The Atheist’s Bible. Literally. June 17, 2007

The Atheist’s Bible. Literally.


The Atheist’s Bible is a book by Joan Konner, a former dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

It’s mostly a collection of quotes and aphorisms that an atheist can enjoy on the beach, on the couch, and on the toilet.

(Oh, you know you do it.)

Carlin Romano, book critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has a lot of great things to say about this collection, especially when compared to the “heavier” atheist books that are out there:

The Atheist’s Bible organizes hundreds of aphorisms and excerpts to sway an uncertain mind – that is, a mind uncertain about both God’s existence and whether it wants to spend valuable summer time plowing through Dennett, Dawkins or Hitchens.

So consider The Atheist’s Bible your atheism beach book, your big-A graphic novel, your Atheism for Dummies, a slim book that permits you to feel like a high-achieving apostate every 20 seconds while you build up strength for serious blasphemy when cooler weather returns.

One payoff of The Atheist’s Bible, for nonbelievers, is that it provides ammunition for second-round retorts. “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic,” remarked George Bernard Shaw, “is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.”

Romano also gets a lot of other good lines in the article:

… [The book] reminds us that before D, D and H – the current Three Musketeers of Non-Belief – there were Aristotle, Hume, Voltaire, Tom Paine, George Eliot, George Santayana, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Simone de Beauvoir, Katharine Hepburn and a slew of others.

Not a bad dinner party – or reality show. Such secularists expressed many of the atheistic thoughts and arguments we read today, albeit in more elegant prose.

If atheism’s going mass, after all, you need not just a sacred text but an easily portable one.

The Atheist’s Bible… gains its more-than-tchotchke credibility from the authority of its creator – an odd standard to apply to a pro-atheism book, but there you are.

The book just came out last week, so get it while it’s fresh!

[tags]atheist, atheism, The Atheist’s Bible, Joan Konner, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer, God, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Atheism for Dummies, George Bernard Shaw, Aristotle, David Hume, Voltaire, Tom Paine, George Eliot, George Santayana, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Simone de Beauvoir, Katharine Hepburn[/tags]
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  • Kevin Malone

    I’m a big fan of quotation collections, and I’m certainly a fan of freethought quote collections, but what I’d like is a quotation collection that sources its quotes well. That is hard to find.

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