50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

For skeptics looking for appealing ways to approach their believing friends or believers who are not afraid to consider a skeptical challenge, this book makes for very stimulating reading Many books that challenge religious belief from a skeptical point of view take a combative tone that is almost guaranteed to alienate believers or they present complex philosophical or sFor skeptics looking for appealing ways to approach their believing friends or believers who are not afraid to consider a skeptical challenge, this book makes for very stimulating reading Many books that challenge religious belief from a skeptical point of view take a combative tone that is almost guaranteed to alienate believers or they present complex philosophical or scientific arguments that fail to reach the average reader.This is undoubtably an ineffective way of encouraging people to develop critical thinking about religion This is a unique approach to skepticism regarding that presents fifty commonly heard reasons people often give for believing in a God and then he raises legitimate questions regarding these reasons, showing in each case that there is much room for doubt.Whether you re a believer, a complete skeptic, or somewhere in between, you ll find this review of traditional and recent arguments for the existence of God refreshing, approachable, and enlightening From religion as the foundation of morality to the authority of sacred books, the compelling religious testimony of influential people, near death experiences, arguments from Intelligent Design, and much , Harrison respectfully describes each rationale for belief and then politely shows the deficiencies that any good skeptic would point out As a journalist who has traveled widely and interviewed many highly accomplished people, quite a number of whom are believers, the author appreciates the variety of belief and the ways in which people seek to make religion compatible with scientific thought Nonetheless, he shows that, despite the prevalence of belief in gods or religious belief in intelligent people, in the end there are no unassailable reasons for believing in a god.
Reasons People Give for Believing in a God For skeptics looking for appealing ways to approach their believing friends or believers who are not afraid to consider a skeptical challenge this book makes for very stimulating reading Many books t

  • Title: 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
  • Author: Guy P. Harrison
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 197
  • Format: Kindle Edition
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      Posted by:Guy P. Harrison
      Published :2018-06-06T12:47:54+00:00

    About the Author

    Guy P. Harrison

    I write about many things but my primary focus is on science and skepticism I believe that our world could be a little better and a lot less crazy if people simply understood how science works and appreciated the protective value of skeptical thinking in everyday life.I ve held numerous positions in the news industry, including editorial writer, world news editor, sports editor, photographer, page designer, and columnist I m also a veteran travel writer, having visited and written about many people and places in than 25 countries on five continents I have had some very rewarding jobs teaching history and science to bright young students and working with abused and neglected children My degree is in history and anthropology University of South Florida I ve won some nice awards for my writing and photography but doubt anyone really cares about that other than my sweet mother.When I m not staring at a blank computer screen hoping that an interesting sequence of words will appear, I m likely to be running, hiking, reading a science book, working out at a gym, or trying to teach life lessons to my children via repeated forced viewings of Star Trek original series, of course When normal people are busy thinking about politics, economics, and the Kardashians, I m usually daydreaming about time travel, the singularity rapture of the nerds ancient Greece, extremophiles, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and robots.My latest book is 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True It s a fun grand tour of unusual unproven claims such as astrology, psychics, ghosts, UFOs, faith healing, and so on as viewed through the lens of science and skepticism It s published by Prometheus Books.

    938 Comment

    • Kaylee said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      When I heard the author (Guy Harrison) interviewed on the Point of Inquiry podcast, he felt that the main audience for the book is believers. Frankly, I think he's deluding himself. People (religious and nonreligious alike) generally read books that confirm their beliefs, not books seeking to dissuade them. I just don't see a religious person reading this book through unless he/she wanted to refute it. Perhaps it would be read by a believer who is starting to doubt his/her religion. That said, i [...]

    • John David said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I read Harrison's book for an online book club some time ago, and found it to be, for the most part, exactly what I was expecting. Admittedly, I am a Christian (in an very, very heterodox, liberal sense), but I don't think that renders me a "biased" reader. There's one major problem with Harrison's approach. He writes with a wrong-headed attitude - he expects to be convinced definitively one way or another of the existance of God with scientific evidence. Any intellectually honest Christian will [...]

    • Steve said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This is the atheism book many have been waiting for! Much as I admire the vigour and meticulous logic of Dawkins, Hitchens and co, much as I share their frustration that religion has for too long been too elevated from challenge, I have to concede one criticism: their books will most likely appear off-putting to 'the average believer'. Despite the laudable aim of encouraging people to think critically for themselves, a combative tone (scoffing at 'faith heads' and 'failed fundamentalists') ultim [...]

    • Joey said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      The Good: Harrison makes non-theism very personal. He tries to be gentle, reach out to believers, and find common ground. For example, he points out that just as Christians are not afraid of Muslim hell or the Muslim apocalypse, atheists are not afraid of Christian hell or the Christian apocalypse. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 20, "Atheists are jerks who think they know everything." It was a welcome reproof of and invitation to nonbelievers to be more compassionate and understanding. He condem [...]

    • Tim Bergmann said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Terrible logic in this book. Harrison really only brings up one actual point in his defense. That God is not scientifically provable. And he does this over 50 chapters.He sets up straw man arguments so he can knock them down with this one point. The only thing he actually proves is that he doesn't have the first clue about what people believe and why they believe.Add that in one chapter he brings out polls about different countries happiness level and another about belief in God or gods. And the [...]

    • Rob said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Pathetic. This is as intellectually dishonest a book on the subject as I've ever read. If you are looking for arguments against the existence of God (or gods) skip this book. Go to Harris, Hitchens or Dawkins, where they at least acknowledge the difficulty of, and attempt to address, some of the arguments for God that Harrison dismisses. In the introduction to the book, Harrison states "Out in the real world believers have little interest in convoluted arguments for gods that involve imagining [...]

    • Bevans said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This is the book I wish everybody on the planet would read. Or at least my friends and family.The best thing about this book is that it conveys the reasoning behind atheism without being even remotely condescending toward believers. It wasn't written to convert people, or prove who's right and who's wrong. It's just trying to inform.Not only does the book inform you about atheism and, being a book with a "western world" mindset, Christianity, but it also delves into many other world religions, s [...]

    • Jimyip said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      It does give me some insight of the lack of consistency of believer dealing with their religion and other religion (as well as atheism). This book also give a good summary of why usually atheist fails to persuade believers to rethink their religion (let alone abandon it), and I can see the author understands pretty well what makes believers stink to their belief is not logic or evidence, but emotion and attachment. The book also warns us not think non-believers are any smarter or intelligent peo [...]

    • Daniel said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      First, I should probably say that I enjoyed the book. The following are a few criticisms, but I'm still glad I read it. I don't want to spend much time on this, since others have covered this more thoroughly, but his explanations do tend to get repetitive and several of his "reasons" are variations on the same thing. If, for instance, a person rejects the notion that "because everyone else can be (and most people are) wrong about the religion they subscribe to, I could also be wrong", then many [...]

    • Charles said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I was having a back and forth (more backward that forward)with another reviewer of this book on who criticized the author for not addressing the more nuanced "intellectual" theologies of his pet favorites. To which I replied: As to why Harrison doesn't specifically said theologians, you are well aware, I think, that this book was intended for more mass consumption."Well, that about sums it up. No serious thought, no intellectual vigor, no careful consideration. It was written for atheists with [...]

    • Book said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I have read many books over the years on the topic of atheism and this was my favorite book. The book reads like a great conversation with a friend that you have known for years. Guy Harrison gets it! He presents fifty reasons why people believe and provides clear, concise points to debunk them. I enjoyed the book from cover to cover. It's the first book I use as reference to make cogent arguments against my theist friends. It's an easy book to reference and it's laid out in an easy to follow ma [...]

    • Erik said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This book was substantially disappointing. I was hoping for some serious discussion centering around why people believe in a god (as the title might lead one to think). This is not what I got. The book starts out by noting that the author, an atheist, wants to respectfully ask a few questions about each of the given reasons, in an attempt to spark some thinking. Instead, the book really was a list of the 50 reasons, each followed by why that reason is wrong. Repetitive and annoying, I didn't rea [...]

    • Annie said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This is a reasonably straightforward and thoughtful consideration of the reasons people give for belief in gods. The one knock here would be that after about number 23 or so, things get a bit repetitious. Also, I read this over just a few days and it probably would be best to allow a bit more time to absorb some of the material. One argument that resonates is the idea that all religious beliefs are passed down through culture and family. All of them. Meaning, if you aren’t born into a family o [...]

    • Rubi said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      O lectura interesanta care mi-ar fi placut sa o citesc in tinerete :)Nu toate motivele enumerate de autor sunt "disecate" stiintific, este aplicata si ratiunea.O carte buna ce ar trebui citita de cei tineri.

    • Steve Losh said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      If you want to join the intellectual circlejerking of "I'm so much smarter than those silly theists" (and who doesn't occasionally?) go read something by Dawkins instead.If you want a real-world, practical, helpful, nicely-toned explanation of the arguments for atheism, pick up this book.

    • Scout Collins said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      "Religion is a source of tremendous prejudice, hatred, division, violence, and murder." (Harrison, 326-327).50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God is a critical look at believing in gods more than religion, but a thought-provoker nonetheless. As an atheist this book was probably supposed to confirm my atheism although sometimes it actually made me question it! The author is very educated and knows a lot about history and religion - he shares a few tidbits with readers which adds to the bo [...]

    • Tucker said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      The value of this book is its careful emphasis that arguments for God are really arguments in favor of a particular god. In this respect, Harrison takes a cue from Stephen Prothero and others who have pointed out the multiplicity of gods and their dissimilarities. Christians argue for Christ; Muslims argue for Allah; they obviously can't both be right, and it is quite possible that no gods whatsoever exist. It's a historically neglected approach that can immediately be put to good use demolishin [...]

    • Craig Shields said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This book is oatmeal. Absolutely fine if you're hungry and poor, but if you have a full kitchen, you're probably better satisfied making something else. This book suffers from repetition due to its author's desire to respond to exactly 50 reasons; combine the many similar claims and it would have been a much easier read. The author isn't particularly gifted, either, and when the literature contains big fish like Christopher Hitchens, books like this can simply be boring in comparison. This is a [...]

    • Mopheadf said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I highly recommend this book for believers who want to understand more about atheism but don't want to run afoul of Those Atheists. This is calm, thoughtful, relaxed, and reasonable atheism explained by an atheist who has talked with believers, listened, and come to clear and understandable reasons why he doesn't believe in a god.

    • Lynn said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Wonderful, thoughtful bookI highly recommend this book. The author’s conversational style is refreshing, and his thoughtful treatment of difficult questions is very helpful. Anyone interested in religion, believer or not, would gain much insight from reading this book.

    • Barrett said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I've chosen to rate this book only two stars because it simply wasn't for me. I found 50 Reasons by Guy P. Harrison to be incredibly boring and tedious. That's not to say other people will feel the same way. Aside from a few too many spelling and grammatical errors, the writing is good, if a little mundane. Harrison offers quite a few interesting anecdotes describing his many travels and the many people he's met along the way. Unfortunately, that was the most interesting part of the book for me. [...]

    • Peter said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      The book has some good arguments but is eventually a chore to read and does not live up to it's goals.I listened to Guy Harrison on the Point of Inquiry podcast and "50 reasons for believing" sounded like a good book to give a believer. But the book gradually gets too "in-your-face", in my opinion. Guy eventually makes it very clear that he's an atheist. Given the goals of the book, it would seem more appropriate to leave this unsaid. In fact, I judge the success of this book on how easily you c [...]

    • Marshall said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This book addresses 50 of the most common arguments people use to support their belief in a god. Pretty surprising, huh? Bet you never would have guessed that from the title. :)It's very light reading, not much science, not much data, just some thoughts on each of the 50 reasons people give. Some of it is snarky, some is charming, some is harsh, some is fascinating. Some of the arguments are extremely persuasive, some fall completely flat. Some are naive, such as the claim that most people who t [...]

    • Lynda Wylde said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Guy P. Harrison has had conversations about religion with people from all geographic locations and walks of life. He's talked with Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Animists, to name a few. He began to notice that these many people from various religions all had something in common; their reasons for believing in their god. Even though they all believed in different gods, their reasons for believing were the same. Intriguing, no? His book examines the 50 most common reasons that people [...]

    • Jane said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I'm about halfway through this book and have to say that I'm rather disappointed so far, I was looking forward to this because of Harrison's anthropology background, as well as his extensive experience gained from travelling around the world. I had expected a better understanding of the different reasons people throughout the world give for their belief in god(s) given from a cultural anthropological perspective, instead, Harrison lists a reason (primarily as the chapter title) and then gives a [...]

    • Dale said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Religious belief is almost incomprehensible to those of us who do not believe. Guy Harrison has spent a lot of time talking to people around the world about their beliefs, and the reasons they give for those beliefs. The reasons are familiar: 'our holy book says god exists', 'god answers my prayers', 'I need something bigger than myself to make sense of the world', 'morality derives from god', and on and on.Harrison is an atheist. He seems quite tolerant and understanding of religious belief, an [...]

    • Penelope Green said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I was disappointed by this. As someone raised in a non-believing household, why people do believe is a question I'm fascinated with. This book promised some answers. Instead however, we got maybe a paragraph on each reason (which were somewhat repetitive) followed by a through explanation of why it is wrong.These reasons seem to boil down to "but other religions think differently and you agree they're wrong" or "just because it makes you happy, doesn't make it true." The exploration of the psych [...]

    • Kit said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      I quickly purchased this book after sampling the sample through . Then I read some reviews and started to get concerned that it wasn't going to be worth the price. Some say the arguments are repetitive.I found the discuss wasn't repetitive, so much as he pulls from the same core fundamental premises, though there weren’t an incredibly small number of key points. I found value in nearly every question and answer analysis he provided. 'Why believe in this god over all the others you don't belie [...]

    • Melanie said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      It wasn't really what I was looking for. I had hoped to gain insight into why people believe in gods but this book is not that. It goes through 50 reasons people give for believing in gods and then explains to them why those reasons really aren't valid. As it turns out, many of the reasons, and therefore many of the explanations, are quite similar to each other. And it is quite possible that the reasons people say they believe in gods are not the real reasons they actually believe in them. For e [...]

    • Ryan said:
      Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      This book is intended to be a reasonable and rational look at people's beliefs in god(s). Harrison does a pretty good job at covering the reasons people give when justifying their beliefs, but I found that there tended to be a lot of repetition throughout the book. This could be, in part, because lots of the reasons that people give for believing are not well thought out. Most people, which he brings to light, do not think critically about their own religion, therefore, this book, which I think [...]

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