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New Atheism Paperback – 15 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus (15 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591027519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591027515
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"This is a wonderful book for any person who hasn't read an atheist blog over the past five years. That is to say, older and brand new atheists will enjoy Stenger's book- it's an excellent primer for godless newbies." --TheFriendlyAtheist.com, September 22, 2009

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 July 2012
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this calmly reasoned and important book, Victor J. Stenger explains perfectly the difference between the old and the new atheism, the dangers of faith, the evils of religion and its exploitation by those in power, as well as the minimum requirements to curb its funest influence on our society.

The New Atheism
For the faithful, the god they worship purportedly plays an active role in the cosmos and in their lives. This activity should result in observable physical phenomena in space and time, which form the very basis of scientific investigation: the creation of the world, the design of life, the effect of praying, the revelation of universal truths, the existence of the mind. In other words, the god of the faithful is a scientific hypothesis which can, like all scientific evidence, be tested by standard methods of science.
This god hypothesis has failed miserably all scientific tests. The existence of an omnipotent and benevolent god is contradicted by all the suffering in the world. Prayers don't work. The world, as well as life, doesn't need a god to be created. Mind ('the soul') is a matter of matter.

Faith
Belief in the absence of supportive evidence is foolish, absurd, irrational and immoral. It is nearly always instilled by indoctrination during childhood (R. Dawkins) and leads to many evils. It plays a significant role in the violent conflicts in the world and is dangerous for the future of mankind.

Religion and its exploitation by those in power
Religion has no morality. It has (and continue to have) a shameful history of the most horrible evils. It supported slavery, the oppression of women, ethnic cleansing, serfdom, the divine right of kings, extraction of testimony by torture.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. on 10 April 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a top class book on sceptical thinking. Victor Stenger writes in a very polite, gentle, calm, mature, caring yet powerful way. You will see the trained scientific mind at work. In this book Victor Stenger presents an impressive argument concluding that there is no reason to worry about an unseen supernatural realm. Science has searched for evidence of the supernatural and so far it has found none. Stenger is very clear and easy to read. He includes a review of the other recent super books on atheism by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Barker, George H. Smith
If you are just starting to investigate atheism and sceptical thinking then this could be the best book to buy.
Victor Stenger speaks the still, small voice of reason which has been present down the ages. There is no reason to think that the Bible was inspired by a god. It has a wholly human mindset. This case has been made by Joseph Wheless in 1925 in his book,' Is it God's Word'. Even at the time of the early church there were sceptical thinkers who pointed out that Christianity had many similarities to the other pagan religons.
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121 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Sphex on 11 Oct. 2009
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This is what Robert G. Ingersoll experienced when he became convinced that the universe was natural, that there were no gods and "no prohibited places in all the realms of thought". It is a wonderful way for Victor Stenger to open his latest book, because it captures what many of us feel having made the positive step from either belief or vague agnosticism into the clear air of atheism. It is also extremely vexing to believers. The "old-school atheists" like Nietzsche, Camus and Sartre at least had the decency to wander in the "disorienting wilderness of nihilism" and to indulge in "angst-ridden anxiety and serious soul-searching". Miserable atheists, like the poor, are there to be pitied and then forgotten. The smiling confidence - sorry, "arrogance" - of atheists like Richard Dawkins and Ariane Sherine seems to threaten those who mistake the quicksand of faith for solid ground.

In a world in which we already have denominational overload, where you can be a theist, deist, Buddhist, spiritualist, agnostic, and (so long as you're not running for public office in America) atheist, why on earth introduce another category of "new atheist" to confuse the punter? "Perhaps the most unique position of New Atheism is that faith, which is belief without supportive evidence, should not be given the respect, even deference, it obtains in modern society. Faith is always foolish and leads to many of the evils of society." Stenger identifies an important principle - don't respect the unjustified beliefs of others - that is unproblematic in most areas of life, except where religion is concerned. While religious folk fondly imagine they're dealing with the "big questions", they can't even handle the smaller ones to do with, for example, the historicity of Jesus.
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