They do say that there are no atheists in foxholes, but foxes dont go to confession either. Priest: (Adopting an Irish accent, although hes from Brixton, which any map will tell you is in London) And did you steal those chickens from the farmers? Priest: Now brother fox, is that not why the good God put Sainsburys and Asda and Tesco right here on this earth? You know that chickens have souls as well as foxes. Mr Fox : Twenty Hail Maries? Priest: On your way THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRITAIN AND AMERICA In 1999 when I joined my former company I met this guy, Ill call him Fraser because that was his name. And definitely, absolutely, dont assume theyre an atheist! THE OLD GOOD ATHEIST, BAD ATHEIST ROUTINE In many ways this book is trying to de-fang atheism. You have your bad atheists Hitchens and Dawkins and theyre like Dont call me Scarface my name is Dawkins. read that back), that its not itself a faith (that old chestnut), that just because you cant be 100% sure there isnt a God does not therefore mean you should call yourself an agnostic, and that its plain foolishness to say I neither believe nor disbelieve that the Pope is a robot (p86). JB says : it is not faith that tells me it is not a good idea to jump out of the windows of tall buildings.
The reason I appreciate this particular aspect of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, is mainly because the stance seems to be headed by some pretty dogmatic individuals as of late. He puts forward an argument that follows: "We tend to think that the mere introduction of grounds for doubt is enough to warrant the suspension of our beliefs. For me, I simply choose to suspend my belief in perhaps one of the biggest questions the human species has put forward. Baggini mentions that the existence of Atheists out in the world that have lead fulfilling lives is a good example of there being no need for God to make all "this" worth living for. I would argue that leading a fulfilling life with a suspension of belief is perhaps greater proof that we need not make bold claims toward such gargantuan topics. So I look forward to continuing my journey in understanding this topic, seeing as with each book I read on the subject, more questions are raised in my head upon completion, than before I started said text.
Atheism: A very short introduction Julian Baggini This short tome covers the arguments for viewing the world through a naturalistic outlook, understanding that morality is possible without supernatural praise or punishment, and that one can still have a great deal of mystery and wonder about life and the universe without adding supernatural claims to what is already awe inspiring. He views the closed and reactionary world of militant atheist to be just as harmful as religious fundamentalism even if he does have some sympathy for their goals.
But I did take away some useful things, and one of those is that atheism is best described as being pro-naturalist, not anti-religious as it is often perceived as being. Baggini is very respectful of religion and even provides references to other religious works for those he has not convinced of the higher rationality of atheism.
Believers: We'd love to engage in respectful conversation, but to do so you must not be entirely ignorant of our perspective (a fault that we largely do not reflect); you must be at least this tall to ride.
I picked up this book at B&N and was genuinely curious and excited to read it.
This is an excellent book on atheism and humanism, exploring atheism and related issues from the arguments for that cause to morals, and the meaning of life. It's a wonderful book: short, deep, logical, well reasoned, but very tolerant, humanistic and open-minded.
A better book on Atheism would be by J.L Mackie, "Miracle of Theism." I grew up as an Atheist but converted as a Follower of Christ, I revisit my old beliefs.
Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience.