Atheism : A Philosophical Justification

By (author) Martin, Michael

In this book Michael Martin provides logical reasons for being an atheist. Carefully examining the current debate in Anglo-American analytic philosophy regarding God's existence, Martin presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God, showing in detail their relevance to atheism. Claiming that atheism is a rational position while theistic beliefs are not, he relies both on logic and evidence and confines his efforts to showing the irrationality of belief in a personal supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and the creator of heaven and earth. The author's approach is two-fold. By presenting and criticizing arguments that have been advanced in favor of belief, he makes a case for "negative atheism." By offering arguments against atheism and defending it from these attacks, he presents a case for "positive atheism." Along the way, he confronts the views of numerous philosophers - among them Anselm, Aquinas, Plantinga, Hick, and Swinburne - and refutes both classical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced through the history of this debate. In his conclusion, Martin considers what would and would not follow if his main arguments were widely accepted, and he defines and distinguishes atheism from other "isms" and movements. Building on the work of religious skeptics and atheists of the past and present, he justifies his reconstruction of this philosophical dispute by citing some of the most interesting and important arguments for atheism and criticisms of arguments for the existence of God that have appeared in recent journal articles and have yet to be systematically addressed. Author note: Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and author of several books, including The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal and The Case Against Christianity (both from Temple).

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  • Preface Introduction The Scope of Nonbelief * A Brief Defense of Atheism Against Some Common Criticisms * Purpose Part I: Negative Atheism 1. The Justification of Negative Atheism: Some Preliminaries A Presumption of Atheism * The Ethics of Belief * The Evil Demon and Objectivist Epistemology * Conclusion 2. The Meaningfulness of Religious Language Overview of the Problem * Incoherence and Meaninglessness * Nielsen's Critique of God Talk * Swinburne's Defense * The Choice of an Observational Language * Attempts to Show the Confirmability of Theological Statements * Conclusion 3. The Ontological Argument Anselm's Ontological Argument * Malcolm's Ontological Argument * Hartshorne's Ontological Argument * Kordig's Ontological Argument * Plantinga's Ontological Argument * Conclusion 4. The Cosmological Argument Traditional Deductive Cosmological Arguments * Three Contemporary Defenses of the Cosmological Argument * General Conclusion 5. The Teleological Argument Background lo the Teleological Argument * Tennant 's Cosmic Teleology * Schlesinger's Teleological Argument * Swinburne's Teleological Argument * Taylor's Teleological Argument * General Conclusion 6. The Argument from Religious Experience Religious Experience Defined * Types of Religious Experience * Mystical Experience * Swinburne's Principle of Credulity and Religious Experience * Conclusion 7. The Argument from Miracles The Argument in General * The Concept of Miracles * The Probability That God Exists, Given the Existence of Miracles * Naturalism versus Supernaturalism and the Existence of Miracles * The Difficulty of Showing the Existence of Miracles * Evidence of Miracles in One Religion as Evidence Against Contrary Religions * Miracles at Lourdes * Indirect Miracles * Conclusion 8. Some Minor Evidential Arguments for God The Argument from Common Consent * The Moral Argument * The Argument from Reward * The Argument from Justice * Arguments from Scripture * The Argument from Consciousness * The Argument from Providence * The Argument from Cumulative Evidence 9. Beneficial Arguments for God Pascal's Argument * William James and the Will to Believe * Conclusion 10. Faith and Foundationalism A Traditional Concept of Religious Faith * Existential Faith * Wittgensteinian Fideism * Are Avowals of Religious Faith True or False? * Could an Atheist Have Faith in God? * Religious Beliefs and Basic Beliefs * Conclusion Part II: Positive Atheism 11. The Justification of Positive Atheism: Some Preliminaries The Justification of Negative Atheism as a Justification for Positive Atheism * The Strength of the Case Needed for A Posteriori Arguments * The A Priori Arguments and the Possibility of Rebuttal 12. Divine Attributes and Incoherence Omniscience * Divine Freedom * Omnipotence * Conclusion 13. Atheistic Teleological Arguments Salmon 's Argument * Expansion of the Argument * The Universe as a Created Object * Conclusion 14. The Argument from Evil A Direct Inductive Argument from Evil * An Indirect Inductive Argument from Evil * Criticisms of a Probabilistic Argument from Evil * Conclusion 15. The Free Will Defense Background * The Justification in General * The Assumption of the Importance of Freedom * Free Will und Contracausal Freedom * Contracausal Freedom and Statistical Laws * Compatibilism and World Preference * Free Will and Evil * Possible Worlds and God's Ignorance * The Responsibility of God * Is the Free Will Defense Relevant to the Problem of Moral Evil? * Conclusion 16. Natural Evil Three Contemporary Attempts to Solve the Problem of Natural Evil * Conclusion 17. Soul Making Theodicy Some General Problems with the Soul Making Defense * Hick's Soul Making Theodicy Explained * Hick's Soul Making Theodicy Evaluated 18. Some Minor Theodicies The Finite God Theodicy * The Best of All Possible Worlds Theodicy * The Original Sin Theodicy * The Ultimate Harmony Theodicy * The Degree of Desirability of a Conscious State Theodicy * The Reincarnation Theodicy * The Contrast Theodicy * The Warning Theodicy * Conclusion Conclusion Appendix: Atheism Defined and Contrasted Atheism Defined * Atheism Distinguished and Contrasted * Conclusion Notes Index

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書名 Atheism : A Philosophical Justification
著作者等 Martin, Michael
書名別名 A Philosophical Justification
出版元 Temple University Press,U.S.
刊行年月 1992.01.01
ページ数 275p
大きさ H233 x W150
ISBN 9780877229438
言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国