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The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions

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The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We can't avoid the persistent questions about the meaning of life-and the nature of reality. Philosopher Alex Rosenberg maintains that science is the only thing that can really answer them--all of them. His bracing and ultimately upbeat book takes physics seriously as the complete description of reality and accepts all its consequences. He shows how physics makes Darwinian natural selection the only way life can emerge, and how that deprives nature of purpose, and human action of meaning, while it exposes conscious illusions such as free will and the self. The science that makes us nonbelievers provides the insight into the real difference between right and wrong, the nature of the mind, even the direction of human history. draws powerful implications for the ethical and political issues that roil contemporary life. The result is nice nihilism, a surprisingly sanguine perspective atheists can happily embrace.

Review:

"A wide-ranging if somewhat dry demonstration of how science can explain the workings of the universe. Rosenberg, a professor of philosophy at Duke University, distinguishes his project from that of the so-called New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins by not seeking to prove the nonexistence of God. Instead, he is concerned with providing a materialist description of reality: he outlines a Darwinian picture of human existence whose developmental trajectory is determined by the laws of physics, in particular the second law of thermodynamics. Along the way he attempts to construct a vision of morality with the snappy title of 'Nice Nihilism,' one based not on God but on natural selection, as well as debunking a number of ideas he takes to be illusions, such as free will or the notion that humans have a consciousness that actually thinks about things. In all this Rosenberg is competent and occasionally compelling throughout, but it is hard to shake the feeling that his descriptions of human behavior and thought are reductive and simplistic. Still, as an attempt to offer a comprehensive, secular vision of how reality functions in the absence of God, it is fascinating and thought-provoking." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Book News Annotation:

Maintaining that there is more to atheism than arguments against the existence of God, Rosenberg (philosophy, Duke U.) looks to science for answers to the "persistent questions" about reality, consciousness, morality, free will, and the purpose of life. Drawing on fields ranging from evolutionary biology and physics to economics and history, he explains why he embraces scientism rather than secular humanism's aim to replace religion as the force behind a purpose-driven life. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A book for nonbelievers who embrace the reality-driven life.

About the Author

Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Duke University and the codirector of the Duke Center for Philosophy of Biology. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393080230
Author:
Rosenberg, Alex
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Atheism
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Spirituality and Wellness
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Humanities » Philosophy » Atheism and Humanism
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions New Hardcover
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$25.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393080230 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A wide-ranging if somewhat dry demonstration of how science can explain the workings of the universe. Rosenberg, a professor of philosophy at Duke University, distinguishes his project from that of the so-called New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins by not seeking to prove the nonexistence of God. Instead, he is concerned with providing a materialist description of reality: he outlines a Darwinian picture of human existence whose developmental trajectory is determined by the laws of physics, in particular the second law of thermodynamics. Along the way he attempts to construct a vision of morality with the snappy title of 'Nice Nihilism,' one based not on God but on natural selection, as well as debunking a number of ideas he takes to be illusions, such as free will or the notion that humans have a consciousness that actually thinks about things. In all this Rosenberg is competent and occasionally compelling throughout, but it is hard to shake the feeling that his descriptions of human behavior and thought are reductive and simplistic. Still, as an attempt to offer a comprehensive, secular vision of how reality functions in the absence of God, it is fascinating and thought-provoking." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A book for nonbelievers who embrace the reality-driven life.
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