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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2007 10:42:12 PM PST
A R says:
I find it surprising that Hitchens failed to include any text by Ludwig Feuerbach. Feuerbach happens to be the father of modern philosophical atheism and was publicly harassed by the German academic establishment during his lifetime because he was among the first to refute the nonsense of Christian cosmology.

Furthermore, Feuerbach adapted the notion of Spinozan immortality in a way shared by many scientists today who believe that humans can be considered immortal insofar as they form part of the cycle of matter and energy, which makes his thought all the more current.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 10:03:32 AM PST
I was a little surprised that there's no inclusion of anything by Ayn Rand. Sure, she's not exactly a favorite of the overwhelmingly left-leaning nonbeliever community, but it seems beyond debate that she was one of the most influential atheists of the 20th century.

Overall, I was pleased by The Portable Atheist, although I like the latter half of it (i.e. the more contemporary stuff) better than the first half.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 8:51:56 PM PDT
jpl says:
Thought proves nothing unless you can prove them. Anyone can believe anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 8:54:40 PM PDT
jpl says:
So what does anything you said prove?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:11:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012 8:58:13 AM PST
Nullifidian says:
Actually, Ayn Rand was one of the *least* influential atheists of the 20th century. Her 'influence' such as it is is confined to certain segments of the American far-right, and she's virtually unknown everywhere else in the world, including the UK. Also, Ayn Rand is ruled out of any anthology if good writing is a consideration for inclusion.

Anyway, did Ayn Rand ever say anything about atheism? It's doubtful. I've read a few of her works (both novels and nonfiction) and never came across it. I checked my generalization against the Ayn Rand Lexicon to ensure she didn't say something in one of the books I haven't read, and even it has to retreat to Leonard Peikoff for its entry on atheism.

Philosophically, Jean-Paul Sartre is by far a more influential 20th century figure, and even politically Rand's influence is dwarfed by V.I. Lenin.

In fact, the absence of Sartre and most of the continental philosophy tradition is one of the major weaknesses of this book. This is a very Anglophone book, with only five continental Europeans included (eight if you count the European expatriates Goldman, Conrad, and Einstein): Lucretius, Spinoza, Marx, Anatole France, and Freud.
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Participants:  4
Total posts:  5
Initial post:  Nov 19, 2007
Latest post:  Dec 17, 2012

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The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens (Paperback - November 6, 2007)
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