I just finished his latest book, Irreligion, subtitled “A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up.” Poulos takes a dozen of the most common arguments for the existence of God and demolishes them. But his approach, unlike the attack-dog stance of Richard Dawkins (who argues in his “The God Delusion” that raising children is any given religion is a form a child abuse), is wry, witty and common-sensical – irreligious in a word. Here’s a sprinkling of quotes from the book and authors he quotes.
Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
Poulos uses simple probability calculations to show that “confirmation of a person’s unreliable statement by another unreliable person makes the statement even less reliable.”
“It’s been my experience that everything being equal, people are more impressed by fatuous blather that they don’t understand than by simple observations that they do. Disdaining Occam’s razor, they like their explanations hirsute.”
Ambrose Bierce’s definition of “pray:” “To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”
“Since literal truth is not always the paramount concern of people, it seems that the untruths underlying faith may make ordinary life more bearable.”
Stephen Weinberg: “With or without religion, good people will do good, an evil people will do evil, but for good people to do evil, that takes religion.”