Saturday, April 13, 2024


The Non-Existence of God

by Francois Tremblay

Author : Nicholas Everitt
Routledge, ISBN 0-415-30107-6

% of the book on strong-atheism : 25%
General quality :

On Amazon- The Non-Existence of God

The Non-Existence of God is not an entry-level book, and is not comprehensive. It is a higher-level book, addressing issues like epistemology and naturalism, Reformed Epistemology, and the actuality of infinities. Everitt writes in a clear style, and his discourse is accessible by most people. It is especially interesting for the strong-atheist for its original arguments and extensive discussion of incoherency arguments.

Chapter 11 (p213 to 226) discusses the Argument from Scale.This argument consists of stating which conditions of the universe would indicate the existence of a god, and to point out that science shows that they are not present in the universe. In short, if humans are the priviledged creation of a god, we should expect a universe made at our scale, like the Bible indicates. But instead, it appears that we are an insignificant and unfavoured part of the universe.

Everitt examines five objections : that science is fallible, that theism does not presuppose that humans are priviledged, that the scale of the universe can be explained by theism, that our criterion of scale is incorrect, and that we cannot predict God’s creation.

Chapter 12 (p227 to 254) discusses the Problem of Evil. Everitt details the logical formulation of the problem, examines the theodicy of evil as a causal necessity for good to exist, the theodicy using second-order goods, discusses God’s perfection and how it affects its possible creation, and the free will defense. His discussion here is meandering but, like the rest of the book, has flashes of brillance.

The three following chapters examine various incoherency arguments. Chapter 13 (p255 to 268) compares omnipotence with things like moral imperfection, bodily action, divine paradoxes, and suicide. Chapter 14 (p269 to 285) compares eternity and omnipresence with the creative act, on the basis that a god cannot have any causal relationship with the universe. Chapter 15 (p286 to 300) compares omniscience with human free will and indexicals (statements based on a personal perspective).

Although I disagree with his approaches in some areas (especially in his refutation of Reformed Epistemology and his arguments for actual infinities), I greatly recommend this sophisticated examination of the god-concept to anyone who would like to take the time to read it. The book is easily readable by most people, but goes into great depths.

Last updated: 01/01/05