Cover image for The impossibility of God
The impossibility of God
Martin, Michael, 1932-2015.
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
438 pages ; 24 cm
Definitional disproofs of the existence of God -- Deductive evil disproofs of the existence of God -- Doctrinal disproofs of the existence of God -- Multiple attributes disproofs of the existence of God -- Single attribute disproofs of the existence of God.
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BL2747.3 .I49 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Most people, believers and nonbelievers alike, are unfamiliar with the variety and force of arguments for the impossibility of God. Yet over recent years a growing number of scholars have been formulating and developing a series of increasingly powerful arguments that the concept of God, as variously understood by the world's major religions and leading theologians, is contradictory in many ways, and therefore God does not and cannot exist.
This unique anthology brings together for the first time most of the important arguments for the impossibility of God that have been published. The collection includes papers and book selections by J. L. Mackie, Quentin Smith, Theodore Drange, Michael Martin, and many other distinguished scholars. The editors provide a general introduction and brief summaries of the arguments to help the reader grasp the crucial issues involved. Both students and teachers of philosophy and the philosophy of religion will find this anthology to be an indispensable resource.

Author Notes

Michael Martin is professor emeritus of philosophy at Boston University and author of numerous books, including Atheism: A Philosophical Justification; Atheism, Morality, and Meaning; and The Big Domino in the Sky and Other Atheistic Tales.
Ricki Monnier (Ph.D. in mathematical logic) is director of The Disproof Atheism Society.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

All first published from 1770 to 2000, these essays present logical arguments for the nonexistence of God. Martin (philosophy, emeritus, Boston Univ.) and Monnier (director, Disproof Atheism Society) bring these essays together for the first time, organizing them into five sections. Each section gets a brief but helpful introduction, and each author's contribution and arguments are briefly summarized. In regard to disproving the existence of God, reprinted articles hardly present new materials. Theologians over the centuries have devised many theories for proving the existence of God, from Pascal's wager theory (by betting on God's existence, at least there is a chance of winning; by not betting, one is sure to lose) to the ontological argument that states that a being greater than God cannot exist and therefore God exists. Theories such as these are given radical critique in this book, and theistic propositions are shown to be illogical, contradictory, and impossible. Mathematical and philosophical logic dominate the work, giving reason the upper hand over myth and superstition. One major flaw is a lack of a list of the numerous contributors and their backgrounds. Nevertheless, theologians need to pay attention to these arguments since such a logical challenge is directed precisely at their work. Highly recommended for all libraries.-James A. Overbeck, Atlanta-Fulton P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

J. N. FindlayJ. N. FindlayJohn L. PollockDouglas WaltonJames RachelsJ. L. MackieJ. L. MackieHugh LaFolletteQuentin SmithRichard R. La CroixRichard R. La CroixRaymond D. BradleyChristine OverallChristine OverallRichard SchoenigTheodore M. DrangeNorman KretzmannAnthony KennyDavid BlumenfeldMichael MartinMichael MartinMatt McCormickLawrence ResnickTomis KapitanTomis KapitanMatt McCormickGilbert FulmerJ. L. CowanJ. L. CowanPatrick GrimRoland PuccettiPatrick GrimPatrick GrimPaul Thiry d'Holbach
Prefacep. 11
Introductionp. 13
Part 1. Definitional Disproofs of the Existence of God
Introductionp. 17
1. Can God's Existence Be Disproved?p. 19
2. God's Non-Existence: A Reply to Mr. Rainer and Mr. Hughesp. 27
3. Proving the Non-Existence of Godp. 31
4. Can an Ancient Argument of Carneades on Cardinal Virtues and Divine Attributes Be Used to Disprove the Existence of God?p. 35
5. God and Moral Autonomyp. 45
Part 2. Deductive Evil Disproofs of the Existence of God
Introductionp. 59
6. Evil and Omnipotencep. 61
7. The Problem of Evilp. 73
8. Plantinga on the Free Will Defensep. 97
9. A Sound Logical Argument from Evilp. 106
10. Unjustified Evil and God's Choicep. 116
Part 3. Doctrinal Disproofs of the Existence of God
Introductionp. 125
11. The Paradox of Edenp. 127
12. A Moral Argument for Atheismp. 129
13. Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of Godp. 147
14. Miracles and God: A Reply to Robert A. H. Larmerp. 154
15. The Argument from Unfairnessp. 167
Part 4. Multiple Attributes Disproofs of the Existence of God
Introductionp. 181
16. Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Surveyp. 185
17. Omniscience and Immutabilityp. 198
18. Omniscience, Eternity, and Timep. 210
19. On the Compossibility of the Divine Attributesp. 220
20. A Disproof of the God of the Common Manp. 232
21. Conflicts between the Divine Attributesp. 242
22. Why God Cannot Think: Kant, Omnipresence, and Consciousnessp. 258
23. God and the Best Possible Worldp. 274
24. Agency and Omnisciencep. 282
25. The Incompatibility of Omniscience and Intentional Action: A Reply to David P. Huntp. 300
26. The Paradox of Divine Agencyp. 313
Part 5. Single Attribute Disproofs of the Existence of God
Introductionp. 323
27. The Concept of the Supernaturalp. 326
28. The Paradox of Omnipotencep. 330
29. The Paradox of Omnipotence Revisitedp. 337
30. Against Omniscience: The Case from Essential Indexicalsp. 349
31. Is Omniscience Possible?p. 379
32. Logic and Limits of Knowledge and Truthp. 381
33. The Being That Knew Too Muchp. 408
Appendix Of the Confused and Contradictory Ideas of Theologyp. 423