Cosmological Arguments: Reviews/Critiques
The errors in David Becks’ arguments for God in the book In Defense of Miracles are examined. The first of three arguments is the modern incarnation of the cosmological “first cause” argument, which fails to be a proof of anything but the limitations of human imagination.
“The book is composed mainly of previously published pieces. … Given the cost of the book and the accessibility of the prior publications, it seems to me that this is not exactly value for money.”
A Review of Pirani’s and Roche’s Universe for Beginners.
“Some people have wondered whether this book is an elaborate joke. Others have suggested that it is merely a cynical attempt to cash in on the current craze for pop physics treatments of ‘the big questions’ . . . I shall ignore these kinds of speculations, and proceed under the assumption that the author is serious and in good faith. It would be very disturbing were this assumption mistaken. Some on the religious right have made, and will make, capital from the mere existence of this book, even if the strict letter of its doctrine provides no comfort to them.”
Oppy concludes that, “From Existence To God is well worth reading (for those with a reasonable amount of interest in natural theology).”
Moreland’s book is a “better than run-of-the-mill” attack on evolutionary theory, Oppy remarks. However, ” . . .[i]t’s hard to see how claims about what ‘theistic science’ can explain can be justified unless someone, somewhere, has a well-worked-out theory of this kind. It’s time for creationists to give us their positive views in the same kind of textbook format in which evolutionary theory is often presented, so that these views can be subject to proper criticism.”
According to Stenger, “This book by High Ross does great damage to the need for an open, non-dogmatic discussion of the issues. As a PhD physicist and astronomer, he does not merit the benefit of the doubt that he is writing from a position of ignorance.”
Hawking’s Brief History remained on The New York Times best seller list for fifty-three weeks due in part, the author believes, to the book’s much-vaunted final sentence. Flew critically examines the book’s supposed theological implications, and finds that Hawking “fails to make any of the distinctions needed for their fruitful discussion.”
“Stephen Hawking has recently argued that there is ‘no place for a creator,’ that God does not exist. Yet theists have jumped all over this statement, claiming it blatantly fails as an argument for God’s nonexistence. Specifically, they have argued that even if Hawking’s physical laws are true, that fact does not entail that the God of classical theism does not exist or even disconfirm the classical theistic hypothesis. It seems to me that a case can be made that Hawking’s physical laws are inconsistent with classical theism. . . Although this argument is not explicit in Hawking’s writings, it is arguably implicit in or based upon his theory. . . . [T]he proposition, ‘Hawking’s wave function law obtains,’ entails the proposition that ‘God does not exist.'”