• Title: Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
  • Author: Louise M. Antony
  • ISBN: 9780195173079
  • Page: 234
  • Format: None
  • Philosophers Without Gods Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life 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 leadi
    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 common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief These highAtheists 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 common stereotypes 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 good conscience, 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 important, in these reflective pieces, they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems 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 affirms the 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 of reward 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.

    One Reply to “Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life”

    1. This interesting collection of essays about atheism by contemporary philosophers is divided into 2 parts: Journeys and Reflections. It's the Journeys I thought more meditative. They're essays dealing with how those philosophers, raised in religious backgrounds, came to their unbelief. They're more reminiscent and explanatory. The reflections of the 2d part are more characteristic of the heavy lifting philosophy does, disciplined argument steeped in logical thought.The concepts supporting atheism [...]

    2. A Most Excellent BookThis is the best book I have read since September last year (2014). The book is a collection of essays by a number of academic philosophers. In the first part, are essays that describe how their authors got to be atheists or how they live their lives. In this part of the book, I found a number of the essays were uplifting. They describe similar development of their atheism as my own. All of them were enjoyable. In the second part, the essays concentrated on various aspects o [...]

    3. This is a collection of essays on various topics related to religious belief by writers who are mostly not religious believers. Many of the writers were ex-religious believers and seemed to have some sort of longing for their previous beliefs, or were upset in some way that they could no longer believe. I found those sorts of attitudes uninteresting.The 2 essays that were moderately interesting were by Simon Blackburn (a sort of personal hero of mine) and Richard Feldman, a professor of philosop [...]

    4. Interesting collection of essyas by atheistic philosophers, but nothing ground-breaking here. The first section is pretty acccessable to the non-philosopher as it deals with the personal side of their "conversions." the second section can probably be a little dense (but not too much so) to those unused to the academic philosophical lexicon, but is still worth reading - the struggle isn't too painful! The last three essays are probably of most interest from a purely philosophical perspective as t [...]

    5. As mentioned in previous book comments, collections of papers/essays are always mixed bags. This one certainly is. I wanted to like it more (certainly a great title, and L.M. Anthony's intro and essay are both good), but half the essays are saying the same thing in almost the same words (okay, I get it - Aristotle's Aethics is important). There is so much to discuss related to the main topic, so I wish the authors had been better prompted to vary their topics a bit more. About half the essays ar [...]

    6. Most of these collected essays are well-written, informative, and quite thoughtful. Some were pheonomal; essays that I re-read in order to fully digest the content within. As with most collections of essays, handful were dreadful. To my suprise, the ones which I disliked the most were authored by the editor of the work. Antony may be able to bring a good collection together, but I would recommend skipping the essays authored by her.

    7. During the Darwin Festival in Cambridge, there was inevitably some discussion of the impact of evolutionary theory on religion, although this theme luckily did not dominate proceedings at all. The prominent atheists Richard Dawkins (recently characterized by Fern Elsdon-Baker as "Darwin's Rottweiler") and Daniel Dennett were both there, but their contributions were generally mild. What struck me was the casuistry of the (few) spokespeople for the religious view as against the straightforwardness [...]

    8. A great book of essays, each running from around 10 to 20 pages in length, about issues of "deconversion" to non-theism, all by people who are now professional philosophers.Only one, Dan Dennett, is an outright Gnu Atheist. Only a few others might be called "evangelizing atheists." But none is a shirking violet as to how they address these issues.Some spend more time on their actual deconversion and how that appears from a philosophic angle. Others, whether evangelizers or not, focus on their cu [...]

    9. Atheists are a small minority in the English-speaking world but rather common in departments of analytic philosophy. This book lets atheist philosophers speak for themselves. The first half consists of "Journeys," in which the authors autobiographically recount how they became atheists and philosophers (two often related conversions). The second half consists of "Reflections," essays that explore some question of philosophy from a specifically atheist perspective, defend atheism, rebut religion, [...]

    10. It was about time for me to finish this anthology. Im much of a passive reader; I dont do the detailed-analytical-reviews thing. If you want to read other voices other than Hitchens or whatever, i highly recommend this book. It left me wanting for more, probably because Ive been reading books of this sort for a while, and was not so impressed. I liked that they included the essay "If God is dead, is everything permitted?". Had already read it in Hitchens anthology. I understand the book was publ [...]

    11. I expected some scholarly pieces on the relationship between religion and philosophy, but this book is rather different. They are personal essays written by contemporary western philosophers (all American, I think) on the ways in which their conflict was or was not resolved. The general consensus seems to be that morality can exist independently of the presence of "God," which is a profound relief to all; the question then remains, what is the point of "God?" None of the philosophers set out to [...]

    12. This is an excellent collection. The Atheist books that have received the most attention in recent years have all had angry tones (I haven't read them all of course, but in interviews their authors come as angry) and as bracing as that can be for those of us who share the authors' beliefs it can also be off putting. Enter Philosophers Without God which is calm and reasonable, as one would expect from a book written by philosophers.Of course, if all this had to offer was a polite tone it wouldn't [...]

    13. This collection of essays by philosophers who are atheists is sheer pleasure and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is an unfortunately novel joy to read writings about religion where the authors have thought so deeply about the subject. Few of the essays even resemble the kind of tirades against religion that many people will probably expect from a book of this type. In fact, nearly all of them are very thoughtful and respectful, even as they offer criticism. Several of the authors even wr [...]

    14. Forget "the new Atheists" (except Dennett, I guess, who has a chapter here), this is the best new book on atheism. The first half consists of atheist philosophers from a variety of backgrounds reflecting on the paths that led them to atheism, and it is, except maybe for "Foreskin's Lament", the best thing I have read all year.The second half consists of more philosophical "thinkpieces", which are slightly more of a mixed bag (a few of them are kind of on the dense side). But the book would get 5 [...]

    15. Part One, "Journeys," is based to some extent on the experience of the writers and raises some questions worth thinking about, though they deal more with religion than with God. Part Two, "Reflections," is often very abstract and doesn't shed any new light on the standard arguments against faith and the existence.

    16. I was disappointed. It got repetitive after the 6th essay. I was hoping for some perspectives outside of the Judeo-christian traditions. Unfortunately, it did not deliver.

    17. Had high hopes for this book, but found it too dense and complicated to read. Couldn't get through the first essay.

    18. Overall it was excellent. A couple of the essays were a little less interesting to me, but most were great. Highly recommend it. I hope to own a copy because I'd like to reread some of the essays.

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