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Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,770 ratings  ·  110 reviews
This tightly argued, hugely controversial work convincingly demonstrates how the world's three major monotheistic religions-Christianity, Judaism, and Islam-have attempted to suppress knowledge, science, pleasure, and desire, often condemning nonbelievers to death. If Nietzsche proclaimed the "Death of God," Onfray starts from the premise that not only is God still very mu ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike
My beef with the book is not that he is atheist, or militantly so. So what. Smart and militant atheists are in ever-increasing supply these days, so it's hardly a shock to read their work. This is just not a good book. The blurb says that this book is "tightly argued." Ummm....no. It is hardly argued at all. It is asserted. Assertion after assertion goes unsupported by evidence or reasoning. I'm telling you, my respect for philosophy as an enterprise--especially when compared to folks who make a ...more
Lee Holz
“Atheist Manifesto” is more than a bit disappointing although the subtitle “The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam” accurately describes the book. What author Onfray is against and why is abundantly clear. What he advocates and why are much less so, or at least the arguments are unexamined.
Onfray’s “case against” rests on several grounds: (a) belief in God is irrational and not grounded in reality; (b) the three great monotheistic religions are focused on the hereafter to the detrimen
...more
Susan Wood
Onfray is a contemporary philosopher and writer. Even so, this book is quite readable ;-).

His writing style is almost conversational, at times argumentative and punctuated with ironic interjections. It took me a couple of a chapters to get used to it, to ensure that I wasn't misreading his point.

If I dare to distill his argument, it would be this: Humanity's current struggle between secular and non-secular ideologies is evidence that we are transitioning into a post-Christian era. But most often
...more
Jordan Lari
Sep 04, 2007 Jordan Lari rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I do not exaggerate at all when I say that I think this might be the most important book that's been published this century. For me, it was like finally reading through the exact system of beliefs that I've held for my entire life, but written down in a logical order, such that their validity and logic cannot be questioned. And though the revolution may not yet have won, if you look at the success of this book combined with the success of Sam Harris' "The End of Faith," and Dawkins' "The God Del ...more
Owlseyes
"Comme bien souvent le psychanalyste soigne autrui pour mieux éviter d’ avoir à s´interroger trop longuement sur ses propes fragilités, le vicaire des Dieux monothéistes impose son monde pour se convertir plus sûrement jour aprés jour".

"L´athéisme n´est pas une thérapie mais une santé mentale recouvrée".



Some time (2013) ago I had written some reflections about Onfray’s criticism on Psychoanalysis. They follow next….because they approach religion as well. They serve as introduction to my approac
...more
Daniel Solera
I wasn't too thrilled with this book, not because of its subject matter, but because of the way in which it was written. I like my non-fiction to be structured, succinctly delivered and substantiated by data. Michel Onfray's "Atheist Manifesto" is not a "God Delusion" (Dawkins) or an "Atheist Universe" (Mills), in that it is meant to be read like a philosophical treatise, and not a systematic examination of religious practices. It also doesn't help that I read a translation from the French.

Thoug
...more
Nat
The translation from the French makes for reading that is a little labored at times, but worth the effort. In terms of the recent flood of atheist manifestos, this one stands out as being particularly critical of the three monotheistic religions. A no-holds-barred, scathing criticism on monotheism. One of the things I learned was how the Church influenced who and who was not 'remembered' as part of the Enlightenment. Only the critics that were gentler seem to have made in into the mainstream of ...more
Andreea
Great book overall with excellent, solid points to support not only atheism but the idea of religion (in particular, the three main monotheistic religions) as being oppressive on numerous levels. The book includes historical and textual evidence to support the claims and hypotheses made and is not an account built on personal opinion alone.

As a theist, I made a promise to myself to leave all bias aside when reading this book and attempt not to take things personally. Onfray's language can get a
...more
Jonathan Karmel
Talk about preaching to the converted! This book didn't make any case against Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The author must believe that his opinions are true just because he has read a lot of books, has a large vocabulary and is extremely sardonic.

This book mainly makes fun of the three major, monotheistic religions by making a bunch of sarcastic remarks to indicate that religion has been used to justify a lot of terrible things throughout history and the sacred texts cannot literally be tru
...more
Lynley
If you've already read Dawkins' The God Delusion, the style of this book may be a little unexpected. Perhaps it's the French translation - I was slightly annoyed by the exclamatory style - do French authors make use of more exclamation marks? I feel this style of writing detracts from any argument, especially when compared unavoidably with the cold logic of Richard Dawkins.

I considered abandoning the book, but flipped further forward to see if my interest would take hold, and I did end up readin
...more
Al Bità
It’s all rather simple, really: there are no gods.

Trying to get this simple message across, however, has not always been simple. In general, people have become so used to having the familiar figures of their gods so imbedded and integrated into their lives that emotionally they cannot seem to shake themselves out of their stupors: they feel a loss of identity, of culture, of difference, of rituals, of all those things that they have been taught are the essentials to their various faiths. They se
...more
Mark
Michel Onfray must be a reason that American Christians do not like the French. Take Sam Harris and George Smith (both atheist writers) and add a bit of French snobbery and you've got Onfray. This book is not altogether thorough, but presents its material, if not completely fairly, at least fairly credibly. It is not too long (245 pgs), but combs through quite a bit of material. It is a great introduction to many atheistic theories and viewpoints concerning religious belief. Onfray divides his t ...more
Philippe Malzieu
300,000 specimens for that. To my knowledge no religion exert in France a sufficient magister to endanger the Republic. Such a pulling can only leave perplexed.
In a surprising way, Onfray is undoubtedly the philosopher more listened in Ftance.
He had published a "contre-histoire" of the philosophy which, even if I do not share his opinion is relevant. He's gauchist, he has some style and he writes well. I think there is the principals reasons of his success. The troubles start when he is interes
...more
Luke
This is a brilliant but hyperbolically written book in need of a fact checker. Onfray provides a brilliant insight into the nature of religious belief as an expression of the death instinct, into the nature of theocracy, into the origins of Christianity in Pauline inadequacy made universal, into the obsession with purity that mars the relation of believers to this worldly life, to the body, and to women. He describes how even our secularism and atheism is profoundly Christian- it carries forward ...more
Plucino
Il est difficile de donner un jugement définitif sur ce livre.
Surtout après avoir examiné les commentaires en italien sur aNobii, beaucoup d'athées sont en désaccord avec l'approche agressive d'Onfray. Des anobien(ne)s critiquent le livre d'être trop simpliste, d'autres d'être trop difficile.
Comme impression personnelle: Onfray ne fait rien pour gagner la sympathie du lecteur!
Il est trop "classe supérieure intellectuelle", normalien etc., pour être vraiment divulgatif, et je crains qu'il n'aie
...more
Charlie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toni Daugherty
At first glance, I thought, "Oh, Michel Onfray, what possibly could this book say? How can an Atheist have a manifesto? Atheists are the one people who would not harm you for their God, for they have none." Since Onfray is France's leading philosopher, I just had to read this book. Now, I see why it is good to at least open the discussion.
(Only for the religiously courageous.)
Vanni
I found the Atheist Manifesto tiresomely repetitive and probably mean and nasty. As an atheist I have to say I'm glad this books out there and I especially found the section on Paul interesting and worthwhile, BUT on a whole it lacks finesse and versatility in the argumentation.
Sam Berner
A book without footnotes and a bibliography is not an academic exercise, but an opinion piece. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I don't find the hysteria appealing, especially from someone arguing a rational point of view. Too many adjectives, too much repetition.
Kal Ström

Någon gång under förra året landade jag i insikten att jag inte längre kunde stödja den svenska kyrkans verksamhet. Troende vet jag inte om jag någonsin varit. Avsaknaden av gud varit min grundinställning. Jag har svårt att ställa mig frågan Finns gud?, för då måste jag på något sätt anta att det finns en möjlighet att gudar finns. Frågan känns och har känts konstig och onödig.

Jag har då och hävdat att jag kanske är agnostiker, eftersom jag inte kan veta vad som en gång startade big bang, eller

...more
Maurice
each of the monotheistic faiths--islam, christianity, judaism--is not only indefensible, but pernicious, unless you judiciously select from the texts.
Madalina
Sep 03, 2013 Madalina marked it as maybe  ·  review of another edition
My god(hm, hm) it's so poorly written that if I ever finish it, it will be by sheer will. It's tedious to no end.
Lia Jacobson
A very good book! I really like it so far, and says everything I feel! The words speak my mind.
Australian Atheist
Aug 17, 2008 Australian Atheist rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To all those willing to be enlightened
Reality - beautiful elegant and succinct
Eleanor Linden
A punchy, literate, interesting and information-packed book. With a fast pace, mountains of information and a passion that almost seeps from the pages of the book. However, as a "manifesto" it wholly fails. It is not a manifesto, it is a jaunt through the formation of Islam, and Christianity; and a look at bits of Judaism. It not so much a argument, or a "case against", such as fact-fact-fact-assertion-next fact.

This book is less of a scientific refutation of religion, but more of a moral, ethic
...more
Hanan Kat
Atheists are a dime a dozen and preach the same ideology, yet Onfray manages to come out looking the worst. He asserts (emphasis on assertion, which is neither an argument nor a truth, yet he thinks it is.) that God is irrational, therefore not based on reality... but to him atheism is! (How so? since the same arguments that could be made to discredit the existence of God, could easily be made to discredit his non existence). And somebody should probably tell him that the ''bad use'' of religion ...more
Mangoo
God is not really dead, as unfortunate as it sounds. We are just so imbibed with its episteme' that all attemps so far to disengage from forms of thoughts relinquishing traditional religion has practically gone little far. Our health needs a much freer and more radical mental struggle to clear out our culture from the insidious treat of submissive systems of ideas.
Michel Onfray hereby propose his own passionate and argumentative call to duty for atheism. Pure atheism, not a faithful or disguised
...more
Mark
This book is simplistic; a bit too simplistic. Michel Onfray is passionate about the topic, that is clear, but his passion often dilutes the arguments that he proposes. The arguments here, I would offer, are better presented elsewhere. However, "The Atheist Manifesto" is a good, simple read.

The "case" against religion is a closed case as far as facts, evidence, warrant, and inference go, but it is important to remember that no matter the credibility of premises leading to the most plausible of c
...more
Steward
An age of rational inquiry, the Enlightenment, constellated with the genius of Voltaire, Descartes, Kant, et.al. followed by an age of "suspicion" that included Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud - these two great periods gave mankind the philosophical tools to question the authority of and ultimately see the damage perpetrated by the three dominant religions. Onfray's indictment of religion is laced with sarcasm for its banner of "brotherly love". He reviews its complicity in thirty centuries of crimes ...more
Ira
Trattato di Ateologia, Michel Onfray. In Italian, because the book has not been translated into English yet. It was hard to find it as it sold out within the first week of publication and it is being reprinted at high speed, both in France and in Italy; and this is good news. Michel Onfray ha scritto un libro importante: prima di tutto ci mancava una critica di stampo illuminista, e dati i tempi bui, direi che l’attitudine dell’Illuminismo andrebbe rivisitata. Poi ha un eguale rancore e odio con ...more
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Michel Onfray is a French philosopher. Born to a family of Norman farmers, he graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy. He taught this subject to senior students at a technical high school in Caen between 1983 and 2002, before establishing what he and his supporters call the Université populaire de Caen, proclaiming its foundation on a free-of-charge basis, and the manifesto written by Onfray in 2004 ...more
More about Michel Onfray...
Antimanuel de philosophie La puissance d'exister: Manifeste hedoniste Le crépuscule d'une idole - l'affabulation freudienne Nietzsche, se créer liberté Cynismes

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“The three monotheism share a series of identical forms of aversion: hatred of reason and intelligence; hatred of freedom; hatred of all books in the name of one book alone; hatred of sexuality, women,and pleasure; hatred of feminine; hatred of body, of desires, of drives. Instead Judaism, Christianity, and Islam extol faith and belief, obedience and submission, taste for death and longing for the beyond, the asexual angel and chastity, virginity and monogamous love, wife and mother, soul and spirit. In other words, life crucified and nothingness exalted.” 24 likes
“How strange that excision – female circumcision, with several languages using the same term for both kinds of mutilation – of little girls should revolt the westerner but excite no disapproval when it is performed on little boys. Consensus on the point seems absolute. But ask your interlocutor to think about the validity of this surgical procedure, which consists of removing a healthy part of a nonconsenting child’s body on nonmedical grounds – the legal definition of… mutilation.” 4 likes
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