Atheism: The Basics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Atheism: The Basics

1st Edition

By Graham Oppy


182 pages

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Paperback: 9781138506961
pub: 2018-09-17
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Atheism: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to belief in the non-existence of deities. Atheism has long fascinated people but debate around this controversial position may seem daunting. In this lively and lucid book, Graham Oppy addresses the following important questions:

• What does it mean to be an atheist?

• What is the difference between atheism, agnosticism, theism and innocence?

• How has atheism been distributed over time and place?

• What does science tell us about atheism?

• Are there good reasons to be an atheist?

• Are there good reasons not to be an atheist?

• What do we mean by ‘new atheism'?

With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading throughout, the book considers key philosophical arguments around atheism, making this an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a full introduction to the arguments between those who hold atheistic beliefs and those who do not.


'This is an important, and notably even-handed, contribution to our understanding of atheism and atheists. It is fascinating, eye-opening, admirably careful, and always clear.'

Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle, Australia

'Oppy provides a concise, informative, and highly engaging introduction to the subject, dispelling many of the most common misconceptions about atheism and atheists. The biographical profiles of notable atheists in world history bring out the human side of atheism. If you are looking for a brief introduction to atheism, you cannot do better than this book.'

Neil A. Manson, University of Mississippi, USA

'This is an intriguing, fact-filled book that anyone interested in atheism and theism ought to read. Oppy is one of atheism’s foremost academic defenders and this book provides a succinct and accessible introduction to his thinking. Highly recommended.'

Stephen Law, Heythrop College, University of London, UK

'All in all, Oppy’s book is well written, lively and—for the most part—concise and accessible. The book does cover much, if not most, of the basics of atheism (as the series claims), and the inclusion of a glossary of key terms as well as suggestions for further reading make for a good starting point. '

Maartje Gortworst, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Table of Contents

  1. Hitching a Ride with Arthur Dent
  2. Setting the Record Straight
  3. Snapshots from History
  4. Facts and Figures
  5. Common Complaints
  6. Reasons and Arguments
  7. On the Road Again
  8. What to Read Next
  9. Glossary of Key Terms



About the Author

Graham Oppy is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University, Australia.

About the Series

The Basics

The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format.

Intended for students approaching a subject for the first time, the books both introduce the essentials of a subject and provide an ideal springboard for further study. With over 50 titles spanning subjects from Artificial Intelligence to Women’s Studies, The Basics are an ideal starting point for students seeking to understand a subject area.

Each text comes with recommendations for further study and gradually introduces the complexities and nuances within a subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: