Atheistic Humanism

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Prometheus Books, 1993 - Religion - 302 pages
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This collection of essays by one of the world's most distinguished philosophers addresses the many and diverse aspects of atheistic humanism. Antony Flew begins his comprehensive study with Fundamentals of Unbelief, in which he argues that there is no good or sufficient natural reason to believe: (1) that the universe was created by a conscious, personal, willing, and doing Being; (2) that such a conjectural Being has provided his (or her or its) creatures with a Revelation; and (3) that we should either hope or fear some future for ourselves after our deaths.In the second part, Defending Knowledge and Responsibility, Flew disposes of the perennial charge that a naturalistic world outlook presupposes values which it cannot justify. He also criticizes sociologists of belief who refute themselves by refusing to admit that there is such a thing as objective knowledge. And he examines the subject of mental illness, explaining and defining the notion by refering to the familiar yet often denied realities of choice and consequent responsibility.The third section, Scientific Socialism?, consists of three critical analyses of Marxism. Flew exposes the faulty philosophical foundations of Communism, compares Marxist theory with Darwin's theory of evolution, questions the status of Marxism as a social science, and points out some of the significant failures of the socialist project.Finally, in the fourth part, Applied Philosophy, Flew looks at three social issues which have been the subject of much recent debate: the right to die, the definition of mental health, and the problems of racism.This is a far-reaching and thought provoking collection. . .There is much deep and incisive thinking in this work, and it is inherently a critique which is true to the basics of this kind of closely argued philosophical enquiry. -The New Humanity. . .a delight for the rationalist . . . a treat. -The American Rationalist. . . an admirable continuation of Hume's skeptical challenge to religious belief. -Ethics
 

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Contents

Introduction
10
Must Naturalism SelfDestruct?
12
FUNDAMENTALS 6P UNBELEEF
19
Five blind alleys
42
95e3
67
Evidencing Naturally Impossible Occurrences
71
Sociology of or against Knowledge? 1 Facts as causes of beliefs about those facts themselves 2 Social causes usurping reasons throne? 3 The peculiar ...
74
77
80
172
182
The Philosophical Foundations
191
Comparing Marx with Darwin
207
Market Order or Commanded Chaos?
228
APPLlED PHILOSOPHY
249
Brainwashing Deprogramming and Mental Health
261
Three Concepts of Racism
274
l4 Freedom and Human Nature
293

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