Atheism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Julian Baggini

By Julian Baggini

Atheism is usually thought of to be a unfavorable, darkish, and pessimistic trust that is characterized via a rejection of values and function and a fierce competition to faith. Atheism: a truly brief advent units out to dispel the myths that encompass atheism and exhibit how a lifestyles with no spiritual trust may be confident, significant, and ethical. It additionally confronts the failure of formally atheist states within the 20th Century. The e-book offers an highbrow case for atheism that rests as a lot upon optimistic arguments for its fact as on adverse arguments opposed to faith.

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Atheists are well poised to follow it, as we shall see in the next chapter. Conclusion In order to see the force of the argumel;lt for atheism it is necessary to think very carefully about the nature of arguments from experience and to the best explanation, and the difference between faith positions and ordinary beliefs. Once those issues have been cleared up, however, the case can be summarized simply. Atheism is the position which is best supported by the evidence and the one which offers the best overall explanation for why the world is as it is and appears to be.

There is no magic formula for determining which explanation is the best, but in general better explanations are simpler, more coherent, and more comprehensive than the alternatives. They are also likely to be testable in some way or have some predictive power. Such arguments cannot be conclusive: it always remains possible that the least likely explanation turns out to be the true one. But like induction, abduction is something we cannot do without. Ifit fails to guarantee us a true conclusion, that is a fact we just have to live with.

This 'ought' carries some force only because of my desired goal of gaining weight: I ought to eat the cake only ifI want to gain weight. Such an imperative is 'hypothetical' in Kant's tetminology, meaning that we always need to give some goal or aim to explain why we really ought to do what the imperative commands. In contrast to these, Kant argued that moral 'oughts' are categorical. I ought not to murder regardless of my aims or objectives. The prohibition is categorical, meaning that we do not need to give some goal or aim to explain why we really ought to follow it.

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