Ockham

Publishing

 

"We can imagine Hobbit-land, and even imagine it to exist somewhere in New Zealand where the Lord of the Rings film was shot, but does this mean my maps of New Zealand are seriously deficient? The answer is obvious. We can't conjure entities belonging to the natural world into existence, just by coherently imagining them to exist."

 

Raymond Bradley is probably the most important atheist you’ve never heard of. 16 years before the release of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene, Professor Bradley was completing his Ph.D. about the theological problem of free will, setting off a long, esteemed and distinguished career. Indeed, he debated the renowned Christian academic William Lane Craig long before Krauss, Harris or Hitchens – as a veteran professor of philosophy back in 1994 – using a course of formal logic to demolish not just the idea of ‘Can a loving God send people to Hell?’ but to doubt the existence of God altogether.

 

He became a vocal critic of religion – using philosophy and logic to argue his case – despite having been born a Christian fundamentalist in New Zealand, not to mention the best efforts of the community to keep him that way. His youthful doubts were met with fierce opposition by the age of 15. An evening with the President of the Baptist Theological College, who gave up on him before 9pm, then a day with Dr Blaiklock, Head of Classics at the University of Auckland, were arranged.

 

Of course, his doubts weren’t just met with a deluge of authority figures. Bradley experienced the dark, violent side of ‘Christian soul-saving’ as well.

 

Given such resilient tendencies for reason, Bradley’s academic resume is suitably impressive, even if his progressive atheistic views were always, perhaps, one step ahead of his time. He has had articles published in esteemed journals such as Mind, Dialogue, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, The British Journal for Philosophy of Science and The Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Similarly, his written books on Wittgenstein, Logic and his edited volume on Environmental Ethics were all well received.

 

More surprisingly, Bradley managed all this whilst collecting 60 medals in major skiing championships – including being unbeaten for 11 years, 3 times being FIS World Champion, in Super G. He sums this up simply and succinctly by saying “My life has not been a dull one.”

 

20 years after his retirement – which has been punctuated with regular debates and scholarly articles on atheism and philosophy – Bradley has produced his coup de grâce on religion. ‘God’s Gravediggers’ is something remarkable. It starts as a narrative on Bradley’s journey from winning souls for Christ in the 1940s, to passionately arguing for atheism by the mid-1900s. It fast turns into the philosophical fruit of an entire career, from one of the world’s most experienced, yet arguably lesser known, atheist thinkers.

 

It is truly hard to imagine anyone being better suited to writing a book about religion. Bradley doesn’t let us down.

 

buy now

God's Gravediggers: Why No Deity Exists

Raymond D. Bradley

©Ockham Publishing - 2016

 

"We can imagine Hobbit-land, and even imagine it to exist somewhere in New Zealand where the Lord of the Rings film was shot, but does this mean my maps of New Zealand are seriously deficient? The answer is obvious. We can't conjure entities belonging to the natural world into existence, just by coherently imagining them to exist."

 

Raymond Bradley is probably the most important atheist you’ve never heard of. 16 years before the release of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene, Professor Bradley was completing his Ph.D. about the theological problem of free will, setting off a long, esteemed and distinguished career. Indeed, he debated the renowned Christian academic William Lane Craig long before Krauss, Harris or Hitchens – as a veteran professor of philosophy back in 1994 – using a course of formal logic to demolish not just the idea of ‘Can a loving God send people to Hell?’ but to doubt the existence of God altogether.

 

He became a vocal critic of religion – using philosophy and logic to argue his case – despite having been born a Christian fundamentalist in New Zealand, not to mention the best efforts of the community to keep him that way. His youthful doubts were met with fierce opposition by the age of 15. An evening with the President of the Baptist Theological College, who gave up on him before 9pm, then a day with Dr Blaiklock, Head of Classics at the University of Auckland, were arranged.

 

Of course, his doubts weren’t just met with a deluge of authority figures. Bradley experienced the dark, violent side of ‘Christian soul-saving’ as well.

 

Given such resilient tendencies for reason, Bradley’s academic resume is suitably impressive, even if his progressive atheistic views were always, perhaps, one step ahead of his time. He has had articles published in esteemed journals such as Mind, Dialogue, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, The British Journal for Philosophy of Science and The Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Similarly, his written books on Wittgenstein, Logic and his edited volume on Environmental Ethics were all well received.

 

More surprisingly, Bradley managed all this whilst collecting 60 medals in major skiing championships – including being unbeaten for 11 years, 3 times being FIS World Champion, in Super G. He sums this up simply and succinctly by saying “My life has not been a dull one.”

 

20 years after his retirement – which has been punctuated with regular debates and scholarly articles on atheism and philosophy – Bradley has produced his coup de grâce on religion. ‘God’s Gravediggers’ is something remarkable. It starts as a narrative on Bradley’s journey from winning souls for Christ in the 1940s, to passionately arguing for atheism by the mid-1900s. It fast turns into the philosophical fruit of an entire career, from one of the world’s most experienced, yet arguably lesser known, atheist thinkers.

 

It is truly hard to imagine anyone being better suited to writing a book about religion. Bradley doesn’t let us down.

 

buy now