Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life / Edition 1

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Who are atheists? What do they believe? Can life be meaningful without religious belief? Is belief in God necessary to be moral? Should we respect religous views we don't agree with? Here thoughtful philosophers delve into thorny, complicated, and personal questions about their most private beliefs.

"U.S. coins carry the proclamation 'In God We Trust,' sessions of the U.S. Congress are opened with a prayer offered by the official Congressional chaplain, and national and civic leaders routinely invoke the name of God in campaign and policy speeches. Within this climate, skeptics and atheists are viewed with suspicion. We are presumed to be arrogant, devoid of moral sentiments, and insensitive to a wide variety of human goods.... This volume is meant to contribute to a more just understanding of those who have rejected religious belief. It contains original essays by nineteen leading philosophers from Great Britain and the United States, all of whom abjure traditional religious faith."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'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.' —Christianity Today

'Rather than the foolishness of Dawkins or Hitchens, these [essays] are compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront....' —Tikkun

'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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195173079
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise M. Antony is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
Faith and Reason, the Perpetual War: Ruminations of a Fool   Stewart Shapiro     3
From Yeshiva Bochur to Secular Humanist   Joseph Levine     17
Religio Philosophi   Daniel Garber     32
For the Love of Reason   Louise M. Antony     41
Life without God: Some Personal Costs   Daniel M. Farrell     59
Overcoming Christianity   Walter Sinnott-Armstrong     69
On Becoming a Heretic   Edwin Curley     80
Mere Stranger   Marvin Belzer     90
An Atheist's Fundamentalism   James Tappenden     104
Thank Goodness!   Daniel C. Dennett     113
Transcendence without God: On Atheism and Invisibility   Anthony Simon Laden     121
An Aristotelian Life   Marcia Homiak     133
Without the Net of Providence: Atheism and the Human Adventure   Kenneth A. Taylor     150
Disenchantment   David Owens     165
Religion and Respect   Simon Blackburn     179
Reasonable Religious Disagreements   Richard Feldman     194
If God Is Dead, Is Everything Permitted?   Elizabeth Secord Anderson     215
Divine Evil   David Lewis     231
Meta-atheism: Religious Avowal as Self-Deception   Georges Rey     243
Faith and Fanaticism   Jonathan E. Adler     266
Notes     287
References     299
Notes on Contributors     303
Index     307
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