hits counter Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith

Availability: Ready to download

Dr. Richard Carrier, world renowned philosopher and historian, explains the four reasons he does not accept the Christian religion, describing four facts of the world that, had they been different, he would believe. He is brief, clear, and down to earth, covering the whole topic in under ninety pages of easy-to-read explanation. Those four reasons are God's silence, God's Dr. Richard Carrier, world renowned philosopher and historian, explains the four reasons he does not accept the Christian religion, describing four facts of the world that, had they been different, he would believe. He is brief, clear, and down to earth, covering the whole topic in under ninety pages of easy-to-read explanation. Those four reasons are God's silence, God's inaction, the lack of evidence, and the way the universe looks exactly like a godless universe would, and not at all like a Christian universe would, even down to its very structure. Dr. Carrier addresses all the usual replies to these claims, in ways you might not have heard before, relying on his wide experience in debating and studying these issues all over the world for more than fifteen years. A perfect book to introduce yourself, or your friends, to why fewer educated people are embracing Christianity than ever before. Ideal for handing out to door-to-door missionaries.


Compare

Dr. Richard Carrier, world renowned philosopher and historian, explains the four reasons he does not accept the Christian religion, describing four facts of the world that, had they been different, he would believe. He is brief, clear, and down to earth, covering the whole topic in under ninety pages of easy-to-read explanation. Those four reasons are God's silence, God's Dr. Richard Carrier, world renowned philosopher and historian, explains the four reasons he does not accept the Christian religion, describing four facts of the world that, had they been different, he would believe. He is brief, clear, and down to earth, covering the whole topic in under ninety pages of easy-to-read explanation. Those four reasons are God's silence, God's inaction, the lack of evidence, and the way the universe looks exactly like a godless universe would, and not at all like a Christian universe would, even down to its very structure. Dr. Carrier addresses all the usual replies to these claims, in ways you might not have heard before, relying on his wide experience in debating and studying these issues all over the world for more than fifteen years. A perfect book to introduce yourself, or your friends, to why fewer educated people are embracing Christianity than ever before. Ideal for handing out to door-to-door missionaries.

30 review for Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This book fails to deliver on its promise. Whilst it most certainly does describe why Richard Carrier is not a Christian it fails to give any "conclusive reasons" for rejecting the Christian faith, let alone four of them! In this review I will explain why. Richard Carrier begins by pointing out that he is a "world renowned atheist" and that he is noted for his work in history and philosophy. For those who doubt Carrier encourages them to google! So I did. After just a few minutes of research I di This book fails to deliver on its promise. Whilst it most certainly does describe why Richard Carrier is not a Christian it fails to give any "conclusive reasons" for rejecting the Christian faith, let alone four of them! In this review I will explain why. Richard Carrier begins by pointing out that he is a "world renowned atheist" and that he is noted for his work in history and philosophy. For those who doubt Carrier encourages them to google! So I did. After just a few minutes of research I discovered that Carrier holds a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University, is notorious for his doubts over the historicity of Jesus, writes lots of articles for online atheist websites and "is a world-renowned author and speaker" (according to his own website no less) although I cannot find any quotes to that effect from anyone other than himself. The blurb for this book claims Carrier is a "world renowned philosopher and historian". It appears he is well qualified in ancient history but it is more difficult to ascertain whether he has any formal qualifications in philosophy. Carrier makes fleeting references to genuine atheist philosophers at the beginning of his book but, without telling anyone he's doing it, changes the force of their arguments to suggest they constitute disproofs. Not only that but his version of these atheist arguments are nowhere near as academically rigorous. He oversimplifies complicated atheist probabilistic arguments (such as Schellenberg's argument from God's hiddenness) and then requires us to accept he has offered some deductive disproof. He therefore does atheist philosophers as much injustice as he does theistic ones (whom he rarely ever even bothers engaging with). All of this is very curious as a writing style for someone who claims to be such a noted philosopher! Here are a couple of summaries of arguments he uses in the first chapter (I have written them as syllogisms even though Carrier expresses them as analogies in narrative form): 1. If God existed everyone would know he existed. 2. Not everyone knows God exists. 3. Therefore God does not exist. 1. If God exists he would display all the same characteristics of our fathers and friends. 2. We do not observe God demonstrating all the characteristics of our fathers and friends. 3. Therefore God does not exist. I hope it's not necessary to point out just how sophomoric (that might even be unfair on good sophomores) such arguments are since there are clearly premises which can be rationally denied. Unfortunately things go from bad to worse, as the book goes on, as he then decides to appeal to the logical problem of evil as a disproof for the existence of God! This is curious since early on in the book he highly recommended a book by the atheist philosopher Nicholas Everitt called 'The Non-existence of God' but Everitt, in his book, makes it very clear that almost all philosophers have now agreed that the logical problem of evil has been defeated. In fact, Everitt even confesses, of the logical problem of evil, that the argument "... does not form an explicitly contradictory set; and it would be difficult to find any atheist who thought that they did." p.230. Carrier fails to inform the reader that the vast majority of atheists have abandoned the logical form of the argument and he gives no good reasons why it should be adopted. This is hardly surprising as it would mean having to refute Alvin Plantinga's defeator of the problem and Carrier does not make a habit of engaging with professional philosophers who are theists. Actually - it's something he never does in the book. Carrier further ignores the advice of the atheist philosopher (Everitt) on his analysis of the concept of omnipotence as well. Everitt interacts with monotheistic doctines of God and by doing so points out that: "... it may be that God's omnipotence does not require him to be able to do everything." p.230 Instead of interacting with monotheism, as Everitt does, Carrier merely asserts that his notion of omnipotence must be the one which religious people must accept and if they don't then they are not being rational. He declares, with great confidence: "The Christian God is an Almighty Creator, capable of creating or destroying anything..." Even Descartes would not have accepted such an idea of omnipotence (and he had quite extreme views on omnipotence). Rather than interact with Christian philosophers, such as Richard Swinburne of Oxford, he merely declares this even though most Christian philosophers reject this definition of omnipotence completely. Swinburne points out (in his 'Existence of God') that God's omnipotence is usually constrained by both his moral goodness and his rational character. Therefore creating free and absolutely not free creatures is not within God's ability to do. In addition to all this he appears to not know what an 'ad hoc' fallacy really is in philosophy since he calls any reply to criticisms of God 'ad hoc's! If Carrier were right it would mean that merely replying to an accusation would make you guilty of a logical fallacy! At least Carrier would have a hard time responding to my book review without committing it! However, in philosophy, one is only guilty of arguing ad hoc if one introduces an assumption for which there is no other good reason for believing (other than that it aids your other argument) or some new assumption is added which did not previously exist. Carrier repeatedly misuses this accusation in almost every chapter. In his chapter on 'God is inert' we see more of his philosophical ineptitude as he formulates this argument: 1. If God exists he would do things in the world. 2. God does nothing in the world. 3. Therefore God does not exist. It appears Carrier feels no burden of proof for the veracity of premise 2! Instead he would rather be permitted to merely assert it. In the chapter 'A Digression on Method' Carrier, in very non-technical language (which we can forgive him for since it is quite clear he is not an epistemologist) tries to explain why a Christian must prove Christianity true before it can be believed. This allows him to conveniently sideline evidence such as the fine-tuning of the universe (which many philosophers and scientists find so fascinating). Carrier's 'method' sounds very much like the type of strong evidentialism which almost all modern philosophers (and scientists too for that matter) have rejected in favour of falsification and making theories based on probability. Carrier compares the claim 'God exists' as being analogous to claiming 'I have a car'. Perhaps he would do well to learn what a category error is? Furthermore, Carrier makes some pretty grandiose claims such as that: "We have no good evidence that we have death-surviving souls or that anyone can or will resurrect our bodies." It would be noteworthy that he does not bother to interact with the arguments commonly given for the resurrection of Jesus. He does not even interact with the common forms of this argument let alone go anywhere near the probabilistic argument as outlined by Timothy and Lydia McGrew. In terms of arguments from personal experience Carrier makes quite an extraordinary claim. He says: "As for those who claim to have "seen" or "spoken" to God, it turns out on close examination that they are lying, insane, or only imagining what they saw or heard." What an extraordinary claim! Carrier had previously alluded to the principle of 'extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence' but it's interesting that Carrier now offers no evidence whatsoever for this extraordinary assertion. Frankly, I was rather looking forward to his proof that Martin Luther King Jr. was either lying, insane or having delusions when he believed God had spoken to him with such force that he continued to lead the struggle against racism in North America despite the threat this put on his life and the lives of his family because he believed God had told him he would be with him. Instead his 'evidence' is to argue that because it is logically possible for these experiences to be delusions that they must therefore be delusions! This, I have to admit, is one of the weirdest and weakest arguments against personal experiences of God being genuine I have ever heard. Let me give you one quick reason why so. Philosophers, from antiquity to the present day, have pointed out that it is logically possible that all of our experiences could be delusions. It is possible we could be brains-in-a-vat for all we know or in some computer-generated dream world. If we subscribe to Carrier's argument we would have to concede that the mere logical possibility of this hypothesis makes it true. As a consequence, luckily for Carrier, this must mean he does not think this review is written by a real person! I could make similar points about his chapter on the universe but I feel I have said enough here for now. Carrier's methodology throughout is profoundly unscholarly. He tells us what he thinks should be evident if God existed in every chapter of his book ad nauseum but the problem is he does not demonstrate why those expectations are the correct ones. He fails to interact with Christian philosophers who have written a great deal of work in these areas and he even creates a concept of God which is a straw man on more than one occasion. If you're after a book which is even more superficial than 'The God Delusion' on the question of the existence of God - this is a book for you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Warning: highly philosophical and reference-dense atheist work. If you are looking for light fare and a breezy read, Richard Carrier's "Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith" will bring you to your knees, and not in prayer either. I am giving it five stars because this book is precisely what the author offers in the opening, but I am giving the warning because, if you are expecting a Hitchens polemic or a Dennett philosophy-for-everyone style book, this is not it. Warning: highly philosophical and reference-dense atheist work. If you are looking for light fare and a breezy read, Richard Carrier's "Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith" will bring you to your knees, and not in prayer either. I am giving it five stars because this book is precisely what the author offers in the opening, but I am giving the warning because, if you are expecting a Hitchens polemic or a Dennett philosophy-for-everyone style book, this is not it. In the interests of total honesty, I am already (and have been for some time) an anti-theist atheist. But I did not read this to vindicate my own views. Rather, I was introduced to Richard Carrier via the John Loftus edited books "The Christian Delusion" and "The End of Christianity," as well as the Robert Price and Jeffery Lowder edited "The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave." As a contributor to those collections, I was interested in Carrier's approach, even if at times I found his writing laborious, a view that is indeed vindicated in this work. I was also drawn to Richard Carrier because his arguments sit on a line between philosophy, theology, and history. While I love The Four Horsemen's works individually and collectively, adore Dr. Victor Stenger's works on atheism and science ("God: The Failed Hypothesis," "Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness," and "The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason"), and devoured the work of other atheist writers , Richard Carrier belongs to a special class with John Loftus and Dan Barker: they bring deep understanding of theology to their work. This work, a rather short "paper" written at the behest of a friend, lays out four primary objections and rationally illustrated reasons why an honest and rational person must "reject the faith," as the title states. It is not possible to overstate how devastating Carrier's dismemberment of Christianity becomes as the book progresses. The four chapter titles, while only mildly descriptive, will give any reader of this review some sense of how strong the objections are: God is Silent God is Inert Wrong Evidence Wrong Universe When I was reading this book, I was continuously reminded of the slow erosion of a riverbed as the years and water progressed. Carrier, like Loftus, walks the reader through the logic. He shows with patience that a god like we find in the Bible is a definitively evil creature if he existed and we should be glad he does not. He grinds theology like grist under the weight of history and philosophy. If you are interested in a thumbnail and easily-learned set of basic arguments against the Christian god, this is your book. But realize that the text is dense, the references are thick, and the language is collegiate.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Johannah

    How do I rate a book like this? I didn't "hate" it, but I wasn't "ok" with it either. As I select books to read, I try to go outside of my comfort zone box, and this choice was no exception. While I obviously disagree with pretty much everything the author stated, it was still an interesting read. I think that as Christians, it's important to understand the reasoning behind many atheist's point of view (in order to -as the Bible says- be prepared with an answer for the reason of the hope that is How do I rate a book like this? I didn't "hate" it, but I wasn't "ok" with it either. As I select books to read, I try to go outside of my comfort zone box, and this choice was no exception. While I obviously disagree with pretty much everything the author stated, it was still an interesting read. I think that as Christians, it's important to understand the reasoning behind many atheist's point of view (in order to -as the Bible says- be prepared with an answer for the reason of the hope that is in us). Although I was frustrated by the author's "blind reasoning", this book mostly just saddened me. The realization that there are so many people who (choose to) have no hope in anything beyond themselves is slightly overwhelming in my mind. At the same time, however, when I sit back and contemplate my own personal relationship with the God of the universe, I am even more bowled over. He didn't have to pursue me, but His grace and love are so relentless, I honestly can't see my life without Him as part of it. For research sake only, I would recommend this book to mature Christians.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rod Hilton

    Richard Carrier presents a very small book focused on a very narrow, specific issue. Rather than addressing all of religion, or theology, or the concept of a god entirely, Carrier simply looks at the definition of the Christian God, as supplied by various Christian, and presents precisely four arguments. He does not bring a wide variety of arguments with varying levels of strength, like whywontgodhealamputees.com approaches it. Instead, he brings his best four to the table, the four that he inte Richard Carrier presents a very small book focused on a very narrow, specific issue. Rather than addressing all of religion, or theology, or the concept of a god entirely, Carrier simply looks at the definition of the Christian God, as supplied by various Christian, and presents precisely four arguments. He does not bring a wide variety of arguments with varying levels of strength, like whywontgodhealamputees.com approaches it. Instead, he brings his best four to the table, the four that he intends to use to absolutely decimate Christianity, and leave it's smoldering corpse in the dust. To this end, I think he succeeds. The four arguments in the book, summarized as "God is Silent" (basically that, if the Christian God existed, his message would be much clearer), "God is Inert" (the problem of evil), "Wrong Evidence" (all known science contradicts claims of the Christian God), and "Wrong Universe" (the universe is exactly as one would predict without a God, and exactly as one would not predict with one), are all very strong and well-presented. Carrier addresses potential questions about his conclusions, and he walks through his arguments very slowly and methodically, building things up from initial assumptions in a logical and straightforward way. His stress on semi-formalisms is nearly pedantic at times, but it gets the point across. This is a short, solid book explaining why, even if God exists, the Christian God does not (for any useful definition of "Christian"). It's written in a matter-of-fact way that doesn't really handle religion with kid gloves, but still lacks the vitriol of many other atheistic texts. In other words, this is a decent book for nonbelievers to give family or friends that keep giving them shit. Carrier never strays from his central thesis or even discusses much of his other beliefs/research outside of said thesis (impressive, since he holds the controversial mythicist position regarding Jesus). The book is very similar to Letter to a Christian Nation in this regard - a short, focused, easy read intended primarily for Christians to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Todd Martin

    Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith is a short treatise that argues that the Christian God is almost certainly the invention of the human imagination due to the inherent contradictions and wild improbabilities associated with his/her existence. In contrast, what we’ve learned about the universe and ourselves from the scientific disciplines of cosmology, biology and the neurosciences is consistent with a naturalistic worldview. Though some may be annoyed by the s Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith is a short treatise that argues that the Christian God is almost certainly the invention of the human imagination due to the inherent contradictions and wild improbabilities associated with his/her existence. In contrast, what we’ve learned about the universe and ourselves from the scientific disciplines of cosmology, biology and the neurosciences is consistent with a naturalistic worldview. Though some may be annoyed by the smug tone that comes across in Carrier’s writing, there’s no denying the strength of his arguments. Using data from history, probability theory, our own physical experiences and the bible itself, Carrier builds a powerful case for atheism based upon four arguments: the fact that God is silent and inert (doesn’t intervene in the natural world), the lack of evidence for his existence and the fact that the universe operates exactly as one would expect it to if no God existed. Carrier concludes, “The Christian hypothesis flatly contradicts a ton of evidence, makes numerous failed predictions, is not the best explanation of the universe we find ourselves in, and fails to find anywhere near sufficient evidence in its own support.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Winston Jen

    As Carrier states in his introduction, he is willing and able to change his position if evidence were forthcoming. Unlike creationists and certain brands of apologists (like William Lane Craig) who steadfastly refuse to let the evidence lead them to truth but seek to force the evidence to lead them to their pre-established biases towards their particular faith. Take this quote from Craig during his debate with Mark Smith. In response to a hypothetical question, "Dr. Craig, for the sake of argumen As Carrier states in his introduction, he is willing and able to change his position if evidence were forthcoming. Unlike creationists and certain brands of apologists (like William Lane Craig) who steadfastly refuse to let the evidence lead them to truth but seek to force the evidence to lead them to their pre-established biases towards their particular faith. Take this quote from Craig during his debate with Mark Smith. In response to a hypothetical question, "Dr. Craig, for the sake of argument let’s pretend that a time machine gets built. You and I hop in it, and travel back to the day before Easter, 33 AD. We park it outside the tomb of Jesus. We wait. Easter morning rolls around, and nothing happens. We continue to wait. After several weeks of waiting, still nothing happens. There is no resurrection- Jesus is quietly rotting away in the tomb." Craig's unabashedly honest reply (which, ironically, reveals the depth of his deceit, was, and I am paraphrasing: "Yes, I would still believe. The internal witness of the holy spirit trumps any and all external evidence against Christianity." Also, from Reasonable Faith, page 35-36: "When a person refuses to come to Christ it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God." Carrier immediately sets himself out from his opponents by a candid description of his position and a glimpse into his profound intellectual rigour and integrity. A quick read at under 100 pages, the evidence and reasoning provided are sound. This is no hollow chest-beating piece from a sophist attempting to sell snake-oil as diamonds. This is a clear, level-headed and fair analysis of why religion has yet to prove itself true and must spread through violence and indoctrination. Furthermore, as these flaws within Christianity can be linked and pointed to The author's first argument is from divine hiddenness and silence. Why does god refrain from telling humanity his plan? Why are there so many Christian and Muslim sects if god has a single message and plan for the world? Common rebuttals appeal to free will, which is completely inadequate for explaining why religious believers, who have clearly NOT CHOSEN to reject or deny god's message, receive such conflicting and inconsistent messages. Wouldn't the Mormons, Hindus, Muslims all receive the same revelation? Based on the Christian belief held by most adherents (and demonstrated by CS Lewis in Mere Christianity), god's plan is for humans to fix a fallen world. Funnily enough, his actions (or more accurately, the lack thereof) completely belie his goals. Let's not forget that god is (allegedly) NOT the author of confusion, as illustrated in 1 Corinthians 14:33. CS Lewis, among others, have claimed that our conscience is the method by which god speaks to us, which again does not address the different moral conclusions reached by so many believers and non-believers. Free will doesn't explain why he supposedly appear to prominent characters in the Old Testament. As Carrier states, physicists do not nullify the free will of those who seek out more information about the big bang or any other theory. A loving god would, likewise, ensure that everyone had the correct message before simply giving up on them as lost causes. As such, the basic claims of Christianity have been disproven by reality. Other arguments include god's inaction. A god (or any supernatural causes) are unnecessary to explain the natural laws of the universe or why bad things happen. For if there was a tri-omni god, there would be no evil or suffering. Creation would begin and end with heavenly bliss. Free will fails to defeat this for obvious reasons (and less obvious ones, such as the difference between free will and free action), most prominent among them the fact that humans routinely deny freedom to those who harm others. Fine tuning fails because a god would not need to fine tune the universe for life. This argument, while instinctively pleasing and convincing upon first blush, ignores the vast amount of the universe that is NOT conducive to any life, let alone human life. Without civilisation, we wouldn't have been able to propagate as successfully as we have. Why would a god allow his cherished creation to dwindle to a mere 10,000 and teeter on the brink of extinction? Not only is this atrocious design, but demeans the scientists and altruists throughout history who have striven to make life better. The use of mathematics further solidifies Carrier's position, although it will likely seem too esoteric for those who have not taken courses in probability. For further essays by Carrier, I encourage you to read the following compilations. The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails The End of Christianity

  7. 4 out of 5

    Book

    Why I am Not a Christian by Richard Carrier Why I am Not a Christian is a fantastic brief account of why Dr. Carrier rejects the Christian religion. His four main reasons are: God's silence, God's inaction, the lack of evidence, and the debunking of the fine tuning argument. This short book of less than 90 pages is composed of the following six chapters: Why This Book, God is Silent, God is Inert, Wrong Evidence, Wrong Universe and a Conclusion. Positives: 1. It's a book by Dr. Carrier so you kn Why I am Not a Christian by Richard Carrier Why I am Not a Christian is a fantastic brief account of why Dr. Carrier rejects the Christian religion. His four main reasons are: God's silence, God's inaction, the lack of evidence, and the debunking of the fine tuning argument. This short book of less than 90 pages is composed of the following six chapters: Why This Book, God is Silent, God is Inert, Wrong Evidence, Wrong Universe and a Conclusion. Positives: 1. It's a book by Dr. Carrier so you know it's well written and well thought out. 2. A brief intellectual appetizer. I like that. 3. A direct logical response to the question, "Why I am not a Christian." 4. Great quotes. One thing that I admire most about Dr. Carrier is his ability to convey his thoughts in a lucid manner. Consider the following thought, "The fact that believers can't agree on the content of God's message or desires also refutes the theory that he wants us to be clear on these things." You see what I mean. 5. Great defense of all his positions. 6. I always learn something new from Dr. Carrier. Always thought-provoking. 7. Priced right, an eloquent essay at a fair price. Worth it! Negatives: 1. Having to wait for Dr. Carrier's next book, " On the Historicity of Jesus Christ." In summary, I enjoyed this short book. It should be placed at every hotel and motel room. I think people would get a lot more out of it. Dr. Carrier proposes four reasons why he is not a Christian and they all hit the mark. A short but satisfactory book as every great appetizer should be. Further suggestions: "Sense and Goodness without God" by the same author is fantastic, "Godless..." by Dan Barker, "Decoding the Language of God..." by George C. Cunningham, "Christian No More..." by Jeffrey Mark, and "Why I Became an Atheist..." by John Loftus.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scot Parker

    As a strong atheist, I hesitate to rate a book arguing in favor of rejecting Christianity so lowly. As an avid reader who values the written word and as an academic and a scientist, I could not in good conscience rate this book more highly. Carrier's arguments are sophomoric, reminiscent of a Philosophy 101 class. He makes some points in the book that are real issues with the Christian faith, but his logic is too often faulty, his premises too often flawed for me to recommend this book up as a s As a strong atheist, I hesitate to rate a book arguing in favor of rejecting Christianity so lowly. As an avid reader who values the written word and as an academic and a scientist, I could not in good conscience rate this book more highly. Carrier's arguments are sophomoric, reminiscent of a Philosophy 101 class. He makes some points in the book that are real issues with the Christian faith, but his logic is too often faulty, his premises too often flawed for me to recommend this book up as a scholarly, philosophical work. As alternatives, consider reading The God Delusion, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gavin Long

    Carrier may not be in the same league as Dawkins or Hitchens but his book is concise and well argued. Most surprising to me is that, based on the reviews I have read of this book, the religious either don't understand these four obvious arguments, don't want to understand them or simply dont bother to read anything beyond the bible and the "Left Behind series". Lets be honest, Carriers 4 reasons are pretty self evident to anyone not wearing biblical blinkers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric Wojciechowski

    This book can be read in an evening. So can Sam Harris', "Letter to a Christian Nation". In fact, you could read them both in the same evening. And these two are about the only books you'll need to toss out the last of Earth's remaining gods. There are four essential arguments made in the present volume: God is Silent: Discusses the fact that no god ever, past or present, speaks to, interacts with or participates at all in human affairs. God is Inert: Despite Christians telling us their god is a lo This book can be read in an evening. So can Sam Harris', "Letter to a Christian Nation". In fact, you could read them both in the same evening. And these two are about the only books you'll need to toss out the last of Earth's remaining gods. There are four essential arguments made in the present volume: God is Silent: Discusses the fact that no god ever, past or present, speaks to, interacts with or participates at all in human affairs. God is Inert: Despite Christians telling us their god is a loving god, he does nothing to stop injustices. Wrong Evidence: Discusses the "evidence" Christians use to justify their belief and how it is no evidence at all. Wrong Universe: Discusses the fact that this universe we currently reside in makes no sense if the Christian god exists. Again, couple this volume with Sam Harris' work and in one evening, unless the reader falls back on the most over rated virtue of faith, there will no longer be any reason to believe and the last remaining god can be dismissed from the stage of the human theater.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kasey

    Full-Disclosure: I am a Christ-follower. But I seek out all points-of-view. Based upon the definitive nature of the title, I was excited to read this book. I expected to read new arguments, get new insights, and see a fully thoughtful and reasoned discussion. I was looking forward to my worldview being challenged. Alas, it was not to be. While the author is beyond sure of his facts, reason, and conclusion, his lack of humility is his downfall. For example, his conclusions are based upon this han Full-Disclosure: I am a Christ-follower. But I seek out all points-of-view. Based upon the definitive nature of the title, I was excited to read this book. I expected to read new arguments, get new insights, and see a fully thoughtful and reasoned discussion. I was looking forward to my worldview being challenged. Alas, it was not to be. While the author is beyond sure of his facts, reason, and conclusion, his lack of humility is his downfall. For example, his conclusions are based upon this hand-picked best facts and their best interpretation to support his position. Often, he makes a conclusory statement as part of his premise and acts as though that statement is a undebatable fact. In short, the author seems to only be interested in rallying the troops rather than honestly attempting to change minds.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: Four reasons why Carrier is not convinced of the "Christian Hypothesis". May come across as a bit pretentious; this work is NOT for hard-core Christians as he is unabashed with his analysis and pulls no punches. May be valuable to those asking questions or those who have left the faith that want to explain why to others.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Richard Lawrence

    This short book (84 pages in the Kindle edition) is another instance of the proverb, "Good things come in small packages." Borrowing Bertrand Russell's title, Dr. Carrier gives four main reasons why belief in Christianity makes no sense. While every atheist should take the time and read through the arguments he presents, the real value of this book is that it is the perfect book to give your Christian friends and family members who will almost certainly state at some point, "I don't understand h This short book (84 pages in the Kindle edition) is another instance of the proverb, "Good things come in small packages." Borrowing Bertrand Russell's title, Dr. Carrier gives four main reasons why belief in Christianity makes no sense. While every atheist should take the time and read through the arguments he presents, the real value of this book is that it is the perfect book to give your Christian friends and family members who will almost certainly state at some point, "I don't understand how anyone could be an atheist given all the evidence for God and Christianity." Leaving aside the fact that were there any evidence, any evidence at all, for Christianity's claims this debate would have been over centuries ago and there would be only one religion, this book presents four arguments that it is incumbent on Christians to answer since they are the ones making the claims. While the arguments are directed towards the Christian religion, they could easily be used in a debate over Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or any faith-based belief.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    Lets put Christianity in perspective and prove it false Author Richard Carrier in less than 100 pages puts the most simplest theories of Christianity under a microscope and picks it apart to prove how fallible it really is, highly recommend this one to those as myself are breaking free from a closed religious mind set.

  15. 4 out of 5

    SumitMamidwar

    No comments on any religion.. auther point directly on religion and it will definitely hurts people sentiments if you are Christian then Don't read it. All points have solid proof...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    You get exactly what Richard Carrier states in his title: Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith. You are not going to find a completely new world-view (unless you open your mind to the arguments made, find the logic in them, and come to your own conclusion that Christianity is worth rejecting). You are not going to obtain the answer as to WHY people need faith. Instead, you will walk away with four reasons why one person is rejecting the Christian faith - the key You get exactly what Richard Carrier states in his title: Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith. You are not going to find a completely new world-view (unless you open your mind to the arguments made, find the logic in them, and come to your own conclusion that Christianity is worth rejecting). You are not going to obtain the answer as to WHY people need faith. Instead, you will walk away with four reasons why one person is rejecting the Christian faith - the key elements of the title being "Christian" and "Four." Mr. Carrier's book is based upon an online essay he wrote outlining his four reasons for rejecting the Christian faith. Carrier's four reasons are compelling: God is silent; God is inert; wrong evidence; and, wrong universe. If you keep in mind that this is ONE person's viewpoint as to how they arrived at the conclusion to reject the Christian faith, then you will walk away understanding why some people reject faith. Mr. Carrier does a good job outlining his definition of the Christian God - a "quite definitely good or righteous God" - and how that definition crumbles in analysis using his four arguments. Personally, I think his first two arguments (God is silent and God is inert) are the most compelling in the book. His Wrong Universe argument is weak only because I believe he makes an assumption that all Christians agree the universe is 13 billion years old (many do not). I also believe it is weak because if you do not understand the Anthropic Principle (best outlined in Chapter 4 of Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion), you will have a difficult time understanding Carrier's argument. In fact, this is the second time I have read Carrier's book and, only after having read Dawkin's explanation of the Anthropic Principle, do I understand the argument Carrier is making. If you are an atheist, enjoy reading Carrier's book and comparing your experience to his. If you are not an atheist, read this book with an open mind and understand that it is one person's explanation of why he has rejected the Christian God. But, be forewarned, if you read this with a truly, completely, open mind, it will get you thinking about the arguments against faith and, at the least, allow you to question your reasons for belief.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    If you want a succinct list of some of the best arguments against Christianity, Carrier has provided them in this short but packed book. Though a little redundant at times, Carrier deftly describes the implications of Christianity, and just as deftly shows how the world we observe contradicts those implications at every turn. As stated the book is short; he is not able to go into every possible aspect of the four arguments he makes here, but he does provide an excellent summary for each one. If If you want a succinct list of some of the best arguments against Christianity, Carrier has provided them in this short but packed book. Though a little redundant at times, Carrier deftly describes the implications of Christianity, and just as deftly shows how the world we observe contradicts those implications at every turn. As stated the book is short; he is not able to go into every possible aspect of the four arguments he makes here, but he does provide an excellent summary for each one. If you want to see him tackle specific topics in more detail, I highly recommend his other books, such as Not the Impossible Faith, which demonstrates how the rise of Christianity is best explained naturalistically (as with all other religions). I recommend this book to everyone. Many Christians have never actually been faced with solid arguments against their beliefs, nor have they examined Christianity from the perspective of an outsider looking for the best explanation. Likewise many atheists have not really thought out their position, nor do they really understand why Christianity fails to adequately describe the world we live in. This book was one of many that helped solidify my conversion from Christianity to a more rational, naturalistic worldview. I highly recommend it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Troy

    While specific to the Christian faith, and it's own generally accepted concepts of God, Carrier argues the case for a universe without such a God based on solid reasoning, far sounder than that used by any Christian apologist I've watched, listened to or read, and the observed facts of reality unknown to those supposed by the early Church fathers. This is yet another example of how, as lamented by the late Martin Gardner, a philosophical theist himself, that it's learned atheists who have all th While specific to the Christian faith, and it's own generally accepted concepts of God, Carrier argues the case for a universe without such a God based on solid reasoning, far sounder than that used by any Christian apologist I've watched, listened to or read, and the observed facts of reality unknown to those supposed by the early Church fathers. This is yet another example of how, as lamented by the late Martin Gardner, a philosophical theist himself, that it's learned atheists who have all the good arguments.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    Like all good atheist deconstructions of god and/or religion this essay outlines the authors scientific approach as to why they are an atheist. However like all atheist works it still leaves me contemplating my apparently eternal question, What is the human need for faith? Is it some atavistic trait that has somehow survived evolution and expressed itself in the worlds organized religions? What is this need, that the large majority of humanity has, to believe in something higher than themselves? Like all good atheist deconstructions of god and/or religion this essay outlines the authors scientific approach as to why they are an atheist. However like all atheist works it still leaves me contemplating my apparently eternal question, What is the human need for faith? Is it some atavistic trait that has somehow survived evolution and expressed itself in the worlds organized religions? What is this need, that the large majority of humanity has, to believe in something higher than themselves?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Roger Morris

    This book was disappointing. When the author calls himself a 'world-renowned atheist' in the Foreword, one's expectations are understandably raised. These expectations were unfounded, Carrier's arguments vacuous, verbose and not a little bit pompous. Not a patch on the tomes of Dawkins, Hitchens, Shermer and co.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul Weiss

    A compelling argument against the Christian version of God! Einstein once said, "God does not play dice!", to which Neils Bohr, facing up to one of scientists' biggest frustrations - that they don't get to set the rules - answered, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do!". While I am definitely of the opinion that Carrier's logical arguments against the existence of a Christian God as defined by Christian dogma are compelling, I am less convinced about these same arguments as they might apply aga A compelling argument against the Christian version of God! Einstein once said, "God does not play dice!", to which Neils Bohr, facing up to one of scientists' biggest frustrations - that they don't get to set the rules - answered, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do!". While I am definitely of the opinion that Carrier's logical arguments against the existence of a Christian God as defined by Christian dogma are compelling, I am less convinced about these same arguments as they might apply against a God of any description at all. In fact, that's the only reason that I've withheld the fifth star. When I reviewed the late Christopher Hitchens' bestseller, GOD IS NOT GREAT, I disclosed that I felt myself to be a deist. That is to say, I would not presume to suggest that the deity in which I believe is a personal God that has any specific interest in me or in humankind here on this tiny planet we call earth. The concept of an infinite, all-knowing and all-powerful deity is so far beyond my ken that I wouldn't even begin to ascribe any attributes to such a deity that are capable of human description or understanding. In short, insofar as this position applies to thinking along Carrier's lines, I can't apply any logic at all because I'm unwilling and unable to define any axioms or starting points against which one might apply logical arguments. I would also warn potential readers of at least one instance of faulty logic and applying a syllogism in the wrong direction. If Carrier's definition of a Christian God implies the universe should unfold in a certain way and the universe does NOT unfold that way, then it is logically correct to conclude that a Christian God does not exist. However, if the non-existence of a God implies the universe will unfold in a certain way and we DO find the universe exists that way, it is most definitely NOT logically correct to assume that a God does not exist. Interesting reading but I was a ready and willing listener. But I'm not sure it would be as convincing for the Christians he's talking about. For those that may be close to convincing, I think the book as a whole would be substantially more effective if every reference to "God" were modified to "Christian God". Recommended. Paul Weiss

  22. 5 out of 5

    Francis Bezooyen

    My response to this book is a mixture of criticism and praise. The first chapter of this book, "God is Silent", was actually a real disappointment. Though I agree with Richard's overall point that the evil in the world presents a real problem for the Christian God hypothesis, I don't think he's quite figured out exactly why its a problem. The lack of depth in his analysis of this point really comes out in his failure to anticipate and deal with some of the most formidable lines of argument that a My response to this book is a mixture of criticism and praise. The first chapter of this book, "God is Silent", was actually a real disappointment. Though I agree with Richard's overall point that the evil in the world presents a real problem for the Christian God hypothesis, I don't think he's quite figured out exactly why its a problem. The lack of depth in his analysis of this point really comes out in his failure to anticipate and deal with some of the most formidable lines of argument that a theologian might bring to bear on the subject. I'll spare you the details of such rebuttals and what my own counters to these would be. The second chapter, "God is inert", was not as bad as the first but still not stellar. However, in the third and fourth chapters, despite the occasional sprinkling of some of the same kind of bad arguments found in the first chapter, Richard did offer formidable arguments, especially concerning the difference between how Christians actually reason about their faith, and how one should assess the probability of any proposition, as well as the farcical argument from fine-tuning that one so often hears, and the significance of the fact that the universe operates so much more in accord with what one would expect if it were not designed by an omnipotent, all-knowing being, while being curiously unlike what one would tend to expect otherwise (though here too some of his weaker arguments from morality mar his points). Despite the weaknesses in this book, the good stuff to be found here coupled with the brevity of the book makes it a worthwhile read. P.S. I've started reading "Sense and Goodness Without God" by the same Author. So far, it is much better.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brose

    A coworker lent me a copy of this to read. He has gone through some changes in his world view recently, and was interested in hearing my thoughts on this book. I found the work to be mostly unconvincing. The fourth reason is probably the most intriguing to me, but I could not agree on many of the basic assumptions being used to make points. It therefore made it hard to agree with the final conclusions. I'm not disappointed that I took the time to read this. I just don't think it understands Christ A coworker lent me a copy of this to read. He has gone through some changes in his world view recently, and was interested in hearing my thoughts on this book. I found the work to be mostly unconvincing. The fourth reason is probably the most intriguing to me, but I could not agree on many of the basic assumptions being used to make points. It therefore made it hard to agree with the final conclusions. I'm not disappointed that I took the time to read this. I just don't think it understands Christianity enough to make a real impact. Of course, the author would probably use that in his first reason to further make his point. I get that. It is hard to make a convincing argument when two people are starting from drastically different places.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thordur

    A short book. Read it on kindle. For me there it was 82 pages not 95. There are no bible references in this book, just some logical arguments. The idea of no evidence is very common in this book. I could read page after page with "no evidence" of the existence of God, anything belonging to Christianity, or even life after death. Actually that's why we have faith to keep us going in a hostile world. That is also something this author avoids completely to mention in any way. For me as a theologian A short book. Read it on kindle. For me there it was 82 pages not 95. There are no bible references in this book, just some logical arguments. The idea of no evidence is very common in this book. I could read page after page with "no evidence" of the existence of God, anything belonging to Christianity, or even life after death. Actually that's why we have faith to keep us going in a hostile world. That is also something this author avoids completely to mention in any way. For me as a theologian it was ok for me to read this book. It gave me some good ideas about atheism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I'm not a spiritual or religious person. I identify as Agnostic, but also I know that's really just an Atheist who is too afraid to say it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I didn't think this gave much of an argument against God. There are much better philosophical and science based books discussing the absence of God. At least it was short so I didn't waste too much of my time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    A decisive demolition of the rapidly failing fraud of Christianity. Christianity would fail even faster if everyone were functionally literate enough to read and understand this book and others like it. A decisive demolition of the rapidly failing fraud of Christianity. Christianity would fail even faster if everyone were functionally literate enough to read and understand this book and others like it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joel Herbert

    A fantastic and concise introduction to atheism and the thought of Richard Carrier Richard Carrier is a great communicator. This book is easy to read, the arguments easy to follow, and best of all, short! Whether you are a believer looking to educate yourself, a seeker searching for truth, or a skeptic, this book is a powerful introduction to the best arguments for atheism.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steve Scott

    Carrier is a sharp thinker, but mediocre writer. His books are dry. Bertrand Russell's prose work of the same title is much more engaging. The best part of Carrier's book is his "Hero Savior Of Vietnam" counter apologetic, which alone makes the book worth a shot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Concise essay for the logic of atheism and against the existence of god. Mr Carrier wrote a concise and very readable essay giving reasons against the existence of god. It's very easy to read and understand.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Drew Weatherton

    The word "conclusive" is a bit strong here, I've read far more convincing arguments than these. Not a bad read and not completely off base but this wouldn't be my first recommendation for someone looking for arguments against Christianity.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.