Atheism and Reality
We can’t avoid the persistent questions about the meaning of life – and the nature of reality. Philosopher Alex Rosenberg maintains that science is the only thing that can really answer them – all of them. His new book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions, takes physics seriously as the complete description of reality and accepts all its consequences. He shows how physics makes Darwinian natural selection the only way life can emerge, and how that deprives nature of purpose, and human action of meaning, while it exposes conscious illusions such as free will and the self. The science that makes us nonbelievers provides the insight into the real difference between right and wrong, the nature of the mind, even the direction of human history. He is in discussion with Professor Samir Okasha, University of Bristol, author of Evolution and Levels of Selection and Philosophy of Science: a Very Short Introduction, and Julian Baggini, author of The Ego Trick: What Does it Mean to be Human.
This Festival of Ideas event is part of a regular series of live discussions with Julian Baggini recorded at Foyles for the microphilosophy podcast series.
Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Duke University and the codirector of the Duke Center for Philosophy of Biology. He lives in Durham, North Carolina. His books include: The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions.
Samir Okasha is Professor of Philosophy of Science. He joined Bristol University in September 2003; prior to that he worked at the University of York, the National University of Mexico, and the London School of Economics. He received his doctorate in 1998 from the University of Oxford. His books include Evolution and Levels of Selection and Philosophy of Science: a Very Short Introduction.
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