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Atheism: A Reader

by S. T. Joshi (Editor)

Other authors: A. J. Ayer (Contributor), Charles Bradlaugh (Contributor), Chapman Cohen (Contributor), Clarence Darrow (Contributor), Charles Darwin (Contributor)25 more, Benedict de Spinoza (Contributor), George Eliot (Contributor), Anthony Flew (Contributor), Anatole France (Contributor), Emma Goldman (Contributor), David Hume (Contributor), Thomas Henry Huxley (Contributor), Robert G. Ingersoll (Contributor), Walter A. Kaufmann (Contributor), W. E. H. Lecky (Contributor), H. P. Lovecraft (Contributor), Lucretius (Contributor), H. L. Mencken (Contributor), John Stuart Mill (Contributor), Friedrich Nietzsche (Contributor), Thomas Paine (Contributor), J. M. Robertson (Contributor), Bertrand Russell (Contributor), Carl Sagan (Contributor), Percy Bysshe Shelley (Contributor), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Contributor), Leslie Stephen (Contributor), Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d'Holbach (Contributor), Carl Van Doren (Contributor), Gore Vidal (Contributor)

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1843150,093 (3.89)6
This unique anthology assembles the best writings on atheism, agnosticism, and skepticism by some of the world's great thinkers past and present. Arranged to address the most significant questions pertaining to religious belief-the existence of God, immortality, the nature of religious belief, and religion in relation to science, ethics, politics, and society-the selections in this volume present a challenge to religion on all fronts. Included are Bertrand Russell and A. J. Ayer on the existence of God, Percy Bysshe Shelley on the "argument from design," Lucretius on life after death, David Hume on superstition, Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Christianity's demeaning influence on women's social status, Gore Vidal on modern American fundamentalism, and many other notable writers on controversial issues. Editor S. T. Joshi has carefully selected essays that are eloquent, poignant, satirical, and philosophically rigorous, and has also supplied explanatory annotations and a general introduction that succinctly and forcefully summarizes the atheistic critique of religion.… (more)
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
This volume is a must for all rationalists. As Joshi says in the Introduction, “This book…is intended only for those who profess an open mind on the subject of religion and religious belief” (10). No candy-ass stuff here – this is the real deal. Every rationalist, atheist, agnostic, and free-thinker I have ever heard of (and many I have not) are represented. Joshi has collected an excellent gateway to the literature of rationalism – one that also includes an extensive list for “Further Reading.” I always love these lists, and have built my library of rationalism over many years using these resources.
He has divided the collection into the usual sections, and presents the best of Thomas Huxley, Leslie Stephen, Emma Goldman, Bertrand Russell, John Stuart Mill, Antony Flew, David Hume, George Eliot, Carl Sagan, Thomas Paine, and Clarence Darrow. This brief list is of only some of my favorites from Joshi.
Only one author has two essays – Robert Ingersoll. I have a couple of Ingersoll’s works, but I had forgotten what a wonderful writer he was – especially when compared with some of the stiffs from the 18th century. Back in the '80s, I attended an American Humanist Association conference in Scarsdale, NY. I met Gloria Steinem and Corliss Lamont the father of 20th century humanism. The entertainment at the banquet on Saturday night was Roger Greeley, who performed a series of monologues from the writings of Ingersoll. He sold first editions of Ingersoll’s works, and I bought one along with a new collection and a signed poster of the event. I highly recommend Ingersoll for your philosophy/religion/rationalist bookshelf. 5 stars
--Jim, 11/8/07 ( )
1 vote rmckeown | Nov 9, 2007 |
atheism, history
  mtnasura | Mar 12, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joshi, S. T.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ayer, A. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradlaugh, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cohen, ChapmanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Darrow, ClarenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Darwin, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Spinoza, BenedictContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flew, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
France, AnatoleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldman, EmmaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hume, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huxley, Thomas HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ingersoll, Robert G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaufmann, Walter A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lecky, W. E. H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lovecraft, H. P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
LucretiusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mencken, H. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mill, John StuartContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nietzsche, FriedrichContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Paine, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robertson, J. M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, BertrandContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sagan, CarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shelley, Percy ByssheContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stanton, Elizabeth CadyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stephen, LeslieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thiry, Paul-Henri, baron d'HolbachContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vidal, GoreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This unique anthology assembles the best writings on atheism, agnosticism, and skepticism by some of the world's great thinkers past and present. Arranged to address the most significant questions pertaining to religious belief-the existence of God, immortality, the nature of religious belief, and religion in relation to science, ethics, politics, and society-the selections in this volume present a challenge to religion on all fronts. Included are Bertrand Russell and A. J. Ayer on the existence of God, Percy Bysshe Shelley on the "argument from design," Lucretius on life after death, David Hume on superstition, Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Christianity's demeaning influence on women's social status, Gore Vidal on modern American fundamentalism, and many other notable writers on controversial issues. Editor S. T. Joshi has carefully selected essays that are eloquent, poignant, satirical, and philosophically rigorous, and has also supplied explanatory annotations and a general introduction that succinctly and forcefully summarizes the atheistic critique of religion.

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