The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusionsby Alex Rosenberg
A book for nonbelievers who embrace the reality-driven life.We can't avoid the persistent questions about the meaning of life-and the nature of reality. Philosopher Alex Rosenberg maintains that science is the only thing that can really answer them—all of them. His bracing and ultimately upbeat book takes physics seriously as the complete description of/p>
A book for nonbelievers who embrace the reality-driven life.We can't avoid the persistent questions about the meaning of life-and the nature of reality. Philosopher Alex Rosenberg maintains that science is the only thing that can really answer them—all of them. His bracing and ultimately upbeat book takes physics seriously as the complete description of reality and accepts all its consequences. He shows how physics makes Darwinian natural selection the only way life can emerge, and how that deprives nature of purpose, and human action of meaning, while it exposes conscious illusions such as free will and the self. The science that makes us nonbelievers provides the insight into the real difference between right and wrong, the nature of the mind, even the direction of human history. The Atheist's Guide to Reality draws powerful implications for the ethical and political issues that roil contemporary life. The result is nice nihilism, a surprisingly sanguine perspective atheists can happily embrace.
A cocky, relentlessly arrogant treatise on the true nature of all things human.
Can't sleep nights worrying all life is meaningless? If you haven't got the stones to confront the dictates of science, then Rosenberg (Philosophy/Duke Univ.;Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, 2011, etc.) recommends Prozac. Really. That's his advice. Undeniably brilliant, the author may very well be correct about the entire human experience, but that's no reason for him to be so gratingly obnoxious about it. Even Richard Dawkins, the atheist's atheist, gets slammed as something of a weepy-eyed weakling here. Rosenberg is aware that his arguments may be difficult to swallow, yet he does nothing to sway the unconverted.Not only is there no old man with a flowing white beard watching from above, there is noyoubehind your reflection inthemirror. The author provides a painstakingly investigated and expanded repackaging ofthe fully automatic model of the universe. The closest Rosenberg comes to softening admittedly troubling material is dubbing it "nice nihilism." Meanwhile, "blind variation" and "environmental filtration," the Darwinian processes of evolution, are invoked so much that their mention starts to feel like an incantation or a religious article of faith.
Opt instead for the profane sleight-of-hand Penn Jillette weaves in God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales(2011),a decidedly less pretentious and deftly comic look at all things ungodly.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Duke University and the codirector of the Duke Center for Philosophy of Biology. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
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