To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Reasonable Atheism: A Moral Case For Respectful Disbelief Paperback – April 26, 2011
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Robert B. Talisse (Nashville, TN) is a professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Democracy and Moral Conflict, Pragmatism: A Guide for the Perplexed (with Scott F. Aikin), A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy, and Democracy After Liberalism.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
Second it has to be said that there is something of the velvet-gloved and iron-fisted about some of what they write. I have no doubt that there are tactical and rhetorical advantages to remaining friendly and reasonable-sounding, but there is no more compromise on the actual likelihood of atheism being true here than there is in anything written by New Atheists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or P.Z. Myers. I suppose that's why I feel free to love both this book, which advocates a softer tone, and the acerbic, sarcastic tone struck in some New Atheist works. They're both right, in a way.
The intelligence, sanity, and sincerity of the religious person need NOT be called into question--as a formerly devout Christian, I can attest to that personally. And yet there IS something undeniably unreasonable in religion that occasionally borders on the ridiculous.Read more ›
Reasonable Atheism is not a polemic against religion or belief. As they state on page ten, their aim "instead is to show that religious believers' beliefs about atheists are false." The authors make a point of noting that they are not merely trying to champion diversity - a worldview in which citizens respect all belief systems (a viewpoint they discount as nonsense) - but, rather, are presenting a cognitive case that the existence of gods is "entirely irrelevant to morality" (11). Indeed, they go one step further, asserting that atheism is a prerequisite in order to take good and evil seriously. In short, the authors wish to have their readers take atheists as seriously as they regard those who subscribe to different faiths from their own.
As the authors are philosophers, it probably goes without saying that it takes them quite a long time to get to meat of their argument. The first third of the book is taken up with clarifications and stage-setting. As late as chapter four (nearly 100 pages into the book!) the authors declare "our discussion thus far has been mostly preliminary." But perhaps so many pages of caveats and asides are necessary in order to assure the devout Christian reader to continue on, to turn the next page, and not fear for their soul. During those first hundred pages, Aikin and Talisse address several objections readers may have. Foremost is the objection that religion should not be discussed publicly.Read more ›
The first two chapters were very slow going for me, and probably the part of the book I least enjoyed. I think the authors took great pains to make the book readable and understandable to any high school educated person who happened across this book, and the result is something that reminds me of a introductory lecture where a Professor has to guide the class by the hand through the basics argumentation. The substance was not a problem for me, and I can hardly hold it against the authors for taking this approach, but I think potential readers should be aware that you might be covering a lot of ground that seems like common sense to you.
The commentary on the "New Atheists" is where the book begins to earn it's keep. At several points I felt like clapping for the authors, as they made their case against the `New Atheist' approach to dialogue, which is a combination of aggression and ignorance. Their finest example has to do with the Ontological argument, which was by far, my favorite part of the book, and how this argument is useful is gauging people's understanding of the more complex issues involved. If you don't understand the Ontological argument, and do not have a reasoned response to it, your atheism is more than likely to be poorly justified.
I must confess that my biggest disappointment with the book is the poor way in which the authors discussed Psalm 53.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is written by two philosophy professors and is intended to convince those who are religious that atheism is a reasonable intellectual position. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Book Fanatic
Really like the hypothetical ethics and morality scenario provided in the Appendices. Very clearly written and "reasonable" just as title claims.Published 16 months ago by Richard Rockwell
Atheists don't need to be confrontational, but they don't need to be wallflowers, either. Aikin provides guidance for how to relate to people of faith while respectfully pointing... Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by Jim Grinstead
In this short but provocative book, the authors tell you up front that the aim of their book is not to persuade anyone of the truth of atheism (though they make it clear that they... Read morePublished on December 7, 2012 by Glenn Corey
Right off the bat, I was actually looking forward to what the authors had to say. I've read all the 'new atheist' books and thought that most of the book would be dedicated to an... Read morePublished on May 23, 2012 by Tim K