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The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer

Original language:
Da Capo Press
Anthology, philosophy and religion
Publication year:

A huge collection of writings by atheists about religion, faith, non-religion, reason, science, and logic, with biographical information on each author. Some of them are pretty dated, but they're interesting nonetheless.

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Table of Contents:
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  • Lucretius: De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) – Books I, II, III, V, translation by W. Hannaford Brown
  • Omar Khayyám: Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Paraphrase from Several Literal Translations by Richard Le Gallienne
  • Thomas Hobbes: "Of Religion", from Leviathan
  • Benedict de Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise
  • David Hume: "The Natural History of Religion", "Of Miracles"
  • James Boswell: "An Account of My Last Interview with David Hume, Esq."
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley: "A Refutation of Deism"
  • John Stuart Mill: "Moral Influences in My Early Youth", from Autobiography
  • Karl Marx: Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
  • George Eliot: "Evangelical Teaching"
  • Charles Darwin: Autobiography
  • Leslie Stephen: "An Agnostic's Apology"
  • Anatole France: "Miracle" from Le Jardin d'Épicure
  • Mark Twain: "Thoughts of God", from Fables of Man; "Bible Teaching and Religious Practice", from Europe and Elsewhere and A Pen Warmed Up in Hell
  • Joseph Conrad: author's note to The Shadow Line
  • Thomas Hardy: poem "God's Funeral"
  • Emma Goldman: "The Philosophy of Atheism"
  • H. P. Lovecraft: "A Letter on Religion"
  • Carl Van Doren: "Why I Am an Unbeliever" from Twelve Modern Apostles and Their Creeds
  • H. L. Mencken: "Memorial Service" from A Mencken Chrestomathy
  • Sigmund Freud: from The Future of an Illusion, translated and edited by James Strachey
  • Albert Einstein: Selected Writings on Religion
  • George Orwell: From A Clergyman's Daughter
  • John Betjeman: poem "In Westminster Abbey"
  • Chapman Cohen: "Monism and Religion" and "An Old Story" from Essays in Freethinking
  • Bertrand Russell: "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"
  • Philip Larkin: poems "Aubade" and "Church Going"
  • Martin Gardner: "The Wandering Jew and the Second Coming"
  • Carl Sagan: The Demon-Haunted World, and "The God Hypothesis" from The Varieties of Scientific Experience
  • John Updike: from Roger's Version
  • J. L. Mackie: "Conclusions and Implications", from The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God
  • Michael Shermer: "Genesis Revisited: A Scientific Creation Story"
  • A. J. Ayer: "That Undiscovered Country"
  • Daniel C. Dennett: "Thank Goodness!"
  • Charles Templeton: "A Personal Word" from A Farewell to God, and "Questions to Ask Yourself"
  • Richard Dawkins: "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God" from The God Delusion, "Gerin oil", and "Atheists for Jesus"
  • Victor Stenger: "Cosmic Evidence" from God: The Failed Hypothesis
  • Daniel C. Dennett: "A Working Definition of Religion" from Breaking Which Spell?
  • Elizabeth Anderson: "If God is Dead, Is Everything Permitted?"
  • Penn Jillette: "There Is No God"
  • Ian McEwan: "End of the World Blues" (original contribution)
  • Steven Weinberg: "What About God?" from Dreams of a Final Theory
  • Salman Rushdie: " 'Imagine There's no Heaven': A Letter to the Six Billionth World Citizen" (updated and expanded)
  • Ibn Warraq: "The Koran" and "The Totalitarian Nature of Islam" from Why I Am Not a Muslim
  • Sam Harris: "In the Shadow of God", from The End of Faith
  • A. C. Grayling: "Can an Atheist Be a Fundamentalist?" from Against All Gods
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali: How (and Why) I Became an Infidel (original contribution)

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