PDA

View Full Version : Atheists = "Hot Authors," according to article



nancy02664
05-25-2007, 08:21 AM
I just read an interesting news article entitled Angry Atheists are Hot Authors (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070524/ap_on_re_us/atheist_authors;_ylt=AnGGtUT.AMRsQtXZ6jXqQ0YDW7oF) . Here's the intro:


The time for polite debate is over. Militant, atheist writers are making an all-out assault on religious faith and reaching the top of the best-seller list, a sign of widespread resentment over the influence of religion in the world among nonbelievers.And this was the closing:


Given the popularity of the anti-religion books so far, publishers are expected to roll out even more in the future. Lynn Garrett, senior religion editor for Publishers Weekly, says religion has been one of the fastest-growing categories in publishing in the last 15 years, and the rise of books by atheists is "the flip-side of that."

"It was just the time," she said, "for the atheists to take the gloves off."Could be good news for many of us. :)

benbradley
05-25-2007, 08:50 AM
I've got my gloves off and my hands are on my Model M, a much heavier keyboard than the cheapos with USB interfaces. And if that's not tough enough, I have an IBM AT keyboard, with both weight and layout closer to the Selectric typewriter. I do feel a little "special" in that I'm a former believer and that gives me an unusual point of view. But I don't think I can just write about my beliefs and how and why they changed, it's all an entwined part of my life, and I'll have to do the whole memoir thing.

If I don't get published, it's because I'm wasting all my time posting in online forums rather than doing Real Writing.

Oops, maybe it's time to self-banninate myself...

benbradley
05-25-2007, 09:01 AM
And another thing - I see a couple people on AW have recently had submissions accepted for various books in the "Chicken Soup for The <Insert Soul Type> Soul" series. One book I'd like to see, but really don't expect (they surely have some trademark or something for any titles with the words "Chicken Soup" and "Soul" in them, and such books appear to be aimed more at believers) is the title:

Chicken Soup for The Nonexistent Soul.

Higgins
05-25-2007, 05:15 PM
And another thing - I see a couple people on AW have recently had submissions accepted for various books in the "Chicken Soup for The <Insert Soul Type> Soul" series. One book I'd like to see, but really don't expect (they surely have some trademark or something for any titles with the words "Chicken Soup" and "Soul" in them, and such books appear to be aimed more at believers) is the title:

Chicken Soup for The Nonexistent Soul.

A nice thought. One of the advantages I feel in being a virtual atheist (or an extreme case of Christian in Name Only) is that there is no aspect of human angst or comfort that I have to ignore. If the world seems incredibly nasty, I can just say so, and I don't need to make up reasons to feel good or bad about it.
I like the image of the "nonexistent soul"...it has that aspect of Profane nothingness that I find so bleakly evocative. Looking out of the allegorical world and into the blank beyond the imaginary edge of things like Profane Love in this here Titian:

http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tiziano/mytholo1/sacred_p.html

Sean D. Schaffer
05-25-2007, 05:33 PM
I think this is cool. To me, a lot of religion is so fake and, frankly, dead, that a lot of religious writers have a tendency to write about things that don't matter to most people. The good thing about this whole situation, to me, is that atheist writers don't have to skirt certain religious sensibilities or worry about being labeled a 'heretic' for thinking for themselves. If the average religious writer thought for themselves, I can almost guarantee you they would be held in high contempt by their peers in whatever religion they belong to.

I would warn, however, that what's hot now can so easily become dead within a few years, if it's not tempered by some form of resistance. There has to be something to fight this attitude, or it will not be hot for long. I think it's the resistance that makes the idea of thinking for oneself all the more brilliant.

Higgins
05-25-2007, 05:45 PM
I think this is cool. To me, a lot of religion is so fake and, frankly, dead, that a lot of religious writers have a tendency to write about things that don't matter to most people. The good thing about this whole situation, to me, is that atheist writers don't have to skirt certain religious sensibilities or worry about being labeled a 'heretic' for thinking for themselves. If the average religious writer thought for themselves, I can almost guarantee you they would be held in high contempt by their peers in whatever religion they belong to.

I would warn, however, that what's hot now can so easily become dead within a few years, if it's not tempered by some form of resistance. There has to be something to fight this attitude, or it will not be hot for long. I think it's the resistance that makes the idea of thinking for oneself all the more brilliant.

But what if Hot Atheism is an emergence of a whole new sensibility, such as Romanticism was? It won't just go away because...as in the case of Romanticism...it puts forward a way of experiencing the world that people can take to heart with a new directness and a new linkage of thought and feeling.

Roger J Carlson
05-25-2007, 05:48 PM
I suspect that the whole religion/anti-religion thing is just a cycle akin to the spate of conservative-bashing/liberal-bashing books of a few years ago. On the other hand, anything that opens doors for a few more writers is a good thing! Seize the day!

Sean D. Schaffer
05-25-2007, 06:48 PM
But what if Hot Atheism is an emergence of a whole new sensibility, such as Romanticism was? It won't just go away because...as in the case of Romanticism...it puts forward a way of experiencing the world that people can take to heart with a new directness and a new linkage of thought and feeling.

I'm not saying it would just go away. What I'm saying is it might end up going away IF it doesn't have something to sharpen it. IF the Hot Atheism, as you call it, does not have some form of resistance to make it hotter, it could eventually go cold.

So I'm saying that Hot Atheism is like anything else: it has a spark, but in order to keep going it must have something to resist it or else that spark could go out eventually.

veinglory
05-25-2007, 07:21 PM
Evangelical athiesm is big. I consider it very bad news for anyone with moderate and peaceful views, religous or otherwise. I always thought that one advantage of being atheist was that you need not feel the need to 'save' other people or berate them.

III
05-25-2007, 10:10 PM
Chicken Soup for the Cannibal Chicken's Soul

scottVee
05-25-2007, 11:15 PM
Don't forget that anyone who writes on the "religion is dead" topic is labeled an atheist, regardless of what they said or what their beliefs really are. There's actually quite a range of books out there, all getting lumped into one confrontational pile. This means that the completely rational books (like "God: the Failed Hypothesis" by Stenger) are sharing the bed with books that look like blatant attacks hoping to make a buck. Instead of having a convincing body of work, the best of the best, the result is a watered down brew.

As for the opposing viewpoint, unfortunately, the pro-religious folks don't have much of a leg to stand on. They work by charisma (a.k.a. brainwashing), not by facts. Maybe they can find some weak books to poke holes in, and will think they've won the game. (Oh yeah, "poking holes" is their idea of critical thinking, right?)

So it will be interesting to see how it goes.

MartyKay
05-28-2007, 12:17 PM
Angry Atheists are Hot Authors
Dang nabbit, we aren't all "Angry".

Well.. except now... :x :D

oscuridad
06-04-2007, 02:19 AM
can you be an atheist in name only? Not that I am, I just wondered.

Higgins
06-04-2007, 05:27 PM
can you be an atheist in name only? Not that I am, I just wondered.

I suppose if you do nothing but stumble into one faith after another, you might be an Atheist in Name only.

One of the nice things about being Christian in Name Only is that it suggests to Big Christians that you are comfortably inferior to their cosmic position and to Atheists that you are not interested in being anything except cosmically challenged.

I don't think anyone really minds others designating themselves as only nominally XYZ, since it labels the XYZ of others as being inherently better than whatever the nominal XYZ doesn't quite claim to be and there is nothing that anyone really values more than a feeling of effortless superiority over at least some (nominal) segment of mankind.

Zoombie
07-04-2007, 06:26 AM
I always thought that one advantage of being atheist was that you need not feel the need to 'save' other people or berate them.

Maybe there is a percentage of every faith that wants to hit people over the head and convert them.

Cathy C
07-04-2007, 06:46 PM
And probably a percentage of every faith that wants to see every person of every other faith die a horrible death. One of the most fascinating things about religious writings is that they have to TELL their believers not to do the things that seem to come naturally to humans (lie, cheat, kill, etc.) I won't be surprised if I learn that some of the new atheism books are similar to the 'Golden Rule' of treating other humans for those who haven't read the other religious writings.