Boken er dermed ikke overaskende anmeldt av eSkeptic som starter med å støtte Stengers misforståelse av hva tro er, i et kristent perspektiv.
"Stenger discusses everything from the origin of the universe to the 2012 elections. Even where one might disagree with his conclusions, he is still thought-provoking. Stenger demolishes the theist argument that science is no less based on faith than religion. He draws a firm line between faith and trust. We have faith in supernatural entities, whose actions we cannot experience directly, or in political or religious leaders whose sincerity has yet to be tested, but we trust science—or a reliable friend, or our auto mechanic—based on our experience. To believe in something in the absence of evidence is, in Stenger’s estimation, foolish, and it would be hard to disagree."Ja, det er forskjell på blind og begrunnet tro. I kristen tenkning (om noen skulle tro at slik finnes) kalles det første tøv, det andre tillit. Stenger er med andre ord en god kristen tenker på dette området.
Anmeldelsen blir ikke bedre av en enøyd og misvisende fremstilling av Den katolske kirkens holdning overfor Hitler og nazismen:
Stenger says that the Vatican never excommunicated a Nazi leader. This is incorrect. Hitler and Goebbels were both excommunicated, but not because of their role in World War II or the Holocaust. Prior to the war, Goebbels married a Protestant woman without agreeing to raise their children—whom the couple murdered during the last days of the Third Reich—as Roman Catholics. Hitler was best man at the wedding. It’s not that the Vatican didn’t oppose Hitler—they thought he was too tolerant of other religions!Det er litt vanskelig å vite hva man skal kalle en anmelder som får seg til å tro at Vatikanet primært kritiserte Hitler for å være for tolerant overfor religioner. Av hensyn til sarte lesere nøyer vi oss med historieløs, for ikke å si håpløs.
Inntrykket blir ikke mye bedre av standardlåten om hvem som skapte Gud, og at hvis Gud ikke trengte å bli skapt, så trengte sannelig heller ikke universet det, dough.
The theistic argument has always been that if the universe exists, it must have had a creator, who can only be God, whatever characteristics one ascribes to Him. This raises the question of who created God. Theists invariably respond that God always existed, to which Bertrand Russell replied that if God could always exist without being created, so could the universe.Når så Stenger presenterer alternativer til Gud som universets opphav, viser han at sitatet som feilaktiv tilskrives Chesterton om hva som skjer når noen slutter å tro på Gud var heller spikeren på hodet, i hvert fall for hans tilfelle.
If the universe was created by a Big Bang, what caused the Big Bang? Perhaps a purple-robed patriarch? Stenger gives us a number of alternative scenarios, all of which leave out supernatural entities. One of these is the two-sided universe. One side is ours, and the other is a mirror image in which time runs backwards. Each side begins with a Big Bang and ends with a Big Crunch, causing the Big Bang on the other side. There, since the arrow of time runs in reverse, ashes burst into flame and turn into wood, water runs uphill, and predators regurgitate their prey, which then comes to life, and the two run off backwards with the predator in the lead.Heldigvis synes anmelderen noen steder å se at Stenger beveger seg som Bambi, og det på tynn is.
Another scenario Stenger presents is the Multiverse, which holds that our universe is the result of a black hole created in a much larger universe, which in turn came from an even bigger one, and so on forever. This seems to contradict Stenger’s own claim that there are no infinities in nature, which, if true, would narrow down the number of possible scenarios for the origin of the universe. Furthermore, it overlooks the likelihood that each “daughter” universe would be far smaller than its “mother,” ultimately leading to mini-universes too small to create any new ones. And it hands the theists the argument that God must have created the Multiverse, since what else could have started it? In any case, we have no more evidence for other universes than we have for God, and this theory violates Occam’s razor by postulating a vast number of unproven entities. Also, how could scientists verify the existence of black holes, if they are in other universes?"Mens det nok forventes at vi griper det følgende i tro.
Science does not know everything, but if there are things we do not know, or may never know, there are others we can now be sure of. The supernatural does not exist; the laws governing the universe are immutable, and do not change because of our prayers; we don’t go to heaven or hell, or get reincarnated when we die; there is no inherent purpose to anything in the universe, except for our own lives and what we make of them. If the public can be educated to accept this, it hardly matters whether or not they call the laws of nature “God.”Selv om det ikke er helt enkelt å følge med i svingene på et argument for at mirakler motbeviser Guds eksistens.
God cannot yet be disproved, but at least we can dismiss angels, demons, ghosts and Santa Claus. And if miracles were real, far from proving the existence of God, they would actually disprove it. After all, if the laws of nature do not always apply—if the dead return from the grave—then anything is possible and no God is required to maintain the order of the universe, because there isn’t any order.Om ikke annet motbeviser det enkelte nye (og forsåvidt gamle) ateisters påstand om at de ville trodd på Gud hvis de så et utvilsomt mirakel. Det overrasker ikke at noe så trivielt som bevis ikke vil påvirke en sann troende.