Consider all. Test All. Hold on to the good.

Illogic Primer Quotes Clippings Books and Bibliography Paper Trails Links Film

Philosophers without Gods Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life

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 more 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.

Table of Contents

    • Introduction > ix
    • Acknowledgments > xv
  • Journeys
    • 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
  • Reflections
    • 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