By Michael Martin
"Thousands of philosophers--from the traditional Greeks to fashionable thinkers--have defended atheism, yet none extra comprehensively than Martin. . . . Atheists may still learn it to strengthen their creed, and theists should still learn it to check their religion opposed to the lethal strength of Martin's attack."--Martin Gardner, The Humanist.
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Additional resources for Atheism: A Philosophical Justification
Other philosophically sophisticated works, such as J. L. Mackie The Miracle of Theism, criticize recent theistic arguments and defend arguments for the nonexistence of God but barely mention atheism. 54 I avoid both of these problems. Thus although the present study builds on the arguments of great religious skeptics and atheists of the past such as David Hume and distinguished atheists of the present such as Antony Flew, Kai Nielsen, and Richard Robinson, it goes beyond them. Since I concentrate on theoretical problems found in the literature of analytic philosophy of religion, I ignore certain issues that traditionally atheists have been concerned with and some approaches that many atheists have used.
It is hard to see how premise ( 1 ) can be maintained. The worth of literature, art, technology, science, and culture is surely not eternal. They serve various purposes, and when these purposes are no longer possible, they cease to have any value and may indeed become worthless. Premise (1) assumes that in order for something to have positive worth in one context, it must have worth in all contexts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such a view not only is false but in certain cases makes little sense.
Com Publication Information: Book Title: Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Contributors: Michael Martin author. Publisher: Temple University Press. Place of Publication: Philadelphia. Publication Year: 1990. Page Number: 21. 37 title for the worthlessness of human existence. Some critics of atheism maintain that, without God and the immortality that He provides, human existence has no value. This argument from finiteness can be reconstructed as follows: 1. If human existence is not of definite duration, then it is worthless.
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