Hi. My first post here.    :)

We've probably all heard the theist argument that atheists have no morals etc, or they ask where we get our morality or where we turn for guidance. For the most part, that's something that's paricular to each person. But I was wondering...

If we as a community were to create some kind of book, a kind of equivalent of the Bible or Quran etc, what would it be like? What would be included in it?

Of course, it wouldn't be a book of dogma or rites. No creeds, no rituals. But, mirroring the theist perception of holy books as sources of moral guidance, wisdom, etc, a lot of atheist quotes and literature would certainly qualify for an "unholy" Bible (name subject to change  :P)

I did notice that someone made a Scepticism of Religion reading list. There are a lot of excellent books out there. But if we were to compress all that wisdom and insight into one book, what would (should?) be included?

Personally, my first thought is that I'd like to see an equivalent to the book of Proverbs. This would obviously be little more than a collection of clever and interesting quotes relating to life, reason, etc from people such as Dawkins, Douglas Adams, Eistein, Hawking. You know, the usual suspects  :)  It could be called the Book of Sayings   :D

Most important, of course, is that the book represent the entire spectrum of atheism, as much as possible. For example, there could be a chapter (or "book") on evolution. Even though there may be some atheists that don't 'believe' in it, it's a major subject in the atheist world and a part of our history/tradition. Other chapters/books could cover Buddhism and other non-theistic movements, astronomy, a history of religion, main arguments, logical fallacies, etc.

If this takes off, it could actually become a book!   :D

What do you guys think?

Tags: bible, book, buddhism, guidance, guide, moral, morals, proverbs, sayings

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Actually, it's the lack of a bible that will divide us! LOL. No Bible, no atheists.
It pretty much already exists..
It's called The Humanist Manifesto (I, II and III)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanist_Manifesto
Atheist reason and logic - a contradiction to the Bible, I believe would be good. Working in the word 'bible' without actually calling it a bible.
I do carry around with me The Atheist's Bible, a book of illustrious collection of irreverent thoughts.

I will be wearing my 'godless' tee-shirt for the next three days when the Pope visits the UK.
There's a quote from somebody that goes something like:

"If atheists had a bible, it would have but one word: THINK."
I like that one!
I don't know about an atheist "bible". This will just fuel a mockery that some religious quote to say, "These 'neo-atheists' have their "prophets" too, like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris".

Having 'Bibles' and 'Prophets' will be quite misleading and will incite the poorly ignorant religious that we're nothing but another "religion".
Exactly, it shouldn't be a "bible". It's true, maybe we could denote religious terms bible, prophets, and atheist 'debaptisms', as jests when we're just talking to one another as fellow non-believers.

But what I'm trying to point out is, we shouldn't mislead the believers into thinking that we are hypocrites using religious terms when we're trying to explain to them our point (i.e. If they ask, "...and who told you god doesn't exist? Your atheist Bible?")
That too, exactly.
"Think" This title fits us so very well, it must have been designed specifically with us in mind.
i have actually thought about this, quite a bit before running into this. i was thinking starting with a detailed explanation of darwin (genesis) perhaps some greek skepticism for exodus, calculus for numbers, probably Neitzsche's aphorism's for psalms,
yeah i agree there really doesnt need to be any direct correlation, when i spoke about it with my friends, (well before i ever saw this post) we used the correlations with the bible to help keep things in order and to try to make sure we had something that was comparable to the x-tain bible, in that we would cover all the same topics they cover. make it a direct response.

what i think is most important though is that if there is an "atheists bible" or whatever, its main intent to be humanizing. it should be designed to give the reader a firm anchor to what is real, to make them want to think freely. the problem with Dawkins is that he beats people over the head with non-belief. all that does is start an argument, and the person you are debating with just becomes more resistant to thinking from your world view.

one of my goals is to use art to humanize people. to make them more connected to reality. i want to create art, that is just as effective as religious art, but that promotes free thinking. though part of that is just to prove Tolstoy wrong in that " the best art is the art that expresses religious views of the time"[from tolstoy on art-philosophy of art]. it'd be cool if some that work was in there as illustrations as a response to Dore's illustrations to the bible.
i like it on principal, however, it's not art. i think to move people, to motivate them, and to inspire them to think freely, stronger imagery would be superior. though as a fine arts major, i am inclined toward technical work. people are inspired by religious art, because of the emotion it conveys, it possess evident significant form ( because many of the artists of the time were more mathematically inclined they utilized geometric principals that were found in nature phi for example.) it would be necessary to create and include art that reaches into people the same way.

visual triggers can be extremely powerful, good art has the capacity to make people feel, and think outside their own perspective. that would effect change. when a work of art is truly well done, it has a mostly universal appeal, and is "undying". look at the sculpture David, by Michaelangelo, you cant deny its a brilliant work of human accomplishment, and if the world suddenly saw reality from our perspective, it would still stand, because its beautiful. thats what atheist art needs to be, and thats the sort of imagery that should be included.

though i am not humorless, and i appreciate the joke.

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