Recent religious and philosophical debate from self-proclaimed “atheists” has challenged the ethical, scientific, and political implications behind belief and non-belief, and the potential damage that can be done in the crusade to promote a certain brand of faith. A handful of spokespeople have appeared on the mount in defense of their non-belief, including authors Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great), and television host Bill Maher with his film Religulous.
The authors of this collection of original essays 50 VOICES OF DISBELIEF: Why We Are Atheists (Wiley-Blackwell, October 2009) come together from varied professions and perspectives to broaden the debate even further and present carefully considered statements on the nuances of personal belief. At this intersection is the overall consensus that religion cannot explain all, or offer a solution to all people, and that science and personal responsibility must play a central role in this discovery
The contributors do not simply defensively react to the bullying tactics from the religious camp with dogmatic and similar conversion-based tactics, but plainly state their case, revealing an essentially humanist philosophy. They effectively defend their right to proudly practice outside the sphere of organised faith and continue to question the authority presented by these long-standing faith-based institutions.
The internationally-based contributors work in the fields of science, academia, literature, media, and politics and include Julian Baggini (Atheist, Obviously), Susan Blackmore (Giving Up Ghosts and Gods), A.C. Grayling (Why I Am Not a Believer), Joe Haldeman (Atheist Out of the Foxhole), Maryam Namazie (When the Hezbollah came to my school), Peter Tatchell (My Nonreligious Life: A Journey from Superstition to Rationalism), and Peter Singer (Why Morality Doesn’t Need Religion).
• October 2009 [UK] • November 2009 [U.S.] • Philosophy of Religion • Hardcover: 1-4051-9045-9, $89.95; £55 • Paperback: 1-4051-9046-6, $29.95; £16.99 • 360 pp.