50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists by Russell Blackford, Udo Schuklenk

By Russell Blackford, Udo Schuklenk

50 Voices of Disbelief: Why we're Atheists presents a set of unique essays drawn from a world workforce of favorite voices within the fields of academia, technological know-how, literature, media and politics who supply conscientiously thought of statements of why they're atheists. * contains a actually foreign solid of participants, starting from public intellectuals akin to Peter Singer, Susan Blackmore, and A.C. Grayling, novelists, equivalent to Joe Haldeman, and heavyweight philosophers of faith, together with Graham Oppy and Michael Tooley * Contributions diversity from rigorous philosophical arguments to hugely own, even whimsical, money owed of ways every one of those outstanding thinkers have come to reject faith of their lives * more likely to have wide allure given the present public fascination with non secular concerns and the reception of such books as The God Delusion and The finish of Faith

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But respecting that individual, according them the respect due to persons – respect for persons – does not entail respect for their beliefs per se. But someone’s beliefs, however crazy, may be entitled to respect in a different sense. If, by respect for beliefs, we mean an individual’s entitlement to form, hold, and express whatever beliefs they like, so long as the expression or observance of those beliefs does not involve the violation of the rights or disregard of the important interests of other persons,13 then of course we should respect anyone and everyone’s beliefs in this second sense of respect for beliefs, and I certainly do.

God is good when I win and blameless when I lose, good when I survive the tsunami and out of the equation when other people are swept away and drowned. This is all very understandable from the point of view of personal fantasy – there’s not much point in having an imaginary friend who is boring and disobliging and always picking fights – but peculiar when considered as a kind of knowledge, which is generally how believers treat it. ” Claims about God are treated as knowledge. Hence the frequent thought – “but you don’t know that.

I Wonder . . 29 From biblical criticism and the history of the ancient Near East I learned that the New Testament was decidedly a human construction, a shining record of personal liberation in places, but also pockmarked with all the prejudices and proselytizing aims of its authors, through which the voice of Jesus was multiply refracted. That voice might, historically speaking, have had any number of cadences: gentle Jesus meek and mild might actually have been an apocalyptic prophet; the smooth-talking rabbi of tradition may very well have been an illiterate (though no doubt charismatic) peasant.

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