My friend Dale McGowan recently published a book about atheism we’re not used to seeing: A reference book with letters, essays, blog posts, book excerpts, monologues, and all sorts of other writings by atheists — from all over the world and encompassing modern history. It’s called Voices of Unbelief: Documents from Atheists and Agnostics.
Because it’s a reference book that libraries will hopefully stock, he was able to tailor the material to a younger audience (high school and college students). Yes, there’s discussion of “Atheism in Ancient Judea” but there’s also “The Birth of Pastafarianism.” The downside is that it’s not cheap, but textbooks and reference books never are.
Here’s part of the book description:
Unlike most other anthologies of atheist writings, the collection goes beyond public proclamations of well-known individuals to include the personal voices of unbelievers from many walks of life. While readers will certainly find excerpts from the published canon here, they will also discover personal documents that testify to the experience of living outside of the religious mainstream. The book presents each document in its historical context, enriched with an introduction, key questions, and activities that will help readers understand the past and navigate current controversies revolving around religious belief.
Some of you may already be comparing this to Christopher Hitchens‘ The Portable Atheist. While that’s a great text for people interested in the philosophy of disbelief (Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, A.C. Grayling, etc.), I wasn’t all that engaged by it. That’s perfectly fine — Hitchens obviously had his audience — but I just want to note that the material in these books are far from overlapping.
Right now, Dale is giving away three signed copies of his book. All you have to do to enter in the drawing for the book is join or donate to Foundation Beyond Belief. More information is on his site, so check it out!
Then, tell your schools and libraries to order this book.
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