Book Update

It’s been a long time in the making, but I’ve finished the tenth and final chapter of my book. Its title is “Into the Clear Air”, and it discusses the process of becoming an atheist, on an individual level, and the effort to organize atheists on a political level. As before, I’m open to editorial review from my readers; if you’ve read previous chapters and are interested in reading this one, let me know.

What’s next? I want to write a brief epilogue, then I need to go back over the book, do some editorial polishing, and straighten out all the footnotes. Then I think it will be ready for publication, assuming I can find a publisher who’s interested. I intend to make a complete draft of the whole book available for critique when it’s ready.

ISIS Is Bleeding Human History
Friday Night Music: First Aid Kit
You Got Your Ideology in My Atheism!
Atlas Shrugged: The Craft of Not Acting
About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Jack

    Awesome. I’m going to ask this question before the critics do: what will this book offer that Dawkin’s and other famous nontheists’ books don’t?

  • Susan B.

    I wasn’t aware you were writing a book! Given the quality of your posts here, I’m sure it will be excellent. I haven’t read previous chapters, but I’d be interested in reading this one.

  • Danny

    I would enjoy reading any and all of the chapters.

  • Prof.V.N.K.Kumar (India)

    Kindly include me in the list of previewers. All the chapters so far have included so many novel ideas and new perspectives that I feel it is a privilege to possess your published book and it is a greater privilege to watch its birth and growth.

  • Ebonmuse

    A very good question, Jack! I anticipate being asked that one many times more in the future, so let me try giving a precis of my answer now.

    I think the major way in which my book distinguishes itself from other atheist bestsellers is that it goes into more detail to present atheism and secular humanism as a fully formed worldview and a positive, meaningful alternative to religion. Authors like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens all touch on this topic, but only in a few passing thoughts or perhaps a chapter or two. I devote half the book to it.

    Certainly there’s nothing wrong with criticizing religion. My fellow nonbelievers are absolutely right to point out the evils that have been wrought in the name of faith; we have to clear that ground before we can build something there. I made sure to devote time and attention to that topic as well. But I wanted to spend at least an equal amount of time and effort on letting people know what we stand for as well as what we stand against.

  • aweb

    I hope the “editorial polishing” means employing some actual professional editors. I really like your posts, and you clearly have some excellent writing and editing skills, but a fresh eye with nothing invested (i.e., not one of us, the readers) can really push a piece of writing up a level.

    I don’t mean to be overly critical – the quality of writing at this site is certainly above almost anything else written in the blog format, as was the old “ebon musings” site. Focusing (and ending, apparently) on the upsides of non-belief sounds like a great way to go. Writing a whole book criticising religion would get a little tedious at this point – the arguments have been made already, and most boil down to the same things over and over.

    Good luck, and I look forward to the book!

  • Lynet

    Yes, please :-)

  • mikespeir

    I read the previous chapter and really liked it, but I’m going to have to take a pass on this one. Too much on my own plate right now. I am looking forward to the final product, though.

  • Jack

    Count me in!

  • stillwaters

    Wonderful news! The waiting has only encouraged the whetting of my appetite.

  • David D.G.

    What Susan B. said. Just on the basis of what I’ve seen of your writing here, I will happily look forward to buying this book whenever it comes out.

    ~David D.G.

  • Alex Weaver

    I’d like to read it as well.

  • John Nernoff

    Theists (lately D’Souza) constantly hammer away at the evils of atheistic Communism (Stalin mainly, who perhaps killed 60 million), Naziism (Hitler), Pol Pot and other avowedly atheistic societies as killing more people than all the religions put together. They minimize the Inquisition as having killed “only” about 2000, in comparison. Thus atheism cannot have a positive side and is profoundly immoral. PLEASE, I hope you have some iron clad, knockdowm rebuttals to this claim; I hope so given your abilities..

    Another topic which is seldom treated at length by the atheist literature is the concept of non-cognitivsm. What is “God” supposed to be in the first place? Is it anything more than a sky-man? I doubt it, but some theists retort that it is a “spiritual, timeless, profound and even mysterious” entity. They would never admit believing in the primitive idea of a humanoid in the sky, but I’ll bet that every concept of “God” starts out with that belief. Just look at all the anthropomorphic references in the Bible for starters. How can atheists reject a concept that they cannot define in the first place?

    Thanks. I’ll very likely buy your book when it comes out.

  • Samuel Skinner

    You guys, this isn’t going to be an antitheism book. Although that is what this blog is devoted to, given what Ebonmuse has implied it is going to be on ethics, morality, purpose and life.

    The best part is, unlike talking about atheism and theism, he has a higher chance of being wrong… and you know what that means? Sequels!

  • Nightshadequeen

    Any chance that your book will also be available on AmazonKindle?

  • Ebonmuse

    I’m not crazy about the idea of distributing my book through any digital platform that uses DRM (I don’t know if the Kindle does or not), but other than that, I’m open to distributing it through all reasonable channels.

  • lpetrich

    One might also mention how many Xian apologists dance the two-step between:

    * A crude anthropomorphic God who fixes football games and the like, who issues lots of laws, and who had demanded that people obey and finance his lieutenants.

    * An abstract God, like Thomas Aquinas’s “pure activity” or Paul Tillich’s “ground of being”, who is VERY difficult to describe.

    They push an anthropomorphic God to their followers, but when challenged, they often claim to believe in an abstract God, while never criticizing the anthropomorphic sort of God directly or being up front about how the anthropomorphism is really metaphorical.

    Thus, the Catholic Church never took Michelangelo’s famous Sistine-Chapel depiction of God and added a disclaimer saying that his anthropomorphic portrayal was metaphorical, let alone declare it heretical.

    Anthropomorphic gods are as old as history, and likely older, but abstract gods were first invented by various philosophers and theologians in various places. Aristotle’s God thinks only about itself and is completely static; it keeps the rest of the Universe going in a passive way, by being the goal which the Universe’s inhabitants seek. Spinoza’s God is all of reality, but he got excommunicated and denounced for that on the ground that that was no God at all.

  • Domyan

    Judging by your blog and your essays (I probably read more-or-less all of it) I honestly think that this book has a good chance of being even better read then those of the more well known atheists (the 4 horseman).
    Ebon Musings was the first really good pro-atheist site I came across and it’s still my favorite and for that I really thank you! I have long been of opinion that it’s really unbelievable how much really good material you have written and made publicly available (both better written and larger in volume than most of the published books covering a similar subject). This book is long overdue. You really stand out and I believe that in on of the future Dawkins books you will certainly receive more credit than just one quote :)
    I would certainly be honored if you would consider sending me a copy of the draft (this may be my first comment but I am a long time reader).
    Anyway, thank you again and best of luck with the publishing of what is sure to be a wonderful book!
    PS: I apologize for my clumsy English, not being a native speaker

  • Mathew Wilder

    I would enjoy very much reading the whole book and offering you some feedback.

  • DamienSansBlog

    I’m glad to see that your book is progressing! I agree with Aweb’s post; professional editing is always a must, even with copious feedback from your friends. Other than that, I wish you the best of luck!