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

Peter Cave
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2009 Beginner's Guides
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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Humanism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) + Humanism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851685898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851685899
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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

About the Author

Writer and broadcaster Peter Cave teaches philosophy for The Open University and City University London. Author of the bestselling 'Can A Robot Be Human?', he chairs the Humanist Philosophers' Group, frequently contributes to philosophy journals and magazines, from the academic to the popular, and has presented several philosophy programmes for the BBC. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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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
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
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
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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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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Human and Humourous 15 May 2009
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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