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The Vanquished Gods

Author: Richard H. Schlagel
Size: 70.18 MB
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The greatest influence on Western civilization during the past two millennia has been the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Besides its influence on religious beliefs, it has also shaped Western values, conceptions of origins, customs, political systems, and overall worldview. But today, owing to the unprecedented scientific and technological advances in the 20th century, this influence has greatly diminished. Developments in the natural sciences have radically altered our understanding of human existence and the universe; biblical scholarship has demystified the Bible; and scientific inquiry has superseded biblical and church authority. Despite this dramatic shift in our frame of reference, the public seems largely unaware of the radical conceptual implications of scientific discoveries and explanations.The aim of this clearly written, engaging work by philosopher Richard Schlagel is to provide the open-minded reader with the necessary historical, biblical, and scientific background for understanding and evaluating this crucial development. Reviewing both the history of science and the history of Judaism and Christianity as uncovered by modern scholarship, Schlagel comes to the conclusion that the religious viewpoint has been rendered obsolete by the scientific method. Following Socrates' dictum that "the unexamined life is not worth living," Schlagel exhorts us all to leave outmoded tradition behind and accept the rationally compelling evidence of the scientific worldview.

Atheism Morality And Meaning

Author: Michael Martin
Publisher: Pyr Books
Size: 75.86 MB
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Despite the pluralism of contemporary American culture, the Judaeo-Christian legacy still has a great deal of influence on the popular imagination. Thus it is not surprising that in this context atheism has a slightly scandalous ring, and unbelief is often associated with lack of morality and a meaningless existence. Distinguished philosopher and committed atheist Michael Martin sets out to refute this notion in this thorough defense of atheism as a both moral and meaningful philosophy of life. Martin shows not only that objective morality and a meaningful life are possible without belief in God but that the predominantly Christian world view of American society is seriously flawed as the basis of morality and meaning. Divided into four parts, this cogent and tightly argued treatise begins with well-known criticisms of nonreligious ethics and then develops an atheistic meta-ethics. In Part 2, Martin criticizes the Christian foundation of ethics, specifically the Divine Command Theory and the idea of imitating the life of Jesus as the basis of Christian morality. Part 3 demonstrates that life can be meaningful in the absence of religious belief. Part 4 criticizes the theistic point of view in general terms as well as the specific Christian doctrines of the Atonement, Salvation, and the Resurrection. This highly informed and sophisticated defense of atheism is a stimulating challenge to religious believers and a serious contribution to ethical theory.

Dictionary Of Atheism Skepticism And Humanism

Author: Bill Cooke
Publisher: Pyr Books
Size: 34.65 MB
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In the tradition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, and Joseph McCabe’s Rationalist Encyclopedia, this accessible dictionary addresses the contemporary need for a reference book that succinctly summarizes the key concepts, current terminology, and major contributions of influential thinkers broadly associated with atheism, skepticism, and humanism. In the preface, author Bill Cooke notes that his work is intended "for freethinkers in the broadest sense of the word: people who like to think for themselves and not according to the preplanned routes set by others." This dictionary will serve as a guide for all those people striving to lead fulfilling, morally responsible lives without religious belief. Readers are offered a wide range of concepts, from ancient, well-known notions such as God, free will, and evil to new concepts such as "eupraxsophy." Also included are current "buzzwords" that have some bearing on the freethought worldview such as "metrosexual." The names of many people whose lives or work reflect freethought principles form a major portion of the entries. Finally, a humanist calendar is included, on which events of interest to freethinkers are noted. This unique, accessible, and highly informative work will be a welcome addition to the libraries of open-minded people of all philosophic persuasions.