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The God Argument

The Case against Religion and for Humanism

A.C. Grayling

Bloomsbury USA

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ISBN10: 1620401924
ISBN13: 9781620401927


288 Pages



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Examining all the arguments for and against religion and religious belief—across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious and how they stand up to scrutiny—The God Argument is a landmark book in the ongoing debate about the place of religion and secularism in our world.

While A. C. Grayling is a clear critic of religion as a guiding force, unlike some of religion's opponents, he carefully considers the various arguments for the existence of God and the many reasons people believe in a deity. More important, he then offers a powerful alternative to religion as a world-view—humanism—an approach to life for those who wish to live with intellectual integrity, based on reason, evidence, and a desire to do and be good, and one which does not interfere with people's rights to their own beliefs and freedom of expression.

Humanism, as Grayling reveals it, is an ethics of sympathy and tolerance based on the best endeavor to make sense of human nature and the human condition. Though humanism recognizes why the various faiths first arose, it nevertheless argues that organized religion should no longer be given a privileged position in society.

Thoughtfully provocative, intellectually expansive, The God Argument makes a powerful case that secular belief, free of religious dogma, allows for a much more compassionate and caring worldview.


Praise for The God Argument

"Debunks the teleological, ontological and cosmological arguments employed throughout Christendom for the literal existence of God . . . Those looking for a succinct analysis of these centuries old debates will appreciate Grayling's insights."—The Washington Post, "On Faith"

"London-based academic and philosopher Grayling has the sharp analytical mind of fellow naysayer Richard Dawkins, though he is gentler about saying no to God or god or gods . . . readers looking for fire-and-brimstone contrarianism will want to turn to Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens instead. Mild though the rebuke is, a readable and persuasvie argument—if, of course, an exercise in preaching to the choir."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

A.C. Grayling

A.C. Grayling is professor of philosophy and master of the New College of the Humanities, London. He is the author of the acclaimed Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan, Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World, and, most recently, The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. A former fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos and past chairman of the human rights organization June Fourth, he contributes frequently to the Times, Financial Times, the Economist, New Statesman, and Prospect. Grayling's play Grace, co-written with Mick Gordon, was acclaimed in London and New York. He lives in London.