This is a reference work unlike any that exists today. It provides a complete detailed survey of the varieties of agnosticism, atheism, free-thought, humanism, scepticism & unbelief, as they have appeared historically & on the contemporary scene. Editor Stein has collected comprehensive biographies of the many prominent persons associated with free-thought includinThis is a reference work unlike any that exists today. It provides a complete detailed survey of the varieties of agnosticism, atheism, free-thought, humanism, scepticism & unbelief, as they have appeared historically & on the contemporary scene. Editor Stein has collected comprehensive biographies of the many prominent persons associated with free-thought including Charles Bradlaugh & Annie Besant in England, Voltaire & Diderot in France, Lenin in the USSR, Th Paine, Clarence Darrow & Robert Ingersoll here in the USA. The Encyclopedia brings together 203 articles from all the influential philosophers & psychologists whose thoughts & writings contributed to the growth of religious scepticism & unbelief including: Giordano Bruno; Spinoza; Locke; Hume; Kant; Comte; Spencer; Haeckel; Feuerbach; Dewey; Santayana; Freud; Reich; Russell; Sartre; Ayer; Hook etc. Stein also contributes a history of organised free-thought, fully discussing political movements & theories that have had a direct bearing on unbelief. He's added perceptive essays on unbelief within the world's important religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism & Taoism. This reference work is crossreferenced & indexed & contains five comprehensive appendices for Meetings, Organisations, Publishers, Periodicals & a Bibliography of Unbelief. The many contributors include: Isaac Asimov; Hazel Barnes; Germaine Bree; Paul Edwards; Antony Flew; Paul Kurtz; Richard Martin; Martin Marty; Kai Neilsen; James Randi etc....more
Hardcover, 827 pages
October 1st 1985
by Prometheus Books (Buffalo, NY)
“Many of the innovations in science and philosophy have come from unbelievers, some of whom died for their 'unbeliefs.' Without unbelief, we might well be living in the Dark Ages or at least in the intellectual equivalent of that time.
In past centuries many theists savagely attacked atheists on the ground that someone without a belief in God must be a moral 'monster,' who would permit any action. This argument is rarely heard today, as the number of people who are openly atheists has become so large that its falsity is self-evident. Atheists do have a moral code to guide them. It is usually based upon the Golden Rule, plus a variety of utilitarian reasons, although there are a number of other possible systems. Rather than being immoral, most atheists are extremely moral.
There are a large number of people who can and do manage to lead decent upright lives with no use for a belief in God as a guide. Atheists do not care whether others believe as they do. They do ask, however, for the right to believe as they wish ....”
“Svante Arrhenius, recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry (1903), was a declared atheist and the author of The Evolution of the Worlds and other works on cosmic physics.”