By Christopher Hitchens

From the number 1 New York Times best-selling writer of God isn't Great, a provocative and exciting guided travel of atheist and agnostic suggestion throughout the ages--with never-before-published items by means of Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Christopher Hitchens keeps to make the case for a wonderfully godless universe during this first-ever accumulating of the influential voices--past and present--that have formed his part of the present (and raging) God/no-god debate.

With Hitchens as your erudite and witty advisor, you’ll be led via a wealth of philosophy, literature, and clinical inquiry, together with beneficiant parts of the phrases of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, etc recognized and lesser identified. And they’re ready in context and commented upon as purely Christopher Hitchens--“political and literary journalist extraordinaire”

(Los Angeles Times)--can. Atheist? Believer? doubtful? irrespective of: The transportable Atheist will converse to you and interact you each step of the way.</Div>

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Additional resources for The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Sample text

He was less flamboyant in his criticism of religion than Baron d’Holbach or Edward Gibbon, with both of whom he was in contact, but his dry understatement and rigor are in many ways more persuasive. After his treatment, it was no longer possible to discuss miracles or the argument from so-called “design” with quite the same confidence as before. In the first passage here, Hume shows the man-made origins of faith and its reliance upon superstition. In the second, he subjects miraculous claims to a commonsense interrogation that reveals their spurious nature.

But if we consider, on the other hand, that spirit of praise and eulogy, which necessarily has place in all religions, and which is the consequence of these very terrors, we must expect a quite contrary system of theology to prevail. Every virtue, every excellence, must be ascribed to the divinity, and no exaggeration will be deemed sufficient to reach those perfections, with which he is endowed. Whatever strains of panegyric can be invented, are immediately embraced, without consulting any arguments of phænomena: It is esteemed a sufficient confirmation of them, that they give us more magnificent ideas of the divine objects of our worship and adoration.

Changing his name to Benedict, Spinoza lived until 1677, supporting himself as a grinder of lenses and continuing to publish his philosophical meditations. There are those who argue that he was not really an atheist because he never formally renounced the idea of a Supreme Being. However, once again the general climate of persecution makes it difficult to be certain of his innermost convictions. In his correspondence he would write the word Caute! (Latin for “take care”) and place a little sub rosa drawing of a rose underneath.

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