Genre : Philosophy
Publisher : I.B.Tauris
ISBN_10 : 9780857730350
Copyright Year : 2010-09-30
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The last few years have seen a remarkable surge of popular interest in the topic of atheism. Books about atheism by writers like richard dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have figured prominently in bestseller lists and have attracted widespread discussion in the media. The ubiquity of public debates about atheism, especially in conscious opposition to the perceived social threat posed by faith and religion, has been startling. However, as gavin Hyman points out, despite their prevalence and popularity, what often characterises these debates is a lack of nuance and sophistication. They can be shrill, ignorant of the historical complexity of discussions about belief, and tend to lapse into caricature. What is needed is a clear and well-informed presentation of how atheistic ideas originated and developed, in order to illuminate their contemporary relevance and application. That task is what the author undertakes here. Charting the rise of atheism as an explicit philosophical position (notably in the work of denis diderot), Hyman traces its development in the ideas of descartes, Locke and Berkeley, and draws too on the work of important contemporary scholars like amos Funkenstein and michael J. Buckley. arguing that the plausibility and persuasiveness of atheism is sustained by the demise of a religion that is defined by the presuppositions and assumptions of modernity, the author boldly suggests that atheism - like the belief to which it is antipathetic - is itself vulnerable to a future that challenges the intellectual inheritance of the enlightenment. For anyone interested in the origins of atheism (whether they consider themselves to be ‘an atheist’, or ‘religious’, or indeed somewhere in-between), and in the rich cultural, philosophical and historical matrix out of which it emerged, A Short History of Atheism offers a fascinating exploration of the often surprising co-dependency of faith and its negation.

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📒 Western Atheism by James Thrower

Genre : Religion
Publisher : Prometheus Books
ISBN_10 : 9781615923502
Copyright Year : 1971
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Much has been written on religions of all types, the history of religious belief, and on the supernatural interpretation of the world, but where can we turn for an account of unbelief-the naturalistic alternative?James Thrower's concise and direct approach examines the thinkers and schools which defined atheism, beginning with Greece, Rome, and Israel. He notes that the intellectual status of unbelief rose significantly in Western Europe as a result of the clash in the Middle Ages between the powerful force of faith and the emerging but still limited influence of reason. Physical science was developing and the world of the intellect would expand during the Renaissance that followed.This delightfully pertinent short history illustrates the leading issues separating the theist from the atheist and agnostic, and sheds light on world events and the inconsistencies inherent in supernaturalism and theistic theories. Thrower discusses atheism both as a reaction to belief and as a separate and consistent form of belief in a world stripped of the divine, where reason, science, and humankind's endless search for knowledge flourish.James Thrower (Aberdeen, Scotland) is professor of the history of religions at King's College, the University of Aberdeen.

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Genre : Religion
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN_10 : 9780857718310
Copyright Year : 2010-09-30
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The last few years have seen a remarkable surge of popular interest in the topic of atheism. Books about atheism by writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have figured prominently in bestseller lists and have attracted widespread discussion in the media. The ubiquity of public debates about atheism, especially in conscious opposition to the perceived social threat posed by faith and religion, has been startling. However, as Gavin Hyman points out, despite their prevalence and popularity, what often characterises these debates is a lack of nuance and sophistication. They can be shrill, ignorant of the historical complexity of debates about belief, and tend to lapse into caricature. What is needed is a clear and well informed presentation of how atheistic ideas originated and developed, in order to illuminate their contemporary relevance and application. That task is what the author undertakes here. Exploring the rise of atheism as an explicit philosophical position (notably in the work of Denis Diderot), Hyman traces its development in the later ideas of Descartes, Locke and Berkeley. Drawing also on the work of contemporary scholars like Amos Funkenstein and Michael J Buckley, the author shows that, since in recent theology the concept of God which atheists negate is changing, the triumph of its advocates may not be quite as unequivocal as Hitchens and Dawkins would have us believe.

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Genre : Religion
Publisher : Catapult
ISBN_10 : 9781619023710
Copyright Year : 2014-01-14
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A skeptical yet deeply curious survey of how and why human beings have worshipped throughout the ages—from sun gods and cave paintings to Mormonism. What first prompted prehistoric man, sheltered in the shadows of deep caves, to call upon the realm of the spirits? And why has belief thrived ever since, shaping thousands of generations of shamans, pharaohs, Aztec priests and Mayan rulers, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Nazis, and Scientologists? As our dreams and nightmares have changed over millennia, so have our beliefs. The gods we created have evolved with us through a narrative fraught with human sacrifice, political upheaval and bloody wars. Belief was man’s most epic labor of invention. It has been our closest companion, and has followed mankind across the continents and through all of recorded history. In An Atheist’s History of Belief, award-winning novelist and committed atheist Matthew Kneale “aims to tell you everything you’ve wondered about religion but never dared to ask” (The Guardian, UK).

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Genre : Philosophy
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN_10 : 0192804243
Copyright Year : 2003-06-26
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Do you think of atheists as immoral pessimists who live their lives without meaning, purpose, or values? Think again! Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral.

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📒 Imagine There S No Heaven by Mitchell Stephens

Genre : Religion
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
ISBN_10 : 9781137437655
Copyright Year : 2014-02-25
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The historical achievements of religious belief have been large and well chronicled. But what about the accomplishments of those who have challenged religion? Traveling from classical Greece to twenty-first century America, Imagine There's No Heaven explores the role of disbelief in shaping Western civilization. At each juncture common themes emerge: by questioning the role of gods in the heavens or the role of a God in creating man on earth, nonbelievers help move science forward. By challenging the divine right of monarchs and the strictures of holy books, nonbelievers, including Jean- Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, help expand human liberties, and influence the early founding of the United States. Revolutions in science, in politics, in philosophy, in art, and in psychology have been led, on multiple occasions, by those who are free of the constraints of religious life. Mitchell Stephens tells the often-courageous tales of history's most important atheists— like Denis Diderot and Salman Rushdie. Stephens makes a strong and original case for their importance not only to today's New Atheist movement but to the way many of us—believers and nonbelievers—now think and live.

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📒 Atheists by Nick Spencer

Genre : Religion
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN_10 : 9781472902979
Copyright Year : 2014-05-08
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The clash between atheism and religion has become the defining battle of the 21st century. Books on and about atheism retain high profile and popularity, and atheist movements on both sides of the Atlantic capture headlines with high-profile campaigns and adverts. However, very little has been written on the history of atheism, and this book fills that conspicuous gap. Instead of treating atheism just as a philosophical or scientific idea about the non-existence of God, Atheists: The Origin of the Species places the movement in its proper social and political context. Because atheism in Europe developed in reaction to the Christianity that dominated the continent's intellectual, social and political life, it adopted, adapted and reacted against its institutions as well as its ideas. Accordingly, the history of atheism is as much about social and political movements as it is scientific or philosophical ideas. This is the story not only of Hobbes, Hume, and Darwin, but also of Thomas Aitkenhead hung for blasphemous atheism, Percy Shelley expelled for adolescent atheism, and the Marquis de Sade imprisoned for libertine atheism; of the French revolutionary Terror and the Soviet League of the Militant Godless; of the rise of the US Religious Right and of Islamic terrorism. Looking at atheism in its full sociopolitical context helps explain why it has looked so very different in different countries. It also explains why there has been a recent upsurge in atheism, particularly in Britain and the US, where religion has unexpectedly come to play such a significant role in political affairs. This leads us to a somewhat paradoxical conclusion: we should expect to hear more about atheism in the future for the simple reason that God is back.

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Genre : Religion
Publisher : Penguin UK
ISBN_10 : 9780241199428
Copyright Year : 2018-04-26
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SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'A highly readable, fascinating book that jerks the debate on religion versus atheism right out of its crusted rut into the light of serious intellectual scrutiny' Observer A meditation on the importance of atheism in the modern world - and its inadequacies and contradictions - by one of Britain's leading philosophers 'When you explore older atheisms, you will find some of your firmest convictions - secular or religious - are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.' For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often very vaguely understood 'science'. John Gray's stimulating and extremely enjoyable new book describes the rich, complex world of the atheist tradition, a tradition which he sees as in many ways as rich as that of religion itself, as well as being deeply intertwined with what is so often crudely viewed as its 'opposite'. The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary and varied light on what it is to be human and on the thinkers who have, at different times and places, battled to understand this issue.

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📒 Atheism by Michael Ruse

Genre : Philosophy
Publisher : OUP Us
ISBN_10 : 9780199334582
Copyright Year : 2015
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Over the last decade, "New Atheists" such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have pushed the issue of atheism to the forefront of public discussion. Yet very few of the ensuing debates and discussions have managed to provide a full and objective treatment of the subject. Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know provides a balanced look at the topic, considering atheism historically, philosophically, theologically, sociologically and psychologically. Written in an easily accessible style, the book uses a question and answer format to examine the history of atheism, arguments for and against atheism, the relationship between religion and science, and the issue of the meaning of life-and whether or not one can be a happy and satisfied atheist. Above all, the author stresses that the atheism controversy is not just a matter of the facts, but a matter of burning moral concern, both about the stand one should take on the issues and the consequences of one's commitment.

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📒 The Age Of Atheists by Peter Watson

Genre : Religion
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
ISBN_10 : 9781476754314
Copyright Year : 2014-02-18
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The distinguished historian and author of The Medici Conspiracy examines atheism as a modern intellectual achievement that has motivated individuals to pursue invention and self-reliance, citing the accomplishments of secular philosophers, scientists and artists who have worked in the absence of religious belief.

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