"Of all the questions you might want to ask / about angels, the only one you ever hear / is how many can dance on the head of a pin." -- Billy Collins, bio {Others' quotes}


"The Unbelievers" -- A Book Review

"The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism," by S.T. Joshi
When the priest asks him why, with his days numbered, he still has not turned to God, Meursault, the death row inmate in Albert Camus’s “L’Étranger,” exclaims, “I just didn’t have the time to interest myself in what didn’t interest me.” By contrast, a new book introduces us to an array of individuals who, while sharing Meursault’s religious nonbelief, most certainly do not share in his insouciance. ...

Joshi’s book is structured in 14 chapters, each focusing on an individual whom he credits with advancing contemporary atheism (a term to which one must affix countless definitional footnotes; for Joshi’s purposes, and ours here, it is used loosely to include “agnostics,” “freethinkers,” “brights,” “de factos,” and others). He begins, appropriately, with the British scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, who could fairly be described as Charles Darwin’s self-appointed publicist in the later half of the 19th century, and culminates with another Briton, today’s well known “anti-theist” journalist and essayist, Christopher Hitchens.
Author also includes Leslie Stephen, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Clarence Darrow, H. L. Mencken, Bertrand Russell, H. P. Lovecraft, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Gore Vidal, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris.
SOURCE: By Stuart Whatley in The Christian Science Monitor

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