THEISM OR ATHEISM: WHICH IS THE MORE REASONABLE?
This book depicts a public debate between Christian Evidence Society (WT LEE) and National Secular Society (GW FOOTE). The debate seeks to prove that the Theistic doctrine of the universe is essentially reasonable, because it can be vindicated by lines of argument and processes of reasoning admittedly trustworthy in other fields of inquiry. It also seeks to assert that Atheism, as a doctrine of the universe, is utterly unsatisfactory.
The opening argument by the theist begins with a set of questions designed to unsettle any independent, eager, or keen mind. Like, how could an ordered universe arise from a non ordered state of physical units? How could an intelligible universe arise out of a mindless physical condition? How could an universe manifesting law have arisen from a condition where no law can be found? How could an universe without a moral nature produce beings with a moral nature? How could a number of elementary substances called atoms have produced the unity everywhere manifested in nature? How could life, the power which moulds and builds up organisms, and preserves them from the disintegrating influences which act on mere matter, have been produced from the non-living?
The opposing side also is ready with quite a number of questions.
The atheist also, like opponent, puts forward a flurry of arguments. Atheism per se does not deny the existence of God; it only affirms the eternity of matter. The issue with theism is that the theist's mind is not large enough to comprehend the universe. Morality is a part of natural evolution, without anything supernatural in it. If God imposes morality upon us, why is it not the same in all parts of the world?
Thereafter both of them take turns to show the weak points in others' propositions. The debate comes to an end with observations from the chair: That the topic was discussed with a due regard for the sensibility of the listener. And that it was an enlightening debate with a good deal of useful information.
But for the archaic language, and the abstract arguments that seemed to perpetually veer around ideas of God, this is an informative book. This book also, like most others dealing with this topic, does not forward any testable ideas for morality, though it propounds it as an essential part of the human. I specially chose this book to read, since I wanted to know what was the idea of the past generations as far as moral behavior was concerned. (Mine is a rather different idea, which is the theme of my book, The Unsure Male.)