Philosophers without Gods : Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
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.
Collectively, these essays highlight the richness of atheistic belief-not only as a valid alternative to religion, but as a profoundly fulfilling and moral way of life.
"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."
"Readable, personal, and provocative.... Contrary to the popular image, atheism isn't all rebellious trumpets and defiant drums.... Here we have all the varieties of unreligious experience, a full symphony of unbelief."
"Compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront."
- Paperback | 320 pages
- 156 x 234 x 24mm | 478g
- 25 Nov 2010
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
Table of contents
Part One: Journeys
1. Faith and Reason, the Perpetual War: Ruminations of a Fool, Stewart Shapiro
2. From Yeshiva Bochur to Secular Humanist, Joseph Levine
3. Religio Philosophi, Daniel Garber
4. For the Love of Any Reason, Louise M. Antony
5. Life without God: Some Personal Costs, Daniel M. Farrell
6. Overcoming Christianity, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
7. On Becoming a Heretic, Edwin Curley
8. Mere Stranger, Marvin Belzer
9. An Atheists' Fundamentalism, James Tappenden
10. Thank Goodness!, Daniel C. Dennott
Part Two: Reflections
11. Transcendence without God: On Atheism and Invisibility, Anthony Simon Laden
12. An Aristotelian Life, Marcia Homiak
13. Without the Net of Providence: Atheism and the Human Adventure, Kenneth A. Taylor
14. Disenchantment, David Owens
15. Religion and Respect, Simon Blackburn
16. Reasonable Religious Disagreements, Richard Feldman
17. If God Is Dead, Is Everything Permitted?, Elizabeth Secord Anderson
18. Divine Evil, David Lewis
19. Meta-atheism: Religious Avowal as Self-Deception, Georges Rey
20. Faith and Fanaticism, Jonathan E. Adler
Notes on Contributors
'The authors answer, forecefully and intelligently, the standard arguments against atheism.' -V.V. Raman, CHOICE
'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
'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
About Louise Antony