Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Atheism” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,029 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Is a life without religion one without values or purpose? Julian Baggini emphatically says no. He sets out to dispel the myths surrounding atheism and to show how it can be both a meaningful and moral choice. He directly confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the twentieth century, and presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much on reasoned ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Sterling (first published 2003)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Atheism, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Atheism

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,029 ratings  ·  77 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Atheism
Paul Bryant
Jul 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: godreads
They do say that there are no atheists in foxholes, but foxes don’t go to confession either. So how do we know? If foxes DID go to confession, however...wavy lines on the screen - dissolve to :


Mr Fox : Father, forgive me, I have sinned.

Priest: What did you do, son?

Mr Fox : Do you have to ask? Another six chickens this week. And, I had lustful thoughts. I looked at internet fox porn. You know I have an iPad, and that stuff is only three clicks away.

Priest: (Adopting an Irish accent,
Ahmad Sharabiani
Atheism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #99), Julian Baggini
Atheism is often considered to be a negative, dark, and pessimistic belief which is characterised by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion. Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral. It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth
Kaelan Ratcliffe▪Κάϊλαν Ράτκλιφ▪كايِلان راتكِليف
***** Worth a look for the Inquisitive *****

I appreciated Bagginis moderate stance in writing this short introduction. He even dedicates a subsection of the book to 'Militant Atheism', which he personally takes distrust to.

The reason I appreciate this particular aspect of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, is mainly because the stance seems to be headed by some pretty dogmatic individuals as of late. Christopher Hitchens death has done nothing to slow his popularity with the online community
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
God is just one of the things that atheists don’t believe in, it just happens to be the thing that, for historical reasons, gave them their name.

Atheism: A very short introduction Julian Baggini

Julian Baggini’s short introduction to atheism is an excellent run down of the basic principles and arguments for atheism. The strongest point for this book is its emphasis on the positive aspects of atheism rather than spiralling into an anti-religious diatribe.

Atheism is not a faith position because it
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction
This was really something. I can't say it was a page-turner, but it was very well researched. That's why I gave it three stars. Some of it wasn't exactly the most coherently written, but overall it was very intelligently written (often being too intelligently written and philosophy-based for me!). One thing that did bother me was the dispersion of pictures throughout the book to illustrate his ideas (for example, a picture of Albert Camus when referencing him) that ultimately just felt ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is EXCELLENT. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in atheism and the logic and rational thinking that goes with it. I only give five stars to books where every page is worth reading. This is definitely one of those books.
Jordan Peacock
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You know those rides at the amusement park with the little measurements beside the gate, and the sign reading "You must be this tall to ride"?

This book (and 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God) have become that height marker for me when it comes to discussing atheism. There is so much ill will, pretentious ignorance and straw man caricatures when religious people try to discuss atheism, that I've pretty much stopped engaging in discussions unless people can prove a minimal baseline of
May 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked up this book at B&N and was genuinely curious and excited to read it. While the substance of the book was good - provided a discussion of background, history, atheist views and arguments re: morality, the meaning of life, among other things - I found the tone to be condescending. It felt as though I was reading a book for other atheists, that I was eavesdropping on a conversation I was not invited to. (I don't believe that was the author's intent, and I am sure there are many theist ...more
Simon A.
This is an excellent book on atheism and humanism, exploring atheism and related issues from the arguments for that cause to morals, and the meaning of life.
It is very well organized, with a humble tone, and without any lecturing.
A very short introduction but it thoroughly covers the subject without neither hasty description nor tedious discussion. This great book by the philosopher Julian Baggini is divided into these chapters:
1. What is atheism?
2. The case for atheism
3. Atheist ethics
Rick Sam
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, philosophy
As a follower of Christ, I think, the book is well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing. If you have not read about Atheism, I'd recommend this introductory. A better book on Atheism would be by J.L Mackie, "Miracle of Theism."

I grew up as an Atheist but converted as a Follower of Christ, I revisit my old beliefs. The arguments in the book are good for a short introduction, whether Theist or Atheist, should read and be informed.

Deus Vult
Xiaoqing Wang
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a succinct read so far, brings new insight of atheism to me. I am quite convinced by the author that morality doesn't call for a deity existence, but oddly I find myself more favorable of agnosticism after reading this book. Will add more comments after I finish it.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A balanced and succinct introduction to atheism. A good, quick read.
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A dry read and not the easy to share with religious family members type of book that I had originally hoped for but not bad overall.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-nonfiction
It’s apparent—but only through self-admission—that Mr. Julian Baggini is an atheist. You wouldn’t necessarily reach that conclusion just by reading his excellent little book, Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. He adopts a comfortable, open style of writing, with a distinct leaning towards posing and answering common-sense questions. And while it’s clear that he does not set out to trash religion and faith, he does debunk several myths surrounding atheism.

By page 3, readers are clear on Mr.
Jul 22, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I'm a card carrying atheist, so it should come as no surprise that I feel validated by a book that sketches out well-reasoned responses to the most common objections to atheism.

The first chapter locates atheism within the philosophical traditions of naturalism and physicalism. It also shows that despite the etymology of the term, atheism does not rely on any religion to exist. Atheists would believe what they do (due to their firmly established philosophical underpinnings), whether or not any
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book to get a grasp on this topic.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism
A very short and clear introduction to atheism.
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a brief outline of the naturalistic outlook of atheists. The author is careful to not identify himself as a militant atheist.

Baggini admits "I have a strong feeling that my arguments are powerless in the face of a strong desire for or belief in life after death." Every atheist who has tried to talk to a died-in-the-wool Christian about his beliefs will understand this sentiment. They have made up their mind and there is no going back to reevaluate now. It would be too
David Msomba
Brilliant!!!Great Introduction to Atheism......What I love the most about this book,Is the Author's approach on the famous Philosophical arguments that tend to support atheism,like Meaning of life or Morality,because wasn't your daily typical answers that average atheist would have given you
Also the author presented a brilliant argument about the differences between Secularism and Atheistic States and reason why the argument of the atrocities committed by Nazi,Stalin,Mao or Pol Pot don't fit
Venkat Pedapati
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is brilliantly written book in such a short amount of space. Arguments are concise, yet intriguing. Any reasonable person would enjoy these cleverly formed arguments, theist or atheist.

A must read for intellectually hungry people. This book also touches on fundamental philosophical issues such as meaning in life etc.
Douglas Reedy
As a Christian, I knew that I was going to have some trouble reading this book. But I thought that I might get a better understanding of how and why an atheist thinks the way that they do. This book was more of just putting Christianity down. Making fun of Christians and tbeir beliefs is NOT how to make a good argument for your side.
Mitch Flitcroft
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A clear, concise and compelling introduction to atheism. The first 40 pages lay a strong case for atheism, leading to a discussion of atheist ethics, purpose and history. A quick and easy read for anybody interested in atheism, believers and nonbelievers alike.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
The topic absolutely fascinates me, but it's hard to find a book on the topic that doesn't a) talk down to you if you happen to believe in God b) state atheism as simply against organized religion. Not believing in organized religion is NOT not believing in God. Baggini write this perfectly.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A concise, thoughtful, and, in my view, even-handed defense of a positive, progressive atheism.
Eric Lopez
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very challenging read. I recommend for those who are looking for a hard case for atheism.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Useful positive look at why to be an Atheist.
Jacob Bowes
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being a short book, Baggini develops great arguments for atheism that I can agree with at times and at least respect when I don't. This was a thought provoking book and I enjoy being questioned on my beliefs in such a mature manner.

I would like to point out that this book does not argue for atheism by criticizing religion, but by highlighting the positive accepts of atheism and dismantling the main arguments against it. A well writing book and I look forward to reading other books in
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The existence of avoidable suffering in the world seems to be an undeniable fact. This must mean one of three things: god can't stop it, which means he is not all-powerful; he doesn't want to stop it, so he isn't all-loving; or he doesn't know about it, which means he isn't all-knowing. This seems to present a strong case for saying the traditional Judeo-Christian god can't exist."

Pg. 152
Paragraph 2
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although Baggini's views are purely opinion, as there seems to be a lack of references included in the book, he brings up some very good points about atheism, religion, and finding your own meaning in life.
Jacek Kluza
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Especially the chapter on etics!
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Hitler button 1 11 Mar 05, 2012 04:17PM  
The Hitler button 1 2 Mar 05, 2012 04:16PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Meaning of Life
  • Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction
  • Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • To Live
  • African Mythology: Captivating Myths of Gods, Goddesses, and Legendary Creatures of Africa
  • Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Complete Collected Poems
  • Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
  • Сүнсний томьёо
  • Should Rich Nations Help the Poor?
  • Зарлагдсан үхлийн товчоон
  • Asterix in Britain (Asterix, #8)
  • Grip Am: A Nigerian Comedy
  • Radiohead: From a Great Height
  • Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is the author of The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments (2005) and is co-founder and editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1996 from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity. In addition ...more
“Morality is more than possible without God, it is entirely independent of him.” 17 likes
“God replies that all it really proves is "that some men will follow any order no matter how asinine as long as it comes from a resonant, well-modulated voice.” 0 likes
More quotes…