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Book Title: The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays|
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The author of the book: Percy Bysshe Shelley
Edition: Prometheus Books
Date of issue: June 1st 1993
ISBN 13: 9780879757748
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.43 MB
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The great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), best known for such masterpieces as "Ode to the West Wind" and "Prometheus Unbound," also expressed his ideas on religious oppression in works of impassioned prose.
The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays features five anti-religious tracts by Shelley: "On Christianity," "The Necessity of Atheism" (which resulted in the youthful Shelley's expulsion from Oxford in 1811), "On Life," "On a Future State," and "A Refutation of Deism." Like his great poems, these extol the spirit of man and argue that Christianity, with its repressive belief system, is wholly out of keeping with human ideals and aspirations.
A philosopher as well as a poet, Shelley argues that the divine attributes of God are merely projections of human powers; life everlasting cannot be empirically demonstrated, for it runs counter to all the evidence for mortality given by the natural world, which is the only world we know.
During his brief life, Shelley affronted the armies of Christendom with a single-minded purpose. As Shelley observes in his dialogue "A Refutation of Deism," there can be no middle ground between accepting revealed religion and disbelieving in the existence of a diety - another way of stating the necessity of atheism.
In all, these essays provide an important statement of the poet and freethinker's enlightened views on skepticism, faith, and the corruption of organized Christianity
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Read information about the authorPercy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyric poets of the English language. He is perhaps most famous for such anthology pieces as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and The Masque of Anarchy. However, his major works were long visionary poems including Alastor, Adonais, The Revolt of Islam, Prometheus Unbound and the unfinished The Triumph of Life.
Shelley's unconventional life and uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong skeptical voice, made him a authoritative and much denigrated figure during his life. He became the idol of the next two or three generations of poets, including the major Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, as well as William Butler Yeats and poets in other languages such as Jibanananda Das and Subramanya Bharathy. He was also admired by Karl Marx, Henry Stephens Salt, and Bertrand Russell. Famous for his association with his contemporaries John Keats and Lord Byron, he was also married to novelist Mary Shelley.
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