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Humanism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) [Kindle Edition]

Peter Cave
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Why should we believe in God without any evidence? How can there be meaning in life when death is final? With historical adherents including such thinkers as Einstein, Freud, Philip Pullman, and Frank Zappa, "Humanism"'s central quest is to make sense of such questions, explaining the ethical and metaphysical by appealing to shared human values, rationality, and tolerance. Essential reading for atheists, agnostics, ignostics, freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, and believers too, this Beginner's Guide will explain all aspects of the Humanist philosophy whilst providing an alternative and valuable conception of life without religion.


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Review

"An admirable guide for all those non-religious (surely the true silent majority ?) who may wake up to the fact that they are humanists ... What we have in common is, indeed, not faith but our humanity." --Sir Bernard Crick - Emeritus Professor of Birkbeck College, University of London, and author of Democracy: A Very Short Introduction

"Peter Cave brings to a serious subject his characteristic wit and humour, as well as wide knowledge and sharp insight. This is a very readable introduction to humanism and a deeply human one." --Richard Norman - Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Kent

Review

"An admirable guide for all those non-religious (surely the true ‘silent majority’?) who may wake up to the fact that they are humanists … What we have in common is, indeed, not faith but our humanity." (Sir Bernard Crick - Emeritus Professor of Birkbeck College, University of London, and author of Demo)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Humanism 16 Jun. 2009
Format:Paperback
Peter Cave has written another excellent book. He explores the theme of humanism sensitively, pointing out common misconceptions about humanism that often lead to ill founded criticisms, while at the same time answering the more genuine concerns people have about the subject, and explaining the difficulties humanists have concerning religion. In tackling topics, ranging from, religion, morality, politics, living and dying and the meaning of life, he argues we should take responsibility for our own actions and lives, and treat others as responsible agents based on our intuitive understanding of humanity and its values, rather than defer to religion. Further to do so is not necessarily selfish, neither will it lead to chaos and hedonism, but rather a celebration of best qualities of a very unique species.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanism 17 April 2012
By CB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beginner's guide, but it's not lightweight. The author outlines the Humanist positions of the great philosophers. Quite a lot of space is spent on the argument against God before getting to what, for me, is the nitty-gritty - how does a Humanist make sense of life and death? The answer is is clear and, yes, humane: all decisions about our behaviour must be made on a case-by case basis, since there is no creed to fall back on for answers, with reference to Humanist morality.This morality is based on kindness, empathy and doing no harm to humans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Human 15 Aug. 2013
By TICKER1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm very happy with this book as it's my current 'pet subject', well explained and informative.
People of all Religions should read this in order for mankind to come out of the 'Superstitious era' and move into a brighter future.
I like the convenience of buying it on Amazon--no problems and very reliable service.Thanks.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanism 22 Dec. 2009
Format:Paperback
This book is extremely well structured. It offers a very clear view of every aspect of humanism. In my opinion it should be read by all people who have open minds and especially also by those who have the deluded idea that scripture is the word of their God. "Humanism" will appeal to agnostics and religious doubters. It is not exclusively the domain of atheists. It represents all that is good and moral, without being tied to any religious apron strings!
Devout religious people have yet to learn that they do not have a monopoly on what is good, moral or right.
They assume that anyone who has no religion is automatically evil. To them I say "Judge not, that ye be not judged!"
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Human and Humourous 15 May 2009
Format:Paperback
A great and very readable introduction to what it means to be a Humanist from Peter Cave, who is getting a reputation for explaining some of life's complex thoughts in a down-to-earth, intelligent and often witty way. If you're a human, buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent should be prescribed reading 26 Oct. 2014
By Alma F.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent should be prescribed reading
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book. 6 Dec. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was very differnt but very informative. The deliver was very quick, I have since passed this book on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very readable general introduction to philosophy, enlivened by wit and humour.
Published 2 months ago by Carole D
1.0 out of 5 stars A Big Disappointment
I bought this book expecting (from its title) a straightforward guide for beginners who want to know more. I was disappointed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JohninDR
1.0 out of 5 stars What a badly written book
This is a dreadful little book. I bought it because it is heavily advertised by the British Humanist Association, so I thought it would be a good place to start. Read more
Published 8 months ago by A Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor advert for humanism
Despite being described as a beginner's guide, this is not easy to read, especially the opening chapters, though it does get more straightforward as it proceeds. Read more
Published 17 months ago by M. D. Holley
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't get beyond Chapter 2
I'm a Humanist, and bought this book to learn more about Humanism. However, the author's writing style was dreadfully pompous, and I abandoned it after a couple of chapters. Read more
Published on 23 May 2010 by Bev
3.0 out of 5 stars I think I get what is being said!
This book is being sold as a Beginner's Guide, and though I do think I get the plot of what is being said by the author, it's hard work. Read more
Published on 3 Dec. 2009 by Bookeater
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction and a good read
Humanism is a fascinating topic, and Peter Cave manages to impart a wealth of information in the witty style of an after dinner speech.
Published on 27 May 2009 by S. Mathies
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