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The Case Against

Dr Philip Holt has taught maths, physics and philosophy, and is the author of five maths textbooks (Hodder and Stoughton, and Nelson). He is the recipient of the Joad Prize (given by Cyril Joad of The Brains Trust, a popular informational radio and TV programme in which a panel of experts answered audience questions; guests included Theodore Zeldin, A. S. Byatt and Richard Dawkins).

The underlying idea of the book is that most ordinary religious believers – not philosophers or theologians – do not realise how weak the case for God's existence is. The Case Against examines the reasons why the belief has such a strong hold on so large a section of humanity, and attempts to show that the reasons are inadequate. The concepts involved in religious belief are examined in detail. It is shown that great difficulties – of which believers are usually unaware – are involved in forming concepts of entities from a ‘higher’ – perhaps ‘spiritual’ – realm. In particular, God and the idea of a life after death are examined and it is proposed that viable, coherent concepts are probably impossible in both cases.

For many believers the God theory is seen as (a) explaining the origin of the universe, and (b) enabling the apparent injustices of this world to be righted in a life after death. The theory actually fails to do either. It is also shown, however, that the main alternative to theism, which is materialism, itself presents difficulties.

No final answer is given, and it is accepted that (informed) puzzlement may ultimately be the only rational position. The God theory could perhaps be seen as an attempt to answer genuine problems. While it fails, it can nevertheless be understood and treated with sympathy. God: The Case Against is not intended for philosophers or theologians! Rather, the aim is to make the arguments accessible to intelligent, intellectually curious, open-minded people. The book attempts throughout to give clear, simple explanations of the issues, benefiting here from the author's own experience in teaching philosophy to young people

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-968-5
Paperback Price: £12.95 / $19.95
Release Date: January 2019
Page Extent / Format: 152 pp. 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: No



1  The Problem       

2  Reward and Punishment

3  Observational Evidence   

4  Other Routes: Faith, Religious Experience      

5  Is God a Person?

6  Life After Death

7  God the Creator

8  The Power of Belief

9   On the Other Side

Reviewed in Italian in Diálogo Filosófico, September 2019

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