Is God A Delusion?A Reply to Religion's Cultured Despisers
Is God a Delusion? addresses the philosophical underpinnings of the recent proliferation of popular books attacking religious beliefs. Winner of CHOICE 2009 Outstanding Academic Title Award Focuses primarily on charges leveled by recent critics that belief in God is irrational and that its nature ferments violence Balances philosophical rigor and scholarly care with an engaging, accessible style Offers a direct response to the crop of recent anti-religion bestsellers currently generating considerable public discussion
Introduction. 1. On Religion and Equivocation. 2. "The God Hypothesis" and the Concept of God. 3. Divine Tyranny and the Goodness of God. 4. Science, Transcendence, and Meaning. 5. Philosophy and God's Existence, Part I. 6. Philosophy and God's Existence, Part II. 7. Religious Consciousness. 8. The Substance of Things Hoped For. 9. Evil and the Meaning of Life. 10. The Root of All Evil?. Notes. References. Index
"This book is to be appreciated for its readability, a trait not readily found in many philosophers." (Lutheran Quarterly, July 2010) "Makes an elegantly argued response … that is refreshing in several respects. Neither polemical nor defensive … he brings into the contemporary fray many philosophers who reasoned well about God long ago. He looks squarely in the face of the contemporary horrors that many have used to argue for God's non-existence and still comes off the theodicy battleground with a sense of God as ethico-religious hope, 'the substance of things hoped for.' The clarity of his presentation should make this book useful after atheism has finished its moment in the sun." (Publisher's Weekly Religion Update) "Reitan's execution is truly remarkable, maintaining both sympathy with the criticism of exclusive and closed-minded religious views while exposing fallacious and closed-minded attacks on human expression of religious belief and hope.… Highly recommended." (Choice Magazine) "In the book you get two things for the price of one. 1- An intro to the philosophy of religion and 2- a fun, readable, and vigorous critical response to the New Atheists." (Tripp Fuller, Homebrewed Christianity) "Reitan's resurrection of the phrase 'cultured despisers' underscores one of the most compelling purposes of his book, namely, to show that the arguments of today's articulate atheists are rehash of yesteryear's angst." (Religion Dispatches)
Eric Reitan is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University with more than thirty articles published in professional journals. In 2004 he was the recipient of Oklahoma State University's Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence.
The last few years have seen an escalation in angry attacks against religion and belief in God. Recent bestsellers such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion are just the most visible manifestation of a broader and more disturbing trend that views religion and theism as irrational—and even inherently evil. Responding with their own brand of vitriol, religious conservatives have been quick to strike back. But might there be a more balanced view between these extreme voices—a brand of theistic religion that respects science yet recognizes its limits; one that says "yes" to both reason and the deeper yearnings of the human soul? In a wide-ranging discussion incorporating profound philosophical insights, Is God a Delusion? argues that today’s vocal religious critics have fixated on religion in its narrowest form. And in doing so they have failed to consider a religion whose essence is found not in inflexible doctrines, “infallible” holy books, or calcified institutions, but in a distinctive type of consciousness that points the way to a transcendent good beyond the world. With a philosophical nod to the revolutionary 19th-century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, the text defends those who find in religion the fulfillment of an ancient and profoundly human desire: the hope that somewhere beyond the universe that science can observe lies a deeper reality, one characterized by love and wisdom. A reality we call God.
"Clear, penetrating, and thought-provoking, Reitan's work is a bracing tonic for those in danger of being lulled into intellectual sleep by the strident claims of the 'new atheists'." —Kenneth Miller, Brown University "This is by far the best response to the 'new atheists' I know of -- well researched, subtle, full of powerful argument and yet accessible to all educated people." —Thomas Sullivan, St. Thomas University
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