-exist with either position.) His pursuit of (and 'for') reason is relentless. This is no bandwagon book of smug posturing and pithy retorts - Smith makes a real effort to present the best arguments of his opponents, often exhaustively so, before proceeding to dismantle each one with devastating precision. While I found myself questioning his train of thought on a couple of points, the book is nevertheless hugely and enjoyably successful in what it sets out to do. More philosophically in-depth than many of the recent crop of atheist titles, I really think this one deserves much wider recognition today than it currently receives.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    Yes, I am an atheist, and was before I ever opened this book. I guess the reason I rate this book so highly is because it's a philosophical approach dealing with the various arguments for a God. Too often what I've seen dubbed "The New Atheism" comes across as hectoring, shrill, even, dare I say, evangelical, with all the sophistication of a three-year-old stamping their feet and screaming "Religion sucks." There are a couple of chapters on the consequences and "sins" of religion, yes, but at th Yes, I am an atheist, and was before I ever opened this book. I guess the reason I rate this book so highly is because it's a philosophical approach dealing with the various arguments for a God. Too often what I've seen dubbed "The New Atheism" comes across as hectoring, shrill, even, dare I say, evangelical, with all the sophistication of a three-year-old stamping their feet and screaming "Religion sucks." There are a couple of chapters on the consequences and "sins" of religion, yes, but at the very end--it's not where the emphasis of the book lies. Part One, "Atheism and God" defines atheism and treats the whole concept of "God." Part Two, "Reason, Faith, and Revelation" deals with why reason and faith are opposed. And finally, in Part Three, "The Arguments for God" Smith refutes the most common arguments for God, the Cosmological and Design arguments. A third, the Ontological (that God by his nature as a perfect being must exist) is in a way dealt with in the early chapter about the unintelligibility of the very concept of God. I was exposed to all these arguments for God in my Catholic high school and Jesuit College--so I believe Smith does cover all the bases and presents the arguments for God fairly--and demolishes the idea that religion has any intellectual respectability.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Asadullah Ali

    George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God purports to be a book showing the irrationality of Theism. Full of critical arguments (some of which are valid), it seems to be a very scholarly text to be taken seriously. There is one major flaw however, for anyone who has even the most basic philosophical training. Smith claims that "Atheism is not the absence of belief in God plus certain positive beliefs: atheism is the absence of belief in God. If we can show theism to be unsupported, false o George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God purports to be a book showing the irrationality of Theism. Full of critical arguments (some of which are valid), it seems to be a very scholarly text to be taken seriously. There is one major flaw however, for anyone who has even the most basic philosophical training. Smith claims that "Atheism is not the absence of belief in God plus certain positive beliefs: atheism is the absence of belief in God. If we can show theism to be unsupported, false or nonsensical, then we have simultaneously established the validity of atheism" [pg. 18]. For Smith, a positive belief/claim is "an assertion which one claims to be true" [pg. 15]. He also claims that the most prominent form of atheism (Critical Atheism) "contends that the belief in god is irrational and should therefore be rejected" [pg. 17]. So, in order for Smith to even make the claim that "Atheism has no positive beliefs" or that "theism is irrational", he has to admit that these are truth claims (positive beliefs). For anyone that can see the contradiction, you'll notice then that Smith undermines the entire thesis of his work. And that's the book in a nutshell.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I've read Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, and now I just wish I started with this one. This is hands down the most important, complete, and succinct book on the fradulence of theism ever written. It is generally written in laymen's language, impeccably written, and beautifully organized. The only drawback is that it doesn't comment on Islam or Judaism, but considering when and where the book was written, that's forgivable. Read this book FIRST. I wish I had. I've read Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, and now I just wish I started with this one. This is hands down the most important, complete, and succinct book on the fradulence of theism ever written. It is generally written in laymen's language, impeccably written, and beautifully organized. The only drawback is that it doesn't comment on Islam or Judaism, but considering when and where the book was written, that's forgivable. Read this book FIRST. I wish I had.

  10. 4 out of 5

    James Bruce

    Five stars because it's probably the best book presenting a rational case against God I've read. (I'm a theist btw [and just for clarity, that space is supposed to be there]) It's still relevant even though it was written in the '70s. (I think it was published in 1979) It's serious and philosophically tight, not the militant, philosophically ignorant silliness being published by Dawkins, Harris, et al. Five stars because it's probably the best book presenting a rational case against God I've read. (I'm a theist btw [and just for clarity, that space is supposed to be there]) It's still relevant even though it was written in the '70s. (I think it was published in 1979) It's serious and philosophically tight, not the militant, philosophically ignorant silliness being published by Dawkins, Harris, et al.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    This book will take some time to read so be prepared: it's a dense, but interesting defense of atheism. This book will take some time to read so be prepared: it's a dense, but interesting defense of atheism.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Derek Perumean

    I read this book years ago and looked at it again recently because of my old Army buddy who is attending Biola was interested in atheism. Although this book is old and some of the arguments dated (I'm thinking here of the contemporary arguments from guys like Plantinga or Swinburne, which could not be examined) I would still recommend this before I would ever tell someone to pick up Dennett, Harris or the sophist Dawkins (his book is utter garbage). Smith's book will get you thinking. About the I read this book years ago and looked at it again recently because of my old Army buddy who is attending Biola was interested in atheism. Although this book is old and some of the arguments dated (I'm thinking here of the contemporary arguments from guys like Plantinga or Swinburne, which could not be examined) I would still recommend this before I would ever tell someone to pick up Dennett, Harris or the sophist Dawkins (his book is utter garbage). Smith's book will get you thinking. About the only bad thing I can say about it is that he relies on Ayn Rand to make his case for ethics. I have never understood the fascination with her and even worse is anyone who thinks of her as a philosopher. She is to philosophy what Frida Kahlo is to art. Nuff said! I do give Smith tremendous credit for telling the reader who wishes to delve further into Thomistic metaphysics to look for other sources. Most writers completely misinterpret Aquinas and produce shoddy counter-arguments. Smith does a decent job and includes the biggest limitation of Aquinas' proofs that I have also thought: you get the god of philosophy, but not the god of religion. To be sure, the 5 Ways are from the Summa, which was sort of the Wikipedia of its time. In order to fully understand what Aquinas said you have to look at his other works (and yes, those are sitting on my shelf). If you are an atheist or believer you will find some good stuff to ponder in this book. And afterwards you should go out and find someone who disagrees with you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Worthless Bum

    There are basically two ways in which one can argue against god and religion: either they are false or harmful. This book concerns itself with the former and in that capacity it is probably the best book ever written. It is unquestionably the best book I have ever read which takes the god-is-false approach to argue against god. Smith shows in simple, lucid reasoning how the notion of a god is an ill conceived and incoherent mish mash of purely irrational nonsense. It is difficult to conceive how There are basically two ways in which one can argue against god and religion: either they are false or harmful. This book concerns itself with the former and in that capacity it is probably the best book ever written. It is unquestionably the best book I have ever read which takes the god-is-false approach to argue against god. Smith shows in simple, lucid reasoning how the notion of a god is an ill conceived and incoherent mish mash of purely irrational nonsense. It is difficult to conceive how anybody could be a theist after reading this book. The book's one drawback is a chapter at the end of the book which argues for an Objectivist ethics (yuck!). I was pondering whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars and I decided that an obviously flawed short chapter concerning ethics isn't enough to seriously mar the magnificent focus of this book (which in not concerned with ethics).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Book

    Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith "Atheism: The Case Against God" is an accessible, scholarly philosophical book that makes compelling arguments against the concept of a supreme being. It's a book that offers cogent arguments to the question of god() in a logical manner. This 355-page book is composed of the following four parts: 1. Atheism and God, 2. Reason, Faith and Revelation, 3. The Arguments for God, and 4. God: The Practical Consequences. Positives: 1. A thorough, well-wri Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith "Atheism: The Case Against God" is an accessible, scholarly philosophical book that makes compelling arguments against the concept of a supreme being. It's a book that offers cogent arguments to the question of god() in a logical manner. This 355-page book is composed of the following four parts: 1. Atheism and God, 2. Reason, Faith and Revelation, 3. The Arguments for God, and 4. God: The Practical Consequences. Positives: 1. A thorough, well-written book that dissects the most common arguments for god(). 2. Great wisdom throughout this book. Ideas explained in a lucid manner. Consider the following, "While one may assert that something is presently unexplained, one may never conclude that something is inherently unexplainable." Excellent! 3. Great systematic approach of defining concepts and conveying ideas. 4. Provides great ammo for debates. 5. Good use of sound logic. 6. The problem of evil dissected. 7. In defense of science. 8. Reason and faith as exclusive terms. 9. Everything you wanted to know about the limitations of faith. 10. What theology entails. 11. The misology of the Bible. 12. Arguments for god() logically dissected. 13. What the Second Law of thermodynamics pertains to. 14. The difference between rational and religious morality. 15. How Christianity thrives on guilt. 16. Excellent reading list. Negatives: 1. In spite of Mr. Smith's excellent approach, philosophy can be difficult to follow at times. 2. The book may be uneven at times, spending too much time dissecting faith while spending less time on say debunking souls. 3. Since the book was written some time ago, some ideas have evolved. The use of skeptic and anti-skeptic comes to mind. In summary, Mr. Smith takes on a freethinking journey of reason. His accessible yet profound approach makes a very strong case for atheism. I really enjoyed his style of writing which is lucid and compelling and he has clarified many concepts for me. This a wonderful book to introduce someone new or someone like me who is seeking philosophical clarity. A true classic and like fine wine gets even better with time. Further recommendations: "Sense and Goodness Without God" by Richard Carrier, "Decoding the Language of God..." by George C. Cunningham, "50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God" by Guy P. Harrison, "Godless..." by Dan Barker, and "Why I became an Atheist" by John Loftus.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason Mills

    Smith's book dates from 1979. You might expect it to be peppered with scientific arguments that might now be out of date, but in fact he doesn't use any. Arguing that atheism is the default and remaining position if theism does not hold up, Smith spends the whole of his 300 pages hacking away at theism from a purely philosophical perspective. This is a rigorous, trenchant attack on the evasions and smoke-clouds of theology. Although he focuses on christianity for cultural reasons, Smith's argumen Smith's book dates from 1979. You might expect it to be peppered with scientific arguments that might now be out of date, but in fact he doesn't use any. Arguing that atheism is the default and remaining position if theism does not hold up, Smith spends the whole of his 300 pages hacking away at theism from a purely philosophical perspective. This is a rigorous, trenchant attack on the evasions and smoke-clouds of theology. Although he focuses on christianity for cultural reasons, Smith's arguments are as readily applicable to any theistic religion. The philosophical approach sounds dry and dusty, but in fact the author's irritated slam-dunks make for a very entertaining read: sometimes you can almost hear his eyes roll: Anything asked in the name of Jesus will be granted, including the miraculous transportation of a mountain. It would take very few examples of mountain moving to convert the atheists of the world, but the modern Christian is reluctant to defend these grandiose claims of faith, much less attempt an actual demonstration. A particular pleasure was Smith's brisk and effortless demolition of the Argument from Design and the Argument from Life - in each case not even mentioning evolution! The book does get a little boggy towards the end, when he outlines a meta-ethics based on Ayn Rand's work. But the fun returns for some welcome pops at the rarely-criticised precepts of Jeebus at the end. Those theists who (spuriously) dismiss the likes of Dawkins as insufficiently versed in theology might find Smith's book an uncomfortable riposte.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    The methodical and rational way the author picks apart the various traits commonly attributed to god (omniscience, omnipotence, etc) is just beautiful. I have read this book three times. Love it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    When I first started this book, I was told that George H. Smith was not like Richard Dawkins. In terms of his politeness for theistic world-views, he does have a level of charitableness that if ever found in Richard Dawkins would be be an argument for the existence of God in and of itself. However, in the extent that Smith offers any profound objections to theism, specifically the theism of Christianity, Smith leaves the well-versed philosopher of religion and atheists wanting more at the end of When I first started this book, I was told that George H. Smith was not like Richard Dawkins. In terms of his politeness for theistic world-views, he does have a level of charitableness that if ever found in Richard Dawkins would be be an argument for the existence of God in and of itself. However, in the extent that Smith offers any profound objections to theism, specifically the theism of Christianity, Smith leaves the well-versed philosopher of religion and atheists wanting more at the end of almost every argument. While the book is good overview of basic objections that atheists raise, George Smith does not portray the arguments he is responding to accurately. A good example of this is in his discussion of the 'First Cause Argument' where he states it as "everything has a cause." But, this is not the argument. An important verb, 'begins,' is left out. The actual argument is "everything that BEGINS to exist has a cause." So in as much as most Atheists miss this detail, this book is accurately portraying the way in which the atheist tends to argue. However, it will inadequately prepare an atheist for confronting a theist that has any philosophical knowledge. However, the book is not all bad. As a theist I found the beginning of the book to be thought provoking, especially his discussions of Thomistic doctrines of analogy and the objections he raises on natural law. However, and this is for the low rating, the book loses steam with every page turned. What begins as honest philosophical investigation, dwindles into poor philosophical summaries and ends in a pool of Dawkin's like rhetoric on Bible verses that any one could pull out of context to justify their frustration with religion. Finally, his ethical system seems to be inconsistent with his model of the universe. How is it that we can posit metaphysical categories, like eternality, of a universe that clearly possesses existence and material and then say that 'things' have natures that direct us toward our natural end (Smith says this end is survival)? Is human nature composed of matter? As I understand an Aristotelian model, the form will adhere in the substance, but it is not material. If this is the case, then what is the cause of the essence? It can't be matter because if it was then it would be a subject of discussion in the physical sciences. Thus, it must be immaterial and therefore have an immaterial cause, but Smith has removed immaterial causes from his system in order to avoid the conclusion of theism. In addition, his ethical system based on survival does not uphold an ethical system, it undermines it. If survival is the meta-ethic of objective good in ethics (i.e., normative ethics) then virtues, like courage are non-existent and cowardice is elevated. In other words, you only save a life if you know that your life will not be ended in the process. In summary, the book begins with good questions and prompted me to revisit difficulties in my own theological understanding. But in the end, Smith reveals a stereotypical atheistic, "I don't like God, therefore atheism" response.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Hudson Jr.

    As someone who considers themself an atheist, I was initially skeptical about how much I would gain from a book with a thesis I already more or less accept. However Atheism: The Case Against God proved to be one of the most enjoyable secular/non-religious books I’ve read. Despite a few quibbles here and there, George H. Smith’s classic book holds up surprisingly well after 40 years. Smith responds to common religious arguments as well as objections to atheism in very unique and interesting ways As someone who considers themself an atheist, I was initially skeptical about how much I would gain from a book with a thesis I already more or less accept. However Atheism: The Case Against God proved to be one of the most enjoyable secular/non-religious books I’ve read. Despite a few quibbles here and there, George H. Smith’s classic book holds up surprisingly well after 40 years. Smith responds to common religious arguments as well as objections to atheism in very unique and interesting ways compared to many modern prominent non-religious writers. The strongest sections are Smith’s blistering critiques of religious agnosticism and Christian ethics. My main criticism is the very clear influence of Objectivism on the author (at the time of the writing), which in my opinion, taints many of the sections on metaphysics and meta-ethics. In addition, while Smith mostly sticks to philosophical arguments and responses, discussions of cosmological and design arguments for a god are probably best when they include a bit more science to inform the debate. Despite these minor quibbles, I would highly recommend Smith’s book for those interested in atheism or objections to Christianity more specifically.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sancho

    This is a demanding book, as it addresses the case of (a)theism from a philosophical perspective. It is very interesting, and I learned a lot from reading it. The author uses very logic arguments, although it requires time and dedication to really understand them, to digest all the discussions, facts and reasoning presented. The author presents his pragmatic view of the world, and I am sure he has managed to awaken a spark of doubt in many theists, at least in those that are intelectually honest This is a demanding book, as it addresses the case of (a)theism from a philosophical perspective. It is very interesting, and I learned a lot from reading it. The author uses very logic arguments, although it requires time and dedication to really understand them, to digest all the discussions, facts and reasoning presented. The author presents his pragmatic view of the world, and I am sure he has managed to awaken a spark of doubt in many theists, at least in those that are intelectually honest. A recommended read for all those rational people out there, and even for faithful people who want to have an informed debate and that want to overcome the laziness of using the same old arguments against reason.

  20. 4 out of 5

    L

    It was this book, read when I was 19, that put a name to what I'd been feeling for two years. Smith labeled my beliefs that I had only until that point thought were "lacks" of beliefs, intangible and unknowable. This book did nothing to "sway" or "lure" me; I knew what I was feeling long before this. I just didn't have a definitive name for it. I exhaled deeply when I read that others felt the same way, even though I didn't "come out" until thirteen years later. This little book will always have It was this book, read when I was 19, that put a name to what I'd been feeling for two years. Smith labeled my beliefs that I had only until that point thought were "lacks" of beliefs, intangible and unknowable. This book did nothing to "sway" or "lure" me; I knew what I was feeling long before this. I just didn't have a definitive name for it. I exhaled deeply when I read that others felt the same way, even though I didn't "come out" until thirteen years later. This little book will always have a warm and cozy, nostalgic place in my heart.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ed Buckner

    This book (which i read too far back to really know when I read it) is the classic in making the case that atheism is wiser than agnosticism (though not incompatible with it) and logically superior to theism. The book starts off a bit slowly/ponderously, but it builds to its conclusion quite effectively. Ultimately a good read for anyone who wants to understand atheism and its logical basis.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lith

    That is correct! I have finally finished this excellent book and, for the most part, I loved it. It went over every question regarding God one could possibly think of, and more regarding other deities and Christianity in general. It never regarded something as fundamentally stupid until *after* Smith went over it in excruciating detail. For many people, it would be too difficult to read because of the sheer depth into each individual point. However, for me, that is what made this book splendid. I That is correct! I have finally finished this excellent book and, for the most part, I loved it. It went over every question regarding God one could possibly think of, and more regarding other deities and Christianity in general. It never regarded something as fundamentally stupid until *after* Smith went over it in excruciating detail. For many people, it would be too difficult to read because of the sheer depth into each individual point. However, for me, that is what made this book splendid. I loved the depth and metal unlike anything else. On the flip side, the same thing that made this book brilliant is what removed a star: detail. This isn't an easy read. The author has a wide vocabulary and values clarity to an extent that makes it confusing to those without such a grasp on the English language. Overall, this book was fantastic. I cannot recommend it highly enough, despite my only 4-stars. In a few years, once my vocabulary has expanded and my reading skill has improved, I hope to read it again. Maybe that time I'll understand it well enough to give it that final star.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Falk

    Smith's book is well-written and pugilistic, perhaps a bit too polemical and militant. An acknowledgement of Christianity's contributions to civilization, particularly individualism, would have strengthened the book and made it harder for critics to dismiss (particularly because Smith comes from the individualist tradition). Presumably due to the context of the time of writing, Islam is practically ignored. Some of the more complicated and plausible philosophical arguments (usually Thomist) he c Smith's book is well-written and pugilistic, perhaps a bit too polemical and militant. An acknowledgement of Christianity's contributions to civilization, particularly individualism, would have strengthened the book and made it harder for critics to dismiss (particularly because Smith comes from the individualist tradition). Presumably due to the context of the time of writing, Islam is practically ignored. Some of the more complicated and plausible philosophical arguments (usually Thomist) he criticizes are given short shrift and/or difficult to understand as he recounts them. In a fascinating new afterword to this edition, Smith recounts his own intellectual development and the book's writing and publication history, explaining why he chose not to revise his youthful polemic. (The edition has a footling but curious recurring typographical error: "modern" is frequently typeset as "modem".)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I could write about religion all night long. I came across people who thought I was crazy and stupid for not believing in a supreme being who controls us like puppets. this book deserves to be read! There are some mind-blowing facts in it that makes you wonder. I like talking about this " fragile " subject with open-minded people, people who won't judge you, people who won't tell you that all your life's sufferings happened because you don't believe in God. because let's face it, God has a huge I could write about religion all night long. I came across people who thought I was crazy and stupid for not believing in a supreme being who controls us like puppets. this book deserves to be read! There are some mind-blowing facts in it that makes you wonder. I like talking about this " fragile " subject with open-minded people, people who won't judge you, people who won't tell you that all your life's sufferings happened because you don't believe in God. because let's face it, God has a huge ego and gets angry with you if you don't obey its rules. I'm afraid that books like this and topics of discussions similar to this will forever be treated with judgement and hate and it's just sad. It's easier to believe in a god than to believe in yourself, apparently.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniela

    George Smith finally points out what theism, atheism and agnosticism are, the true definition and not the socially spread ones. I barely began this book, but i already f**king love it. It is the best book I read on religion so far. Gaorge Smith destroys the concept of God with no facts or Bible quotations, he just attacks the concepts we have developped on this matter and points out the contradictions, simple, blunt words. It looks so simple that you tell yourself "why didn't I see that? It's ri George Smith finally points out what theism, atheism and agnosticism are, the true definition and not the socially spread ones. I barely began this book, but i already f**king love it. It is the best book I read on religion so far. Gaorge Smith destroys the concept of God with no facts or Bible quotations, he just attacks the concepts we have developped on this matter and points out the contradictions, simple, blunt words. It looks so simple that you tell yourself "why didn't I see that? It's right under my nose!".

  26. 5 out of 5

    sologdin

    Something of a libertarian's atheism, rather than a marxist/materialist's atheism. Thoughtful, as far as it goes, but lacking in rigor or perspective at times. The defects are mostly on the margin, such as when objectivist author snipes gratuitously at leftwing politics: biblical injunction, e.g., that those who do not work shall not eat is criticized specifically because it is later a Leninist position. Something of a libertarian's atheism, rather than a marxist/materialist's atheism. Thoughtful, as far as it goes, but lacking in rigor or perspective at times. The defects are mostly on the margin, such as when objectivist author snipes gratuitously at leftwing politics: biblical injunction, e.g., that those who do not work shall not eat is criticized specifically because it is later a Leninist position.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mikel Hensley

    This is the book that first convinced me that I really was an atheist, a few years before the "new atheist" thing started. This book contains the philosophical case for atheism, along with a nice introduction to philosophy for us non-philosophy students. If you like The God Delusion and other "new atheist" books, I highly recommend that you read this as well. This is the book that first convinced me that I really was an atheist, a few years before the "new atheist" thing started. This book contains the philosophical case for atheism, along with a nice introduction to philosophy for us non-philosophy students. If you like The God Delusion and other "new atheist" books, I highly recommend that you read this as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    NosNos

    An absolutely formidable and devastating collection of arguments from different angles against the existence of any theistic god. Starts from the metaphysical and epistemological incoherence of any deity and moves on to debunk the Christian God using internal inconsistencies. Clear and very well argued. Minus one star for the Ayn Rand stuff, skip that.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cross

    If you still believe in an anthropomorphic God without question after reading this book you've got more faith than I can fathom. This is most detailed take-down of every argument for the Western Theism that I've read, besides the much dryer writing of Michael Martin. If you still believe in an anthropomorphic God without question after reading this book you've got more faith than I can fathom. This is most detailed take-down of every argument for the Western Theism that I've read, besides the much dryer writing of Michael Martin.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emanuel Landeholm

    No God is fine with me, and this work makes a clear case for that. However, I don't need Randianism as a substitute! No God is fine with me, and this work makes a clear case for that. However, I don't need Randianism as a substitute!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.