God and the Folly of Faith

God and the Folly of Faith

The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

Paperback - 2012
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Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781616145996
1616145994
Characteristics: 408 p. ; 23 cm.

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roaddogg09 May 21, 2012

Just to make something explicitly clear, Stenger's thesis is to show that, ". . . the incompatibility being claimed here is not between the majority of religionists and scientists. It is between the worldviews and methods of science and religion as systems of thought" (pg. 277). That being said, Stenger makes a quite persuasive case that religion and science are incompatible methods of viewing and assessing the world.

Stenger covers a lot of ground in this book. He not only covers the historical conflict between science and religion, but he documents the specific areas where the conflict arises, why supernatural explanations ultimately fail, and why scientific thought wins out at the end of the day. I personally enjoyed Stenger's historical journey through the growth and evolution of scientific thought.

Having read Stenger's other books, there were parts that weren't necessarily new to me, but that doesn't mean I did not learn anything. He has a way of explaining concepts and ideas in easy-to-understand language. Stenger takes head-on the claims of many contemporary religious thinkers and leaders and shows why and how their evidences for God fail.

I've had a conflict with myself between accommodating or confronting religion. I'm sympathetic to both ideas, and we must be wary of which camp we choose, but Stenger makes a strong case for the confrontational view. The final chapter is his 'call to arms' if you will, and he lays out why the conflict between science and religion truly matters for the future of our species and planet. With the rise of the Christian Right and their seemingly endless amount of money, we must stand-up and fight against the anti-scientific and unconstitutional views of some of our elected officials.

"I have an urgent plea to scientists and all thinking people. We need to focus our attention on one goal, which will not be reached in the lifetime of the youngest among us, but which has to be achieved someday if humanity is to survive: the eradication of foolish faith from the face of this planet" (pg. 322).

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