The Atheist's Way Living Well Without Gods

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-01
  • Publisher: New World Library
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According to Eric Maisel, "atheism" isn't so much a denial of god as it is a way to embrace the vagaries of being human and then to create a life of integrity and meaning without supernatural intervention. The Atheist's Way represents an exciting new direction in spirituality, one away from inward looking to a more active participation in the world but without a directive from some higher force. It isn't humanism, it isn't existentialism, it isn't spirituality, it isn't psychology, but it includes aspects of all of those approaches to what human life is about. Unlike recent successful books about atheism, this one doesn't rail against religion and believers or take up recent politics. Instead, it announces that an indifferent universe need not deter us from making personal meaning that is at once rich, sustainable, and real. Today, more than ever, people are burdened by the feeling that they and their efforts do not matter. The thought that they are disposable throwaways in a meaningless universe plays havoc beneath the surface, draining them of motivational energy and fitting them for depression. According to Maisel, meaning is not a property of the universe but a poignantly human problem to be solved. The book focuses on presenting floundering unbelievers and wavering believers with a picture of the universe they can embrace and a complete life programme they can work. Maisel advocates atheism in part because of the heightened threat that religious belief poses to the survival of the species. It was one thing for human beings of another age to use god-talk to justify inquisitions. Now religious fundamentalists, claiming the power of God, also have or will soon have nuclear weapons and we must divest them of their cover. It is time to make decisions based on human rights and human good rather than on the dictates of an unseen God.

Table of Contents

Introduction: We Embrace Atheism (For Many Reasons)p. 1
We Have Our Traditions (Did You Know That?)p. 13
We Leave Our Churches (If We Formerly Believed)p. 27
We Make Our Own Meaning (What a Remarkable Idea!)p. 43
We Invest Meaning (Another Curious Idea!)p. 55
We Nominate Ourselves (As the Heroes of Our Own Stories)p. 65
We Get Blue Sometimes (Who Doesn't?)p. 79
We Deal with Meaninglessness (Yes, by Making Meaning)p. 89
We Choose Our Meanings (Or Do They Choose Us?)p. 103
We Make Idiosyncratic Meaning Choices (As Is Our Right and Obligation)p. 115
We Maintain Meaning (Daily and Over the Long Haul)p. 127
We Make Our Ethics (As Active Moral Philosophers)p. 141
We Stand Firm (Even While Consternated)p. 153
Conclusion: We Find Life Amazing (Exactly as It Is)p. 165
Notesp. 177
Indexp. 179
About the Authorp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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