The easy way to understand atheism and secular philosophy For people seeking a non-religious philosophy of life, as well as believers with atheist friends, Atheism For Dummies offers an intelligent exploration of the historical and moral case for atheism. Often wildly misunderstood, atheism is a secular approach to life based on the understanding that reality is an arrangement of physical matter, with no consideration of unverifiable spiritual forces. Atheism For Dummies offers a brief history of atheist philosophy and its evolution, explores it as a historical and cultural movement, covers important historical writings on the subject, and discusses the nature of ethics and morality in the absence of religion. A simple, yet intelligent exploration of an often misunderstood philosophy Explores the differences between explicit and implicit atheism A comprehensive, readable, and thoroughly unbiased resource As the number of atheists worldwide continues to grow, this book offers a broad understanding of the subject for those exploring atheism as an approach to living.
Introduction 1 Part I: Understanding What Atheism Is 7 Chapter 1: Meeting Atheism 9 Chapter 2: Unweaving the Rainbow of Disbelief 19 Chapter 3: Recognizing What Atheists Do and Don’t Believe — and Why 37 Part II: Following Atheism through the Ages 63 Chapter 4: Finding Atheism in the Ancient World 65 Chapter 5: Going Medieval 79 Chapter 6: Enlightening Strikes 91 Chapter 7: Opening a Golden Age of Freethought 107 Chapter 8: Growing Up in the Tumultuous 20th Century 121 Chapter 9: Voicing a New Atheism, and a New Humanism, for the 21st Century 145 Part III: Reading the Great Works of Atheism 169 Chapter 10: Uncovering Lost, Secret, Censored, and Forbidden Works 171 Chapter 11: Sampling Important Works: Deep Thoughts, Big Thinkers 183 Chapter 12: Laughing in Disbelief: Challenging the Divine with Humor 203 Chapter 13: Reawakening Passionate Disbelief: Key Works of the 21st Century 217 Part IV: Living a Full Life without Belief in God 233 Chapter 14: Getting Personal with Atheism Today 235 Chapter 15: Being Good with or without God 253 Chapter 16: Seeing the World Naturally 275 Chapter 17: Being an Atheist in a Religious World 291 Chapter 18: Getting the Best of Religion … and Leaving the Rest 311 Part V: The Part of Tens 327 Chapter 19: Ten Surprising Things about Atheists and Other Nonbelievers 329 Chapter 20: Ten (Plus One) Famous People You May Not Know are Nonbelievers 335 Chapter 21: Ten Fun and Easy Ways to Explore Atheism 343 Index 351
Dale McGowan, PhD, writes the popular secular blog The Meming of Life, teaches secular parenting workshops across North America, and is executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable organization. He has been interviewed in major publications, such as Newsweek and the New York Times, and was 2008 Harvard Humanist of the Year.
Learn to: See the world as an atheist sees it Discover the rich history of atheist thought Encounter the Big Questions from a secular point of view The friendly guide to understanding atheist thought, history, and literature! Atheism is about much more than not believing in a god. Atheism For Dummies walks you through the rich history and evolution of atheist thought, delves into the relationship between atheism and science, explores the important historical moments and works of literature that have defined this secular philosophy, and so much more. Atheism For Dummies provides you with much-needed clarity around this often controversial and misunderstood topic. Whether you're a religious skeptic, a student of secular thought, or just interested in what atheism is about, then Atheism For Dummies is for you. Look at the spectrum of belief and disbelief — learn about the differences between atheism, humanism, antitheism, agnosticism, and more Unlock the mystery behind atheism — find out what atheists don't believe, do believe, and why Follow atheism through the ages — explore the evolution of atheist thought from the ancient world to today Read the rich written history of atheism — delve into the great works of atheism and learn about their contributions to atheist philosophy Understand atheism today — learn how atheists lead meaningful lives without religion Explore atheist ethics — discover how atheists are good without God Open the book and find: The many forms of religious disbelief Atheism as a cultural movement The progression of atheism from quiet doubt to global phenomenon Ways to look at a religious culture through nonreligious eyes How to deal with diversity of beliefs in your family The effects of science on atheist philosophy How atheism and religion affect politics Ten surprising things about atheists
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