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A Short History Of Atheism

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A Short History of Atheism

A Short History of Atheism Book
Author : Gavin Hyman
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2010-09-30
ISBN : 0857730355
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

An Atheist s History of Belief

An Atheist s History of Belief Book
Author : Matthew Kneale
Publisher : Random House
Release : 2013-10-10
ISBN : 1448163315
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

What first prompted prehistoric man, sheltering in the shadows of deep caves, to call upon the realm of the spirits? And why has belief thrived ever since, leading us to invent heaven and hell, sin and redemption, and above all, gods? Religion reflects our deepest hopes and fears; whether you are a believer or, like Matthew Kneale, a non-believer who admires mankind's capacity to create and to imagine, it has shaped our world. And as our dreams and nightmares have changed over the millennia, so have our beliefs - from shamans to Aztec priests, from Buddhists to Christians: the gods we created have evolved with us. Belief is humanity's most epic invention. It has always been our closest companion and greatest consolation. To understand it is to better understand ourselves.

Atheism A Very Short Introduction

Atheism  A Very Short Introduction Book
Author : Julian Baggini
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2003-06-26
ISBN : 9780192804242
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

Atheism

Atheism Book
Author : Michael Martin
Publisher : Temple University Press
Release : 1992
ISBN : 9780877229438
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

In this book Michael Martin provides logical reasons for being an atheist. Carefully examining the current debate in Anglo-American analytic philosophy regarding God's existence, Martin presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God, showing in detail their relevance to atheism. Claiming that atheism is a rational position while theistic beliefs are not, he relies both on logic and evidence and confines his efforts to showing the irrationality of belief in a personal supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and the creator of heaven and earth. The author's approach is two-fold. By presenting and criticizing arguments that have been advanced in favor of belief, he makes a case for "negative atheism." By offering arguments against atheism and defending it from these attacks, he presents a case for "positive atheism." Along the way, he confronts the views of numerous philosophers—among them Anselm, Aquinas, Plantinga, Hick, and Swinburne—and refutes both classical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced through the history of this debate. In his conclusion, Martin considers what would and would not follow if his main arguments were widely accepted, and he defines and distinguishes atheism from other "isms" and movements. Building on the work of religious skeptics and atheists of the past and present, he justifies his reconstruction of this philosophical dispute by citing some of the most interesting and important arguments for atheism and criticisms of arguments for the existence of God that have appeared in recent journal articles and have yet to be systematically addressed. Author note: Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and author of several books, including The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal and The Case Against Christianity (both from Temple).

Atheism

Atheism Book
Author : George H. Smith
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2010-11-02
ISBN : 1615929959
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

"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."

Atheism

Atheism Book
Author : Michael Ruse
Publisher : OUP Us
Release : 2015
ISBN : 0199334587
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

Unbelievers

Unbelievers Book
Author : Alec Ryrie
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2019-12-24
ISBN : 0674243277
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Long before philosophers started making the case for atheism, powerful, affectively laden cultural currents were sowing doubt in Europe. Alec Ryrie looks to the history of the Reformation and argues that emotions—anger at priestly corruption and anxieties attending the erosion of time-honored certainties—were the handmaidens of atheism.

The New Atheist Denial of History

The New Atheist Denial of History Book
Author : B. Painter
Publisher : Springer
Release : 2014-11-19
ISBN : 1137477695
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

This compact, forcefully argued work calls Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and the rest of the so-called 'New Atheists' to account for failing to take seriously the historical record to which they so freely appeal when attacking religion. The popularity of such books as Harris's The End of Faith, Dawkins's The God Delusion, and Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great set off a spate of reviews, articles, and books for and against, yet in all the controversy little attention has focused on the historical evidence and arguments they present to buttress their case. This book is the first to challenge in depth the distortions of this New Atheist history. It presents the evidence that the three authors and their allies ignore. It points out the lack of historical credibility in their work when judged by the conventional criteria used by mainstream historians. It does not deal with the debate over theism and atheism nor does it aim to defend the historical record of Christianity or religion more generally. It does aim to defend the integrity of history as a discipline in the face of its distortion by those who violate it.

A Short History of Atheism

A Short History of Atheism Book
Author : Gavin Hyman
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2010-09-30
ISBN : 0857718312
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

The Age of Atheists

The Age of Atheists Book
Author : Peter Watson
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2014-02-18
ISBN : 1476754314
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

Natural Atheism

Natural Atheism Book
Author : David Eller
Publisher : Amer Atheist Press
Release : 2004
ISBN : 9781578849208
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Everything is here to help those who are already atheists better understand the logic of their lives and see Atheism's social and political implications. Those who are not yet atheists will be helped by this scientist's common-sense analysis of the so-called 'proofs of God' to see the irrationality, indeed, the meaninglessness of god-beliefs. What is belief? What is knowledge? As Pilate is alleged to have asked, "What is truth"? Understandable and clear answers to all these questions are given by a seasoned anthropologist who has been able to see around the blinders imposed by Judaeo-Christian cultures.

Atheists

Atheists Book
Author : Nick Spencer
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2014-05-08
ISBN : 1472902971
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

A History of God

A History of God Book
Author : Karen Armstrong
Publisher : Ballantine Books
Release : 1994-08-09
ISBN : 0345384563
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Why does God exist? How have the three dominant monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—shaped and altered the conception of God? How have these religions influenced each other? In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. The epic story begins with the Jews' gradual transformation of pagan idol worship in Babylon into true monotheism—a concept previously unknown in the world. Christianity and Islam both rose on the foundation of this revolutionary idea, but these religions refashioned 'the One God' to suit the social and political needs of their followers. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic. Praise for History of God “An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers.”—The Washington Post Book World “A brilliantly lucid, spendidly readable book. [Karen] Armstrong has a dazzling ability: she can take a long and complex subject and reduce it to the fundamentals, without oversimplifying.”—The Sunday Times (London) “Absorbing . . . A lode of learning.”—Time “The most fascinating and learned study of the biggest wild goose chase in history—the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius.”—A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life

Imagine There s No Heaven

Imagine There s No Heaven Book
Author : Mitchell Stephens
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
Release : 2014-02-25
ISBN : 1137437650
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

A Short History of Christianity

A Short History of Christianity Book
Author : Geoffrey Blainey
Publisher : SPCK
Release : 2016-07-21
ISBN : 0281076200
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Christianity has played a central role in world history, for better or worse, but beyond the life of Jesus many people know little of this story. Geoffrey Blainey takes the reader on a journey from the very beginnings of Christianity through to the present day. Looking at the development of the religion itself, as well as the social and economic forces that have influenced it, the book focuses on the stories of the key players in Christianity’s rise and fall through the ages, as well as how these players shaped the faith of believers.

A Little History of Religion

A Little History of Religion Book
Author : Richard Holloway
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release : 2016-08-23
ISBN : 0300222149
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

For curious readers young and old, a rich and colorful history of religion from humanity’s earliest days to our own contentious times In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion—from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century—with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young readers, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery, and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith. Ranging far beyond the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, Holloway also examines where religious belief comes from, the search for meaning throughout history, today’s fascinations with Scientology and creationism, religiously motivated violence, hostilities between religious people and secularists, and more. Holloway proves an empathic yet discerning guide to the enduring significance of faith and its power from ancient times to our own.

The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality

The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality Book
Author : André Comte-Sponville
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2007
ISBN : 9780670018475
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Poses an argument for living a spiritual life that is not dependent on religion, explaining that an acceptance of philosophical spiritual traditions and values does not require practitioners to embrace the existence of a higher order.

Seven Types of Atheism

Seven Types of Atheism Book
Author : John Gray
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release : 2018-04-26
ISBN : 0241199425
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

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.

Atheism A Guide for the Perplexed

Atheism  A Guide for the Perplexed Book
Author : Kerry Walters
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2010-06-01
ISBN : 1441187944
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Atheism: A Guide for the Perplexed moves beyond the polemics to present an overview of atheism that is rigorous but still accessible to the educated layperson as well as to the undergraduate student in philosophy and theology. After a preliminary investigation of what atheists mean when they use the words 'atheism' and 'God'-a much more complex investigation than one might suspect-the book explores the differences and similarities between 'old' and 'new' atheism; places atheism of either variety in context by examining the naturalistic worldview that grounds it; provides a short historical sketch of atheism; examines a number of arguments against God-belief; investigates whether an atheist worldview is consistent with ethics and a sense of purposefulness; inquires into whether the current militancy against religious belief is pertinent or a red herring; and concludes with a few suggestions for continued dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. The goal throughout is to present a balanced, non-partisan introduction to the worldview, principles, and arguments of atheism that highlights the position's strengths as well as its weaknesses.

The Cambridge History of Atheism

The Cambridge History of Atheism Book
Author : Stephen Sebastian Bullivant,Michael Ruse
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2021
ISBN : 9781108474344
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

"This short note will look at the history of Greek atheos and words ultimately derived from it (or in some cases modelled on it) in Greek, Latin, English, and a selection of other modern vernacular languages of Western Europe.1 It will concentrate primarily on when each of these words first appeared in each language, with a brief consideration of their meaning. As writers far more expert on the history of atheism show in many places in this volume, investigating the history of atheistic beliefs throughout most of history is plagued by the difficulty that dire (and generally fatal) penalties could be incurred for the avowal of such beliefs. Most of the evidence for words meaning 'atheism', 'atheist', or 'atheistic' comes in the form of accusations levelled against individuals and/or their ideas or beliefs, and in some cases rebuttals of these, in which semantic clarity is often deliberately avoided"--