Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up
By JOHN ALLEN PAULOS
Added: Wed, 09 Jan 2008 00:00:00 UTC
UPDATE: (thanks to Ken Bromberg)
First chapter: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/books/chapters/1st-chapter-irreligion.html?scp=1&sq=paulos
Review from NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/books/review/Holt-t.html?scp=2&sq=paulos
This little book just arrived on December 26th, and I must have missed it in the Christmas shuffle.
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.
"John Allen Paulos has done us all a great service. Irreligion is an elegant and timely response to the manifold ignorance that still goes by the name of 'faith' in the twenty-first century."
- Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
"He's done it again. John Allen Paulos has written a charming book that takes you on a journey of flawless logic, with simple and clear examples drawn from math, science, and pop culture. At the end, Paulos has left you with plenty to think about, whether you are religious, irreligious, or anything inbetween."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History, and author of Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
"For years John Allen Paulos has been our guide for reading newspapers, playing the stock market, and understanding what all those graphs and charts and formulas really mean. No one knows how to dissect an argument better than Paulos. Now he has turned his rapier wit to the grandest question of them all: Is there a God? Those who are religious skeptics will find in Paulos's analysis new ways of looking at both old and new arguments, and those who believe that God's existence can be proven through science, reason, and logic will have to answer to this mathematician's penetrating analysis."
- Michael Shermer, author of How We Believe, The Science of Good and Evil, and Why Darwin Matters