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No Sense of Obligation: Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe

No Sense of Obligation: Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe

Book Description

Rejecting belief without evidence, a scientist searches the scientific, theological, and philosophical literature for a sign from God–and finds God to be an allegory.

This remarkable book, written in the layperson’s language, leaves no room for unproven ideas and instead seeks hard evidence for the existence of God. The author, a sympathetic critic and observer of religion, finds instead a physical universe that exists reasonlessly. He attributes good and evil to biology, not to God. In place of theism, the author gives us the knowledge that the universe is intelligible and that we are grownups, responsible for ourselves. He finds salvation in the here and now, and no ultimate purpose in life, except as we define it.


  1. Sort of a hypothesis
  2. Science, evidence, and nonsense: Why science has a greater claim to objectivity
  3. Signs, wonders, and anecdotes: How people use evidence selectively
  4. Questioning authority: Why the Bible cannot be literally true
  5. The evil that men do: How what we call evil is the result of our biological nature
  6. Aquinas’s error: Why the philosophical arguments fail to establish the existence of a purposeful creator
  7. Experimentalist’s universe: Why we are biological systems governed by the laws of the universe
  8. The magnificent structure of nature: Why the universe is more compelling than any mythology
  9. Questions theists ask.

Reader Comment

An engaging, well written book on science, religion, and pseudoscience. Young, a physicist, explains why he thinks the universe is an impersonal place, not presided over by any God or other spiritual force, and puts all of this in the context of skepticism and the paranormal. There are similar books out there, but No Sense Of Obligation distinguishes itself in two ways particularly.

One is that it is amazingly easy to read, given the complexity of some of the topics he addresses. Young is totally lacking in academic pomposity, and knows how use personal anecdotes as well as scientific references to keep his narrative flowing.

Second, Young is careful to explain how even without theological beliefs, he considers himself Jewish and strongly religious in a profound sense. Overall, this is a thought-provoking book which will appeal to every skeptic.

Taner Edis