Monday, April 11, 2011

The Good Book -- A Bible for Atheists?

Do atheists really need a go-to book? An Atheists Bible, so to speak? I believe Christopher Hitchens tends to think so, judging by his book The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever. There's also a book actually called The Atheist's Bible, although it's just a collection of anti-religious quotes and musings. There's also the Jefferson Bible, actually titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, in which Jefferson took the Bible and stripped it of all miracles, supernatural BS, and claims of divinity.

Of course, there are the prominent books by the so-called "New Atheists" that many people consider atheistic Bibles of sorts: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, The End of Faith by Sam Harris, and Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett, among other books that were essentially rallying cries for atheists.

The Good Book: A Humanist BibleAccording to A.C. Grayling, however, none of the above quite fits the bill of a Bible for atheists. While I enjoyed all of the above books, I tend to agree with him. I also think the idea of a compendium of secular, humanistic ideals for non-theists to live by is a great step toward de-demonizing atheists, and giving people non-religious inspiration to lead good lives is always a great idea.

So, Grayling came up with his book, a compendium ideals and philosophies from prominent secular authors and thinkers. He calls it The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. He even went so far as to format it like the Christian Bible, with chapters, verses, and books. He really does want it to be the sort of thing that people memorize and quote from, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

Here's a story CNN did on the book:

And here's an interview with Grayling about his book (audio only, despite being a video):

-- Atheist Apologist --


  1. This is just unbelievably sad, Atheist Apologist.

  2. I love this wonderful book, and its kindly humanist philosophy. Thankyou Dr. Grayling!

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