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50 Voices of Disbelief Paperback – 9 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (9 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405190469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405190466
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.1 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 765,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"For students in comparative religion this volume offers amplematerial and powerful reasons to make them subject most if not allreligious claims to a highly critical appraisal, preparing for aconstructive and public debate." (Acta Comparanda, 2011) "50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists bringstogether many scholars and intellectuals from a variety of academicfields who explain the reasons why they do not believe in God.Russell Blackford and Udo Schüklenk′s unique collection oforiginal essays not only consists of short, digestible essays whichare full of introductory presentations of both positive andnegative arguments in support of atheism, but also in its candidtestimonials which are more personally oriented." ( Reviews inReligion , 2011) "The international cast of contributors includes many well–knownnames, from a diversity of fields–notably philosophy (about a thirdof the writers are philosophers) science, journalism, politics andscience fiction.  By no means do they agree on everything, butthe unifying themes of rejection of conventional religions andacceptance of secular humanism shine through brightly.  Adescriptive list of contributors and an excellent index complementthe essays, many of which are accompanied by useful endnotes andreferences." ( Quadrant , September 2010)  "It was mostly fascinating reading, inparticular, those articles that abstained from using dull polemicsand cynicism. Some of the articles–most notably from NicholasEveritt, Thomas W. Clark, Michael Shermer, Peter Tatchell, MichaelTooley, and Udo Schüklenk–can indeed be used in undergraduatecourses concerned with the existence of God in philosophy, ethics,and theology. I recommend this volume especially for all those whoneed to grasp a general and easy introduction into atheisticreasoning." ( Ethical Theory and Moral Practice , 2010) "I recommend this volume especially for all those who need tograsp a general and easy introduction into atheistic reasoning."( Ethical Theory and Moral Practice , 2010) The essaysin this book reveal a great concern for our human plight, a concernthat is the equal of religious impulses; they raise a richness ofissues that are too often ignored, including the ultimate fear ofthe theists that perhaps in time it may well be possible to settlethe question of God s existence. The fifty voices in thisbook have spoken out with more than a small amount of courage. Whatemerges from thinking about these essays is a realization of whathuman reason is up against, within ourselves. ( FreeInquiry , August/September 2010) "Good writing and clear thinking don′t always go hand in hand.It′s a pleasure, then, to find both in a recent book about going italone –– no deus ex machina for us, please –– titled 50 Voicesof Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists . In one volume, edited byRussell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk, you′ll find idiosyncraticessays by a range of atheists from science fiction authors andphilosophers to scientists and activists." ( Psychology Today,Creating in Flow Blog , May 2010) "Many of the pieces in this book are full of superior contemptfor the intellectual inadequacy of theism. Tatchell is forthrightin his criticism of religion, but he never sneers. The essays inthis book are all clearly argued, and will reassure the alreadyfaithful that they are neither daft nor deluded." ( ChurchTimes, April 2010) "The contemporary relevance,and timeliness of this book isunsurpassed. It is ... an account of various well knownnon–believers [and] personal viewpoints, directed at a popularaudience. Very approachable at all levels, containing a wide rangeof stories, anecdotes and personal statements about why each of theauthors considers themselves to be a non believer. Overall, thisbook is well suited for a mainstream audience, interested inquestioning the power that religion holds over our lives. It [also]has good references ... which will also serve to guide the readerif further information is wanted. Thus, I recommend this book toanyone (regardless of their views concerning religion) interestedin understanding why different people hold certain views concerningreligion." ( Metapsychology , April 2010) "By turns witty, serious, engaging and information, it is alwayshuman and deeply honest, and immensely rewarding to read."( Times Higher Education Supplement , December 2009) "Carefully considered statements .Contributions rangefrom rigorous philosophical arguments to highly personal, evenwhimsical, accounts of how each of these notable thinkers have cometo reject religion in their lives. Likely to have broad appeal."( Australian Atheist , November 2009) "I am strongly recommending it as a present for anyone who hasan interest in atheism/theism from either side of thedebate. It′s just a great read, from great authors."( Stephen Law Blogspot , October 2009) "It s a very good book, and I recommend it for all of usgodless ones or those who are considering abjuring thedivine. It s far more than just a collection of stories about′How I came to give up God.′ Many of the writers describe thephilosophical and empirical considerations that led them toatheism. Indeed, the book can be considered a kind of philosophicalhandbook for atheists." ( Why Evolution is True Blog , October2009) "Wow! A book about atheism and it s not written byDawkins, Hitchens, Dennett or Harris! So this book is welcomepartly because it helps break that knee–jerk reaction. Butit s also welcome because many of its contributors advanceinteresting ideas. There s plenty to choose from. And oneadvantage of a collection like this is that you can dip into itwherever you want. There is something for everyone. And there isthe opportunity to discover new ideas." ( Open Parachute ,October 2009) "For many who have spent some time involved in any form ofengagement in these matters, the names should appear familiar: fromthe great AC Grayling to the revolutionary Maryam Namazie. Finally,in one book we can hear their stories if not aboutthemselves, then about the aspects of religion or lack thereof theyfind most important. If all these contributors were speakers at aconvention, it would be sold out many times over." ( Butterfliesand Wheels , October 2009) "In their excellent collection of essays exploring and defendingthe philosophical stance of atheism, Russell Blackford and UdoSchüklenk had an inclusive vision. Contributors to the bookrange from those with science–fiction backgrounds to modern–dayphilosophy." ( Kirkus Reviews , October 2009) "In more than 50 brief statements organized by Blackford andphilosopher Schüklenk ... contributors share views theirroutes toward nonbelief and their feelings about the place ofreligion in the world ... including James (the Amazing) Randi, awell–known magician and debunker of spurious psychic phenomena.Considering the popularity of Richard Dawkins′s The GodDelusion , Christopher Hitchens′s God Is Not Great , andSam Harris′s The End of Faith , [these] memoirs andobservations will be of interest to disbelievers." ( LibraryJournal , October 2009)

From the Back Cover

50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists presents a unique and thought–provoking collection of original essays that address personal disbelief in a higher power . Drawn from an international cast of professionals in the fields of academia, science, literature, media and politics, contributors offer carefully considered statements of why they reject the idea of a deity governing the universe and human affairs. Several essays also address such issues as the social role of religion and its alternatives. The responses feature a stunning diversity of viewpoints and tone, ranging from rigorous philosophical arguments to highly personal   at times even whimsical   accounts of how each of these notable thinkers have come to reject religion in their lives. Whether you′re a believer or not, 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists offers an intellectually stimulating journey into the possibilities for rational and reasonable people everywhere to live without the crutch of religion.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By T. Julians on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is good to see a selection of people explaining why they do not believe in God. It is even better to read why so many people do not NEED to believe in God.
Well written and diverse, this book explains the reasons behind people's non-belief, their struggles with faith when they had it and how not believing in a deity or having to live by doctrines has freed their minds and allowed them to live life for its own sake rather than for any eternal reward or pat on the back. It is interesting to read how much thought goes into not believing in something; reason and rationality take over from fear and superstition. They explain that finding meaning in their lives comes through personal endeavours; how morality comes from being good for "goodness sake".
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the reasoning behind the philosophy of standing on one's own two feet, facing the music and enjoying the wonders of life, the planet and the Cosmos for what it actually is rather than the nightmare Religion would have us believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey bubbles bom bom on 3 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All the essays seem to come from the heart. Some are very informative, one example is Michael Shermer's. Others give accounts of 'personal enlightenment' and the life changing experience after shaking off the dogma of religion. As some essays are quite short, they are perfect if you have only a few minutes free. I picked up quite a few new quotes, (cosmic sky-daddy) and learnt quite a bit. It is also very useful to have brief summaries of all the contributors, as this book has.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By QuinnDawg on 18 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I've never really thought about God, growing up and being raised in a secular household, with parents who weren't interested in the topic of religion. From a young age religion always seemed odd, I couldn't understand why all the excitment. I was a proud, self claimed Atheist (obviously my parents helped with this word) by the age of 8! The Natural World was a billion times more fun, I could touch, taste, hear, smell and see it! Religion always seemed a bit lacking and absent.

Moving onto the review.....
So, being a Dawkins fan I had to read the God Delusion and this opened up a whole new world of discovery for me and I couldn't get enough books that discussed the topic of Atheism. I'm very proud of my postion in life and wear my Atheist label with complete happiness and even more pride!

I stubbled across this book while searching for other books on the topic of atheism. I would say it's a lovely book with stories covering the topic from many different angles. Some are personal, others are scientific or philsophical. From 50 voices there were only 2 I wasn't fond of and I don't have the book in front of me to tell you who they are.
This I feel falls neatly between the Portable Atheist (Which oddly isn't very portable, it's a huge book) and the newly published Atheist Guide to Christmas (which is jolly good fun to read).
In summary, an enjoyable read with plenty of interest and food for thought....get it today!
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