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Atheism's leading lights have long been intellectuals raised in the secular and academic worlds: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens. By contrast, Jerry DeWitt was born and bred into the church and was in fact a Pentecostal preacher before arriving at atheism through an extraordinary dialogue with faith that spanned more than a quarter of a century. Hope After Faith is his account of that journey. DeWitt was a pastor in the town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and was a fixture of the community. In private, however, he'd begun to question his faith. Late one night in May 2011, a member of his flock called seeking prayer for her brother who had been in a serious accident. As DeWitt searched for the right words to console her, speech failed him, and he found that the faith which once had formed the cornerstone of his life had finally crumbled to dust. When it became public knowledge that DeWitt was now an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder's highly religious community, losing nearly everything he'd known. DeWitt's struggle for identity and meaning mirrors the one currently facing millions of people around the world. With both agnosticism and atheism entering the mainstream--one in five Americans now claim no religious affiliation, according to a recent study--the moment has arrived for a new atheist voice, one that is respectful of faith and religious traditions yet warmly embraces a life free of religion, finding not skepticism and cold doubt but rather profound meaning and hope. Hope After Faith is the story of one man's evolution toward a committed and considered atheism, one driven by humanism, a profound moral dimension, and a happiness and self-confidence obtained through living free of fear.
2016 Winner of the Gospel Coalition Book Awards "If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we'd be living in a much better society than we do." ~ Christopher Hitchens At the time of his death, Christopher Hitchens was the most notorious atheist in the world. And yet, all was not as it seemed. "Nobody is not a divided self, of course," he once told an interviewer, "but I think it's rather strong in my case." Hitchens was a man of many contradictions: a Marxist in youth who longed for acceptance among the social elites; a peacenik who revered the military; a champion of the Left who was nonetheless pro-life, pro-war-on-terror, and after 9/11 something of a neocon; and while he railed against God on stage, he maintained meaningful--though largely hidden from public view--friendships with evangelical Christians like Francis Collins, Douglas Wilson, and the author Larry Alex Taunton. In The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, Taunton offers a very personal perspective of one of our most interesting and most misunderstood public figures. Writing with genuine compassion and without compromise, Taunton traces Hitchens's spiritual and intellectual development from his decision as a teenager to reject belief in God to his rise to prominence as one of the so-called "Four Horsemen" of the New Atheism. While Hitchens was, in the minds of many Christians, Public Enemy Number One, away from the lights and the cameras a warm friendship flourished between Hitchens and the auth∨ a friendship that culminated in not one, but two lengthy road trips where, after Hitchens's diagnosis of esophageal cancer, they studied the Bible together. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens gives us a candid glimpse into the inner life of this intriguing, sometimes maddening, and unexpectedly vulnerable man. "This book should be read by every atheist and theist passionate about the truth." --Michael Shermer, publisher, Skeptic magazine
"The Necessary Poetics of Atheism" collects poems and essays by three award-winning contemporary poets who demonstrate how atheism informs their poetics: as "a vehicle of political protest" in the work of MartIn Espada, as a form of activism and secular goodness in Lauren Marie Schmidt's poems, and as an aesthetic confrontation of a theistic worldview in J. D. Schraffenberger's writing. An enlightening foreword by the atheist philosopher Andrew Sneddon and a compelling introduction by poet Heid E. Erdrich invite us to read these "uneasy, contentious, complex, powerful, triumphant voices that allow goodness to shine without God." Espada asks, "Where, then, does an atheist poet put his or her faith? Where do we find our salvation? Some poets would say: Poetry." Put your faith in "The Necessary Poetics of Atheism" and find salvation in these provocative pages.
EVOLUTION IS MY REVOLUTION is a collection of writings by artist Seeroon Yeretzian written after she was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2012 and could no longer use her hands to write and her voice to speak. Seeroon wrote all of the pieces in this book, letter by letter, using her eyes on an eye-gaze tracking machine called DynaVox EyeMax. It is full of Seeroon's creativity, humor, wit, play, pain, and frustration and she captures her ideas and dreams during this most difficult chapter of her life. Reflecting her unflinching passion to live and diligence to create, these written pieces are a message to all readers to live life to the fullest and to not waste any moment of it.
'Hurray for Michael Palmer!' is how Michael Martin, the distinguished American philosopher, greeted Palmer's The Atheist's Primer (Lutterworth, 2012). Atheism for Beginners, by providing a 'coursebook for schools and colleges,' differs from its predecessor in being designed specifically for teachers and their students. Yet, although different in focus and format, the intention remains the same: to reinstate the importance of philosophy within the debate about God's existence and to act as a corrective tothe largely Darwinian criticisms levelled against religious belief by Richard Dawkins and the so-called 'new atheists'. So, in Palmer's lively history of atheism, extending from the ancient Greeks to the present day, we meet the enduring philosophical arguments against God and the great literature in which they are expressed. Atheism for Beginners is user-friendly and presumes no special grounding in philosophy. Throughout assistance is given by numerous aids to learning: there are exercises, marginal notes, essay questions, bibliographies and a glossary. Also provided are fourteen short biographies of famous atheists. In these respects Palmer follows the format first presented in his widely-read Moral Problems of 1991, long established as a core text inthe teaching of philosophy. In Atheism for Beginners, Palmer covers the main atheistic arguments, discussing issues such as creation, morality, evil, miracles and the motivations of belief. Particular attention is paid to the work of Hume, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, with a special chapter devoted to the development of 'disproof atheism'. Atheism is often criticized for being unduly pessimistic: that without God there is nothing to look forward to, no life after death, no final righting of wrongs and no hope of salvation. But this, Palmer argues, is 'a slander against the atheistic outlook'. He concludes, therefore, on a positive note, explaining that happiness and personal fulfilment are to be found in the very materialism that religious belief rejects.
Asks freethinkers to declare their atheism in defiance of the stigmatization of disbelief. With the rise of religious fundamentalism worldwide and a new ''spiritualism'' in North America, expressed disbelief in God or gods has become a taboo once again in the Anglo-American world. In the last few years, however, atheism has witnessed a resurgence exemplified by the best-selling works of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Faith in Faithlessness is intended to contribute to the reassertion of the legitimacy of godlessness as a philosophical and moral stance. It is a unique anthology that presents a comprehensive selection of writings, by some of the world''s most celebrated thinkers, past and present, who eloquently address the most significant questions concerning religious belief. Included are essays by Benedict de Spinoza, Diderot, Paul-Henry Thiry D''Holbach, David Hume, Thomas Paine, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Stuart Mill, George Elliot, W.E.H. Lecky, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Charles Bradlaugh, Anatole France, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Robert G. Ingersoll, Ludwig Feuerbach, Michael Bakunin, Karl Marx, Emma Goldman, H.L. Mencken, Clarence Darrow, Carl Van Doren, Bertrand Russell, Sigmund Freud, Albert Camus, Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, Gore Vidal, Kai Nielsen, Christine Overall, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray, Elizabeth Second Anderson, Tariq Ali, Salman Rushdie, Kurt Vonnegut. Also included are other celebrity atheists and a major resource guide. TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE INTRODUCTION FROM THE EARLY CLASSICS 1. Theologico-Political Treatise - Benedict de Spinoza 2. Thoughts on Religion - Denis Diderot 3. The System of Nature - Paul-Henry Thiry, Baron d''Holbach 4. The Natural History of Religion - David Hume 5. The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine 6. A Refutation of Deism - Percy Bysshe Shelley 7. Immortality - John Stuart Mill 8. Evangelical Teaching - George Eliot 9. The Spirit of Rationalism in Europe - W.E.H. Lecky 10. The Christian Church and Women - Elizabeth Cady Stanton 11. Humanity''s Gain from Unbelief - Charles Bradlaugh 12. Miracle - Anatole France 13. Autobiography - Charles Darwin 14. The Antichrist - Friedrich Nietzsche 15. God and the Constitution - Robert G. Ingersoll 16. The Essence of Religion in General - Ludwig Feuerbach 17. God and the State - Michael Bakunin 18. Contribution to the Critique of Hegel''s Philosophy of Right - Karl Marx FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY CLASSICS 19. The Philosophy of Atheism - Emma Goldman 20. On the Scopes Trial - H.L. Mencken 21. The Lord''s Day Alliance - Clarence Darrow 22. Why I Am an Unbeliever - Clarence Darrow 23. Is There a God? - Bertrand Russell 24. The Claims of Theology - A.J. Ayer 25. The UNbelievers and the Christians - Albert Camus 26. Science and Religion - Albert Einstein FROM THE LATER 20th CENTURY and 21st CENTURY 27. Monotheism and Its Discontents - Gore Vidal 28. How Is Atheism to Be Characterized? - Kai Nielsen 29. Atheism - Christine Overall 30. The Atheist Manifesto - Sam Harris 31. Why There Almost Certainly Is No God - Richard Dawkins 32. Religion as an Original Sin - Christopher Hitchens 33. In the Service of the Death Fixation - Michel Onfray 34. Thank Goodness! - Daniel C. Dennett 35. For the Love of Reason - Louise M. Anthony 36. If God Is Dead, Is Everything Permitted? - Elizabeth Second Anderson 37. An Atheist Childhood - Tariq Ali A Rapper''s Song - Greydon Square 38. Humanism and the Territory of Novelists - Salman Rushdie 39. Why My Dog Is Not a Humanist - Kurt Vonnegut EPILOGUE: A New Enlightenment: The Second Wave - Dimitrios Roussopoulos NOTES ON THE CONTRIBUTORS RESOURCE GUIDE from the Website of Richard Dawkins CREDITS AND PERMISSIONS Celebrity quotes throughout, including from George Bernard Shaw, Voltaire, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldous HUxley, Tennessee Williams, Charles Bukowski, Jean-Paul Sartre, Noam Chomsky, Sigmund Freud, Ingmar Bergman, Katharine Hepburn, John Malkovich, Robert Altman, Jodie Foster, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Jack Nicholson, Howard Stern, Isaac Asimov, Woody Allen, Richard Leakey, James Watson, Jean Roddenberry, Gloria Steinem. DIMITRIOS ROUSSOPOULOS is author and/or editor of some eighteen books.