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The Improbability of God

A growing number of powerful arguments have been formulated by philosophers and logicians in recent years demonstrating that the existence of God is improbable. These arguments assume that God’s existence is possible but argue that the weight of the empirical evidence is against God’s actual existence. This unique anthology collects most of the important arguments for the improbability of God that have been published since the mid-1900s. The editors make each argument clear and accessible by providing a helpful summary. In addition, they arrange this diverse collection of arguments for the improbability of God into four thematic groups: Part 1 contains cosmological arguments based on the weight of the evidence relative to the origin of the universe; Part 2 presents teleological arguments based on the weight of the evidence relative to the order in the universe; Part 3 deals with inductive evil arguments based on the weight of the evidence relative to the widespread and horrendous evil in the world; and Part 4 contains nonbelief arguments based on the weight of the evidence relative to the widespread nonbelief or the reasonable nonbelief in the world. The list of distinguished authors includes William Rowe, Theodore Drange, Quentin Smith, Victor Stenger, J. L. Schellenberg, and Michael Martin, among others. With this new anthology as a companion to their earlier anthology, The Impossibility of God (2003), Martin and Monnier have created an indispensable resource in the philosophy of religion.

Table of Contents

  • Pt. 1    Cosmological arguments against the existence of God
    • 1    The scientific case against a God who created the universe    21
    • 2    The big bang argument for the existence of God    30
    • 3    Atheism, theism, and big bang cosmology    41
    • 4    A defense of the cosmological argument for God’s nonexistence    61
    • 5    Big bang cosmology and atheism    82
    • 6    Stephen Hawking’s cosmology and theism    86
    • 7    Why Stephen Hawking’s cosmology precludes a creator    94
  • Pt. 2    Teleological arguments against the existence of God
    • 1    The argument from scale    111
    • 2    The anthropic coincidences : a natural explanation    125
    • 3    The anthropic principle does not support supernaturalism    150
    • 4    Religion and science : a new look at Hume’s Dialogues    167
    • 5    Experimental atheism    194
    • 6    Atheistic teleological arguments    198
    • 7    Neither intelligent nor designed    215
    • 8    The improbability of God    223
  • Pt. 3    Inductive evil arguments against the existence of God
    • 1    An atheological argument from evil natural laws    235
    • 2    The problem of evil and some varieties of atheism    250
    • 3    Evil and theodicy    262
    • 4    The evidential argument from evil : a second look    275
    • 5    Reply to Plantinga    302
    • 6    Skeptical theism : a response to Bergmann    311
    • 7    An indirect inductive argument from evil    319
    • 8    An argument from non-gratuitous evil    328
  • Pt. 4    Nonbelief arguments against the existence of God
    • 1    The argument from nonbelief    341
    • 2    McHugh’s expectations dashed    357
    • 3    Bolstering the argument from nonbelief    362
    • 4    The arguments from confusion and biblical defects    369
    • 5    The argument from ignorance    380
    • 6    The real argument from ignorance    385
    • 7    An argument for atheism from the reasonableness of nonbelief    390
    • 8    Response to Howard-Snyder    405
    • 9    Divine hiddenness justifies atheism    413
    • App    The ideas of the divinity    427