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What Is Atheism?

by Douglas Krueger

== Buy What Is Atheism? ==

What is atheism? What does it mean to be an atheist? These are simple-seeming questions which may not always have simple answers. Krueger takes us step by step through some of the most common questions about atheism, and the arguments that go with them. Although acknowledging that there are two types of atheists (a broad view which merely does not believe in gods and the strong view which makes the claim there are no gods), Krueger chooses to focus mainly on the arguments of the strong atheist. His chapters are really all answers to particular questions.

What is atheism?
Here Krueger defines the different types of atheists, and also touches on agnosticism. He cites various sources for definitions, and also references some of the myths about what atheism is.What Is Atheism?, by Douglas Krueger

How can atheists have morals?
This chapter discusses the myth that morality must come from religion. First Krueger discusses why he believes that religion is an inadequate sources of morality. Then he covers the specifics of morality in the bible. Finally, he moves on to the various secular ethics systems which allow atheists to be moral, and to make moral decisions, without the aid or religion, god, or the bible.

How can atheists have a purpose to their lives?
This chapter covers the idea that god(s) and/or religion can give purpose to a life, and that atheists can have none. Krueger goes through several different philosophical arguments to propose the idea that not only is religion and/or god(s) alone unable to give purpose to a life, but that atheists are completely capable of giving themselves purpose in their lives.

Doesn't the bible show that god exists?
As might be expected, this chapter discusses the idea of biblical accuracy, and offers several examples of why it must not be considered so. It discusses biblical contradictions in both the Old and New Testaments, and also covers the belief in fulfilled biblical prophecy.

Don't reports of miracles prove that god exists?
This chapter is only ten pages long, covering reasons why miracles cannot be accepted on mere witness testimony. It also mentions some "miracles" which have been exposed as nothing of the sort, and discusses the various criteria which must be met before any miracle can be considered real.

Aren't there philosophical proofs which demonstrate that god exists?
Here we see many of the classic arguments for the existence of god, such as the argument from design, and the cosmological argument. Krueger explains some of the short-comings of these arguments, and shows why they are unable to provide the necessary proof for god claims.

Wouldn't someone have to know everything in order to say that there is no god?
This common belief overlooks several well-known ideas of logical thought. One of these is that it is no less than rational to disbelieve that for which there is no evidence. He also makes several other points that show that theists themselves are well known to make decisions based on the very same criteria.

What's wrong with believing on faith?
There is a common idea that there is no harm in believing something for which we have no evidence (the accepted definition of faith). Pascal's Wager is one of the more famous incidences of this belief. Both the belief and the wager are soundly refuted in this final chapter.

Krueger's book takes a very firm stand on atheism, showing certain lacks of the theistic belief system, and explaining some very simple, but very important distinctions of the possibilities of atheistic life.

Kim Shultz
April 11, 2001

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