Catalogue


Atheism and the case against Christ /
Matthew S. McCormick.
imprint
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2012.
description
332 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
1616145811 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9781616145811 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2012.
isbn
1616145811 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9781616145811 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Speaking ill of Jesus -- The history of the Jesus story -- You already don't believe in Jesus: the Salem witch trials -- Believing the believers -- The repeaters and the money bag problem -- Abducted by aliens -- The counter evidence problem -- Why are all of the gods hiding? -- Would God do miracles? -- 500 dead gods and the problem of other religions -- The "f" word -- Why so serious? -- Atheism and the case against Christ.
catalogue key
8618919
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-324) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Matthew S. McCormick is a professor of philosophy at California State University Sacramento who specializes in atheism, philosophy of religion, epistemology, and critical reasoning. He has contributed to The Impossibility of God, edited by Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier, and to The End of Christianity, edited by John W. Loftus; and he has published widely in philosophy. Read his blog at www.provingthenegative.com.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2012-06-15:
Sometimes, especially with controversial topics, the way something is conveyed can be as important as the content itself. In this book, the building blocks for an interesting and persuasive case against the Resurrection of Jesus are completely overshadowed by the author's certainty, arrogance, and presumptuousness. Rather than respectfully laying out the arguments and allowing the reader to decide the verdict, McCormick (philosophy, California State Univ., Sacramento) frequently overreaches and ends up blurring the distinctions between evidence and proof. This is most unfortunate because some of the evidence itself is quite convincing, especially the material about the double standards of believers and the insights from psychology and cognitive science. At the same time, other arguments here, such as the chapter about why God would not do miracles, are speculative to the point of absurdity and left this reader, whose graduate work in theology involved wide study of the subject, wishing for more humility from the author. VERDICT This book is suitable for already convinced atheists seeking new ammunition against Christianity, and Christians desiring to raise their blood pressure.-Brian T. Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., Hornell, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2013-05-01:
McCormick (philosophy, California State Univ., Sacramento) announces his thesis clearly on the first page: belief in the divinity of Jesus is unjustified using epistemic standards that even believers would insist upon in almost any other area of important belief. Arguing that the essential claims of Christianity rest on special pleading about the value of the available historical evidence, he adds that beliefs based on "faith" alone are equally problematic. Even more damning (so to speak), neither the available evidence--nor even the actuality of the miracles attested to--would be either sufficient for belief in, or even worthy of being caused by, an omnipotent being. While focusing on Christianity, the author notes that his major points can be extended to other religions, including more liberal, noncognitive, or pluralistic versions of religious belief. There may be no radically new arguments here--how could there be, on such an old debate?--but the text is fresh with recent psychological findings about how people fool themselves into adopting beliefs that cannot withstand scrutiny of the evidence. A straightforward style and clear organization enliven this volume. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers. S. E. Forschler St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A must-read for believers and nonbelievers alike." - The American Rationalist "In my judgment, McCormick's book is one of the best-if not the best-critique of the core of Christianity ever written." -Michael Martin, philosopher of religion, Boston University, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Atheism "Finally, a first-rate philosopher weighs in and utterly demolishes any hope reasonable people have for believing Jesus was resurrected from the grave. . . . No other book presents a better case. Nothing more needs to be said." -John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist "An extremely good book. Without any technical flourishes, it makes the case against the Jesus story so compellingly that I cannot imagine anyone who takes the trouble to read it carefully and without prejudice being other than completely convinced." -Colin Howson, professor of philosophy, University of Toronto "Who should read this book? Theists, atheists, Christians, non-Christians, and those whose lives are affected by these overlapping groups-in short, everyone. It contains bold arguments . . . [and is] plain speaking, fast moving, wide ranging, and hard hitting." -Russell DiSilvestro, assistant professor of philosophy, California State UniversitySacramento "A fascinating and well-crafted collection of arguments against the resurrection of Jesus and, more broadly, against the existence of God." -Ricki Monnier, coeditor of The Improbability of God and The Impossibility of God "McCormick's treatment of the psychological and epistemological aspects of the Christian outlook is the best I have ever seen." -Theodore M. Drange, professor emeritus, West Virginia University "A fascinating and convincing case for generalized atheism." -Raymond D. Bradley, professor of philosophy emeritus, Simon Fraser University "This book very convincingly shows that most Christians are not justified in accepting the central doctrines of Christianity. . . . [It] should be read by anyone with an interest in the philosophy and history of religion." -Eric Sotnak, associate professor of philosophy, the University of Akron
"In my judgment, McCormick's book is one of the bestif not the bestcritique of the core of Christianity ever written." -Michael Martin, philosopher of religion, Boston University, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Atheism "Finally, a first-rate philosopher weighs in and utterly demolishes any hope reasonable people have for believing Jesus was resurrected from the grave. . . . No other book presents a better case. Nothing more needs to be said." -John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist "An extremely good book. Without any technical flourishes, it makes the case against the Jesus story so compellingly that I cannot imagine anyone who takes the trouble to read it carefully and without prejudice being other than completely convinced." -Colin Howson, professor of philosophy, University of Toronto "Who should read this book? Theists, atheists, Christians, non-Christians, and those whose lives are affected by these overlapping groupsin short, everyone. It contains bold arguments . . . [and is] plain speaking, fast moving, wide ranging, and hard hitting." -Russell DiSilvestro, assistant professor of philosophy, California State UniversitySacramento "A fascinating and well-crafted collection of arguments against the resurrection of Jesus and, more broadly, against the existence of God." -Ricki Monnier, coeditor of The Improbability of God and The Impossibility of God "McCormick's treatment of the psychological and epistemological aspects of the Christian outlook is the best I have ever seen." -Theodore M. Drange, professor emeritus, West Virginia University "McCormick makes a fascinating and convincing case for generalized atheism." -Raymond D. Bradley, professor of philosophy emeritus, Simon Fraser University "This book very convincingly shows that most Christians are not justified in accepting the central doctrines of Christianity. . . . [It] should be read by anyone with an interest in the philosophy and history of religion." -Eric Sotnak, associate professor of philosophy, the University of Akron
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, June 2012
Choice, May 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead. Philosopher Matthew McCormick presents a controversial view in this cogent, forcefully argued book - namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false.
Main Description
A novel critique that undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations. A decidedly unpopular view in this cogent, forcefully argued book-namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false.
Main Description
Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead. This cogent, forcefully argued book presents a decidedly unpopular view namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false. The author asks a number of probing questions: Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection? How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials? What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics, empirical psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief? Can we use contemporary research about the reliability of people's beliefs in the supernatural, miracles, and the paranormal to shed light on the origins of Christianity and other religions? Does it make sense that the all-powerful creator of the universe would employ miracles to achieve his ends? Can a Christian believe by faith alone and yet reasonably deny the supernatural claims of other religions? Do the arguments against Christianity support atheism? By carefully answering each of these questions, this book undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations; it gives us a powerful model for better critical reasoning; and it builds a compelling case for atheism. Without stooping to condescension or arrogance, the author offers persuasive arguments that are accessible, thoughtful, and new.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. 9
Speaking Ill of Jesusp. 11
The History of the Jesus Storyp. 37
You Already Don't Believe in Jesus: The Salem Witch Trialsp. 53
Believing the Believersp. 71
The Repeaters and the Money-Bag Problemp. 107
Abducted by Aliens and a False Murder Convictionp. 121
The Counterevidence Problemp. 135
Why Are All of the Gods Hiding?p. 161
Would God Do Miracles?p. 175
Five Hundred Dead Gods and the Problem of Other Religionsp. 195
The F-Wordp. 215
Why So Serious?p. 239
Atheism and the Case against Christp. 271
Notesp. 289
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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