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The New Atheism

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The New Atheism

Ten Arguments That Don't Hold Water


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The New Atheism by Michael Poole
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"An excellent, reasoned introduction to the New Atheism Debate"
5 stars"
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Michael Poole is a Visiting Research Fellow in Science and Religion at King's College London. If he has a religious affiliation he doesn't reveal it, but states that, when talking of God, he has (like Dawkins) the Judaeo-Christian concept of God in mind. In science he holds the mainstream views of cosmology and biology. His short (96 pages, 10 chapters and an index) book deals with the “new” and strident atheism preached by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. The emphasis is mainly on Dawkins and his book The God Delusion. Poole writes for people “without a lot of time for reading” but who would like to see some “short responses to key claims” of the new atheism. In this Poole succeeds very well. Each of his ten chapters is devoted to a key argument or assertion of the trio. From the first assertion (“Religion is evil because many bad deeds have been done by religious people”) to the tenth (“some kind of multiverse theory could in principle do for physics the same explanatory work as Darwin does for biology, rendering God improbable”), Poole presents pithy and relatively brief counter arguments. His counter arguments do not present an unanswerable case for religion, but they do expose Dawkins' ineptitude, even downright silliness, in subjects outside his own specialist field. Unlike some atheist opponents of Dawkins, and definitely unlike Dawkins himself, Poole does not resort to sarcasm and mockery despite ample opportunity to do so. As a short, sharp answer to Dawkins and others it is essential reading. Atheism must look elsewhere for a worthy champion!


The new atheists are putting out new books and articles, bus adverts and TV programmes like there's no tomorrow. They've gained a large amount of public attention and media exposure - but do their arguments really hold water? Using the analogy put forward by the esteemed philosopher Anthony Flew, Michael Poole examines the new atheists' use of the 'ten leaky buckets' tactic of argumentation - presenting readers with a sum of arguments that are each individually defective, as though the cumulative effect should be persuasive. This closer look at the facts reveals that the buckets are, indeed, leaky.

Author Biography

Michael Poole is Visiting Research Fellow in Science and Religion at King's College, London. For Lion, he has also written The User's Guide to Science and Belief.
Release date Australia
October 23rd, 2009
New edition
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Lion Books
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