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2000 Years of Disbelief

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  124 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Society rarely acknowledges the many and varied gifts that disbelievers give to the world. This insightful, witty collection sets the record straight by profiling dozens of famous people who were skeptical of conventional religious beliefs. Included, among others, are Isaac Asimov, W.E.B. DuBois, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Omar ...more
Hardcover, 459 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Prometheus Books (first published May 31st 1996)
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Ronald Wise
Jul 22, 2011 Ronald Wise rated it really liked it
A collection of short biographies and selected quotes of well-known individuals who have questioned the accepted religious beliefs of their times, this book provides a long-range perspective on the perpetual struggle between accepted metaphysical beliefs and individual rational thought. While most of the book is about freethinkers in the Christian world, the first chapter looks further back to great minds who questioned the theology of the Ancient Greeks and a Persian who questioned the teaching ...more
Kristen
Jun 02, 2012 Kristen rated it did not like it
I was really excited about this book when I read the blurb, but I got about 20% of the way through before deciding I just had to abandon it. The entire book seems to be merely short blurbs about individuals, followed by a random sample of their comments about religion. It seemed very much a copy/paste job with materials anyone could find through a simple Google search. I would not recommend this to anyone unless you just want a list of authors all collected together as a jumping off point for mo ...more
Denise
One of my favorite books!
Jerome Lusa
Oct 12, 2012 Jerome Lusa rated it it was amazing
Who knew!
Steve
Jan 21, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it
Shelves: thoughts
I'd been looking forward to this for a while. I thought, wow a book about the history of people throughout the ages to whom the idea of an all powerful deity is a little off. Instead what you get is a lot of name-dropping, quotes, often our of context, and a very badly put together inconsequential narrative. I would advise even the most rabid atheist to avoid this book at all costs (and it isn't cheap!). An awful book best avoided.
Tracy Black
Jun 27, 2009 Tracy Black rated it it was ok
This was not a book to curl up on the couch with. Haught wrote very short (mostly 1 page) biographies on historic figures, but many were not even atheists. Shakespere and Kepler? And then would have 1 to 2 pages of quotes. Reading that many quotes out of context was tiring.
I don't recommend this book unless you're an atheist looking for a new sig line.
Nick
Jul 06, 2010 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The reason it only gets a couple, is that it is a reference book more than a page turner. If you were writing an essay and wanted to pull some pithy quotes from luminaries who were atheists, this would help. But it's list making and that's rarely entertaining.
Reese Forbes
Mar 17, 2014 Reese Forbes rated it it was amazing
Rational thought prevails - the greatest thinkers of the last 2000 yrs (to 1996) were agnostics, atheists, Deists (nature is the nature of "god"}. Philosophers, scientists, poets, politicians, businesspersons, even those that came from a religious background reject dogma.
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James A. Haught was born in 1932 in a small West Virginia farm town that had no electricity or paved streets. He graduated from a rural high school with 13 students in the senior class. He came to Charleston, worked as a delivery boy, then became a teen-age apprentice printer at the Charleston Daily Mail in 1951. Developing a yen to be a reporter, Jim volunteered to work without pay in the Daily M ...more
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Ayer may be considered a practical atheist: one who sees no reason to worship an invisible deity.” 1 likes
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