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Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life (edition 2007)
by Louise M. Antony (Editor)
Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life by Louise M. Antony (Editor)
Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an "anything goes" lifestyle. Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these commonstereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief.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 goodconscience, 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 difficultproblems 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 affirmsthe 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 ofreward--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.
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