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Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life (edition 2007)

by Louise M. Antony (Editor)

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1942101,706 (3.56)1
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.… (more)
Member:Macspee
Title:Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
Authors:Louise M. Antony
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2007), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Philosophy, religion, atheism

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Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life by Louise M. Antony (Editor)

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I guess it depends on what you're looking for, but I found this a very intelligent and thoughtful collection of essays. I especially appreciated the general absence of vitriol. The essays, by and large, focus on the positive aspects of secular living. Many of the first half's contributions are heavily autobiographical which will be a mixed bag of relevance for the reader. A lot of the essays require some close reading to get through the dense writing. So it's not an easy or accessible volume, but it's worth the effort. ( )
  madcurrin | Feb 6, 2012 |
None of the essays in the first half are worth your time, not even Dennett's. The second half has a really good essay by David Owens, "Disenchantment." ( )
  leeinaustin | Jul 19, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antony, Louise M.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Jonathan E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belzer, MarvinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blackburn, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curley, EdwinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dennett, Daniel C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farrell, Daniel M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feldman, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garber, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Homiak, MarciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laden, Anthony SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levine, JosephContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, David K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Owens, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rey, GeorgesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shapiro, StewartContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sinnott-Armstrong, WalterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tappenden, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, Kenneth A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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