RELIGION 360 - Experiences of Atheism: A History of Skepticism and Unbelief
Section: 001
Term: FA 2019
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then why is there evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? (Epicurus)

All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher. (Lucretius)

The Christian God is a three headed monster: Cruel, vengeful and capricious One needs only to look at the caliber of people who serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites. (Jefferson)

God is dead. (Nietzsche)

Homo religiosus invents religious symbols, which he venerates and worships to save him from facing the finality of his death and dissolution. In the last analysis, it is the theist who can find no ultimate meaning in this life and who denigrates it. The theist can only find meaning by leaving this life for a transcendental world beyond the grave. (Kurtz)

An examination of the concepts and expressions of Atheism and disbelief in its historical, social and philosophical context in four periods in Western culture:

  1. the Greco-Roman world (Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero);
  2. the Enlightenment (Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Darwin);
  3. the Founding Fathers (Paine, Jefferson, Madison);
  4. and the modern period (Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud.)

The course begins with an assessment of the current debate on religious belief and science in contemporary American life (the New Atheists: Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens).

RELIGION 360 - Experiences of Atheism: A History of Skepticism and Unbelief
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9781573928557
ATHEISM., Author: JOSHI, S. T., Publisher: PROMETHEUS Books 2000
ISBN: 9780879754211
Classics of free thought, Publisher: Prometheus Books 1994
ISBN: 9781573920674
2000 years of disbelief : famous people with the courage to doubt, Author: Haught, James A., Publisher: Prometheus Books 1997
ISBN: 9780470692752
Philosophical Skepticism., Author: Landesman, Charles., Publisher: John Wiley & Sons 2008
ISBN: 9780306816086
The portable atheist : essential readings for the nonbeliever, Publisher: Perseus Books 2007
ISBN: 9780789479945
The story of philosophy, Author: Magee, Bryan,
ISBN: 9780140445145
Twilight of the idols and The Anti-christ, Author: Nietzsche, Friedrich., Publisher: Penguin 2003
ISBN: 9780023406812
Varieties of unbelief : Epicurus to Sartre, Publisher: Macmillan 1989
ISBN: http://catalo
Skepticism : an anthology, Publisher: Prometheus Books 2007
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