“Serious Sartreans get quite annoyed with this book because it’s a very accessible, easy-to-read, non-technical, public lecture. Many Sartreans think that unless you’ve read Being and Nothingness from cover to cover and pored over the footnotes, you don’t really understand Sartre. For them, people like me who say, ‘I like Sartre, I like Existentialism and Humanism’ are a bit like people who say ‘I really like Wagner, that ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ is a great tune.’ …The reason I wanted to include it is that in contemporary Britain, atheists and humanist organisations are keen to stress the cheerful side of atheism…What you see in Sartre represents that tradition in thought pointing to troubling aspects of accepting a world without God. There are difficulties involved. Primarily, it’s this issue around responsibility. Without God, there’s nothing to fall back on as an authority, nothing to tell us what the right way to live is, or what the correct moral code is, nothing to show us what makes life meaningful. We really do have to make that decision for ourselves.” Read more...
The best books on Atheism