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Atheism: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – August 28, 2003
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About the Author
Julian Baggini is editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine.
Top Customer Reviews
List of Illustrations
1. What Is Atheism?
2. The Case for Atheism
3. Atheist Ethics
4. Meaning and Purpose
5. Atheism in History
6. Against Religion?
References and further reading
In chapter 1, Baggini explains his primary purpose in _Atheism_ is to "provide a positive case for atheism," which he defines as "the belief that there is no God or gods" (p. 3). As Baggini correctly explains, atheism is not materialism, and Baggini makes it clear that he rejects materialism. Instead, most atheism is rooted in "the broader claims of naturalism" (p. 7). Since naturalism *entails* atheism, any evidence for naturalism is automatically evidence for naturalism. (The converse is not necessarily true, however.) In Baggini's words, "atheism is essentially a form of naturalism and so its main evidential base is the evidence for naturalism" (p. 16). Why is this significant? Because the evidential case for naturalism is much broader than the evidential case for atheism. Thus, Baggini's case for atheism has a far greater explanatory scope than the cases found in recent defenses of atheism by such scholars as Martin, Rowe, Le Poidevin, Smith, and Mackie, who do not defend atheism by appealing to the case for naturalism.
In chapter 2, Baggini sets forth his case for atheism.Read more ›
Julian Baggini's _A Very Short Introduction to Atheism_ is told from the viewpoint of one who attended Roman Catholic primary schooling and went on to become an atheist. He spends the first couple of chapters matching up atheism with naturalism and realism, while sketching out some basic positive arguments for atheism. Baggini also deals with the lack of evidence for theism and claims that the motivations and methods of science are clearly in favor of non-belief in the supernatural (a general claim that the atheist generally holds). Chapter three responds to various theistic challenges that morality and ethics rely upon religion and a belief in the supernatural. Chapter four handles one other common objection to atheism: that it leads to a life devoid of meaning and purpose. The last couple of chapters deal with the history of atheism and the various schools of thought concerning the militancy of atheism.
Baggini's _Introduction_ is short...very short.Read more ›
As for the one negative review below, just take it at face value. It's most likely writen by Rev. Cheung himself. I took his advice and checked out some of his books. Well, his total lack of rational thinking is frightening. His writing clearly show how possessed by the supernatural one can become, basically losing all sense of reality. His book ( and all his writings) is based on the assumption that the Bible is the infallible word of God. Why? Just because he says so! He writes page after page based on this alone, and thus every argument he makes is utterly flawed. He claims that -- "the power of the dogmatically argument is such that it conclusively establishes the entire Christian faith as true, and simultaneously serves as a conclusive refutation to all non-Christian ideas and worldviews, whether known or unknown" -- He uses this type argument to prove such points as -- "since evolution contradicts Scripture, then evolution is automatically false" -- ! Need I go on . I have never had such a good laugh reading fundamentalist "philosophy". Reading his books leads one to clearly understand why supernaturalistic systems of belief can not be taken seriously as a world view or philosophy for society today. As their foundation, Cheung and others like him, have rejected reason and find no problem with rejecting 2000 years of accumulated scientific knowledge. The philosophy that Cheung propounds is one that would promote the idea that we are simply passing through this sin stained world on our way to God's kingdom. This is the same philosophy responsible for the 9/11 terrorism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent writer, clear, friendly and persuasive in style...greatest weakness is a failure to study seriously the best arguments for the religious side. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J Kragt
What exactly is atheism? Is it just not believing in God, or is it something more? Does being an atheist automatically mean being anti-religion? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frank Stoaks
Baggini argues that atheism is not the militant anti-God stance it may perhaps seem, but a rationally described worldview that has arrived at its own set of conclusions in the same... Read morePublished 4 months ago by HH
I have recently discovered these wonderful and informative Oxford University Press “A very short introduction” series of books and they are fantastic volumes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joseph J. Truncale
I enjoy this series of short books and currently have over dozen of them. Baggini outlines his position well without being either preachy or dogmatic.Published 5 months ago by G. H. Goodwin
Great book, when first reading I was scared to pick up something that would sound like Richard Dawkins and would try to de-establish religion and exaggerate the incoherencies... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Saul Alarcon
Lots of these Very Short Introduction books are simply rehashed normal books with the font size compressed and squeezed into an unreadable tiny format that's about as introductory... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dr Simon Perry (author of Atheism After Christendom)
A great intro to atheism. It's a great resource that I'm using to write a paper.Published 14 months ago by Bridget Lennon
A first hand defense of atheism but from a non-dogmatic author critical of the "new atheism." Baggini's defense of atheism is important because it shows a kinder-gentler... Read morePublished on July 3, 2014 by Bradley R. Cochran