50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists by Russell Blackford, Udo Schuklenk

By Russell Blackford, Udo Schuklenk

50 Voices of Disbelief: Why we're Atheists presents a set of unique essays drawn from a global crew of in demand voices within the fields of academia, technology, literature, media and politics who provide rigorously thought of statements of why they're atheists. * encompasses a actually foreign forged of participants, starting from public intellectuals akin to Peter Singer, Susan Blackmore, and A.C. Grayling, novelists, comparable to Joe Haldeman, and heavyweight philosophers of faith, together with Graham Oppy and Michael Tooley * Contributions variety from rigorous philosophical arguments to hugely own, even whimsical, bills of the way each one of those outstanding thinkers have come to reject faith of their lives * more likely to have wide charm given the present public fascination with non secular concerns and the reception of such books as The God Delusion and The finish of Faith

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If there is no such being, the belief “in God” is correspondingly empty. ” But let me not here press the question of God’s non-existence, for the point I wish to make about religious beliefs being second-order remains, whether God exists or not. Another canonical way to believe that you have a belief that you don’t really have is to think you believe something that turns out to be too ill-formed even to count as a belief. Just to illustrate, imagine if someone claimed to believe that slithy toves gyre and gimble in wabes, say, because they read it in a book presumed written by an authoritative author, much like we may believe that E = mc2 even though we don’t really understand it.

Religion and religious experience, I noted, were found throughout human history and around the world in many forms that could hardly be reconciled with Christianity. And despite the horrifying behavior that had often received religious sanction, examples of ethically vibrant lives could be detected in all of them. Moreover, Hindu wisdom, Buddhist wisdom, Taoist wisdom introduced interesting new ideas, at least at the practical level, which did not always sit well with Christian teaching as I knew it.

It’s that there is no such belief to be had, since ‘slithy toves’ is an expression that doesn’t even purport to make sense. It’s not just that there are no such things as slithy toves (though it is that, too), but that one would not even know what to start looking for to see whether slithy toves existed or not, much less whether gimbling in wabes holds of them. Since the sentence is meaningless nonsense, so too is it to purport to Religious Belief and Self-Deception 45 believe it. Even purporting to have a second-order belief about the concept of slithy toves is empty since the very concept about which one is purporting to have a belief is itself undefined.

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