Topic / Philosophy

A review of Yuval Noah Harari latest book, Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian who had a best-seller with Sapiens: A brief history of humankind (2014; both books appeared originally in Hebrew, 2011 and 2014).   This follow-up, Homo Deus, suggests what the future may hold for our species; may, not will: Harari is not a prophet, though one has a passing thought […]

Money for old dope: more than £1-m for Christian philosopher

Alvin Plantinga, 84, described by Christian Today as ‘a giant of philosophy and apologetics’ has been awarded £1.1m by the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) , the US-based organisation that honours those who have ‘made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works’. Biologist Jerry A Coyne, PhD, author […]

My quest for truth began with Bible Stories for Children

This piece first appeared under the title ‘Why I am an Atheist’ in American Atheist Magazine, and is reproduced with permission. It’s one of the few childhood memories I have that isn’t about Star Wars or Spider-Man.  I’m seven, and my mother is bringing me a large hardback book called Bible Stories for Children.  It […]

Coming soon: part one of ‘The Cartoon History of Humanism’

When Dale Debakscy, above, made his first contribution to the Freethinker a couple of years back, I jumped with joy. Here was one humanist with an encyclopaedic grasp of humanism’s philosophical and ethical roots from the ancient Greeks onward, also with a fresh, informed and thoughtful take on current affairs. Most important of all, he […]

The Enlightenment keeps on winning

  If you study history, you’ll see episodes that changed civilization. For example, in Ancient Greece, for the first time, bright thinkers sought natural explanations for the world around them, instead of believing that phenomena were caused by gods and spirits. This started the science-versus-religion clash that still roils 25 centuries later. Here’s another landmark: […]

Atheists can never be truly happy, say priest

Jesuit priest Father Robert Spitzer, above, is an American philosopher, author and academic who recently mapped out four levels of happiness that he says are available to humankind. After a great deal of incomprehensible psycho-babble contained in this article, Spitzer  – President of the Magis Center (motto “Shining Light on Transcendence and Eternity” – explains […]

Everyday Humanism

‘Of making many books there is no end’  – The Bible (Ecclesiastes 12 v 12). Although Everyday Humanism edited by Dale McGowan, above left, and Anthony B Pinn, hopes to provide a “soft landing” for those deserting their supernatural faith or belief, it joins many other recent texts with “humanism” in their title. But a […]

Ten Secular Non-Commandments

M Dolon Hickmon reviews Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century by Lex Bayer and John Figdor. Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart (2014, Rowman & Littlefield) attempts to answer two questions: “What should one believe after abandoning faith?” and “What are the positive principles of atheism?” The authors’ solution to both […]

The Meaning of Life 4

Welcome to the final part of PETER BRIETBART’S interview with Professor A C GRAYLING. Here we ask what Eutopia might look like, what lies in store for the future of humanity, where the best philosophy is to be found and whether the right to die should be a legal right. PB: In your view, and, […]

The Meaning of Life 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the Freethinker/Grayling interview. Here, we ask him why religion has stuck around so long, if we could ever be free of superstition, why humanism is good for the world, and if free will could really exist in a purely physical world. PB: Daniel Dennett talks about it in terms of […]