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Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies Hardcover – June 1, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
Smith is unapologetically atheist; belief in God for Smith is simply unreasonable and irrational. Asked to prove the nonexistence of God, Smith's answer is simply that one cannot prove a negative and that the person who asserts the existence of something bears the burden of proof. He asserts that to believe in faith or to rely on faith is to "defy and abandon the judgment of one's mind. Faith conflicts with reason. It cannot give you knowledge; it can only delude you into believing that you know more than you really do.Read more ›
Most of the essays are excellent: 'My Path to Atheism,' 'Philosophies of Toleration,' 'The Righteous Persecution of Drug Consumers,' and 'Children's Rights in Political Philosophy' are a great read and the last one really made me think.
However, there are some questionable essays; one wonders what interest anyone would have in reading 'Frantz Fanon and Jonh Locke at Stanford'. One thing I found annoying were constant spelling errors scattered throughout - was this book edited? Another thing I could not figure out was whether Smith was a libertarian or an anarchist - he certainly has no problem with the privitization of the justice system, yet on the back of his first book he is described as an advocate of the libertarian view.
If you have some extra cash to spend and want to add this to your collection, get it! If you haven't already bought 'Atheism: The Case Against God' or 'Atheism: A Philosophical Justification' buy those instead.
The essays in this 1991 collection are subdivided into three categories: Atheism; Ayn Rand; and Other Heresies (e.g., "Drug Consumers and Other Heretics," "Children's Rights in Political Philosophy," etc.).
In the opening essay, "My Path to Atheism," he recalls that Rand's lasting influence on him, as well as on thousands of other young people, was "to convince me... that ideas MATTER." (Pg. 30) He states that atheism is "not a belief; it is the absence of belief." The atheist is not a person who believes that a god does not exist; he does not believe in the existence of a god. (Pg. 183)
He rejects the "psychological atheism" of Freud and Feuerbach (i.e., that God is a "projection") on the grounds that they commit the genetic fallacy, which is the attempt to refute a belief through an examination of its psychological origins. (Pg. 185) He also criticizes linguistic philosophy: "Whereas medieval theologians made philosophy into the handmaiden of theology, analysts have transformed philosophy into the handmaiden of language." (Pg.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is another excellent book by George H. Smith. Everything I have read by him is brilliant. I love reading about the history of ideas and George H. Smith is a true scholar.Published 17 months ago by JoeCobb
Just as there are different kinds of religionists, theists, atheists come with different perspectives. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Not Really
Atheists need not defend their non-belief, just as they do not have to (nor can) prove that zxtchkis do not exist.Published on January 17, 2014 by Amazon Customer
God is not a delusion, but he can and should be a personal God. Today, you find churches set up in storefronts or out in the country in hovels by untrained "preachers" instead of... Read morePublished on October 7, 2006 by Betty Burks
Most anthologies of essays are like a loose pile of sand, but thematically, I thought this one hung together fairly well. Read morePublished on January 30, 2005 by David Marshall
This loosely connected series of essays expands his earlier work, extending beyond Atheism to embrace various Christian and social 'heresies'. Read morePublished on September 5, 2000 by Stephen A. Haines
This is a loose collection of essays by Smith. They cover a variety of topics, like Smith's personal atheism, heresies over the years, and Objectivism. Read morePublished on June 9, 1999