76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
A gentler atheism in many respects.,
This review is from: Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life (Hardcover)
For those theists who have recoiled from some of the more bravado criticism of their beliefs in the writings of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, comes a gentler critique. There is real wisdom in this volume, and real empathy, too. Several of the essayists go to great lengths to let the reader know that they understand religion's appeal, that they do not find belief to be ignorant, much less crazy, and that a shared humanity can propel common cause in many areas among persons with or without faith. The New Atheists have focused largely on such topics as science and history, having leap-frogged some legitimate metaphysical questions related to meaning, values, morality, flourishing, etc. Don't misunderstand--I love Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris. This atheist finds their fiery polemic highly entertaining and motivating. But I enjoy this more upbeat and humane writing as well. And there is a Daniel Dennett essay in the volume for those who miss more spirited writing.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 7, 2007 6:20:04 AM PDT
Bruce A. Mcallister says:
I, too, found this book to be a valuable accompaniment to the recent spate of more polemic books supporting atheism, and think the reviewer is right on. The book analyzes rigorously many of the paths to atheism, and intertwines narrations, in very personal terms, of the events, reasons and emotions by which those paths were lived. Louise Antony should be given great credit for shepherding this mind-expanding book to completion. I predict that future works on atheism and religion will often refer to one or more of these wonderfully thought-out essays.
Posted on Jun 21, 2016 7:25:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 21, 2016 7:32:23 PM PDT
Ian B. Cooper says:
Thanks for the review. I'm definitely not looking for a book with a "live and let live" attitude towards theism, and I don't regard such an attitude as "upbeat" (considering how harmful theism is, I view such an attitude as harmful, downbeat and depressing), so I think I'll give this book a miss.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2016 8:13:38 AM PDT
I agree with you in principle, Ian. But rigid, prickly fundamentalism seldom changes minds, and I really am interested in changing minds.
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