Read e-book online Atheists: The Origin of the Species PDF

By Nick Spencer

The conflict among atheism and faith has turn into the defining conflict of the twenty first century. Books on and approximately atheism maintain excessive profile and recognition, and atheist hobbies on either side of the Atlantic seize headlines with high-profile campaigns and ads. in spite of the fact that, little or no has been written at the historical past of atheism, and this ebook fills that conspicuous gap.

Instead of treating atheism simply as a philosophical or medical thought in regards to the non-existence of God, Atheists: The beginning of the Species locations the flow in its right social and political context. simply because atheism in Europe built in response to the Christianity that ruled the continent's highbrow, social and political lifestyles, it followed, tailored and reacted opposed to its associations in addition to its rules. therefore, the historical past of atheism is as a lot approximately social and political events because it is clinical or philosophical ideas.

This is the tale not just of Hobbes, Hume, and Darwin, but additionally of Thomas Aitkenhead hung for blasphemous atheism, Percy Shelley expelled for adolescent atheism, and the Marquis de Sade imprisoned for libertine atheism; of the French innovative Terror and the Soviet League of the Militant Godless; of the increase of the USA non secular correct and of Islamic terrorism.

Looking at atheism in its complete sociopolitical context is helping clarify why it has regarded so very assorted in several nations. It additionally explains why there was a contemporary upsurge in atheism, fairly in Britain and the U.S., the place faith has by surprise come to play this sort of major position in affairs of state. This leads us to a a little paradoxical end: we must always count on to listen to extra approximately atheism sooner or later for the easy cause that God is again.

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Is divine love so different from human love that it loses all resemblance to human love? How then can we understand what we mean by divine love? Why would we then still call it love? The different ways in which one might respond to these challenges are indicative of the different theoretical responses to the challenge of the meaningfulness and the nature of religious language. There have been two general categories of responses to the challenge of the meaningfulness of religious language based upon the notion of falsifiability.

The positivists could never agree on a formulation of the verification criterion of meaning that would do what they wanted it to do;5 however, the notion of verification never completely faded away and continued as an undercurrent of analytic philosophy. The continued dominance of the scientific method and the glaring differences between the scientific method and the many ways of forming and explaining religious belief invited the continued comparison of the statements of science and religious language.

We all believe that the steering wheel of our car will continue to tum the wheels properly and allow us to control the car, though we may not have the knowledge of the engineering of the mechanisms or the tolerances of the metals and other materials involved to justify such a belief. 23 Most people believe that airplanes are safe while others do not. And, many times, those who do not believe that airplanes are safe, people who have a "fear of flying," may well know more about aerodynamics than those who do not have such a fear.

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Atheists: The Origin of the Species by Nick Spencer


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