The Young Atheist's Handbook: lessons for living a good life without God

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Scribe Publications Pty Limited, Feb 22, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
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Growing up in a strict Muslim community in south-east London, Alom Shaha learnt that religion was not to be questioned. Reciting the Qur’an without understanding what it meant was simply a part of life; so, too, was obeying the imam and enduring beatings when he failed to attend the local mosque. Shaha was more drawn to science and its power to illuminate. As a teen, he lived between two worlds: the home controlled by his authoritarian father, and a school alive with books and ideas.

In a charming blend of memoir, philosophy, and science, Shaha explores the questions about faith and the afterlife that we all ponder. Through a series of loose ‘lessons’, he tells his own compelling story, drawing on the theories of some of history’s greatest thinkers and interrogating the fallacies that have impeded humanity for centuries. Shaha recounts how his education and formative experiences led him to question how to live without being tied to what his parents, priests, or teachers told him to believe, and offers insights so that others may do the same.

This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It’s for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Shaha shows that it is possible to live a compassionate, fulfilling, and meaningful life without God.

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About the author (2012)

Alom Shaha was born in Bangladesh but grew up in London. A teacher, science writer, and filmmaker, he has spent most of his professional life trying to share his passion for science and education with the public. Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes for broadcasters such as the BBC, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) and the Nuffield Foundation. He has represented his community as an elected politician and volunteered at a range of charitable organisations. He teaches at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications, including The Guardian. Visit him at www.alomshaha.com or www.facebook.com/YoungAtheistsHandbook.

A.C. Grayling is an atheist, professor of philosophy, and author of several books, including The Good Book.

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