Atheistic Humanism

Atheistic Humanism

Atheistic Humanism

Atheistic Humanism

Synopsis

One of the world's best-known philosophers argues that there is no good or sufficient natural reason to believe: (a) that the universe is created by a conscious, personal, willing, and doing Being; (b) that such a Being has provided his (or her or its) creatures with a Revelation; or (c) that we should either hope or fear some future for ourselves after our deaths.

Excerpt

If you will, man's situation is left bleaker.... Compared with a situation where the human mind ... had higher mind and higher personality ... to lean on and to take counsel from, this other situation where it has no appeal and no resort for help beyond itself, has ... an element of tragedy and pathos. To set against that, it is a situation which transforms the human ... task ... to one of loftier responsibility.... We have, because human, an inalienable prerogative of responsibility which we cannot devolve, no, not as once was thought, even upon the stars. We can share it only with each other.

Sir Charles Sherrington, O.M., F.R.S.

These sobering words are drawn from the final paragraph of one of the great sets of Gifford Lectures, Man on His Nature (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1940). All the essays included in the present volume connect more or less closely with the contentions of that paragraph.Those of part one, "The Fundamentals of Unbelief," which were developed from the first set of Prometheus Lectures delivered at the State University of New York at Buffalo in November 1991, combine to sustain its atheist presuppositions.If this atheism is correct then—unless there is some similar or superior kind of organisms to be found elsewhere in the universe—members of our species are indeed the only beings which, because we can and therefore cannot . . .

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