Society Without God


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Are lawyers, by their very nature, agents of the state, of capital, of institutions of power? Or are there ways in which they can work constructively or transformatively for the disempowered, the working class, the underprivileged? Lawyers in a Postmodern World explores how lawyers actively create the forms of power which they and others deploy. Through engaging case studies, the book examines how lawyers work within and for powerful institutions and provides suggestions--both general and practical--for ways in which the practice of law can be made to work with and for the powerless. Individuals chapters address such subjects as the contradictions of radical law practice; legal work in South Africa; the economics and politics of negotiating justice; feminist legal scholarship and women's gendered lives; the overlapping worlds of law, business, and politics; theories of legal practice; and how lawyers are constitutive of gender relations. Contributing to the book are Maureen Cain (University of West Indies), Yves Dezalay (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France), Martha Fineman (Columbia University), Sue Lees (University of North London), Doreen McBarnet (Wolfson College, Oxford), Frank Munger (SUNY, Buffalo), Wilfried Scharf (University of Cape Town), Stuart Scheingold (University of Washington), David Sugarman (Lancaster University), and Sally Wheeler (University of Nottingham).

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 227
ISBN Number 9780814797235

Society Without God


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“Silver” Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion Category Before he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were “getting religion”—praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don’t worship any god at all, don’t pray, and don’t give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the “happiness index” and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer. Zuckerman formally interviewed nearly 150 Danes and Swedes of all ages and educational backgrounds over the course of fourteen months. He was particularly interested in the worldviews of people who live their lives without religious orientation. How do they think about and cope with death? Are they worried about an afterlife? What he found is that nearly all of his interviewees live their lives without much fear of the Grim Reaper or worries about the hereafter. This led him to wonder how and why it is that certain societies are non-religious in a world that seems to be marked by increasing religiosity. Drawing on prominent sociological theories and his own extensive research, Zuckerman ventures some interesting answers. This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that “society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant.”

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 248
ISBN Number 9780814797273

Society Without God


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“Silver” Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion Category Before he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were “getting religion”—praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don’t worship any god at all, don’t pray, and don’t give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the “happiness index” and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer. Zuckerman formally interviewed nearly 150 Danes and Swedes of all ages and educational backgrounds over the course of fourteen months. He was particularly interested in the worldviews of people who live their lives without religious orientation. How do they think about and cope with death? Are they worried about an afterlife? What he found is that nearly all of his interviewees live their lives without much fear of the Grim Reaper or worries about the hereafter. This led him to wonder how and why it is that certain societies are non-religious in a world that seems to be marked by increasing religiosity. Drawing on prominent sociological theories and his own extensive research, Zuckerman ventures some interesting answers. This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that “society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant.”

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 227
ISBN Number 9780814797143

Society Without God Second Edition


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An updated edition showcasing the social health of the least religious nations in the world Religious conservatives around the world often claim that a society without a strong foundation of faith would necessarily be an immoral one, bereft of ethics, values, and meaning. Indeed, the Christian Right in the United States has argued that a society without God would be hell on earth. In Society without God, Second Edition sociologist Phil Zuckerman challenges these claims. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews with more than 150 citizens of Denmark and Sweden, among the least religious countries in the world, he shows that, far from being inhumane, crime-infested, and dysfunctional, highly secular societies are healthier, safer, greener, less violent, and more democratic and egalitarian than highly religious ones. Society without God provides a rich portrait of life in a secular society, exploring how a culture without faith copes with death, grapples with the meaning of life, and remains content through everyday ups and downs. This updated edition incorporates new data from recent studies, updated statistics, and a revised Introduction, as well as framing around the now more highly developed field of secular studies. It addresses the dramatic surge of irreligion in the United States and the rise of the “nones,” and adds data on societal health in specific US states, along with fascinating context regarding which are the most religious and which the most secular.

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 304
ISBN Number 9781479844791

Living The Secular Life


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Over the last 25 years, 'no religion' has become the fastest-growing religion in the Western World. Revealing the inspiring beliefs that empower secular culture - alongside real stories of nonreligious men and women based on extensive in-depth interviews from across the U.S. - Living the Secular Life will be indispensable for millions of secular people. A manifesto for a booming social movement and a revelatory survey of an overlooked community, this book offers essential and long-awaited information for anyone building a life based on his or her own principles

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook Ethics
Read Book 276
ISBN Number 9780143127932

Morality Without God


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A common refrain against atheism and secular humanism is that without belief in God, "everything is permitted." Walter Sinnott-Armstrong dismantles this argument and argues instead that God is not only not essential to morality, but that our moral behavior should be seen as utterly independent of religion. This short, accessible book is on a major aspect of the arguments against atheism and will interest those intrigued by the "new atheism" (Harris, Dawkins, etc).

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Author by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Genre eBook Philosophy
Read Book 172
ISBN Number 9780195337631

Living Without God


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Ronald Aronson demonstrates that atheism represents much more than what one does not believe: that it is the precondition for a generous humanism. The two closing chapters are models of stoicism at its best.'' - Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great.

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Author by Ronald Aronson
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 362
ISBN Number 9781458758644

Can We Be Good Without God


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Reading this small, well-written book can enlighten us in our attempt to think critically and act rationally ... could help protect the world from the kinds of horrors we have seen in the twentieth century.-Free InquiryRecent neurological studies have shown that there are regions of the brain that seem predisposed to create beliefs. Are we hardwired to believe? And if so, why do beliefs sometimes inspire major contributions to society, while on other occasions they precipitate horrendous acts of destruction?In this provocative and stimulating study of the connection between belief and behavior, Dr. Robert Buckman begins by reviewing the history of religious belief, showing the many shared themes among religions of diverse cultures. He then explains little-publicized data from neuroscience on the limbic system and the right-hand temporal lobe of the brain, which when stimulated consistently produces deep-seated spiritual feelings. Recent experiments reveal that this portion of the brain may underlie the development of many common religious beliefs, and perhaps the more aggressive and destructive behaviors associated with some of them. Buckman also summarizes evidence regarding pheromones and their effect on the limbic system, as a possible mechanism for certain types of crowd behavior, whether in a religious or secular context.Finally, considering the long historical relationship between religion and ethics, Buckman asks whether we can develop better, nontheistic belief systems that avoid the destructive aspects of traditional religious beliefs. He then describes ways in which we can become aware of, and perhaps, correct our ôlimbic urgesö when they threaten to lead to destructive behavior. This ambitious work, covering important areas of social anthropology, comparative religion, neurology, and psychology, provides many insights into the mechanisms of belief.Robert Buckman, M.D. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a cancer specialist, professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, the current president of the Humanist Association of Canada, and the author (with Karl Sabbagh) of Magic or Medicine?

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Author by Robert Buckman
Genre eBook Religion
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ISBN Number 9781615922772

With Or Without God


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Envisioning a future in which the Christian church plays a viable and transformative role in shaping society, Gretta Vosper argues that if the church is to survive at all, the heart of faith must undergo a radical change. Vosper, founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and a minister in Toronto, believes that what will save the church is an emphasis on just and compassionate living -- a new and wholly humanistic approach to religion. Without this reform, the church as we know it faces extinction. Vosper addresses the issues of spiritual fulfillment, comfort and connection in the modern world through a thoughtful and passionate discourse. She urges a renewal of old doctrines but does so with dignity and respect. Offering difficult but penetrating insights into a new generation of spiritually aware -- and spiritually open -- people, With or Without God offers a startling model for a renewed church as a leader in ethics, fostering relationships, meaning and values that are solidly rooted in our own selves.

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Author by Gretta Vosper
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 400
ISBN Number 9781554689309

What It Means To Be Moral


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"A thoughtful perspective on humans' capacity for moral behavior." --Kirkus Reviews "A comprehensive introduction to religious skepticism." --Publishers Weekly In What It Means to Be Moral: Why Religion Is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life, Phil Zuckerman argues that morality does not come from God. Rather, it comes from us: our brains, our evolutionary past, our ongoing cultural development, our social experiences, and our ability to reason, reflect, and be sensitive to the suffering of others. By deconstructing religious arguments for God-based morality and guiding readers through the premises and promises of secular morality, Zuckerman argues that the major challenges facing the world today--from global warming and growing inequality to religious support for unethical political policies to gun violence and terrorism--are best approached from a nonreligious ethical framework. In short, we need to look to our fellow humans and within ourselves for moral progress and ethical action. "In this brilliant, provocative, and timely book, Phil Zuckerman breaks down the myth that our morality comes from religion--compellingly making the case that when it comes to the biggest challenges we face today, a secular approach is the only truly moral one." --Ali A. Rizvi, author of The Atheist Muslim

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Author by Phil Zuckerman
Genre eBook PHILOSOPHY
Read Book 400
ISBN Number 1640092749