Debating Religion with… Science?

If I was going to recommend any of the books I have read promoting atheism out of the many I have read so far, the first book that comes to mind is Victor Stenger’s God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows God Does Not Exist.

I enjoyed this book for many reasons, but the number one reason would have to be it does something very few people are willing to do: it argues against religion with current scientific knowledge. So few people are brave enough in bring science into a debate about religion.

For one thing, science and religion are two fundamentally opposed institutions, at least to me. One tries to explain Nature with appeals to higher powers. The other more or less tries to understand how things work in Nature and see how this understanding can be used to explain Nature, those science is far from really “explaining” anything.

Stenger thinks, of course, science better understand the Universe than religion, thus religion is a best redundant, and at worst harmful to the human race. He also outlines fundamental logical errors in the understanding of the various types of Gods that people profess exist. A list is given by him by which he thinks people should use to gauge extraordinary claims. In the beginning of the book, he is trying to loosen the reader’s emotions and get them to think ratioanlly.

But after the first chapter Stenger lays down everything he can in the most general of terms to keep the book short, but in-depth enough to give you a good feeling of the many arguments and counter-arguments for the existence of God. This book is not meant to be the be-all-end-all of atheist books, but it is the stepping stone to a thorough understanding of the many atheistic and scientific arguments to the existence of God. Which brings us to the best quality of this book, the fact that it is heavily sourced and the end-notes are accessible and allow you to explore even more content outside of the book.


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