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Atheism: The Case Against God

Does a god exist This question has undoubtedly been asked in one form or another since man has had the ability to communicate Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding Yes br br You are about to read a minority viewpoint br br With this intriguing introduction George H Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man the concept of a supreme being With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments Mr Smith examines dissects and refutes the myriad proofs offered by theists the defenses of sophisticated professional theologians as well as the average religious layman He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern rational man br br It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism but to demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity If a person wishes to continue believing in a god that is his prerogative but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity


Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

Atheism is often considered to be a negative dark and pessimistic belief which is characterised by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion Atheism A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive meaningful and moral It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth Century The book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion br


The Real Face of Atheism

Atheism is a world without God Its true nature whether disguised in Eastern mysticism or American cynicism is despair In this thought provoking and witty book Ravi Zacharias provides Christians a clear apologetic for their faith br br Formerly published as A Shattered Visage The Real Face of Atheism systematically examines atheistic positions on human nature the meaning of life morality the First Cause death and more With a new introduction and revisions throughout The Real Face of Atheism is the perfect text for pastors students and thinking laypeople who want to improve their apologetic skill and reach out to non believers


Atheism for Dummies

b The easy way to understand atheism and secular philosophy b For people seeking a non religious philosophy of life as well as believers with atheist friends i Atheism For Dummies i 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 br br i Atheism For Dummies i 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 br br br 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


The Cambridge Companion to Atheism

In this volume eighteen of the world s leading scholars present original essays on various aspects of atheism its history both ancient and modern defense and implications The topic is examined in terms of its implications for a wide range of disciplines including philosophy religion feminism postmodernism sociology and psychology In its defense both classical and contemporary theistic arguments are criticized and the argument from evil and impossibility arguments along with a non religious basis for morality are defended These essays give a broad understanding of atheism and a lucid introduction to this controversial topic


Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

How new is atheism Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith disbelief in the gods in fact originated in a far more remote past In i Battling the Gods i Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean a world almost unimaginably different from our own to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities br br Homer s epic poems of human striving journeying and passion were ancient Greece s only sacred texts but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters from the devotional to the i atheos i or godless Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers as well as the less well known Diagoras of Melos perhaps the first self professed atheist Democritus the first materialist Socrates executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state Epicurus and his followers who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata br br Before the revolutions of late antiquity which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might there were few constraints on belief Everything changed however in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity s establishment as Rome s state religion in the fourth century AD As successive Greco Roman empires grew in size and complexity and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals states sought to impose collective religious adherence first to cults devoted to individual rulers and ultimately to monotheism In this new world there was no room for outright disbelief the label atheist was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy and so it would remain for centuries br br As the twenty first century shapes up into a time of mass information but also paradoxically of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking By shining a light on atheism s first thousand years i Battling the Gods i offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own and indeed its own heroes br br br br br i From the Hardcover edition i


The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

Militant atheism is on the rise Richard Dawkins Sam Harris Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens have dominated bestseller lists with books denigrating religious belief as dangerous foolishness And these authors are merely the leading edge of a far larger movement one that now includes much of the scientific community br br The attack on traditional religious thought writes David Berlinski in i The Devil s Delusion i marks the consolidation in our time of science as the single system of belief in which rational men and women might place their faith and if not their faith then certainly their devotion br br A secular Jew Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences he turns the scientific community s cherished skepticism back on itself daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions br br Has anyone provided a proof of God s inexistence br Not even close br br Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here br Not even close br br Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine tuned to allow for the existence of life br Not even close br br Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought br Close enough br br Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good what is right and what is moral br Not close enough br br Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good br Not even close to being close br br Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences br Close enough br br Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational br Not even ballpark br br Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt br Dead on br br Berlinski does not dismiss the achievements of western science The great physical theories he observes are among the treasures of the human race But they do nothing to answer the questions that religion asks and they fail to offer a coherent description of the cosmos or the methods by which it might be investigated br br This brilliant incisive and funny book explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it can be indeed must be the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world and ourselves br br br i From the Hardcover edition i


Atheism: A Reader

This unique anthology assembles the best writings on atheism agnosticism and skepticism by some of the world s great thinkers past and present Arranged to address the most significant questions pertaining to religious belief the existence of God immortality the nature of religious belief and religion in relation to science ethics politics and society the selections in this volume present a challenge to religion on all fronts br br Included are Bertrand Russell and A J Ayer on the existence of God Percy Bysshe Shelley on the argument from design Lucretius on life after death David Hume on superstition Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Christianity s demeaning influence on women s social status Gore Vidal on modern American fundamentalism and many other notable writers on controversial issues br br Editor S T Joshi has carefully selected essays that are eloquent poignant satirical and philosophically rigorous and has also supplied explanatory annotations and a general introduction that succinctly and forcefully summarizes the atheistic critique of religion


The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays

The great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley best known for such masterpieces as Ode to the West Wind and Prometheus Unbound also expressed his ideas on religious oppression in works of impassioned prose br br The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays features five anti religious tracts by Shelley On Christianity The Necessity of Atheism which resulted in the youthful Shelley s expulsion from Oxford in On Life On a Future State and A Refutation of Deism Like his great poems these extol the spirit of man and argue that Christianity with its repressive belief system is wholly out of keeping with human ideals and aspirations br br A philosopher as well as a poet Shelley argues that the divine attributes of God are merely projections of human powers life everlasting cannot be empirically demonstrated for it runs counter to all the evidence for mortality given by the natural world which is the only world we know br br During his brief life Shelley affronted the armies of Christendom with a single minded purpose As Shelley observes in his dialogue A Refutation of Deism there can be no middle ground between accepting revealed religion and disbelieving in the existence of a diety another way of stating the necessity of atheism br br In all these essays provide an important statement of the poet and freethinker s enlightened views on skepticism faith and the corruption of organized Christianity


The Necessity of Atheism

Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox And all religious beliefs are crutches hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances


Gunning for God: A Critique of the New Atheism

b New ideas about the nature of God and Christianity that will give Dawkins best friends and worst enemies alike some stimulating food for thought b br br Tackling Hawking Dawkins Dennett Hitchens and a newcomer in the field the French philosopher Michel Onfray John Lennox points out some of the most glaring fallacies in the New Atheist approach in this insightful book Since the twin towers crashed to the ground on September there has been no end to attacks on religion Claims abound that religion is dangerous that it kills and that it poisons everything And if religion is the problem with the world say the New Atheists the answer is simple get rid of it Of course things aren t quite so straightforward Arguing that the New Athiests irrational and unscientific methodology leaves them guilty of the very obstinate foolishness they criticize in dogmatic religious folks this erudite and wide ranging guide to religion in the modern age packs some debilitating punches and scores big for religious rationalism


The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason

In recent years a number of bestselling books have forcefully argued that belief in God can no longer be defended on rational or empirical grounds and that the scientific worldview has rendered obsolete the traditional beliefs held by Christianity Judaism and Islam The authors of these books Richard Dawkins Daniel Dennett Sam Harris Christopher Hitchens and Victor J Stenger have come to be known as the New Atheists Predictably their works have been controversial and attracted a good deal of critical reaction br In this new book Victor J Stenger whose God The Failed Hypothesis was on the New York Times bestseller list in reviews and expands upon the principles of New Atheism and answers many of its critics He demonstrates in detail that naturalism the view that all of reality is reducible to matter and nothing else is sufficient to explain everything we observe in the universe from the most distant galaxies to the inner workings of the brain that result in the phenomenon of mind br Stenger disputes the claim of many critics that the question of whether God exists is beyond the ken of science On the contrary he argues that absence of evidence for God is indeed evidence of absence when the evidence should be there and is not br Turning from scientific to historical evidence Stenger then points out the many examples of evil perpetrated in the name of religion He also notes that the Bible which is still taken to be divine revelation by millions fails as a basis for morality and is unable to account for the problem of unnecessary suffering throughout the world br Finally he discusses the teachings of ancient nontheist sages such as Buddha Lao Tzu and Confucius whose guidelines for coping with the problems of life and death did not depend upon a supernatural metaphysics Stenger argues that this way of nature is far superior to the traditional supernatural monotheisms which history shows can lead to a host of evils br The New Atheism is a well argued defense of the atheist position and a strong rebuttal of its critics


The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

The central contention of the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins Daniel Dennett Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens is that the centuries old war between science and religion is now over and that religion has lost But as Edward Feser shows in The Last Superstition there is not and never has been any war between science and religion at all There has instead been a conflict between two entirely philosophical worldviews the classical teleological vision of Plato Aristotle Augustine and Aquinas on which purpose or goal directedness is as inherent a feature of the material world as mass or electric charge and the modern mechanical vision of Descartes Hobbes Locke and Hume according to which physical reality is comprised of nothing more than purposeless meaningless particles in motion This modern mechanical view of nature has never been proved and its hold over the contemporary intelligentsia owes more to rhetorical sleight of hand and political expediency than to rational argument For as Feser demonstrates the existence of God the immortality of the soul and the traditional natural law conception of morality are rationally unavoidable given the classical teleological philosophical world view Hence modern secularism crucially depends on the false insinuation that the mechanical philosophy has somehow been established by science Moving beyond what he regards as the pointless and point missing dispute between Intelligent Design advocates and Darwinians Feser holds that the key to understanding the follies of the New Atheism lies not in quibbles over the evolutionary origins of this or that biological organ but in a rethinking of thephilosophical presuppositions of scientific method itself back to first principles In particular it involves a recovery of the forgotten truths of classical philosophy When this is accomplished religion can be seen to be grounded firmly in reason not blind faith And despite its moral and intellectual pretensions the New Atheism is exposed as resting on very old errors together with an appalling degree of intellectual dishonesty philosophical shallowness and historical theological and scientific ignorance


Natural Atheism

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The Necessity of Atheism

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Atheism: A Philosophical Justification

Provides logical reasons for being an atheist Carefully examining the debate in Anglo American analytic philosophy regarding God s existence this book presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God showing in detail their relevance to atheism


Why Atheism?

Is it possible for the nonbeliever to lead a happy and meaningful life br br This is one question George H Smith defender of reason and personal liberty and author of an influential contemporary classic on nonbelief seeks to answer in Why Atheism Smith reviews the historical roots of nonbelief going back to the ancient Greeks argues that philosophy can serve as an important alternative to religion and defends reason as the most reliable method humans have for establishing truth and conducting one s life br br Why Atheism tackles a wide range of subjects some of which have never been thoroughly analyzed from an atheistic point of view Beginning with the problem of atheism s credibility Smith points out the various ways in which religious opponents have sought to exclude atheism from serious consideration He also analyzes a number of classical philosophical issues such as the nature of knowledge and belief concluding that modern atheism is largely an unintended consequence of the religious diversity brought about by the Protestant Reformation br br Two chapters are devoted to ethics one focusing on the ethics of belief with particular attention given to the views of Thomas Aquinas and John Locke Other chapters discuss the persecution of religious dissenters and the features of an ethical system without belief in God Smith s characteristic lucidity analytical rigor and wit make Why Atheism an accessible and enjoyable guide to living a positive life without belief in a supreme being


Philosophy and Atheism: In Defense of Atheism

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The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith

Here for the first time in his new book i The Rage Against God i Peter Hitchens brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens chronicles his personal journey through disbelief into a committed Christian faith With unflinching openness and intellectual honesty Hitchens describes the personal loss and philosophical curiosity that led him to burn his Bible at prep school and embrace atheism in its place From there he traces his experience as a journalist in Soviet Moscow and the critical observations that left him with more questions than answers and more despair than hope for how to live a meaningful life With first hand insight into the blurring of the line between politics and the Church Hitchens reveals the reasons why an honest assessment of Atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God In the process he provides hope for all believers who in the words of T S Eliot may discover the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time


Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy

i Atheism Explained i explores the claims made both for and against the existence of God On the pro side that the wonders of the world can only be explained by an intelligent creator that the universe had to start somewhere telepathy out of body experiences and other paranormal phenomena demonstrate the existence of a spirit world and that those who experience God directly provide evidence as real as any physical finding After disputing these arguments through calm careful criticism author David Ramsay Steele presents the reasons why God cannot exist monstrous appalling evils the impossibility of omniscience and the senseless concept that God is a thinking mind without a brain He also explores controversial topics such as Intelligent Design the power of prayer religion without God and whether a belief in God makes people happier and healthier Steele s rational easy to understand prose helps readers form their own conclusions about this eternally thorny topic


The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

In this bold and provocative new book the author of i In the Beginning i and i The Reenchantment of Nature i challenges the widely held assumption that the world is becoming more secular and demonstrates why atheism cannot provide the moral and intellectual guidance essential for coping with the complexities of modern life br br Atheism is one of the most important movements in modern Western culture For the last two hundred years it seemed to be on the verge of eliminating religion as an outmoded and dangerous superstition Recent years however have witnessed the decline of disbelief and a rise in religious devotion throughout the world In THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM the distinguished historian and theologian Alister McGrath examines what went wrong with the atheist dream and explains why religion and faith are destined to play a central role in the twenty first century br br A former atheist who is now one of Christianity s foremost scholars McGrath traces the history of atheism from its emergence in eighteenth century Europe as a revolutionary worldview that offered liberation from the rigidity of traditional religion and the oppression of tyrannical monarchs to its golden age in the first half of the twentieth century Blending thoughtful authoritative historical analysis with incisive portraits of such leading and influential atheists as Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins McGrath exposes the flaws at the heart of atheism and argues that the renewal of faith is a natural inevitable and necessary response to its failures br br THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM will unsettle believers and nonbelievers alike A powerful rebuttal of the philosophy that for better and for worse has exerted tremendous influence on Western history it carries major implications for the future of both religion and unbelief in our society


Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

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Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life

Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals antagonistic to religion devoid of moral sentiments advocates of an anything goes lifestyle Now in this revealing volume nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief br These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists providing a portrait that will surprise most readers Many of the authors for example express great affection for particular religious traditions even as they explain why they cannot in good conscience embrace them None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive and several even express regret that they cannot or can no longer believe Perhaps more important in these reflective pieces they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit For instance if God is dead is everything permitted Philosophers Without Gods demonstrates convincingly with arguments that date back to Plato that morality is independent of the existence of God Indeed every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong Moreover they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges to pursue our goals without illusions to act morally without hope of reward challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives br Collectively these essays highlight the richness of atheistic belief not only as a valid alternative to religion but as a profoundly fulfilling and moral way of life br


Theism or Atheism

Excerpt in forcing the course on him Clearly not The whole would be regarded as a wasted effort and as an exhibition of gratuitous cruelty Now when we look closely at this evolutionary process who is it that benefits thereby In a vague way we speak of the race benefiting But the race is made up of individuals and while it may be said the individual benefits from the experience through which the race has passed it cannot be truthfully said that he is the better because he has gained from experience He does not pass through the discipline he simply registers so to speak the result And therefore so far as he is concerned he is exactly in the position that the first man would have been had he possessed the endowment social and individual which the present man has There is no greater fallacy than that contained in the common saying that man learns through experience Individually so far as civilisation is concerned that is not true Were it true civilisation would be impossible If each man had to start where our primitive ancestors started and learn from experience we should end where the first generation of socialised human beings ended and the generations of men would represent an endless series of first steps to which there would be no second ones What the individual learns from experience is very little and would never serve to lift him from out the ranks of savagery What he learns from the experience of the race is much and gives the whole distinction between the civilised man and the savage It is the discipline of the race that experience which meets each of us in the form of traditions counsels Pg institutions etc from which we get the really vital lessons of life But if that is so the attempted justification of natural processes on the ground that God designed them as they are so that man might learn from experience breaks down The individual does not so learn but is presented with the products of the


Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead This cogent forcefully argued book presents a decidedly unpopular view namely that the central tenet of Christianity the resurrection of Jesus is false The author asks a number of probing questions br br Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics empirical psychology cognitive science and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief Can we use contemporary research about the reliability of people s beliefs in the supernatural miracles and the paranormal to shed light on the origins of Christianity and other religions Does it make sense that the all powerful creator of the universe would employ miracles to achieve his ends Can a Christian believe by faith alone and yet reasonably deny the supernatural claims of other religions Do the arguments against Christianity support atheism br br By carefully answering each of these questions this book undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations it gives us a powerful model for better critical reasoning and it builds a compelling case for atheism Without stooping to condescension or arrogance the author offers persuasive arguments that are accessible thoughtful and new


Atheism and Theism

In this book two philosophers each committed to unambiguous versions of belief and disbelief debate the central issues of atheism and theism br br Considers one of the oldest and most widely disputed philosophical questions is there a God br br Presents the atheism theism issue in the form of philosophical debate between two highly regarded scholars widely praised for the clarity and verve of their work br br This second edition contains new essays by each philosopher responding to criticisms and building on their previous work


Daylight Atheism

Adam Lee s writing has made him one of the most widely read atheist bloggers and rightfully so This effort should secure him a place amongst atheism s most informative and relatable authors br J T Eberhard blogger at Freethought Blogs campus organizing coordinator for the Secular Student Alliance br br To a believer atheism can seem dark cold and frightening Adam Lee opens the shutters and lets the sunlight in Daylight Atheism speaks clearly and passionately of the joy of living a reality based existence guided by respect for each human person Highly recommended Mary Johnson author of An Unquenchable Thirst A Memoir br br Daylight Atheism sums up the freethinking beliefs held by Adam Lee known for his popular blog of the same name br br Says Adam Lee Even without gods existence is overflowing with possibility This life offers so much transcendent beauty so many deep and beckoning mysteries and so many opportunities for happiness that there s no reason to ever be a nihilist atheism is nothing less than a resounding affirmation of this life


What Is Atheism?

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Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists

A leading Christian intellectual explores the newest strain of atheism its foremost thinkers the cultural conditions that have bred it and how Christians should respond br br Something has changed in American culture What for years was a little regarded belief system atheism has now gained a large and increasing national hearing through the writings of new atheists such as Dawkins Dennett Harris and Hitchens br br Wanting to both inform and equip serious minded Christians regarding this cultural shift R Albert Mohler Jr explores the environment that has bred the new atheism while also introducing readers to the movement s four leading thinkers and the contours of their arguments Mohler deemed the reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the US by Time magazine then uses this foundation to pinpoint eight major distinctives that make the new atheism em new em and to discuss the future of Christianity in relationship to it br br At school and in the community Christians are sure to encounter people who have been shaped by this strain of atheism Here is keen insight that any believer can use to understand and challenge the new atheists


The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism

A wickedly witty satire The Loser Letterschronicles the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism With modern humor rivaling that of the media lampooningOnion found on college campuses all over America A F Christian s open letters to the spokesmen of the New Atheism explain her reasons for rejecting God and the logical consequences of that choice Along the way she offers pithy advice to famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in the hope of helping them win over more Christians br br Of course we score big time with the young guys who aren t responsible for anything and don t really care about anything besides spending most of their time in the basement playing video games and texting girls A F Christian points out But what about all those serious thoughtful people who are Christian believers If the New Atheism is to make real headway she argues its advocates must do more to persuade intelligent theists living meaningful and fulfilling lives br br Amid the many current books arguing for or against religion social critic and writer Mary Eberstadt sThe Loser Lettersis truly unique a black comedy about theism and atheism that is simultaneously a rollicking defense of Christianity br br Echoing C S Lewis Screwtape Lettersand Dante sDivine Comedy Eberstadt takes aim at bestsellers likeThe God DelusionandGod Is Not Greatwith the sexual libertinism their authors advocate In her loveable and articulate tragic comic heroine A F Christian Dawkins Hitchens and the other Brights have met their match


Atheism: The Case Against God

Does a god exist This question has undoubtedly been asked in one form or another since man has had the ability to communicate Thousands of volumes have been written on the subject of a god and the vast majority have answered the questions with a resounding Yes br br You are about to read a minority viewpoint br br With this intriguing introduction George H Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man the concept of a supreme being With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments Mr Smith examines dissects and refutes the myriad proofs offered by theists the defenses of sophisticated professional theologians as well as the average religious layman He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern rational man br br It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism but to demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity If a person wishes to continue believing in a god that is his prerogative but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity


Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

Atheism is often considered to be a negative dark and pessimistic belief which is characterised by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion Atheism A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive meaningful and moral It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth Century The book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion br


The Real Face of Atheism

Atheism is a world without God Its true nature whether disguised in Eastern mysticism or American cynicism is despair In this thought provoking and witty book Ravi Zacharias provides Christians a clear apologetic for their faith br br Formerly published as A Shattered Visage The Real Face of Atheism systematically examines atheistic positions on human nature the meaning of life morality the First Cause death and more With a new introduction and revisions throughout The Real Face of Atheism is the perfect text for pastors students and thinking laypeople who want to improve their apologetic skill and reach out to non believers


Atheism for Dummies

b The easy way to understand atheism and secular philosophy b For people seeking a non religious philosophy of life as well as believers with atheist friends i Atheism For Dummies i 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 br br i Atheism For Dummies i 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 br br br 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


The Cambridge Companion to Atheism

In this volume eighteen of the world s leading scholars present original essays on various aspects of atheism its history both ancient and modern defense and implications The topic is examined in terms of its implications for a wide range of disciplines including philosophy religion feminism postmodernism sociology and psychology In its defense both classical and contemporary theistic arguments are criticized and the argument from evil and impossibility arguments along with a non religious basis for morality are defended These essays give a broad understanding of atheism and a lucid introduction to this controversial topic


Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

How new is atheism Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith disbelief in the gods in fact originated in a far more remote past In i Battling the Gods i Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean a world almost unimaginably different from our own to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities br br Homer s epic poems of human striving journeying and passion were ancient Greece s only sacred texts but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters from the devotional to the i atheos i or godless Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers as well as the less well known Diagoras of Melos perhaps the first self professed atheist Democritus the first materialist Socrates executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state Epicurus and his followers who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata br br Before the revolutions of late antiquity which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might there were few constraints on belief Everything changed however in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity s establishment as Rome s state religion in the fourth century AD As successive Greco Roman empires grew in size and complexity and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals states sought to impose collective religious adherence first to cults devoted to individual rulers and ultimately to monotheism In this new world there was no room for outright disbelief the label atheist was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy and so it would remain for centuries br br As the twenty first century shapes up into a time of mass information but also paradoxically of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking By shining a light on atheism s first thousand years i Battling the Gods i offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own and indeed its own heroes br br br br br i From the Hardcover edition i


The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

Militant atheism is on the rise Richard Dawkins Sam Harris Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens have dominated bestseller lists with books denigrating religious belief as dangerous foolishness And these authors are merely the leading edge of a far larger movement one that now includes much of the scientific community br br The attack on traditional religious thought writes David Berlinski in i The Devil s Delusion i marks the consolidation in our time of science as the single system of belief in which rational men and women might place their faith and if not their faith then certainly their devotion br br A secular Jew Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences he turns the scientific community s cherished skepticism back on itself daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions br br Has anyone provided a proof of God s inexistence br Not even close br br Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here br Not even close br br Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine tuned to allow for the existence of life br Not even close br br Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought br Close enough br br Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good what is right and what is moral br Not close enough br br Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good br Not even close to being close br br Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences br Close enough br br Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational br Not even ballpark br br Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt br Dead on br br Berlinski does not dismiss the achievements of western science The great physical theories he observes are among the treasures of the human race But they do nothing to answer the questions that religion asks and they fail to offer a coherent description of the cosmos or the methods by which it might be investigated br br This brilliant incisive and funny book explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it can be indeed must be the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world and ourselves br br br i From the Hardcover edition i


Atheism: A Reader

This unique anthology assembles the best writings on atheism agnosticism and skepticism by some of the world s great thinkers past and present Arranged to address the most significant questions pertaining to religious belief the existence of God immortality the nature of religious belief and religion in relation to science ethics politics and society the selections in this volume present a challenge to religion on all fronts br br Included are Bertrand Russell and A J Ayer on the existence of God Percy Bysshe Shelley on the argument from design Lucretius on life after death David Hume on superstition Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Christianity s demeaning influence on women s social status Gore Vidal on modern American fundamentalism and many other notable writers on controversial issues br br Editor S T Joshi has carefully selected essays that are eloquent poignant satirical and philosophically rigorous and has also supplied explanatory annotations and a general introduction that succinctly and forcefully summarizes the atheistic critique of religion


The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays

The great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley best known for such masterpieces as Ode to the West Wind and Prometheus Unbound also expressed his ideas on religious oppression in works of impassioned prose br br The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays features five anti religious tracts by Shelley On Christianity The Necessity of Atheism which resulted in the youthful Shelley s expulsion from Oxford in On Life On a Future State and A Refutation of Deism Like his great poems these extol the spirit of man and argue that Christianity with its repressive belief system is wholly out of keeping with human ideals and aspirations br br A philosopher as well as a poet Shelley argues that the divine attributes of God are merely projections of human powers life everlasting cannot be empirically demonstrated for it runs counter to all the evidence for mortality given by the natural world which is the only world we know br br During his brief life Shelley affronted the armies of Christendom with a single minded purpose As Shelley observes in his dialogue A Refutation of Deism there can be no middle ground between accepting revealed religion and disbelieving in the existence of a diety another way of stating the necessity of atheism br br In all these essays provide an important statement of the poet and freethinker s enlightened views on skepticism faith and the corruption of organized Christianity


The Necessity of Atheism

Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox And all religious beliefs are crutches hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances


Gunning for God: A Critique of the New Atheism

b New ideas about the nature of God and Christianity that will give Dawkins best friends and worst enemies alike some stimulating food for thought b br br Tackling Hawking Dawkins Dennett Hitchens and a newcomer in the field the French philosopher Michel Onfray John Lennox points out some of the most glaring fallacies in the New Atheist approach in this insightful book Since the twin towers crashed to the ground on September there has been no end to attacks on religion Claims abound that religion is dangerous that it kills and that it poisons everything And if religion is the problem with the world say the New Atheists the answer is simple get rid of it Of course things aren t quite so straightforward Arguing that the New Athiests irrational and unscientific methodology leaves them guilty of the very obstinate foolishness they criticize in dogmatic religious folks this erudite and wide ranging guide to religion in the modern age packs some debilitating punches and scores big for religious rationalism


The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason

In recent years a number of bestselling books have forcefully argued that belief in God can no longer be defended on rational or empirical grounds and that the scientific worldview has rendered obsolete the traditional beliefs held by Christianity Judaism and Islam The authors of these books Richard Dawkins Daniel Dennett Sam Harris Christopher Hitchens and Victor J Stenger have come to be known as the New Atheists Predictably their works have been controversial and attracted a good deal of critical reaction br In this new book Victor J Stenger whose God The Failed Hypothesis was on the New York Times bestseller list in reviews and expands upon the principles of New Atheism and answers many of its critics He demonstrates in detail that naturalism the view that all of reality is reducible to matter and nothing else is sufficient to explain everything we observe in the universe from the most distant galaxies to the inner workings of the brain that result in the phenomenon of mind br Stenger disputes the claim of many critics that the question of whether God exists is beyond the ken of science On the contrary he argues that absence of evidence for God is indeed evidence of absence when the evidence should be there and is not br Turning from scientific to historical evidence Stenger then points out the many examples of evil perpetrated in the name of religion He also notes that the Bible which is still taken to be divine revelation by millions fails as a basis for morality and is unable to account for the problem of unnecessary suffering throughout the world br Finally he discusses the teachings of ancient nontheist sages such as Buddha Lao Tzu and Confucius whose guidelines for coping with the problems of life and death did not depend upon a supernatural metaphysics Stenger argues that this way of nature is far superior to the traditional supernatural monotheisms which history shows can lead to a host of evils br The New Atheism is a well argued defense of the atheist position and a strong rebuttal of its critics


The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

The central contention of the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins Daniel Dennett Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens is that the centuries old war between science and religion is now over and that religion has lost But as Edward Feser shows in The Last Superstition there is not and never has been any war between science and religion at all There has instead been a conflict between two entirely philosophical worldviews the classical teleological vision of Plato Aristotle Augustine and Aquinas on which purpose or goal directedness is as inherent a feature of the material world as mass or electric charge and the modern mechanical vision of Descartes Hobbes Locke and Hume according to which physical reality is comprised of nothing more than purposeless meaningless particles in motion This modern mechanical view of nature has never been proved and its hold over the contemporary intelligentsia owes more to rhetorical sleight of hand and political expediency than to rational argument For as Feser demonstrates the existence of God the immortality of the soul and the traditional natural law conception of morality are rationally unavoidable given the classical teleological philosophical world view Hence modern secularism crucially depends on the false insinuation that the mechanical philosophy has somehow been established by science Moving beyond what he regards as the pointless and point missing dispute between Intelligent Design advocates and Darwinians Feser holds that the key to understanding the follies of the New Atheism lies not in quibbles over the evolutionary origins of this or that biological organ but in a rethinking of thephilosophical presuppositions of scientific method itself back to first principles In particular it involves a recovery of the forgotten truths of classical philosophy When this is accomplished religion can be seen to be grounded firmly in reason not blind faith And despite its moral and intellectual pretensions the New Atheism is exposed as resting on very old errors together with an appalling degree of intellectual dishonesty philosophical shallowness and historical theological and scientific ignorance


Natural Atheism

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The Necessity of Atheism

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Atheism: A Philosophical Justification

Provides logical reasons for being an atheist Carefully examining the debate in Anglo American analytic philosophy regarding God s existence this book presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God showing in detail their relevance to atheism


Why Atheism?

Is it possible for the nonbeliever to lead a happy and meaningful life br br This is one question George H Smith defender of reason and personal liberty and author of an influential contemporary classic on nonbelief seeks to answer in Why Atheism Smith reviews the historical roots of nonbelief going back to the ancient Greeks argues that philosophy can serve as an important alternative to religion and defends reason as the most reliable method humans have for establishing truth and conducting one s life br br Why Atheism tackles a wide range of subjects some of which have never been thoroughly analyzed from an atheistic point of view Beginning with the problem of atheism s credibility Smith points out the various ways in which religious opponents have sought to exclude atheism from serious consideration He also analyzes a number of classical philosophical issues such as the nature of knowledge and belief concluding that modern atheism is largely an unintended consequence of the religious diversity brought about by the Protestant Reformation br br Two chapters are devoted to ethics one focusing on the ethics of belief with particular attention given to the views of Thomas Aquinas and John Locke Other chapters discuss the persecution of religious dissenters and the features of an ethical system without belief in God Smith s characteristic lucidity analytical rigor and wit make Why Atheism an accessible and enjoyable guide to living a positive life without belief in a supreme being


Philosophy and Atheism: In Defense of Atheism

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The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith

Here for the first time in his new book i The Rage Against God i Peter Hitchens brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens chronicles his personal journey through disbelief into a committed Christian faith With unflinching openness and intellectual honesty Hitchens describes the personal loss and philosophical curiosity that led him to burn his Bible at prep school and embrace atheism in its place From there he traces his experience as a journalist in Soviet Moscow and the critical observations that left him with more questions than answers and more despair than hope for how to live a meaningful life With first hand insight into the blurring of the line between politics and the Church Hitchens reveals the reasons why an honest assessment of Atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God In the process he provides hope for all believers who in the words of T S Eliot may discover the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time


Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy

i Atheism Explained i explores the claims made both for and against the existence of God On the pro side that the wonders of the world can only be explained by an intelligent creator that the universe had to start somewhere telepathy out of body experiences and other paranormal phenomena demonstrate the existence of a spirit world and that those who experience God directly provide evidence as real as any physical finding After disputing these arguments through calm careful criticism author David Ramsay Steele presents the reasons why God cannot exist monstrous appalling evils the impossibility of omniscience and the senseless concept that God is a thinking mind without a brain He also explores controversial topics such as Intelligent Design the power of prayer religion without God and whether a belief in God makes people happier and healthier Steele s rational easy to understand prose helps readers form their own conclusions about this eternally thorny topic


The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

In this bold and provocative new book the author of i In the Beginning i and i The Reenchantment of Nature i challenges the widely held assumption that the world is becoming more secular and demonstrates why atheism cannot provide the moral and intellectual guidance essential for coping with the complexities of modern life br br Atheism is one of the most important movements in modern Western culture For the last two hundred years it seemed to be on the verge of eliminating religion as an outmoded and dangerous superstition Recent years however have witnessed the decline of disbelief and a rise in religious devotion throughout the world In THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM the distinguished historian and theologian Alister McGrath examines what went wrong with the atheist dream and explains why religion and faith are destined to play a central role in the twenty first century br br A former atheist who is now one of Christianity s foremost scholars McGrath traces the history of atheism from its emergence in eighteenth century Europe as a revolutionary worldview that offered liberation from the rigidity of traditional religion and the oppression of tyrannical monarchs to its golden age in the first half of the twentieth century Blending thoughtful authoritative historical analysis with incisive portraits of such leading and influential atheists as Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins McGrath exposes the flaws at the heart of atheism and argues that the renewal of faith is a natural inevitable and necessary response to its failures br br THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM will unsettle believers and nonbelievers alike A powerful rebuttal of the philosophy that for better and for worse has exerted tremendous influence on Western history it carries major implications for the future of both religion and unbelief in our society


Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

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Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life

Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals antagonistic to religion devoid of moral sentiments advocates of an anything goes lifestyle Now in this revealing volume nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief br These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists providing a portrait that will surprise most readers Many of the authors for example express great affection for particular religious traditions even as they explain why they cannot in good conscience embrace them None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive and several even express regret that they cannot or can no longer believe Perhaps more important in these reflective pieces they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit For instance if God is dead is everything permitted Philosophers Without Gods demonstrates convincingly with arguments that date back to Plato that morality is independent of the existence of God Indeed every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong Moreover they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges to pursue our goals without illusions to act morally without hope of reward challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives br Collectively these essays highlight the richness of atheistic belief not only as a valid alternative to religion but as a profoundly fulfilling and moral way of life br


Theism or Atheism

Excerpt in forcing the course on him Clearly not The whole would be regarded as a wasted effort and as an exhibition of gratuitous cruelty Now when we look closely at this evolutionary process who is it that benefits thereby In a vague way we speak of the race benefiting But the race is made up of individuals and while it may be said the individual benefits from the experience through which the race has passed it cannot be truthfully said that he is the better because he has gained from experience He does not pass through the discipline he simply registers so to speak the result And therefore so far as he is concerned he is exactly in the position that the first man would have been had he possessed the endowment social and individual which the present man has There is no greater fallacy than that contained in the common saying that man learns through experience Individually so far as civilisation is concerned that is not true Were it true civilisation would be impossible If each man had to start where our primitive ancestors started and learn from experience we should end where the first generation of socialised human beings ended and the generations of men would represent an endless series of first steps to which there would be no second ones What the individual learns from experience is very little and would never serve to lift him from out the ranks of savagery What he learns from the experience of the race is much and gives the whole distinction between the civilised man and the savage It is the discipline of the race that experience which meets each of us in the form of traditions counsels Pg institutions etc from which we get the really vital lessons of life But if that is so the attempted justification of natural processes on the ground that God designed them as they are so that man might learn from experience breaks down The individual does not so learn but is presented with the products of the


Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead This cogent forcefully argued book presents a decidedly unpopular view namely that the central tenet of Christianity the resurrection of Jesus is false The author asks a number of probing questions br br Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics empirical psychology cognitive science and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief Can we use contemporary research about the reliability of people s beliefs in the supernatural miracles and the paranormal to shed light on the origins of Christianity and other religions Does it make sense that the all powerful creator of the universe would employ miracles to achieve his ends Can a Christian believe by faith alone and yet reasonably deny the supernatural claims of other religions Do the arguments against Christianity support atheism br br By carefully answering each of these questions this book undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations it gives us a powerful model for better critical reasoning and it builds a compelling case for atheism Without stooping to condescension or arrogance the author offers persuasive arguments that are accessible thoughtful and new


Atheism and Theism

In this book two philosophers each committed to unambiguous versions of belief and disbelief debate the central issues of atheism and theism br br Considers one of the oldest and most widely disputed philosophical questions is there a God br br Presents the atheism theism issue in the form of philosophical debate between two highly regarded scholars widely praised for the clarity and verve of their work br br This second edition contains new essays by each philosopher responding to criticisms and building on their previous work


Daylight Atheism

Adam Lee s writing has made him one of the most widely read atheist bloggers and rightfully so This effort should secure him a place amongst atheism s most informative and relatable authors br J T Eberhard blogger at Freethought Blogs campus organizing coordinator for the Secular Student Alliance br br To a believer atheism can seem dark cold and frightening Adam Lee opens the shutters and lets the sunlight in Daylight Atheism speaks clearly and passionately of the joy of living a reality based existence guided by respect for each human person Highly recommended Mary Johnson author of An Unquenchable Thirst A Memoir br br Daylight Atheism sums up the freethinking beliefs held by Adam Lee known for his popular blog of the same name br br Says Adam Lee Even without gods existence is overflowing with possibility This life offers so much transcendent beauty so many deep and beckoning mysteries and so many opportunities for happiness that there s no reason to ever be a nihilist atheism is nothing less than a resounding affirmation of this life


What Is Atheism?

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Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists

A leading Christian intellectual explores the newest strain of atheism its foremost thinkers the cultural conditions that have bred it and how Christians should respond br br Something has changed in American culture What for years was a little regarded belief system atheism has now gained a large and increasing national hearing through the writings of new atheists such as Dawkins Dennett Harris and Hitchens br br Wanting to both inform and equip serious minded Christians regarding this cultural shift R Albert Mohler Jr explores the environment that has bred the new atheism while also introducing readers to the movement s four leading thinkers and the contours of their arguments Mohler deemed the reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the US by Time magazine then uses this foundation to pinpoint eight major distinctives that make the new atheism em new em and to discuss the future of Christianity in relationship to it br br At school and in the community Christians are sure to encounter people who have been shaped by this strain of atheism Here is keen insight that any believer can use to understand and challenge the new atheists


The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism

A wickedly witty satire The Loser Letterschronicles the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism With modern humor rivaling that of the media lampooningOnion found on college campuses all over America A F Christian s open letters to the spokesmen of the New Atheism explain her reasons for rejecting God and the logical consequences of that choice Along the way she offers pithy advice to famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in the hope of helping them win over more Christians br br Of course we score big time with the young guys who aren t responsible for anything and don t really care about anything besides spending most of their time in the basement playing video games and texting girls A F Christian points out But what about all those serious thoughtful people who are Christian believers If the New Atheism is to make real headway she argues its advocates must do more to persuade intelligent theists living meaningful and fulfilling lives br br Amid the many current books arguing for or against religion social critic and writer Mary Eberstadt sThe Loser Lettersis truly unique a black comedy about theism and atheism that is simultaneously a rollicking defense of Christianity br br Echoing C S Lewis Screwtape Lettersand Dante sDivine Comedy Eberstadt takes aim at bestsellers likeThe God DelusionandGod Is Not Greatwith the sexual libertinism their authors advocate In her loveable and articulate tragic comic heroine A F Christian Dawkins Hitchens and the other Brights have met their match