Atheist Universe

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Press: Xlibris (April 6, 2004)
ISBN:9781413434828
Author Name:Mills, David
Language:English

Content

Is there really a God? Or does God exist only in our heads? Is the Bible truly God's Word, or a jumble of fanciful myths?    This book is your front-row ticket to mankind's most enthralling debate. 
An atheist for thirty years, David Mills argues that God is unnecessary to explain the universe and life's diversity, organization and beauty.
This unique and captivating book rebuts every argument ever offered to "prove" God's existence and the Bible's credibility - arguments from logic, common sense, Christian apologetics, philosophy, ethics, history, and up-to-the-minute science.
It's all here for you in one richly entertaining, comprehensive, and easy-to-read volume.
Few other books provide such spellbinding inquiry and arrive at such a controversial and well-documented conclusion.
"The publication of David's work on the dangers and disadvantages of devout religiosity will be very useful for anyone with harmful religious beliefs.
Honest, frank, and right to the point! I found it very fine reading." - Albert Ellis, Ph.D., father of modern psychotherapy, author of A Guide to Rational Living and 53 other books.

Review

Atheist Universe: Why God Didn't Have A Thing To Do With It|||1413434819|21.99|Xlibris |07/2004|3,500 life||

From the Publisher

Is there really a god?

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author

I’m pleased and excited that your search on Amazon.com has beamed you to this page, showcasing my new book, Atheist Universe. 
I want to thank you personally for your interest in this title.
Many years of painstaking work, research, and thought were devoted to this project.
I am delighted with the finished volume.
Compared to most authors, I write slowly.
I could never crank out five or six books a year as Isaac Asimov did so brilliantly throughout his incredible life and career.
I like to believe, however, that my unhurried pace permits fine attention to detail and to precise use of language.
One of my favorite quotations is that of Thomas Jefferson, who, in a letter to John Adams, wrote "I apologize to you for the lengthiness of this letter; but I had no time for shortening it." Jefferson meant that a skillful writer uses as few words as possible to communicate his message.
If I can successfully convey my thoughts to you using a 12-word sentence, then I am watering down my own message — and wasting your limited time — by stretching my sentence to 13 words or to 30.
Concise writing saves time and effort for the reader, but demands more time and effort of the writer, as Jefferson pointed out.
In writing this book, I did devote the time necessary to shorten each sentence to its minimum length.
Another priceless tip for good writing — a tip which I strive to follow — was articulated by the 20th-century philosopher, Mortimer Adler.
Adler taught that "writing should be clear without being plain, and elevated without being obscure." By contrast, much writing in contemporary circles is plain without being clear, and obscure without being elevated.
I will leave to your personal judgment whether I have successfully followed Adler’s prescription for good writing in Atheist Universe.
David Mills

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Mills is author of the world's best-selling book on atheism. 
An atheist for thirty years, David has authored three successful books on the battle between science and religion.
He has also written best-selling psychology and self-help literature for the Albert Ellis Institute in New York and for psychotherapy clients worldwide.
During the 1980's, David worked as a journalist covering NASA's Space Shuttle program at the Kennedy Space Center.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 2 Interview with an Atheist    Interviewer: You openly refer to yourself as an "atheist." What exactly does that mean?  Mills: Essentially, an atheist is a person who rejects the concept of god. 
The word "atheist" is derived from the Greek word "theos," which means "god" or "gods." The word "theology," for example, refers to the "study of god." When the negative prefix "a" is added to "theos," the derivative form becomes "atheist" and simply means "without god," just as asexual reproduction means reproduction without sex.
Interviewer: But doesn't the word "atheist" really mean a lot more than that? You don't believe in life-after-death either, do you? Mills: No, I don't.
And I think you're quite correct that the word "atheist" can be extrapolated to mean a rejection of all supernatural beings and phenomena that are normally associated with the idea of god.
Atheists, for example, do not believe in Heaven, Hell, devils, angels, miracles, holy ghosts, or rising from the dead.
Bishop Fulton Sheen, unwittingly speaking the truth, once defined an atheist as "a man who has no invisible means of support." Interviewer: So when you die, you're dead like a dog? Mills: That's hardly an attractive or appetizing way to phrase it; but, yes, that is what I believe.
Interviewer: What's the difference between an atheist and agnostic? Mills: The words "atheist" and "agnostic" have totally disparate origins.
But the real answer to your question is guts.
It is more socially acceptable to be an agnostic than an atheist.
While the two philosophies overlap to a considerable degree, atheism, it seems to me, represents a more specific and firmly-held position than agnosticism, which, in current usage, can mean a hundred different things.
Interviewer: I'm sure that you're familiar with public opinion polls which consistently show that 94 to 96 percent of all Americans believe in God.
Is everybody else wrong but you? Mills: No.
If the United States has a current population of approximately 280 million people, and if, let's say, 5 percent are atheists, then that's 14 million atheists in the US alone.
So, like it or not, there are plenty of us out there.
Most atheists, however, tend to be less vocal in espousing their beliefs than are members of various evangelical religious denominations.
It's easy therefore to underestimate the number of atheists.
I am somewhat dismayed when people tell me that I'm the only atheist they ever met.
That's nonsense of course — they've certainly met hundreds.
But few atheists ever speak up to be counted.
Interviewer: Does that indicate that atheists might be ashamed of themselves? Mills: Not at all.
There's an old saying that "If you want to keep your friends, then you should never discuss politics or religion." Atheists recognize that their philosophical position is misunderstood by many people.
Most atheists see no reason therefore to deliberately piss off their friends and to bring upon themselves an unwanted and very unfair social ostracism.
If some atheists fear to speak up, it's more of an indictment against the religious bigotry they encounter than it is an indication of "shame" in affirming the atheist position.
Interviewer: In looking at all the wonders of the universe, how can you possibly say there's no God? Even the Bible says, "The fool hath said in his heart 'There is no God.'" Mills: Whenever someone quotes that Bible verse to me, I usually recite to them another Bible verse, Matthew 5:22 — "But whosoever shall say 'Thou fool' shall be in danger of hell fire." Interviewer: And what do Christians think of an atheist quoting the Bible? Mills: They're unprepared.
Christians imagine that I, and other atheists, know nothing about the Bible or its history.
When you respond in kind, they tend to be taken aback.
I was on a talk show in the late 1970's and a woman stood up in the audience and quoted the verse "The fool hath said in his heart 'There is no God.'" When I humorously quoted Matthew 5:22, which threatens eternal damnation for calling someone a fool, she angrily retorted that "Even the devil can quote the Bible, and I think you are the devil." The fact is that most Christians know next to nothing about the Bible which they carry proudly to church every Sunday.
I would be happy and confident to take a standard Bible-knowledge test against any churchgoer you might arbitrarily pluck from a pew next Sunday morning.
Interviewer: But let's get back to my fundamental question.
Why don't you believe in God? Mills: Clarence Darrow, the famous trial attorney, once remarked that "I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose." Until about ten years ago, I was of the opinion that, in order to qualify as an "official" atheist, a person had to intimately familiarize himself with the multitude of specific arguments for and against God's existence.
Indeed I've written three full-length books devoted to thrashing out these arguments myself in great detail.
But I now believe that it is a perfectly acceptable philosophical position to dismiss the god idea as being self-evidently ridiculous as Darrow quipped.
Christians instantly disregard the Greek gods as being figments of an overactive imagination, and so I view the Christian god in the same way that the Christians view the Greek gods.
Remember that when the Romans threw Christians to the lions, the Romans shouted "Away with these atheists" because the Christians did not accept the local Roman gods.
But to answer your question directly, I am an atheist because no more evidence supports the Christian god than supports the Greek or Roman gods.
There is no evidence that God — as portrayed by any religion — exists.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Tags

Religion & Spirituality,Atheism



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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     This book is one of the better books about atheism. The author is very intelligent, and cuts right to the chase on various subjects atheist.
  •     For the most part the arguments were valid and showed that Mr. Mills had done his research. His part about children's sexuality was the only downfall. His arguments seemed parroted from old information that is no longer valid. He follows the old line of thinking that children are not sexual beings prior to puberty unless introduced to activities by another. This is not true. While it may be true that they are for the most part only curious and do not dwell on the subject until hormones kick in, there is no evidence that supports this. It sounds more like a conclusion arrived at by mainstream denial.The rest of the book was quite interesting and seemed to be well researched. I will use some of the arguments in the book when next confronted by theists.
  •     Very informative. David is a good writer and gives great examples throughout the book.
  •     Excellent book. Well written, totally enjoyed the read and very informative.
  •     Good book, but get the print version. The reader sounds like a kid trying to do a Casey Casum impersonation.
  •     From the blurbs on the front, and the ringing endorsement of this work as “an admirable work” by none other than Richard Dawkins himself, I expected a solid, scientifically sound...
  •     presented well for an easy read
  •     ok
  •     I've read many books on atheism and this book was much better than expected. Very understandable and includes many arguments and ideas that I'd never heard before. I figured it would be pretty much like other books on the topic but I was pleasantly surprised. It focuses on evolution/intelligent design but covers a fairly wide range of topics, from hell to pornography.
  •     Are you a thinker, or one of the millions of sheeple out there?People who act like sheep and simply follow the herd?You think atheist is a bad word?
  •     great book
  •     The reason I chose the five star rating for this book is because its explanations for why science and common sense trump Christianity are laid out so eloquently. I was raised as a Christian believer, came from a entirely Christian family and was never asked if this was the best route for my life to follow. Now after reading books written by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, David Mills and many others I feel that I have had this enormous burden lifted from myself. I began professing to myself in the early 1990's that I was an atheist. This would have been incredibly damaging to my social life since I do hail from the "buckle" of the Bible Belt: South Carolina. In the south it is as if it is their way or... Sorry about that tangent I went out on. After discovering these new books related to atheism it was as if I finally found some friends of me caliber that helped me see that while we may be a minority, there are others out there that are taking the stance I wish I could have. This is a belief I will proudly and unapologetically revere as the true way for me existence.Since this is a review for the Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism I must drop the must deserved praise upon it. I read it from front to end, and it made so much damn sense. I mean the science was incorporated to provide a realistic view as oppose to the mystical points of view that the church tries to overwhelm us with. I was acknowledged as a very intelligent person growing up, but this seemed almost blasphemes. The "great book"- matter of opinion - seemed to be discounting and looking down upon us with brilliant minds that could have arrived through the long and meticulous process known as evolution. No this certainly had to be the work of Satan. The thing about Satan is he is a superstition, a man made creation.So anyone pondering whether this book would be a good buy, well wonder no more. Mr. Mills dissects various aspects of Christianity revealing the underlying truth that was made undiscernible headway to showing how Christians' worldview has caused detriment to the naïve believers. So no matter your belief or disbelief the finesse with which he lays down the words can be described as emotionally and intellectually entertaining. Thanks.
  •     The author certainly sounds the death knell for "Creationism/Intelligent Design" with a wide scope of logically arrived-at conclusions. The Atheist Universe is a cohesive thought process of common sense and rational thought that presents religion as what it is--the mythology of the ages. It's quite a shame that most of the world still clings to these ridiculous notions...this book should be required reading the world over. Perhaps the battle for souls would not lose so many lives.
  •     Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism by David Mills"Atheist Universe" is the excellent book that uses sound logic and concise language to methodically counter well-known Christian arguments and positions. Among the arguments he counters include creationism and Intelligent Design. David Mills has written a very sound thought-provoking book that is a lot of fun to read. This 272-page book is composed of the following eleven chapters: 1. Interview with an Atheist, 2. Origin of the Universe: Natural or Supernatural?, 3. God of the Gaps: Does the Universe Show Evidence of Design?, 4. The "Miracle" of Planetary Clockwork, 5. The "Miracle" of Life on Earth, 6. Can Genesis Be Reconciled with Modern Science?, 7. "Miracles" of Christian Perception, 8. The Myth of Hell, 9. Christian Fundamentalists and the "Danger" of Internet P*rn, 10. Was America Really Founded upon Christian Principles?, and 11. "Intelligent Design": Christianity's Newest Cult.Positives:1. A well-written, well-researched book that is characterized by its pleasant tone and conversational prose.2. Fascinating topic that covers many interesting areas.3. Great use of sound science and logic that is accessible to the masses.4. A very quotable book. Great quotes throughout.5. A great introduction in which the author preps the readers on the contents of the book.6. An interview that cleverly provides a good overview of atheist philosophy. A lot of good insight into why the author doesn't believe in gods.7. A look at the First Cause argument and a thorough debunking of it.8. Creationism...its views, its flaws. Creationist's beliefs versus scientific facts.9. Creationism versus Evolution...here we go again. The author does a wonderful job of establishing creationist misunderstandings. Also responds to creationist objections to evolution.10. Rock-solid evidence for evolution, the geologic column. Excellent explanation for the layperson and a thorough debunking of creationism.11. The book of Genesis gets debunked. One of the most comprehensive debunking of Noah's Ark in just a few pages. Debunks the notion of a "young" Earth.12. A very helpful section on biblical absurdities.13. "Miracles" under the microscope.14. A great rebuttal on the alleged existence of Hell. "The unavoidable conclusion is that the `reason' for Hell's torture is simply to torture, as a purposeless, vengeful end in itself".15. A very interesting look at why internet censorship is unnecessary and counterproductive. One of the most amusing government commissions ever formed let me not ruin it here.16. Debunking the notion that America was founded on Christian principles.17. A look at the cult better known as the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. It's history and how it "evolved".18. Debunking the Anthropic Principle and other ID follies.19. Debunking the Kalam argument.20. Excellent notes section and bibliography.Negatives:1. The definition of agnostic was not accurate.2. Not all atheists are liberals. I agree that the majority is but I would be careful of lumping everyone under the same umbrella.3. Despite the pleasant overall tone there is some ranting going on...In summary, I really had a lot of fun with this book. Good use of logic is so refreshing. This book really holds up well after a second read. The author's conversational tone and his command of the topic made this is a treat to read. Many topics within the atheist philosophy is covered while methodically dismantling creationism and Intelligent Design. This book is perfect for anyone interested in the atheist/agnostic philosophy. I highly recommend it!Further recommendations: "The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God: An Evolutionist Explains Religion's Incredible Hold on Humanity" by James A. Craig, "50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God" by Guy P. Harrison, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, "The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture" by Darrel W. Ray, "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" by Sam Harris, "Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion" by Phil Zuckerman, "Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker" by David Eller, "Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith" by J. Anderson Thomson Jr., "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths" by Michael Shermer, and "Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity" John W. Loftus.
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