Atheism on Trial
In the courtroom, lawyers depend on rules of evidence to make their arguments. A case is made by establishing certain facts from which proof can be determined. But what happens when the truth seems to be a matter of faith? Can the legal mind discern the validity of one's belief or unbelief?
Nationally recognized trial lawyer Mark Lanier turns his analytical mind to the arguments for atheism and agnosticism. With critical thinking and precision of thought, he examines the rationales made for unbelief and assesses them on their own terms, finding points of strength and weakness in their logic and coherence. He considers whether atheistic frameworks give satisfactory and consistent explanatory answers for understanding human existence and the world around us. He cross-examines the strongest arguments of prominent atheists and also interrogates the questions of agnostics as to whether God is knowable. Through his evenhanded, levelheaded approach, Lanier challenges us all to decide for ourselves what we believe.
"Steeped in the legal profession, adept at assessing evidence, skilled in careful argument, the author clearly takes with sober seriousness truth, the rules of logic, and the dictates of fair play. This happy conjunction enables the book to showcase a powerful legal mind applying his trade and prodigious gifts to questions of enduring importance and matters that matter. The book provides a valuable apologetic contribution to our fraught cultural moment. Lanier's consistent commitment to clear definition, reasonable inference, and uncommon common sense serve as a refreshing corrective to the poor inferential habits, selective evidence, and confirmation bias ubiquitous today. Enthusiastically recommended."
1. A Legal Primer
2. Opening Arguments
3. Atheism and the Burden of Proof
4. Atheist Arguments
5. Agnosticism, Evidence, and the Big Questions
6. Morality, Beauty, and Justice
7. Human Dignity and Significance
8. The Problem of Suffering
9. The Invisible God
10. Science and Faith
12. Closing Argument