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Generation Atheist

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The human journey is an emotional quest to find truth and meaning.

Countless books have presented this journey through the eyes of people who concluded their search with devotion to God, salvation by Jesus, or commitment to religion.

But there's a changing zeitgeist in America and the world: a growing number of people are finding truth and meaning from the opposite perspecti
Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Dan Riley (first published September 28th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Riley interviewed 25 young atheists, who he met through CFI, and transcribed these interviews for the book. This technique allows the personality of each individual to shine in a unique way, and it felt as if I was meeting a new friend in each chapter. I was familiar with several of the atheists profiled: Jessica Ahlquist; JT Eberhard; Damon Fowler; and Hemant Mehta. Others were new to me before reading the book, and a few had rather dramatic stories.

The Kindle Edition

I read Generation Atheist o
A collection of essays written by college students or recently graduated professionals, this book details the struggles and fears faced when young adults must decide whether to come out as secularists or atheists. It was brilliantly constructed and I wish I could have known about something like it back in my high school or college days.
Nicholas King
Millenials are leaving religious affiliation in droves. Some of those young people are coming out as atheists. The causes for this increase in lack of religiosity are varied; each atheist can give a different reason or set of reasons why they abandoned faith. Generation Atheist by Dan Riley sets out to humanize a segment of the population generally mistrusted by the public at large. The stories presented in this book discuss the why, the how, and the effect of living without religion in a world ...more
Thom Watson
It's painful to rate this so low. I think books like this, putting a face on atheism, and a young face at that, are critically important.

But telling stories and putting a human face on secularism still requires good writing and better editing, and this book suffers from a lack, in general, of both.

Additionally, I don't know if it was purposeful or coincidental that nearly all of the essays (one or two exceptions, at most) came from an accommodationist perspective, but I wish it had been more bal
The fact that several of the people telling their stories in this book had to use pseudonyms tells you exactly why this book needed to be written. I enjoyed reading about all the different perspectives. I've heard of a small handful of these people and was familiar with their stories. There were a lot of familiar things in this book. One thing that struck me is that though most of these people grew up all over the United States, most of them said that where they grew up was one of the most relig ...more
This book was alright. Some inspiring stories, some human faces on both the atheist and the religious perspectives on things, but generally nothing overwhelmingly good or bad about this book. Fairly easy to read, probably would be very helpful to anyone struggling with coming out as an atheist or a developing atheist identity. Not so useful for someone who doesn't really struggle with religious/spiritual issues in this way anymore.
Matthew Talbert
Hear from young people why they are leaving religion in large numbers today. Religious people would do well to read this, instead of the very different accounts being pushed around the religious world today. To say it mildly, those accounts do not capture this movement like this book does.
Heath Workman
Interesting personal stories. Similar to "The Good Men Project" book, but relating to peoples struggles in religion.
Honest and sincere. This review is simple where this glimpse into these people's lives is anything but. The de rigueur connected to religion comes out through these stories, painfully so at times. It is in my mind that the self realization of nonbelief for the interviewees whether gradual or sudden, and the resulting changes in their lives was neither for their lack nor want to honestly and sincerely understand themselves and the world they live in. Their earnest endeavors were quite refreshing ...more
Keith Bowden
Very inspiring and both heartwarming and heartbreaking (more of the former, fortunately), with many diverse points of view and philosophies.
The chapter by Michael Amini is worth it by itself.
James H.
An interesting collection of first-hand accounts. Some of the contributors used pseudonyms, a testament to the powerful discrimination that atheists around the country and world face. I highly recommend reading their stories, whether you subscribe to religion or have abandoned it, so see the hold irrational superstitions can have over people's lives, and what happens when people free themselves from its grip. You may be shocked to see the treatment some of these people received at the hands of t ...more
Luke Morris
It's interesting to see how others come to the same conclusions as you. Reassures you that plenty of others went through their own sometimes damaging clinging onto old faiths before losing their religion and being just fine without it.

At the same time, the ugliness some face after declaring their disbelief shows you there's a long way to go to for the acceptance of atheism.

The author did a really good job finding diverse stories to share, so almost anyone picking it up will find at least a coupl
Jun 15, 2014 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mike by: Mike Foster
I felt like I could see a little in each de-conversion story that I had experienced myself in my own. Well worth the time to read. I did down rate it to 4 stars because the editing is not perfect and you will encounter the occasional typo.
Solid collection of "coming out" stories from the young and non-religious. The interviewees come from a diverse set of backgrounds but you'll find many similarities in their journeys and their feelings about coming to terms with their lack of religion.
More young people are leaving the church than ever. This book contains 25 testimonials that provide insight into why so many people of this generation are walking away from their religion. The book covers a variety of different faiths and interesting commonalities emerge as you read these accounts. The essays put a human face on the atheism movement and the struggles these young men and women face are often heartbreaking.
Ann Giammona
Fascinating stories of how adolescents, raised in religion, came to atheism. Highly readable.
Very relatable. It's always nice to know that you're not the only one, that there are people out there whom you can talk to and say "I've been there too" because for someone who has been in the minority for the longest time with no one to share your sentiments with, that's very empowering and life-changing.
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From 2008-2011, Dan Riley worked as a campus organizer in the outreach department at the non-profit think tank the Center for Inquiry. He got to know many secular student leaders during his time with CFI. Finding many of their personal journeys to atheism to be fascinating, compelling, and unique, he decided to create a book that tells their stories. The initial work that has resulted in Generatio ...more
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