Believers have their Bibles, Torahs, Korans etc. Shouldn't us atheists have our own bible too? So that we are not defined negatively in terms of what we don't believe (i.e. we don't believe in the supernatural, gods or God, miracles, an afterlife etc) but a statement that defines positively what many of us do believe?

I am an atheist and independent thinker in New Jersey. My recently finished book A bible for atheists tries to do exactly that: positively answer all of the big questions in a compact ethical guide. It is built around a new conception of fate and free will, integrating ideas about causation, human agency, the emotions, rights and politics and the meaning of life. It is not intended as a vehicle to convert believers into non-believers, although it tries to distinguish the good effects of religion from the malevolent ones. It is "a bible" not "The Bible" since I believe that many approaches to atheism are possible, and I offer just one approach. I see it as a work-in-progress; as I learn more, I'll try to make improved versions, and I encourage people who are smarter and more knowledgeable than me to consider writing their own bibles for atheists.

Amazon will allow me to offer it free in e-book form in the next 90-day period, so if you'd like a free e-book it will probably be in August (I'll let people know). If you have Kindle Unlimited, the book is free. The lowest Amazon lets me price it is $2.99 (e-book) and $5.99 (paperback). If reviewers would like a free paperback from Amazon to you I can possibly arrange it but my funds are limited.

So I hope my book helps to advance atheism. Best to everybody, stay safe. -- tom

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Comment by tom sulcer on April 9, 2020 at 11:44am

To Loren Miller:

Yes, the works you've cited are good ones. If you're reading A bible for atheists, check out pages 26 through 34 first about free will; I argue that ethics builds upon a correct understanding of this concept. My book assumes that readers haven't done much thinking about religion and atheism, as if it's targeted to teenagers and young adults primarily, and it's clear by the comments here that most people are quite advanced. I wrote my book in sections for easy skipping. Still, I feel that there is profoundly new and important ideas in my book that, once you read it, you'll say, yes, that's right. That's how it all fits together. 

Comment by tom sulcer on April 9, 2020 at 11:40am

To Grinning Cat: yes, I've come across The Good Book: A Secular Bible but I feel mine is much better, more comprehensive, addresses the deep questions in a simpler, more integrated way. No other book builds upon a deterministic answer to the problem of fate and free will, which allows for human agency. 

Comment by tom sulcer on April 9, 2020 at 11:38am

To Frankie Dapper:

I don't understand why you might equate 'A bible for atheists' with being a dreaded 'ism'. I, too, oppose nazism and fascism and communism, and I favor classical liberalism -- free markets, democracy, civil rights and the rule of law. In one respect, my book is a path toward good government. Further, if you did check out my book, you'd come across why emotions are harmful, including you, hating, and why it is illogical and counterproductive. Other texts, in my view, adequately chronicle the failings and malevolence of religion. 

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 9, 2020 at 11:29am

I hate the idea. 

Shouldn't we atheists have our own bible? Hell no! Would we want to retain the trappings of nazism or communism so that we are understood by the oppressors? I have no use for accommodation of bad isms. There is no problem or reluctance on my part to shine a light on the evil ism without having to opine on my views. Atheism is not a philosophy and it is a crying shame that the word exists. 

What the atheist scholars ought to do is an encyclopedia of the harms caused by religion. It would provide a great resource for those who are questioning their indoctrination. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 9, 2020 at 10:43am

Also worth a look: A. C. Grayling's The Good Book: A Secular Bible (or ...A Humanist Bible, depending on which side of the pond you buy it on).

Comment by Loren Miller on April 9, 2020 at 10:00am

While I wouldn't refer to any of them as "bibles," I have several references which I value at least as high as believers do their holy book.  Those references range from Dawkins' The God Delusion and Seth Andrews' Deconverted to Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and The Notebooks of Lazarus Long, both of which I cite frequently. I value those and many others for their keen insight on the nature of reality, the human animal, and how it behaves at the best and worst of times.

That said, I will have a poke at your opus and see what it is you got. Thanks for the heads-up.



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