Keeping Religion Out of Ethics
First published in 1999, this book resulted from its author’s ‘anger and dismay’ at the Anglican Church’s response to contemporary ethical challenges. He argues that, if we are to discover a workable ethic for our time, moral debate must proceed through human-centred justifications rather than appeals to divine authority. A new afterword briefly covers more recent developments in the Church.
The Four Horsemen
The Conversation that Sparked an Atheist Revolution
In 2007, the prominent atheists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens met in the latter’s Washington home to discuss religion, the human need for it, and why they considered it harmful. The two-hour recording of their conversation has since had millions of views on YouTube. This is the full transcript, along with essays by the three surviving participants and an introduction by Stephen Fry. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Dangers of Christian Practice
On Wayward Gifts, Characteristic Damage, and Sin
The Eucharist, prayer and baptism all promote healing and holiness but they can also perpetuate damage. Winner proposes that, by thinking of these treasured practices as ‘damaged gifts’, Christians can be more alert to their potential to cause harm.
How Religion Deprives Us of Happiness
In this appeal for us to reject religion’s ‘chimeras’, the businessman and philanthropist Vitaly Malkin argues that the adoption of monotheistic doctrines slowed down the progress of human civilization and has failed to make people happier. Examining the big questions of evil, death, suffering and ‘the great battle against pleasure’, he encourages the reader to question what benefit religious practices offer and to live in the present rather than wait for life after death. Slightly off-mint.
Fragments written in preparation for a defence of Christianity, unfinished at Pascal’s death in 1669 and published posthumously in 1669, Pensées has since been regarded as a masterpiece of French prose as well as a great work of philosophy and theology. Among the ‘Thoughts’ is the famous ‘wager’ argument for the rationality of believing in God that draws on another of Pascal’s works of genius, the theory of probability. Pensées is read, unabridged and in English, by Peter Wickham.
Living with a Wild God
A Non-Believer's Search for the Truth About Everything
In middle age, the acclaimed social commentator Barbara Ehrenreich rediscovered a journal she had kept as a teenager. It recorded an event so strange that she had never spoken or written about it: a mystical experience that rocked her steadfast rationalist convictions. In this profound reflection on science, religion and the human condition, she attempts to reconcile that cataclysmic moment with her secular understanding, challenging us to reassess our perceptions of life.