In Defence of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam

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Profile Books, May 26, 2011 - Philosophy - 298 pages
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In the twenty-first century, religion is making a comeback, bringing in its wake extremism of all kinds. From Christian anti-abortion campaigns to suicide bombers claiming the righteousness of Islam, we are witnessing a resurgence of fundamentalism. Michel Onfray's response to the threat of a post-modern theocracy is to lay down the principles of an authentic atheism: exposing the fiction that is God, he proposes instead a new philosophy of reason that celebrates life and humanity.

In Defence of Atheism demonstrates that organised religion is motivated by worldly, historical and political power; that the three dominant monotheisms - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - exhibit the same hatred of women, reason, the body, the passions; that religion denies life and glorifies death. Onfray exposes some uncomfortable truths: Judaism invented the extermination of a people; Jesus never existed historically; Christianity was enforced with extreme violence by Constantine; Islam is anti-Semitic, misogynist, warlike and incompatible with the values of a modern democracy.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Odyssey of the Freethinkers
11
Atheism and the Escape from Nihilism
27
Toward an Atheology
41
Atheist Manifesto takes on three challenges
59
The Tyranny of Afterlives
65
Bonfires of the Intelligence
77
Seeking the Opposite of the Real
95
Colonialism genocide ethnocide
193
Repressions and the death fixation
195
Toward a PostChristian Secular Order
197
The local as universal
199
Yellow stars and Muslim tattoos
201
Against the closed society
202
Muslim fascism
204
An ayatollah speaks
205

The Construction of Jesus
115
The Christian Totalitarian State
140
Selective Exploitation of the Texts
153
In the Service of the Death Fixation
173
points in common
186
Wars fascisms and other pursuits
187
Jesus at Hiroshima
189
Love of ones neighbor continued
190
structurally archaic
206
Fascist thematics
208
Fascism of the fox fascism of the lion
211
Against religious secularism
213
Substance and forms of the secular ethic
214
Toward a postChristian secularism
216
Bibliography
218
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Michel Onfray was born in 1959 in the village of Argentan near Caen where he still lives. A high-school philosophy teacher for 20 years, he resigned from the state education sector and in 2002 set up the People's University in Caen. His twenty books map out a theory of hedonism: some celebrate the senses - smell, taste and the visual; others formulate a contemporary atheist ethics. He is currently at work on a six-volume alternative history of philosophy of which the first two volumes have been published.

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