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The Atheist's Bible: An Illustrious Collection of Irreverent Thoughts Hardcover – 18 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (18 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715637258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715637258
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 659,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A collection of 'irreverant thoughts' from notable atheists. Cheats slightly by quoting sceptical characters from plays and novels, many of them by believers or writers whose relationship with religion is uncategorisably complex (Graham Greene, Emily Dickinson). There's rather a lot of Arthur C Clarke and Wood Allen. But then there would be. --Time Out (4 Stars)

This slim, attractively produced volume will amuse nonbelievers and, ironically, cause them to spend hours reading about God and religion --Boston Globe

This slim, attractively produced volume will amuse nonbelievers and, ironically, cause them to spend hours reading about God and religion --Boston Globe

About the Author

Joan Konner is an award-winning journalist and documentary producer, winner of 16 Emmys and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By occasional reviewer on 29 Jan 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful. Everything the title promises.
As well as the well known quotes, there are many lesser known ones.
For instance on the cover, from Oscar Wilde
"When I think of all the harm [the bible] has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it. "
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. D. Russell on 9 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book should be prescribed reading for anyone who has doubts about their faith. For the atheist/agnostic it is meat and drink. I had no idea that so many illustrious people were of a similar mind to me. But if you are committed to a religion and also feel threatened by criticism then this book is definitely not for you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. P. Kilshaw on 6 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is extremely entertaining and brilliantly presented. Even If you are not an atheist this is a good read.
Including quotations from prominent men and women in both poliitics and entertainment, etc is a refreshing approach.
I believe this book will be liked by the religious and the atheists.This gives you a great insight in to the past and how religion was viewed over the ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Wood on 31 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading this book could be extremely beneficial to anyone who feels guilty because they're not sufficiently observant in their religion. Sadly, not many of that group are likely even to contemplate buying it.
However, a group that will enjoy it are all those atheists and agnostics who resent the religious believers who not only believe in god, but also believe that believing in god makes them better people than those who don't.

This little book will bring much relief.

D.L.W.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 4 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover
Producing books on "a-theism" have become something of a cottage industry. There are scholars such as Atran, Boyer and Lewis-Williams examining how humans deal with the spiritual realm. General science has finally entered the fray by demonstrating the lack of evidence for gods with Richard Dawkins' recent book. And philosophers have at last conceded religion is a proper topic for research investigation. Nearly all these works are by individual writers and an anthology of those works is now overdue.

This little tome offers readers a different tack, both in approach and style. On the bookstore shelf, the first thing one notices is the lack of an editor's credit. Fitting, as it's in line with the example set by its predecessor. There is no opening essay to explain or justify the publication of the book. A short disclaimer notes that some citations are from works of fiction and that authors don't always use fabricated characters as a mouthpiece for their own views. This, of course, immediately raises the question of out of context quotes. Each citation must, therefore, be considered on its face value.

The citations, which are derived from a broad chronology of human expressions, are arranged in "Books of" with a particular topic or individual as the focus. Some, such as "Genesis", bear little resemblance to the original model. Neither whipping up a universe, staffing it with an "Original Couple", and human submission to divine wrath appears. Instead, the issue of whether that scenario, or the idea that humans create their own gods should prevail is the central theme.

Other Books are more tightly focussed. One is given over to examining the role given women by the original combined with declarations of women over the years concerning that role.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Welland on 14 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Agnostic's Bible might have been a better title.The quotes range from the flippant to the serious but all make you think. Those who might be offended by it are those who should buy it. I was surprised by some of the people quoted and also by its historical depth, there have been doubters for a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BenB on 13 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book is fun and full of poignant phrases and irreverent thoughts from the good and great. I bought two copies as pressies for Xmas, one went astray in the post and the seller promptly sent me another copy. No hesitation in dealing with this seller in the future. Thanks Southwest Books!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on 1 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
Despite the daffy subtitle there's more wisdom than wit here; this delectable compilation will give anyone food for thought, of whatever persuasion. Check out Emily Dickinson, for instance; she has 8 quotes and she's often taken as being of God's party. The American bias means we're spared midget wrestlers like Gray, Grayling and ex-episcopal Richard Holloway. Karen Armstrong, the former nun who rejected God but still seems to need Him, gets one shot. The 'Common Virtue' section is about the wooziest, embracing the Dalai Lama, Helen Keller and Ella Wheeler Wilcox*! Philosophers (Colin McGinn, Bernard Williams) fare less well than someone like Gypsy Rose Lee: 'Praying is like a rocking chair - it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.' But it should swap titles with Christopher Hitchen's optimistically titled Portable Atheist

* she of 'Laugh, and the world laughs with you/Weep, and you weep alone'. These days crying would get you the sympathy vote
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