Atheist Bible?

In general, I find atheists need a unifying tome about as much as men need nipples. I’m of the opinion that to properly educate yourself on morality, ethics and philosophy, you need more than what a single book can provide; you need a lifetime of education, thought and what some would call “soul searching”; the act of reflecting on one’s actions.

Our general dislike of sacred tomes hasn’t bothered Professor AC Grayling, the president of the British Humanist Association. He’s recently written an “atheist bible” in the hopes of providing a useful, overarching guide for non-believers:

Without any reference to gods, souls or afterlives, it [the book] aims to give atheists a book of inspiration and guidance as they make their way in the world.

I’ll reserve my judgement until after I’ve read it, but I generally dislike this sort of publicity. It lends credence to the idea people need “manuals” for living their lives. Some of the most contemptible people in history have lived according to such doctrine, and I like atheism specifically BECAUSE we don’t bother with that nonsense. Still, I did like the comment of one religious commentator:

You might think that Christians would find such a book an insult to their own Good Book, but not Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.
If anything, however, Rev Dr Fraser believes that The Good Book is a bit tame, a little “cheesy”, in comparison with the “full-blooded version”.

Yeah, it’s cheesy when you don’t have stories about rape, incest, murder and genocide, right? Now that’s the “full-blooded” shit we should all be reading!

Comments (3)

  • avatar

    I evolved from an ape, whats your excuse?

    I think there are some that would benefit, but I have to say in my opinion that it’s a bad idea. The problem I have is that right now on this site we all have individual ideas, formed from many different experiences, educations, cultures, and I would hate to turn this great thing we have going into an argument about a book. I enjoy having no real set of standards for Atheism, well apart from our general thirst for knowledge and common sense, we have an unwritten code of sorts and I think that encourages people to educate themselves rather than rely on a “manual” for answers.

  • avatar

    The Big Blue Frog

    I tend to agree. This kind of thing just lends credence to the claims of believers, that we’re just a religion with our own holy books, our own gods and our own faiths.

    Stop giving them ammunition.

  • avatar


    Not sure an Atheist Bible is needed or even possible. Atheism isn’t about morality or a way to live your life, beyond living it as though there is no God. There is no doctrine of morality associated with Atheism.

    Humanism may be more compatible with the idea, however.

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