This is the fifth part of an attempt to define a core set of books that any Atheist, or anyone who wishes to know what Atheism is about, should read and have in his or her library.
You are in good company
As you know, there are millions of Atheists in America. Sometimes it is reassuring, or just fun, to know that many famous people are among those millions. It is more important to recognize, by these examples, that there are Atheists in all walks of life, performing all kinds of interesting or vital tasks, and providing counterexamples to every negative image or aspersion thrust upon us by the religious. There are several books (and web sites) that offer lists of famous Atheists along with brief quotations.
In The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God, Dan Barker gives us a brief polemic against the slavish existence promoted in Reverend Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven™ Life. This is followed by lists, organized by profession, of famous Atheists, giving a brief bio and a brief quotation or two from each.
2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt, by James Haught is a chronological list of Atheists, each with a short biography and several short quotations.
The Atheist’s Bible, edited by Joan Konner, is another categorized list of brief quotes from famous Atheists. The categories are a bit odd: “Book of Reason”, “Scientosophy”, and others.
Finally, The Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies, and Those Generally Hell-Bound, edited by Jack Huberman, lists well-known people in alphabetical order, along with their dates, professions, and one or a few quotations.