Irreligion by John Allen Paulos
A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

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A Lifelong Unbeliever Finds No Reason to Change His Mind
Are there any logical reasons to believe in God? Mathematician and bestselling author John Allen Paulos thinks not. In Irreligion he presents the case for his own worldview, organizing his book into twelve chapters that refute the twelve arguments most often put forward for believing in God's existence. The latter arguments, Paulos relates in his characteristically lighthearted style, "range from what might be called golden oldies to those with a more contemporary beat. On the playlist are the firstcause argument, the argument from design, the ontological argument, arguments from faith and biblical codes, the argument from the anthropic principle, the moral universality argument, and others." Interspersed among his twelve counterarguments are remarks on a variety of irreligious themes, ranging from the nature of miracles and creationist probability to cognitive illusions and prudential wagers. Special attention is paid to topics, arguments, and questions that spring from his incredulity "not only about religion but also about others' credulity." Despite the strong influence of his day job, Paulos says, there isn't a single mathematical formula in the book.

About John Allen Paulos

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John Allen Paulos  is a professor of mathematics at Temple University. His books include the bestseller Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (H&W, 1988), A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, and A Mathematician Reads the Newspapers.
Published December 26, 2007 by Hill and Wang. 170 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, History. Non-fiction

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Though Paulos promises no heavy math, many passages will be most meaningful to mathematically minded readers.

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The New York Times

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and “since it’s better to exist than not to exist, existence is a characteristic of perfection.” Hence, “God exists by definition.” Similarly, Mr. Paulos’s argument that “doubt that God exists is almost banal in comparison to the more radical doubt” that people “exist, at least as anything more ...

Jan 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Irreligion: A Mathematician E...

The New York Times

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Mathematicians who buy into this fantasy are called “Platonists,” since their mathematical heaven resembles the realm of the Good and the True described in Plato’s “Republic.” Some years ago, while giving a lecture to an international audience of elite mathematicians in Berkeley, I asked how many...

Jan 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Irreligion: A Mathematician E...

Publishers Weekly

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In this short primer (“just the gist with an occasional jest”), Paulos tackles 12 of the most common arguments for God, including the argument from design, the idea that a “moral universality” points to a creator God, the notion of first causes and the argument from coincidence, among others.

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