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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever - John Updike, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Christopher Hitchens, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Conrad, Ibn Warraq, Martin Gardner, Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, A.C. Grayling, Pe

bookshelves: essays, philosophy, nonfiction, published-2007, winter-20132014, tbr-busting-2014, sciences, fraudio

Read from January 03 to 05, 2014


The Portable Atheist read by Nicolas Ball

anthology of atheist writing through the ages.

1. Introduction by Christopher Hitchens
2. Lucretius: from the Nature of Things
3. Kayyam: A paraphrase from several literal translations
4. Hobbes: Of Religion
5. Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise
6. Hume: Natural History of Religion
7. Hume: Of Miracles
8. Boswell: An account of my last interview with Hume
9. Shelley: A Refutation of Deism
10. Stuart Mill: Moral Influences in My Early Youth
11. Marx: Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy
12. George Eliot: Evangelical Teaching (Yes! THAT Eliot of Middlemarch fame)
13. Darwin: Autobiography
14. Stephens: An Agnostic Apology
15. France: Miracles
16. Twain: Thoughts of God
17. Twain: Bible Teachings and Religious Practice
18. Conrad: author's note
19. Hardy: God's Funeral
20. Goldman: The Philosophy of Atheism
21. Lovecraft: A Letter On Religion
22. Freud: The Future of an Illusion
23. Einstein: Selected Writings on Religion
24. Russell: An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish
25. Rushdie: Imagine There's No Heaven: A letter to the Sixth Billionth World Citizen


“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Russell's essay was the longest and the most engossing, however for beauty, it was hard to beat Kayyam's advocation of love over belief. To be kept for a re-visit at some point.

Please could the next person to wade through these essays leave a note for me about which Pope who was solicited for help by RSPCA and had it turned down because animals don't have souls. I don't think a name was mentioned. If this was published 2007 then that would make it Benedict XVI but as Themis-Athena points out, Benedict had a dog at one stage. Thanks.


4* Arguably
4* The Portable Atheist
TR Mortality
TR God Is Not Great

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