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 30, 2020 at 4:57pm

To Compelledunbeliever, I agree about the title. I scratched my head for quite a while trying to come up with the best title, and frankly there are not many good options. I agree that it is not a good idea to try to come up with a one-size-fits-all book for all atheists, since we are a diverse group with differing views, which is one of our strengths. So that's why I chose 'A bible' instead of 'The bible' and used lowercase letters to suggest that it is only one of many possible 'bibles'. So it is my hope, in part, that this book will inspire others to craft their own bibles, to say what's what, since I think it's a huge deficiency that atheists don't have anything resembling a book to counter that of believers. Amazon will allow me to make it free again in August for a 5 day stretch, I'll try to let people know when that happens, if people are interested.

Comment by Compelledunbeliever on April 30, 2020 at 4:15pm

 I will definately get it and check it out. For me the Title is off putting as it suggest it is an all inclusive work and frankly though I may agree with you in content, I would not like any work that "defines" atheist postions. Rather  I prefer one that simply proffers common atheist positions as atheist have as much variety of opinions as golfers.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 11, 2020 at 5:36pm

Tom, what are you smoking?  

Beliefs and ideas are not synonyms. Notice how you used those words interchangeably. And no..NO, NO, NO, NO..not everybody has their own religion. Such nonsense! Religion requires an active rejection of the natural world. I am not going to spell it out for you. I have to assume you are sufficiently aware to know better.

You have another item dead wrong. Each of us has a bible? Again, whacha smoking? A bible is a text that has been changed countless times. It is BS from make-believe on high. It is not rationally centered. It requires its adherents to be mindless recipients of dogma. So calling a compendium of ideas a bible is a serious misnomer. 

Your last paragraph is also nonsense. I doubt any of us have stopped questioning or have formed a world view that is not subject to modification. I know i haven't. 

Comment by tom sulcer on April 11, 2020 at 1:53pm

As I see things, everybody has their own religion, meaning, a pattern of beliefs about how the world works, what is good and true, about what happens after we die. Even within the established religions, there is considerable variation, say among Catholics, such as having various ideas about transubstantiation or what a possible afterlife might be like. Even among atheists, ideas vary. Some have the idea that "I don't need a church to meet in" (I agree, although isn't this site, in effect, a sort of 'church' where you are 'worshiping'?)

I am an atheist. But I have particular ideas about how things work, what constitutes good, and so forth. What I've done is written down my guesses in A bible for atheists. It is just that -- bible, not The Bible. Like it or not, each one of us has our own bible, except Frankie and Michael, yours are not written down, although your comments below are a step in this direction. I am not trying to impose my belief system on other atheists. I think other atheists have their own ideas.

Nevertheless, I think it is good to describe our varying beliefs as a way to get a better handle on what each of us, individually, thinks. It is an opportunity for us to grow. So, folks, don't beat yourself up with your comments, or show off the fact that you have finished making your assessments and have decided not to keep questioning, as if you are proud of that, as if you have all the answers. It is hard to explore new ideas, to test oneself intellectually, and be open-minded, so give yourselves a break.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 11, 2020 at 10:40am

Yeah, Michael, yeah!!

Comment by Michael Penn on April 11, 2020 at 9:29am

As an atheist I need my own bible about as much as I need an atheist church to meet in. The reason behind my remarks is that I am not and will not become just another religion. The atheist name itself means "without god." Bald is NOT just another hair style. Sorry.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 9, 2020 at 12:16pm

I am outie. 

Insufficient perspicacity. 

Comment by tom sulcer on April 9, 2020 at 12:07pm

To Frankie Dapper:

What is your sense of 'trappings'? Is what your saying something along the lines of this: that you are an atheist, but any formal attempt to install it as an alternative religion is not good, and therefore when you see the word 'bible' attached to one view (and mine's only one view: that's why I call my book a bible and not The Bible) then you think my book is an attempt to establish some kind of organized religion?

If that's the essence of your thinking, well I'm in agreement with you, mostly. I don't want to establish a church, sheesh. I do think my ideas can help people. I also have the belief that no matter what we do, religion will always be around, unfortunately. Plus I agree with you about emotions being inevitable, but I think that we can get a greater measure of control over them -- provided we get the proper sense of human free will. And that is key for living a better life. Which is in my book that you'll never read. That's fine -- it's all fated. :)

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 9, 2020 at 11:56am

Tom, you did not read well what i wrote. I did not equate a bible for atheists with dreaded isms. I said TRAPPINGS. I feel the same way about The Unitarian/Universalist churches which have high percentages of atheist. Same for an atheist calling himself Brother so and so. To all of those trappings i say yuck. If you want to publish a book of your views, your philosophy then i say that is cool. But calling it a bible is not cool-at least not for me. To each her own.

Emotions are harmful? Emotions are inevitable. We and other mammals evolved to have emotions. I am an anti-theist. I don't hide that. As to hate there is a dualism. There is the day to day reactions in which hate is an accurate descriptor. And then there is the philosophical contemplation in which i know the idea of free will is a joke. In that state of mind there is no hatred. 

Comment by tom sulcer on April 9, 2020 at 11:51am

I have a general question for those interested. See if you can answer this one.

Suppose I ask you, in a few seconds after reading this, to do something totally unplanned, out-of-the-blue, so that even you, right now, at this moment, don't know what you are going to do. You are about to exercise your un-caused, spontaneous power of free will. So that when you do it in a few seconds time, you totally surprise yourself. To clarify, nothing in your past possibly explains what you are about to do. 

Question: can you do it? 

I'm saying you can't. Nobody can. But enlighten me if you think you can.

The problem is this: if we can't do anything spontaneously, as if everything we do is caused by the past (in philosophy, called determinism as you know) then how can you, yourself, have free will? Why do you THINK that you have free will when a better explanation is that we are all creatures caused by the past -- our actions, our thoughts, from the past, totally controlling what we do? Hmmmm? 

A puzzle, is it not? This one bothered all of the ancient philosophers. It's a tricky one. 

Well, I have an answer to this puzzle in my book. See pages 26-34. Plus, how getting this right informs how humans should behave and cope with the world. It's something that pretty much all religions get wrong. Tell me if you think I'm right. I'm always open to new ideas. -- tom



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