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

Title: Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up

Author: John Allen Paulos

First published January 1, 2008

158 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780809059195 (ISBN10: 0809059193)

Rating: 3.66


John Allen Paulos, a mathematician and author, takes a critical look at the arguments for the existence of God and finds them lacking. In his book Irreligion, Paulos presents twelve chapters that debunk the most commonly used arguments for the existence of God.

Using his signature lighthearted style, Paulos explores the flaws of arguments ranging from the ontological argument to the moral universality argument. Alongside his counterarguments, Paulos also delves into various irreligious themes such as miracles, cognitive illusions, and prudential wagers.

Despite his background in mathematics, Paulos opts to leave out any mathematical formulas, instead presenting an insightful and thought-provoking analysis of why he remains an unbeliever.

Editoral Review

In “Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up,” John Allen Paulos offers a unique exploration of the debate surrounding the existence of God. First published in 2008, this book is a fascinating study of how mathematicians use logic and reason to question and challenge the validity of religious beliefs.

Paulos, a prominent mathematician and author, provides readers with a thorough examination of the arguments for and against the existence of God. Through his clear and concise writing, he explains complex mathematical concepts in a way that is accessible to the lay reader.

He offers a compelling analysis of the flaws in many of the traditional arguments for God, using mathematical principles to demonstrate why these arguments do not hold up under scrutiny.

Despite the technical subject matter, Paulos’ engaging writing style and clear explanations make this book a pleasure to read.

He interweaves personal anecdotes and cultural references throughout the text, making it both informative and entertaining. By using real-world examples and analogies, Paulos brings the subject matter to life for the reader, engaging them in the debate surrounding the philosophy of religion.

Despite its focus on mathematical principles, this book has significant cultural and historical significance. In a time of growing religious and political polarization, Paulos’ book offers readers a critical perspective on the nature of faith and belief.

His exploration of the flaws in traditional arguments for God can be seen as a response to the rise of religious fundamentalism and the influence of “intelligent design” in the public sphere. Overall, “Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up” is an outstanding work of philosophy and mathematics.

Paulos’ thoughtful analysis of the debate surrounding the existence of God offers a refreshing perspective on a contentious topic. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and mathematics.

While the book offers a comprehensive look at the topic, it may not be suitable for readers looking for a quick, superficial overview of the arguments against the existence of God. Additionally, some readers may find the technical aspects of the book challenging.

However, for those willing to invest the time and effort, Paulos offers a rewarding and enlightening exploration of one of the most enduring debates of our time. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.