The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism review ↠ 3

review The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism

The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism review ↠ 3 Ä What are the arguments for and against religion and religious belief all of them right across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious and do they stand up to scrutiny Can there be a clear full statement ofIn this debate Eually important what is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and a foundation for morality Is there a worldview and a code of life for thoughtful people those who wish to live with intellectual integrity based on reason evidence and a desire to do and be good that does. Grayling is rigorously logical in his analysis of the god uestion Some memorable concepts for me were Grayling says he doesn't believe in 'gods goddesses or supernatural agencies' He suggests that saying one doesn't believe in God creates the illusion that there is a real being one is choosing not to believe in He suggests that stamp collectors can form a common interest group but those choosing not to collect stamps are hardly likely to form a non stamp collectors group In the same way he argues those who don't believe in gods and goddesses are not likely to form a group Many mythologies that predate Christianity have gods impregnating women and producing god like children Everybody is an atheist with regard to almost all gods 'Polite opposition did not abolish slavery It took arguments campaigns and fearless outspoken criticism Freeing the human mind from the enslavement of superstition and religion reuires the same approach' 'The universe's parameters are not tuned on purpose for us to exist It is the other way round we exist because the laws happen to be as they are' Grayling compares this to the improbability of our own existence Given the extraordinary number of couplings in each individual's ancestry not to mention timing and even the sperm race the odds against us existing are stupendous However such an unlikely set of causes are necessary given that we do exist I enjoyed Grayling's analysis of the various philosophical arguments for a god For example the 'necessary being' idea leads one to conclude that this being is incapable of taking its own life and therefore not existing So the necessary being can't be omnipotentThe second half of Grayling's book argues the preference of humanism to religion as a basis for morality I like the way he argues individual responsibility It is hard to read this section without conceding it is a better way As Grayling says 'No wars have been fought over differences of opinion in botany'

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What are the arguments for and against religion and religious belief all of them right across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious and do they stand up to scrutiny Can there be a clear full statement of these arguments that once and for all will show what is at stake. With much atheist writing today focusing on the imperatives of tackling the myths contradictions and dangers of religious faith A C Grayling takes a markedly different approach in The God Argument Following the abstract optimism of his humanist ‘Bible’ The Good Book his aim here is to set out a positive and practical case for the humanist alternative to faith Accordingly he explains and dismisses the central arguments for religious faith – including the familiar teleological ontological and moral arguments – in brisk order careful to make sure his counter arguments are clear to readers unfamiliar with the philosophical principles he draws upon His positive case in favour of humanism focuses on the practicality of living ‘the good life’ and here is prose is unhelpfully dense in places Overall however Grayling’s synthesis of modern ethics and Greek philosophy provides a compelling case for humanism that fairly balances the negative tone of other recent atheist books

A.C. Grayling ï 3 summary

The God Argument The Case against Religion and for HumanismNot interfere with people's right to their own beliefs and freedom of expressionIn The Case Against Religion Anthony Grayling offers a definitive examination of these uestions and an in depth exploration of the humanist outlook that recommends itself as the ethics of the genuinely reflective person. In this book A C Grayling argues for two things One is that supernatural beings including god or other deities do not exist and that secular humanism is the best approach to life After taking care of preliminaries about what is meant by god he goes on to discuss the irrationality of a belief in god Then he goes on to discuss the standard arguments for god and the manifold problems with them He next shows the bankruptcy of religious morals and he ends up the first part of the book demolishing creationism and intelligent design The second part presents his arguments for the superiority of secular humanism for ethical and moral concerns over religious ones He shows here its contribution to ethics leading a good life making a better world to live in the importance of our shared humanity the difference between ethics and morals I had never seen this division before; he explains ethics is are personal concern with life and morality is how we treat others in large part due to our own personal ethics and some modern issues that the Bible or other ancient religious texts have not much to say on them including love sex drugs and death At the end he returns to show how religion is not euip to handle modern life and why secular humanism is a better path thereinI have a number of comments based on pieces of text from the book Pagination is from the Kindle edition Page numbers are in brackets 38 “This religious studies in public schools could not happen in the United States of America which is officially a secular country where public money cannot be used to promote religious activity” Think again Maybe not money spent on religious instruction in public schools but public money is spent in various ways in support of religious charities Plus sessions of Congress still opens with a prayer which bothers me to no end92 “Two things that stand out in Plantinga’s claims are first that theism is consistent with science than atheism because a universe ruled by a deity is an orderly one ” Except the universe is constantly becoming and disordered as time goes on This is because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics Sorry Plantinga can’t use an orderly universe in arguing for god’s existence And we know that your deity is really the Christian god96 “And then the rest of the argument cosmological falls into place the chain of causes cannot run back infinitely so there has to be a first cause and since this first cause is itself not contingent upon or caused by anything else it must be non contingent that is necessary” This is according Leibniz who should have known better because his calculus reuires that an approach to a limit that gets infinitely closer and closer106 “In short there is no need for an external enforcer to make us the kind of people who take such thoughts seriously ” Even so we do operate under external enforcers Parents and societal laws often fill these functions115 “ one mark of intelligence is an ability to live with as yet unanswered uestions” And the ability to ask them116 By this page I began to realize that Grayling certainly love his fairies151 “The point is not to take dictation from those thinkers such as philosophers to read and then obey rather it is to read discuss and then take the best of their insights for one’s own use and to make the resulting combination of ideas one’s own” This could come straight out of Stephie’s playbook Taking ideas and making them my own exploring them in different ways154 “Critics of Aristotle’s ethics are not very kind to it They describe his doctrine of the middle path as middle aged middle class and middlebrow” But in keeping with Grayling’s views We get to choose our own set of virtues to live by with no guarantee that we will get it 100% right Thus Aristotle’s theory of the mean is a sound method to guide our actions except we need t