…it’s all about commercialism. Specifically, buying my books. Especially the one on the Nativity. Please help to support my work!
I have written a number of books over the last few years. Here they are listed with links to Amazon; below you will find more detail:
- Why I Am Atheist and Not a Theist: How to Do Knowledge, Meaning, and Morality in a Godless World
- The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story
- The Little Book of Unholy Questions
- The Nativity: A Critical Examination
- Beyond an Absence of Faith: Stories About the Loss of Faith and the Discovery of Self
- 13 Reasons to Doubt
- The Problem with “God”: Classical Theism under the Spotlight
- Did God Create the Universe from Nothing? Countering William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument
- Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book
- Survival of the Fittest: Metamorphosis
- Not Seeing God: Atheism in the 21st Century
- Survival of the Fittest: Adaptation
- The Family Book of Word of the Day. For a Year. Every Year. Forever.
Let’s start with a few of my latest ones.
The first book to exhibit is my case for atheism and against theism: Why I Am Atheist and Not a Theist: How to Do Knowledge, Meaning, and Morality in a Godless World. If you want to know what I believe and what I don’t and why, and why you should too, this is the book for you.
While Jonathan MS Pearce has written a whole suite of books that have produced a barrage against theism, in this book, he pulls a number of threads together that build up a case for his own entire worldview. This book is not just about why atheism is a more rational position than its counterparts, but it also builds the foundations for a sound epistemology (theories about knowledge and truth) and morality from the bottom up. Pearce’s account for reality has far-reaching consequences that cover many bases, from God to guns, personhood and abortion to racism, and why he thinks his positions on these subjects are rational.
In Why I am Atheist and Not a Theist, Pearce tackles all of reality in an accessible manner, presenting a cogent case for why he concludes as he does, and why you should too.
“Pearce’s clear writing and charming wit allow even those unfamiliar with philosophy to enjoy this deep dive into a non-theistic worldview. He lays out a humanistic, naturalistic philosophy that is not only epistemologically sound and logically coherent, but enjoyable to read. This book serves as a wonderful introduction to the philosophy of irreligion, where one’s ideology is not just defined by an absence of beliefs, but instead by the presence of better beliefs.” – Dr Caleb Lack, author of Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience: Why We Can’t Trust Our Brains
“This collection of essays is the best introduction to the debate between atheists and theists in the market today. With both gentle humor and admirable rigor, Pearce makes technical philosophical terminology clearly understandable to the uninitiated reader, and then persuasively lays out a very convincing case for his clearly defined concept of naturalism. A must for anyone just starting to engage with the philosophy of religion!” – Gunther Laird, The Unnecessary Science: A Critical Analysis of Natural Law Theory
“Pearce has written an engrossing treatment of some of the most compelling questions of human existence. This book skillfully builds a worldview that is based on scientific naturalism in a way that is highly accessible to the non-philosopher. Virtually every page will make you think.” – Dr. Joseph Berger, author of Science and Spirituality.
The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story is a part of a trilogy of books eviscerating the foundations upon which Christianity is built, together with The Nativity: A Critical Examination and a forthcoming book on the Exodus. Here is the description and a few of the fantastic reviews it has garnered:
The Resurrection story is integral to the Christian faith; its truth has been crucial for Christians since the inception of the belief system. But did the events reported in the Christian Bible actually happen? How do the claims made by the authors look in light of careful historical analysis? Are the Gospel claims internally coherent? Do Christian believers have justification in believing the chapter and verse of this most famous of miraculous stories?
Jonathan MS Pearce looks at all of the problems with the Easter story in the same way he analysed the Nativity accounts in the sister book The Nativity: A Critical Examination. This later book is a diligent examination of the Easter story, the claims, the likelihood of truth, and what may have been the original events that inspired the biblical writers and believers to write and believe what they did. And still do. Historical, philosophical, and biblical exegetical analysis are woven together to form a terminal case against the accuracy, and ultimately truth, of the Easter story.
“[I]f you want to take such a belief seriously, read this thoroughly documented terminal case against the resurrection based on the latest research! This is the only book you’ll need. Pearce is your expert guide on all the essential issues.” – John W. Loftus, author, and editor of The Case against Miracles
“Jonathan MS Pearce puts the resurrection genie back in the bottle (and the body back in the grave). If you are digging for truth, this book is a goldmine!” – Dan Barker, author of Godless
“This book is the definitive starting point for anyone intent on questioning or defending the resurrection of Jesus. Introductory and aimed at a broad audience, but thoroughly researched, all the key works are here cited and arguments addressed, and with sound reasoning. If this book cannot be answered, belief in the resurrection cannot be defended.” – Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Jesus from Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ.
My second book remained within the philosophical realm, but this time concentrating on philosophy of religion, namely the characteristics of God. The Little Book of Unholy Questions is described as follows on the cover:
Jonathan M.S. Pearce’s second book (after Free Will?) continues along the same philosophical and theological vein, aiming to provide a cumulative case against the existence of God, and more specifically, God’s triple characteristics of omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence. Split into useful categories with an introduction to each category, these are questions that demand to be answered adequately and plausibly in order for the believer to retain a rationally-based faith. Pearce’s easy writing style and explanation of philosophy, theology and science on the popular level make this book as enjoyable to read as it is thought-provoking. Does God change his mind when prayed to, and why has he never produced a miracle since biblical times that couldn’t have occurred naturally anyway, like re-growing an amputee’s leg? God only knows.
“Pearce demands from God a rational explanation to all of the problems that seem illogical or incoherent. These are … damningly challenging inconsistencies in the Christian narrative that necessarily antagonize any rational reader. If you are still or used to be Christian, “The Little Book of Unholy Questions” is an overview of the critical questions you need to be asking yourself.” – Derek Murphy, Jesus Potter Harry Christ
And a review selected from the great reviews on amazon:
Easy reading with a profound content
by S.P. Sider
I met Jonathan in a couple of forums over the internet. When the subject is religion and philosophy you surely expect passion and hot debates. But Jonathan stood apart for his calmness and patience, probably due to his teaching background.
When I learned he wrote this book, I decided to give it a try.
And it was worth it! Don’t be fooled by his philosophy background. Thankfully you will not see any logic equation that would be pretty boring. It’s all in plain English. The format is very interesting: Questions and comments well mixed. You may find some questions very funny, but very often the funnier are the most profound.
It’s a book for the believer and non-believer. And that’s very difficult to achieve, a definitive “plus”. Jonathan’s intention is thought provoking and it’s a must for believers who dare to ask questions, and I am sure I made dozens of them when I was a believer. And non-believers will find a bunch of questions they never thought about.
My suggestion: read it slowly, taste every question for a couple of minutes. You won’t regret it.
My third book moved towards a different discipline: historical analysis and biblical exegesis, being a synthesis of the work analysing the historicity of the nativity accounts of Jesus’ birth in the Bible. The Nativity: A Critical Examination is described as follows:
The nativity of Jesus is an event that carries much cultural recognition. However, is it a narrative which commands much support in the academic world? Is it a story which holds much historical truth? Or were the two biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus an opportunity for the authors to impart a theological truth or otherwise? These are the sort of questions that are often asked of the nativity accounts and questions which are answered in this concise and yet well-researched and informative book. Some twenty arguments are looked at and presented in a clear and detailed manner, building a cumulative case for the objection to the historical nature of the Gospel accounts. The author also questions what purpose these stories do serve if indeed they do carry little or no historical truth. With reference to a wide array of contemporary and iconic works on the subject, Pearce has created a compendium of critical arguments against the historicity of a story which still remains a vital piece of our collective cultural and religious tapestry.
“For anyone beginning to doubt the reliability of the gospels as eyewitness accounts, Pearce’s “The Nativity” will teach you everything you need to know to move past the limitations of biblical infallibility and explore the complicated process that went into the gospel narratives of Jesus Christ.” – Derek Murphy, author of Jesus Potter Harry Christ
And a review from amazon:
Did you think you knew the nativity story
When was Jesus born? What was his birth date? Where was he born and why was he born there? Who knew of his birth? How is Jesus related to biblical characters past? Who thought that baby Jesus was the messiah and why? What important historical events do you expect we should have records of if the bible accounts were accurate?
If you think you know the answers to these questions, think again.
Jonathan Pearce points out how, despite the heartwarming Christmas pageants we are all familiar with, there is no real cohesive narrative regarding the birth of Jesus. It appears that when they originally calculated the year of the nativity in the 6th century, they were averaging two different years as estimated by the two very different accounts of Jesus’ birth given in the bible– both of which seem purposefully manufactured to make Jesus’ birth match the description of the messiah foretold in Jewish prophesy.
Step by step, Pearce shows us how it is impossible for both biblical accounts (Luke and Matthew) to be true, and, as we delve into the finer details of each account, it become increasingly obvious that neither account comports with historical facts.(How can a star guide the “three wise men” towards the birth site when a star would move across the sky as the earth rotates and disappears during the day? Why do people think there were “three” wise men anyway when that is not mentioned in the bible?)
If the Christian would not accept specious reasoning to suffice as an explanation for another religion’s miraculous claims, this book should give a clear understanding as to why an outsider rejects the bible’s miraculous claims. The Jesus story doesn’t make sense from the get go.
This little book is a must-read for Christians brave enough to consider whether their beliefs could be as mythological as conflicting faiths. It’s also a gem for those outside the Christian faith who want to know whether Christianity is built upon a coherent narrative. This, however, is most definitely is not a book for those afraid that their god will damn them to hell unless they believe in the inerrancy of the bible. Before you read this book, ask yourself, “If the nativity story is a myth, would I want to know?”
Leaving one’s religion behind, walking away from faith, is never an easy journey. With family, friends, jobs, and every aspect of one’s life to consider, the decision is not to be taken lightly. This anthology is made up of sixteen fascinating, and at times moving, accounts of such decisions, and the consequences they entail. Whether it be Christianity, Islam or any other life-impacting worldview, leaving it can be a difficult ordeal. This collection details the trials and tribulations, the joy and liberation involved, by people from various walks of life and corners of the globe.
Heartfelt, it offers hope to those equally questioning, and understanding to those who themselves question the motivations of these often brave people.
Here is a review:
Pearce and Vick have brought together a diverse group of voices with one thing in common – they have moved beyond being “former believers” into being active participants in humanity. Each of the stories shared is unique, but former believers will find something they can identify with in every one. From the pain of separation from friends and family, to the joy of being liberated from a sexist mindset, to the harsh reality of having to find a new career in the middle of your life because you have embraced reason, these personal stories help to reinforce for the non-believer that you are not alone in your journey. Instead, you are walking a path many have gone down before, and you can take solace in knowing that these authors have been there as well.
For 13 Reasons to Doubt, I took on an editing role as well as contributing a chapter on free will. This is a great book because it offers a great variety to the skeptical reader.
Extraordinary claims and extraordinary evidence.
The mainstream and social media feed our minds a diet of fringe science and outright pseudoscience. They relentlessly stream paranormal, supernatural, and otherwise extraordinary claims. Where do all these come from? They’re spread by shysters and charlatans, by corporate propagandists with cynical eyes on the bottom line, by priests and preachers of all kinds, by axe-grinding cranks and ideologues, and frequently by well-meaning dupes.
This may be a scientific age, but all too often, science, well-grounded scholarship, evidence, and logic are ignored—or even denied.
Scientific skepticism offers a corrective: skeptics defend science and reason, while demanding the evidence for extraordinary claims.
In this volume, we offer you thirteen ways to scientific skepticism: thirteen reasons to doubt extraordinary claims. The authors discuss groupthink and cognitive biases, science denialism, weird archeology, claims about religion and free will, and many other topics. Within these pages, there is something for anyone who wants to avoid biases and fallacies, cut through the masses of misinformation, and push back against fakers and propagandists.
Informed skepticism is one of the most important ways of looking at the world, and Thirteen Reasons to Doubt does a wonderful job of illustrating the need and the challenge of this intellectual virtue.
The essays contained in this short, accessible, charming read challenge some of our dearest notions–for examples, free will, the prevailing attitudes of the groups with which we identify, the trustworthiness of our own abilities to work out problems, and more–and ask us to look at them without simply taking them at face value. As philosopher and skeptic Russell Blackford articulates in his essay, which is written with his usual eloquence and care, we have a heavy burden of intellectual honesty in our current age, one in which propaganda runs rampant in favor of ideologies and faith still stands strong. It is to save ourselves from ourselves when it comes to this peril that informed skepticism proves its worth, and the collaborators on this enjoyable book illustrate clearly what it means, how to cultivate and guard it, what it implies, and how to use it even upon ourselves for self-correction when our biases start to lead us astray.
Each of the contributors, not only Blackford, does a superb job writing with clarity and passion in their areas of expertise, presenting a thought-provoking contribution to several important conversations at once. Thirteen Reasons to Doubt is ambitious and unpretentious, a friendly and welcoming guide of sorts to spotting bull, doubting yourself, and becoming the better thinker for it.
I found Thirteen Reasons to Doubt to be a pleasurable, accessible, quick, and edifying read on the position of informed skepticism, and I heartily recommend it to any who wish to push the clarity of their thinking and their intellectual integrity.
Although there are some books to be released early this year, I have also released a reasonably priced ebook: The Problem with “God”: Classical Theism under the Spotlight. The description:
This book sets out a cumulative case that puts classical theism, the belief in an all-powerful, -knowing and -loving God, under the spotlight. God is left wanting as Pearce brings together previous blog writing, adapted pieces and original writing to hammer home the point: classical theism is incoherent. This ebook is perfect for armchair philosophers, Christian apologists, and interested atheists and theists everywhere, as well as packing a solid philosophical punch suitable for the more philosophically inclined reader. Something for everyone.
“The Problem with “God” intends to “put classical theism under the spotlight” and on the rack, and that is a goal that it achieves in one concise essay after another. It constitutes a welcome addition to any library of philosophical challenges to the classical, philosophical conception of God, and for that purpose and all need remaining to it, it is pleasantly recommended.” – James A. Lindsay, author of Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly.
A review reads:
Think of this as Jonathan Pearce’s greatest hits all compiled together. He is one of the most interesting and convincing philosophers of modern times. Some of my favorite posts are here, which I have at my fingertips when I need its resource.
It was somewhat difficult to read this on my phone, I don’t usually read kindle books, I prefer old school books, but I managed to just finish it.
These blogs are fascinating, deep and well written and persuasively convincing of why theism fails on several accounts. The choice of topics are amazing, and no one can deliver this as good as Pearce can.
If you are a Christian, you won’t find this book rude or obnoxious, it is fair, well balanced and I encourage you to give it a chance. Challenge yourself, for no one will challenge you better than Johnny can.
Excellent selection and content, and Johnny hits another home run
in 2016, I released Did God Create the Universe from Nothing? Countering William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is a critical look at the Kalam Cosmological Argument and how it supposedly concludes that the universe had a cause (i.e. God).
The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a simple argument:
Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence;
The universe began to exist;
Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Apologists love to use these three short lines to argue that God is the cause of our universe. Jonathan MS Pearce takes the argument to task and finds it seriously lacking, despite its common appeal. Sounding the death knell for the Kalam, this is a must-have counter to the well-worn religious argument advocated by famous Christian thinkers such as William Lane Craig.
“This is a beautifully crisp and clear introduction to, and discussion of, the Cosmological Argument. Suitable for beginners but also those who want a more insightful and detailed discussion. This is an ideal book for students, and indeed anyone who is interested in what remains one of the most popular arguments for the existence of God.” – Stephen Law, Reader in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London and head of Centre for Inquiry UK.
“Pearce has again delivered, treating the important topic, the notorious (and bad) Kalam Cosmological Argument, in a concise and erudite way.” – James A. Lindsay, Ph.D., author of Dot, Dot Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly and Everybody Is Wrong About God
“If you’ve read enough about Kalam to be intrigued and want the thorough takedown, this book is for you.” – Bob Seidensticker, author of Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey and the Cross Examined blog at Patheos.com
..”.remarkable. He has written an accessible, yet philosophically sophisticated, critique of the Kalam Cosmological Argument…. he makes some novel contributions to this literature in the course of his analysis. If you have teethed yourself on popular discussions of atheism and religion, and now want to feast on something a little bit meatier, this is the book for you.” – John Danaher, PhD, Lecturer in Law, NUI Galway (Ireland), and author of the blog Philosophical Disquisitions.
“With his latest book Did God Create the Universe from Nothing?, Jonathan Pearce has collected a vast array of the most powerful academic and popular-level responses to one of the most well-known cosmological arguments for the existence of God. Theists will be surely challenged by this wide-ranging book which seeks to put an end to this theistic argument about the beginning of the universe.” – Justin Schieber, public debater on the philosophy of religion, creator of the channel Real Atheology
“The Kalam argument enjoys much respect that it doesn’t deserve, and Did God Create the Universe from Nothing? gives the unsparing rebuttal that it does deserve. Pearce is a capable and confident Virgil, guiding us through the philosophical and scientific fine points of the response. If you’ve read enough about Kalam to be intrigued and want the thorough takedown, this book is for you.” – Bob Seidensticker, author of Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey and the “Cross Examined” blog at Patheos.com
The first book I wrote is called Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book. As the annotation reads:
This book is a fine introduction into the age-old philosophical debate as to whether we have free will, or whether we live determined lives. Pearce approaches the subject in a lively manner, explaining terms clearly and using anecdotes to break down some of the heavier philosophy so that it is available to the popular philosophy reader. Now that we are understanding our genetic heritage and our neurology better, can we account for all our characteristics and decisions? The author also looks at how theories of free will and determinism integrate with religion, particularly Christianity. If we live under the illusion of free will, do religions need reassessing? How does free will work when God knows what we are doing in advance? Does God have free will? How does prophecy interfere with free will? How is our justice system affected if we know exactly why people commit crimes? These and other crucial questions are investigated with a deft touch, and the author uses recent and important scientific findings to support the text supplying a valuable overview to the subject.
It has received good reviews, such as this one:
Great, thought-provoking read
by Frances “book lover”
I recommend this entertaining and well-argued, mind-blowing book in which the author examines a notion we all seem to take for granted in the West, i.e., our dearly beloved notion of free will. In this book we learn that in spite of the overwhelming dominance of this cherished notion deeply embedded in our cultural, legal and religious belief systems, it is clearly scientifically and demonstratively false and does not exist. First, the author gives us the basic definitions of terms, then examples, philosophical and historical arguments, important religious positions and rebuttals. One of the author’s early hypothetical examples is about a couple going out to dinner and trying to decide what to eat. To “choose” to have pizza, the couple has to rely on many reasons determined by a variety of known and unknown facts concerning their biology, psychology, economic status, childhood and the environment causing their preferences and showing their overriding susceptibility to these kinds of influences that leave no room for a free choice on their part. After the author brought up this couple for the third time, I had to put my Kindle down and go to the kitchen and heat up a pizza! I was falling under the discussion’s suggestion that pizza would taste pretty good right now and I realized I was demonstrating the author’s point about human susceptibility to suggestion and lack of free will by my own spontaneous behavior!
The author convincingly shows that determinism is borne out in countless recent scientific discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, biochemistry, physics and genetics which new findings are important and have wide application in all aspects of our lives. There is a new dawn of knowledge exploding around us and our lives depend upon our absorbing many new scientific discoveries in many complex fields. We cannot blame a god or a devil for our circumstances; the author deftly dispatches them from the new matrix. We have to get with the new paradigm and look at how we can improve our critical thinking, how we can make better economic decisions, how we can use our new scientific knowledge to create new art, how we can see one another in a more compassionate light and how we may reform education and the criminal justice system. I recommend this book because we need to make a lot of informed decisions every day and we need all the rational help we can get to understand our common humanity and to develop the full power and beauty of our finite being.
Check it out using the link above or click on the book cover.
And finally, for now, is my first foray into fiction: Survival of the Fittest: Metamorphosis. The description is as follows:
No one seems to know where it started. Or exactly when. And certainly not how. But it is here, and everything that everyone holds dear falls prey to the ravages of the virus. Some are unaffected, and they must quickly come to terms with their new world – a dystopian Britain in the early convulsions of collapse.
Follow a disparate collection of people as they fight for their lives in this first installment of the “Survival of the Fittest” series.
Where the journey will take them is anyone’s guess.
“A frightening and credible zombie apocalypse. This is the way the world would end―not with a bang or a whimper, but with a snarl and the gnashing of teeth…” Rebecca Bradley, author of Cadon, Hunter and From Hades With Love
“Pearce’s rollicking suburban adventure begs to be consumed and it won’t let go until life is sucked from the final pages.” Glenn Andrew Barr, author of Skin of Them
“Johnny Pearce has written a shockingly good zombie story with a literary quality unfamiliar to the genre. Don’t let the slow build fool you―the growing tension plays a vital role in allowing everything to snap with a most satisfying sort of frayed devastation. Once all hell breaks loose it’s a no holds barred gore fest!” Tristan Vick, author of BITTEN: Resurrection and BITTEN 2: Land of the Rising Dead
Set immediately after the events of Survival of the Fittest: Metamorphosis, and as the global pandemic has ravaged society, the disparate survivors are gradually brought closer together as they fight for their lives or seek out family and help. Ordinary citizens are thrust together and forced to make choices that they are not used to as they evade the viral victims of the outbreak.
Pearce writes dystopian horror not just with a punch but with thought as well, interweaving philosophy and thought-provoking moments into the genre.
“Adaptation begins where Metamorphosis left off, with a scattered cast of characters gradually finding each other-and finding ways to adapt to the terrifying metamorphosis of the world. As the storylines merge, we see how the good and the bad, the bright and the feckless, the brave and the cowardly, begin to change to meet the new challenges, or fall victim to their own inflexibility. An absorbing read, with glimpses of light and hope through the dark clouds of the new reality.” Rebecca Bradley, author of Cadon Hunter and From Hades With Love
“Eerily prescient, breathlessly paced and wonderfully written, this is a sublime story of survival and friendship in the face of unrelenting horror. It’s the human heart that sets this tale of a post pandemic apocalypse apart from others in the genre. The characters never feel false―they’re endearingly flawed, reacting to the unfolding terror in ways you can genuinely relate to and sympathise with.
“The writing, too, is a cut above much other fare in the genre. Pearce expertly weaves themes as diverse as the loss of parents and the existence of God in between scenes of suspense and creatures with a craving for human flesh.
“The undead may be the propulsion, but the characters and their interactions are the engine of the story. You find yourself rooting for them, bemoaning each moment of peril and cheering each narrow escape.
“If the first book was a slow burn of suspense, this sequel is a raging inferno of terror, burnin
g through the pages with a ferocity that doesn’t let up from the first page to the last.
“The greatest compliment to any book in a series is how eager you are to find out what happens next. When I’d finished Metamorphosis, I put the book down, took a deep breath, and asked when I could read the next installment.
“If you like your horror well written with characters and situations you can believe and invest in, and a story that will have chewing your nails down to the quick, do yourself a favour and dive in.” Andy Logan, Creative Director, FavOURite Productions.
And for something completely different, how about The Family Book of Word of the Day. For a Year. Every Year. Forever. [UK].
Vocabulary is more important than you think. Indeed, the number of words children know is a strong predictor of a range of outcomes. The more words a child knows early in their lives, the better they will do in terms of literacy later on, and the better they will do in terms of a number of other outcomes. And it’s not just the number of words, but the quality, too, that can affect these outcomes.
With this in mind, this book intends to give the reader another tool to be able to increase the size of their vocabulary to help you improve your outcome, no matter what your age. And, let’s face it, it can be fun to learn new things. Including words!
For each day of the year, a word is provided, along with a definition, and example of how the word might be used, and a comment from the author – an interesting fact associated with the word, some etymology (word history) or some irreverent banter!
Keep looking for more titles to be released soon!
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