Julian Baggini is editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. He is the author of several books on philosophy including Making Sense: Philosophy Behind the Headlines and New British Philosophy: The Interviews (with Jeremy Stangroom). He has also written for newspapers, magazines and academic journals.
Atheism: A Very Short Introductionby Julian Baggini
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Atheism is often considered to be a negative, dark, and pessimistic belief which is characterized by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion. 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. It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth Century. The book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Sometimes a monotheist asks an atheist, "What's it like?" Sometimes they're genuinely curious: "I drive a car and I see you ride a motorcycle, how does it work?" This book responds with helpful tone and content. The brevity of the book is helpful in itself -- in my experience explaining a variety of subjects, I look for a point to stop explaining before someone gets confused again. Also, in my opinion, this short book gives a better balanced overview of atheism than longer books I have read. And the book is very portable -- it fits the inside pocket of a sportcoat. I wish more Americans could read this book -- in particular for the discussions of morality, ethics, and purpose in life -- so I've made a habit to buy extra copies of this book that I leave in hotel bedside tables when I travel. I recommend this book to curious believers (and agnostics), but also to atheists as an example of atheism presented in a helpful way.
Baggini provides the reader with a view of possitive atheism. A view that the religious do not often get the chance to hear. The book is not an attempt to bash the correct beliefs into the reader, but rather attempts to explains the concepts behind atheism (at least as well as a very short intro can do). I thought that it was a very enjoyable read and touched on many of the subjects that I was curious about. And I highly recommend reading it to anyone, whether theist or atheist.