The Atheist's Primer

Author: Malcolm Murray

Publisher: Broadview Press

ISBN: 9781770480728

Category: Philosophy

Page: 276

View: 5207

The Athiest’s Primer is a concise but wide-ranging introduction to a variety of arguments, concepts, and issues pertaining to belief in God. In lucid and engaging prose, Malcom Murray offers a penetrating yet fair-minded critique of the traditional arguments for the existence of God. He then explores a number of other important issues relevant to religious belief, such as the problem of suffering and the relationship between religion and morality, in each case arguing that atheism is preferable to theism. The book will appeal to both students and professionals in the philosophy of religion, as well as general audiences interested in the topic.

The Atheist's Primer

Author: Michael Palmer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780718892975

Category: Philosophy

Page: 169

View: 2949

In The Atheist's Primer, a prominent philosopher, Dr Michael Palmer, reinstates the importance of philosophy in the debate about God's existence. The 'new atheism' of Richard Dawkins and others has been driven by largely Darwinian objections to God's existence, limiting the debate to within a principally scientific framework. This has obscured the philosophical tradition of atheism, in which the main intellectual landmarks in atheism's history are to be found.With an analysis of atheistic thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present day, Palmer explains and comments on the philosophical arguments warranting atheism, discussing issues such as evil, morality, miracles, and the motivations for belief. The emphasis placed on materialism and the limitations of our knowledge might seem disheartening to some; but Palmer concludes on a positive note, arguing – alongside Nietzsche, Marx and Freud and many others – that happiness and personal fulfilment are to be found in the very materialism that religious belief rejects.Michael Palmer first addressed these issues in his student-oriented edition, The Atheist's Creed, of which The Atheist's Primer is a revised abridgement for the general reader. Palmer has now stripped out the primary texts and expanded his commentaries into fluent and concise analyses of the arguments. Free of philosophical jargon and assumptions of prior knowledge, this is an important introduction to a major cultural debate.

Atheism for Beginners

A Coursebook for Schools and Colleges

Author: Michael Palmer

Publisher: Lutterworth Press

ISBN: 0718840771

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 756

The word ‘atheism’ is derived from the Greek: a meaning ‘not’ is conjoined with theos meaning ‘god’. So atheism may be defined as follows: it is the belief that there is no God. Unfortunately definition of terms is rarely this straightforward. In this educational book, Michael Palmer undertakes to analyse, develop and discuss the complex and too often reduced notion of atheism. In spite of the consciously atheist point of view adopted by the author, the volume remains critical and objective, making religious, philosophical and political concepts around atheism understandable. Even though the book clearly addresses a young audience, any kind of reader will find food for thought in this vivid and detailed work.

Atheist Universe

The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism

Author: David Mills

Publisher: Ulysses Press

ISBN: 156975263X

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 1192


Philosophers without Gods

Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life

Author: Louise M. Antony

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199839786

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 979

Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an "anything goes" lifestyle. Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief. These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists, providing a portrait that will surprise most readers. Many of the authors, for example, express great affection for particular religious traditions, even as they explain why they cannot, in good conscience, embrace them. None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive, and several even express regret that they cannot, or can no longer, believe. Perhaps more important, in these reflective pieces, they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit. For instance, if God is dead, is everything permitted? Philosophers without Gods demonstrates convincingly, with arguments that date back to Plato, that morality is independent of the existence of God. Indeed, every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong. Moreover, they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life. A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges--to pursue our goals without illusions, to act morally without hope of reward--challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives. 'This Atheists R Us compilation differs markedly in tone from Hitchens and Dawkins. Excellent fare for Christian small groups whose members are genuinely interested in the arguments raised by atheists.'-- Christianity Today 'Rather than the foolishness of Dawkins or Hitchens, these [essays] are compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront....'-- Tikkun 'Taken as a group, these readable, personal, and provocative essays make it clear that there are many kinds of non-believers, and even many different elements that make up a single skeptical outlook. Contrary to the popular image, atheism isn't all rebellious trumpets and defiant drums. That part of the orchestra is essential, but here we have all the varieties of unreligious experience, a full symphony of unbelief.' -- Free Inquiry 'This collection strikes me as an excellent example of how comprehensible philosophical writing can be at its best. By and large, the essays are written in a clear and direct style, free of philosophical jargon. Many who read it will find themselves also engaged at a level that is not merely academic.'--George I. Mavrodes, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

A Is for Atheist

An A to Z of the Godfree Life

Author: Andrew Sneddon

Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)

ISBN: 1634310705

Category: Religion

Page: 231

View: 6862

Atheists may be among the fastest growing “religious” demographics in the world, but they are also perhaps the most misunderstood. To begin, atheists have no identifying marks, no defining habits, no obvious symbols, for all that unites them, essentially, is an absence of belief. As a result, many religious believers may not even realize they know atheists, whether as neighbors, friends, or coworkers. In addition, most major religions warn against the faithless and preach distrust of nonbelievers. This creates not only ignorance about what it’s like to be an atheist, but also fear about the very idea of atheism. Organized like an encyclopedia, this book aims to rectify this widespread distrust and suspicion with basic understanding. Each entry, written in clear, concise language, covers a specific topic or question related to being an atheist, making this the perfect primer for anyone curious about or interested in atheism—whether to learn more about why someone might become an atheist, how someone creates meaning and purpose as an atheist, and what life is like as an atheist.

Atheism

The Case Against God

Author: George H. Smith

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1615929959

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 6580

"Does a god exist? This question has undoubtedly been asked, in one form or another, since man has had the ability to communicate. . . Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god, and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding 'Yes!' " "You are about to read a minority viewpoint." With this intriguing introduction, George H. Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad "proofs" offered by theists - the defenses of sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the average religious layman. He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general - and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern, rational man. "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism . . . (but to) demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity."

Proving History

Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus

Author: Richard C. Carrier

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616145609

Category: History

Page: 340

View: 5152

This in-depth discussion of New Testament scholarship and the challenges of history as a whole proposes Bayes’s Theorem, which deals with probabilities under conditions of uncertainty, as a solution to the problem of establishing reliable historical criteria. The author demonstrates that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes’s Theorem. Conversely, he argues that any method that cannot be reduced to this theorem is invalid and should be abandoned. Writing with thoroughness and clarity, the author explains Bayes’s Theorem in terms that are easily understandable to professional historians and laypeople alike, employing nothing more than well-known primary school math. He then explores precisely how the theorem can be applied to history and addresses numerous challenges to and criticisms of its use in testing or justifying the conclusions that historians make about the important persons and events of the past. The traditional and established methods of historians are analyzed using the theorem, as well as all the major "historicity criteria" employed in the latest quest to establish the historicity of Jesus. The author demonstrates not only the deficiencies of these approaches but also ways to rehabilitate them using Bayes’s Theorem. Anyone with an interest in historical methods, how historical knowledge can be justified, new applications of Bayes’s Theorem, or the study of the historical Jesus will find this book to be essential reading. From the Hardcover edition.

The Atheist's Fatal Flaw

Exposing Conflicting Beliefs

Author: Norman L. Geisler,Daniel J. McCoy

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 144124591X

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 1308

Most critiques of atheism focus on refuting head-on the claims of atheists. Instead, this unique book faithfully represents what atheists say they believe and stands back to watch as the natural inconsistencies in that worldview inevitably rise to the surface. Norman L. Geisler, the apologetic giant of our time, is joined by Daniel J. McCoy, highlighting two inconsistencies in particular. First they examine the atheist's assertion that God cannot exist because there is evil in the world and that if God truly existed, he would intervene. These same people then turn around and say any intervention on God's part would impose upon human autonomy, and thus would be unjust. Second, these very interventions that would be considered immoral if imposed upon the earth by God are lauded when they stem instead from some human institution or authority. Geisler and McCoy highlight this kind of "doublethink" step by step, showing readers how to identify such inconsistencies in atheistic arguments and refute them--or rather show atheists how they refute themselves.

The Portable Atheist

Essential Readings for the Non-believer

Author: Christopher Hitchens

Publisher: Da Capo Press

ISBN: 0306816083

Category: Philosophy

Page: 499

View: 3063

Presents excerpts on the subject of religion from the writings of such notable non-believers as John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Richard Dawkins, and Salman Rushdie.

The Magic of Reality

How We Know What's Really True

Author: Richard Dawkins,Dave McKean

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451675046

Category: Comics & Graphic Novels

Page: 272

View: 8778

The best-selling author of The God Delusion and the artist of such award-winning graphic novels as Wizard and Glass address key scientific questions previously explained by rich mythologies, from the evolution of the first humans and the life cycle of stars to the principles of a rainbow and the origins of the universe. 150,000 first printing.

Doubt: A History

The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson

Author: Jennifer Hecht

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780062031396

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 6764

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning, This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.

10 Answers for Atheists

How to Have an Intelligent Discussion About the Existence of God

Author: Alex McFarland

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 1441266585

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 4856

With notable nonbelievers such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens featured prominently in the media, it is no surprise that many Christians wonder how best to answer the growing number of atheist arguments they encounter every day. 10 Answers for Atheists is a one-of-a-kind resource from respected Christian apologist Alex McFarland that looks closely at the philosophical assumptions at the root of atheism and agnosticism and exposes the logical, historical, and conceptual fallacies that perpetuate unbelief. Readers will find easy-to-understand charts and clear explanations of key beliefs, as well as trustworthy, biblical answers to the honest questions posed by atheists and agnostics. Every reader, no matter where he or she falls on the spectrum of belief, will hear a call to thoughtful engagement with the historic Christian faith.

Seeking God in Science

An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design

Author: Bradley Monton

Publisher: Broadview Press

ISBN: 1460404092

Category: Philosophy

Page: 180

View: 6881

The doctrine of intelligent design is often the subject of acrimonious debate. Seeking God in Science cuts through the rhetoric that distorts the debates between religious and secular camps. Bradley Monton, a philosopher of science and an atheist, carefully considers the arguments for intelligent design and argues that intelligent design deserves serious consideration as a scientific theory. Monton also gives a lucid account of the debate surrounding the inclusion of intelligent design in public schools and presents reason why students’ science education could benefit from a careful consideration of the arguments for and against it.

God: The Failed Hypothesis

How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

Author: Victor J. Stenger

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 161592003X

Category: Science

Page: 302

View: 9055

Throughout history, arguments for and against the existence of God have been largely confined to philosophy and theology, while science has sat on the sidelines. Despite the fact that science has revolutionized every aspect of human life and greatly clarified our understanding of the world, somehow the notion has arisen that it has nothing to say about the possibility of a supreme being, which much of humanity worships as the source of all reality. This book contends that, if God exists, some evidence for this existence should be detectable by scientific means, especially considering the central role that God is alleged to play in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans. Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, physicist Stenger examines all of the claims made for God's existence. He considers the latest Intelligent Design arguments as evidence of God's influence in biology. He looks at human behavior for evidence of immaterial souls and the possible effects of prayer. He discusses the findings of physics and astronomy in weighing the suggestions that the universe is the work of a creator and that humans are God's special creation. After evaluating all the scientific evidence, Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God. This paperback edition of the New York Times bestselling hardcover edition contains a new foreword by Christopher Hitchens and a postscript by the author in which he responds to reviewers' criticisms of the original edition. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Moral Problems

A Coursebook

Author: Michael F. Palmer

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 9780802076618

Category: Philosophy

Page: 207

View: 7538

Moral Problems takes particular account of the needs of both teacher and student. It is not a compendium of ethical theories but a course book, providing the instructor, student, and general reader with a step-by-step introduction to the major ethical theories. For each topic Palmer has provided a lengthy introduction and critique, comprehension exercises, essay questions, and an extensive bibliography. He relates each ethical theory to a contemporary issue, with an introductory discussion followed by excerpts from the original sources.

Thank God for Atheists

How the Greatest Skeptics Led Me to Faith

Author: Timothy Morgan

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers

ISBN: 0736966293

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 8114

"The greatest authors of atheism did more to push me toward belief in God than any Christian apologist writer." --Timothy Morgan. After a decade of major disappointments, Timothy Morgan was ready to reject God. Atheism offered an escape--an opportunity to dismiss God permanently. But as Morgan delved into the thinking of great atheists past and present, he was stunned. In book after book, he found their reasons for rejecting God to be intellectually unfulfilling. In Thank God for Atheists he candidly shares his journey by letting atheists speak for themselves, examining their logic to see whether it holds up or not. Along the way, deals with these key questions: What are the key elements of the atheist worldview? Who are the leading modern-day atheists, and what are they saying? How can you effectively respond to atheism? You'll find this a personal and thoughtful book on why the evidence for God is much more compelling than the evidence against Him.

Irreligion

A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780809059188

Category: Mathematics

Page: 176

View: 5350

Argues that there is no logical reason to believe in God, refuting twelve arguments commonly proposed to prove the existence of God, while offering commentary on such topics as miracles, cognitive illusions, and creationist probability.

The Young Atheist's Survival Guide

Helping Secular Students Thrive

Author: Hemant Mehta

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781939221070

Category: Atheism

Page: 158

View: 4503

Nearly a third of Americans under the age of thirty have no religious affiliation, the highest in any recorded generation. In this growing segment of "nones" are many young Atheists who have faced prejudice in their high schools and communities for standing up for their constitutional right of freedom from religion. You'll hear some of their stories in this book, whether they're protesting their school's public prayers at football games and graduations or sitting out the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance. These atheist students know their rights and have fought for them, sometimes at tremendous personal cost. Their examples serve as inspiration for all the young atheists out there who live in communities where school often feels no different from church and teachers are no different from preachers. This handbook is a resource for parents, teachers, friends, and young atheists themselves. Hemant Mehta, "The Friendly Atheist" blogger at patheos.com, discusses how to deal with teachers and administrators who promote faith in public schools, handle the peer pressure and ostracism that may come with being an outspoken atheist, and create successful student groups that encourage conversation over conversion.