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March 28 , 2008

The Atheist's Primer


Arguing that a 'new atheism', driven largely by Darwinianobjections to God's existence, has limited debate to a scientificframework, The Atheist's Primer reinstates the importance ofphilosophy in the debate about God's existence and in so doingrecovers the distinguished philosophical tradition of atheism,which Dawkins and others have obscured.

Beginning with the Ancient Greeks and culminating with Hume,Michael Palmer provides the philosophical framework on whichscientific objections to theism are hung. He explicates andcomments on the thinking behind atheism, discussing issues suchas evil, morality, miracles, and the motivations for belief.Although delving deeply into epistemological concerns,emphasising the disheartening limitations of mans capacity forknowledge and our materialist dependencies, Palmer concludes on apositive note arguing - alongside Nietzsche, Marx and Freud andmany others - that happiness and personal fulfilment are to befound in the very materialism that religious belief rejects.

An eloquent abridgment of his previous work, The Atheist'sCreed,which was aimed at the educational market, The Atheist'sPrimer iswritten in fluent and concise prose, making it an accessibleintroduction for the general reader.

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