The Cambridge Companion to Atheism
Martin (L. Michael), Ed.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb


BOOK COMMENT:

Cambridge University Press, 2007



"Beit-Hallahmi (Benjamin) - Atheists: A Psychological Profile"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Bremmer (Ian) - Atheism and Antiquity"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Brink (David) - The Autonomy of Ethics"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Caputo (John) - Atheism, A/theology, and the Postmodern Condition"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Craig (William Lane) - Theistic Critiques of Atheism"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Dennett (Daniel) - Atheism and Evolution"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007


Author’s Introduction
  1. Descartes, in the Meditations (1641), notes that "there are only two ways of proving the existence of God, one by means of his effects, and the other by means of his nature or essence" (AT VII, 120).
    1. The latter, a priori path, represented paradigmatically by the ontological argument of St. Anselm (and its offspring, including Descartes' own version), has perennial appeal to a certain sort of philosopher, but leaves most people cold.
    2. The former, represented paradigmatically by the argument from design, is surely the most compelling of all arguments against atheism, and it apparently arises spontaneously whenever people anywhere are challenged to justify their belief in God.
  2. William Paley's example of finding a watch while strolling on the heath epitomizes the theme and leads, he says, to "the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker - that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer, who comprehended its construction and designed its use" (Paley 18001.)
  3. Until Darwin came along, this was a respectable argument, worthy of Hume's corrosive but indecisive broadside in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779).
  4. Descartes himself subscribed to a version of the argument from design, in his notorious Third Meditation argument that his idea of God was too wonderful to have been created by him. Though Descartes surely considered himself intelligent, and moreover an accomplished designer of ideas, he could not imagine that he could be the intelligent designer of his own idea of God.


COMMENT: See Dennett - Atheism and Evolution.



"Eales (Evan) - Naturalism and Physicalism"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007


Author’s Abstract
  1. Naturalism and physicalism are metaphysical positions commonly associated with atheism. Both are stronger than atheism: they entail atheism, conceived (minimally) as the denial that there is an all-powerful, omniscient, perfectly good disembodied1 personal being who has created the physical universe.
  2. Naturalism and physicalism are, therefore, natural allies of atheism, and offer a philosophical framework within which atheism finds a natural home.



"Gale (Richard) - The Failure of Classical Theistic Arguments"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Gey (Steven) - Atheism and the Freedom of Religion"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Grim (Patrick) - Impossibility Arguments"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Guthrie (Stewart) - Anthropological Theories of Religion"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Hyman (Gavin) - Atheism in Modern History"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Martin (L. Michael) - Atheism and Religion"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Martin (L. Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism - Preface, Glossary & General Introduction"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Overall (Christine) - Feminism and Atheism"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Parsons (Keith) - Some Contemporary Theistic Arguments"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Smith (Quentin) - Kalam Cosmological Arguments for Atheism"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Weisberger (Andrea) - The Argument from Evil"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



"Zucherman (Phil) - Atheism: Contemporary Numbers and Patterns"

Source: Martin (Michael) - The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007



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