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Atheism for the 21st Century

Michael Ruse

Must atheism be trimphalist and aggressive? Philosopher and author of Science, Evolution and Religion Michael Ruse takes the New Atheists to task and argues for a richer, more respectful and more morally reflective tradition of non-belief.

  • michael ruse thumb 0
    Michael Ruse

About the Course

New Atheism has taken the world by storm. The God Delusion sold over 3 million copies and some of philosophy’s biggest names are flying the flag of the non-believer. Yet simultaneously Christianity is growing faster now than ever before worldwide.

During this course Michael Ruse takes a look at the history and philosophy behind atheism and discusses what role it can have in contemporary society. He argues that beyond anything else, atheism is a moral issue. Issues such as the problem of evil and the troubling nature of Church scandal are so worrying that we should be willing to consider atheism in a way that was previously unthinkable. Ruse highlights the crucial context of belief in European society from Ancient Greece to now and asks you to consider the arguments at hand for yourself.

 During this course you will learn about:

  • The complex nature of what ‘atheism’ means and what the alternatives really are.
  • The origins of natural and revealed theology and how they effect personal belief.
  • The most significant and influential arguments for and against God.
  • The moral centrality of religious faith in modern society.


Through video lectures, questions and suggested reading discover why atheism is perhaps the most important moral issue of our time. Share your ideas and support your learning through our discussion boards and test your knowledge through an end of course assessment.

About the Instructor

  • Michael Ruse

    Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor and Director of History and Philosophy of Science Program at Florida State University. Ruse is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and has been influential in the societal conversation about the relationship between religion and science in North America and beyond.

Course Syllabus

  • Part 1: The Origins of Belief
  • Part 2: Challenging God: New Atheism and Philosophy

Suggested Further Readings

Ruse, M (2004) 'Darwinism and Atheism: A marriage made in Heaven?' in Think 2 (6):51-62

Ruse, M (2015) Atheism: What Everyone Needs To Know, OUP