Honest Doubt: Essays on Atheism in a Believing Society

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Prometheus Books - Religion
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Honest Doubt showcases the workings of a questing intellect, unafraid to pose hard questions and unroll barbed wire in the path of society's sacred cows.-Tom Flynn, Editor, Free Inquiry and The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief; Author, Nothing SacredDespite the prevalence of religious belief in the United States (nearly 200 million Americans belong to 350,000 congregations), a growing minority (14 percent) of U.S. adults identify with no religion whatsoever. Journalist James A. Haught addresses the secular segment of American society in this interesting collection of incisive essays that give voice to honest doubts about religious beliefs. Taken together, Haught's essays endorse the idea that freedom of religion must include freedom to doubt as well as to believe. Individually, the articles present many different reasons to doubt:?Intellectual integrity demands that we express doubts about beliefs for which there is no scientific evidence.'The historical record, past and present, shows that religion is often the cause of evils, from the Inquisition and the burning of witches to current terrorist violence committed in the name of religion.'Natural evils, such as the 2004 Asian tsunami and devastating diseases, should make any thoughtful person question whether an all-powerful and all-merciful God governs the universe.'The sheer number and diversity of often-conflicting belief systems, including many ancient creeds that long ago died out, raise serious doubts about the philosophical soundness and coherence of religion as an approach to finding the truth.'Scandals among the clergy undermine the credibility of religion as a sound basis for morality.Written in a straightforward conversational style that makes clear the many scientific, philosophical, and ethical difficulties that plague religion, Haught's thought-provoking essays will appeal to atheists, agnostics, and anyone with questions about religion.James A. Haught (Charleston, WV) is the editor of the Charleston Gazette, West Virginia's largest newspaper. He is the author of 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Couruge to Doubt and four other books.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

Essays previously published in various print sources. These essays are the author's take on the intersection of atheism and American society. Well written, in a journalistic style, since most of them ... Read full review

Honest Doubt: Essays on Atheism in a Believing Society

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

There have been journalists who, despite a lack of academic training, have addressed religious topics with wit and insight. One thinks of H.L. Mencken among the infidels or G.K. Chesterton among the ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
9
Lets Outgrow Fairy Tales
17
Why Would God Drown Children?
21
Worst of All It Was Done for Religion
25
The Goofier the Tale the More Its Swallowed
29
Breaking the Last Taboo
33
The Meaning of Life
41
James Baldwin
47
Clash of Civilizations
87
The Great West Virginia Holy War
91
The Code of the Universe
95
The Beast in the Shadows behind Religion
103
Crooks Quacks Kooks Creeps and Cruds in the Clergy
107
My Name Is JeanPaul Sartre
111
The Evolution Debate Is about Honesty
117
The God Biz
121

Is Religion Twisted?
49
Where Do Beliefs Come From?
57
Holy Horrors
61
Nikos Kazantzakis
73
Ashcroft and The Unknown Tongue
79
Few Understand Religious Freedom
83
Adventures in the Bible Belt
135
The Unitarian Quandary
139
I Dont Know
145
Conclusion
149
Copyright

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About the author

James A. Haught (Charleston, WV) is the editor of the Charleston Gazette, West Virginia's largest newspaper. He is the author of 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Couruge to Doubt and four other books.

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