The Atheist Bible
An atheist’s view on life, the universe, and everything
© 2006-2017 Fabian M. Suchanek
This BookThis book describes a world view without gods and without the supernatural. Different from a number of other books, it does not merely argue that God does not exist or that religion would be harmful. Rather, it offers an atheist view on life, the universe, ethics, the sense of life, and truth. It also discusses the history, the functioning, the tenets, the diversity, the benefits, and the liabilities of the major world religions.
Legal conditionsIn all of the following, “I” refers to the author of this book, Fabian M. Suchanek. “You” refers to the reader of this book. “We” is the author’s “we”, and refers to this book.
Since I have no education in philosophy or theology, I cannot guarantee the correctness or completeness of the information given here. If you find any factual error in this text, please let me know. Loyal to its own principles , this book may change over time, and definitions and theories may be updated. I am very grateful to the people who have read this book, and who have given me their feedback. It has been taken into account condignly.
When this book talks of “an atheist point of view”, it describes the point of view of an atheist (namely myself). This does not mean that all atheists would share my point of view.
Religion is a controversial issue. Hence, I cannot assume responsibility for personal unease resulting from reading this book. Should you disagree with this condition, please abstain from reading this text.
All text and images of this book have been created by myself unless otherwise noted. The provenance of an image from another source is indicated either in the image itself, or below it. Text from other sources is accompanied by a reference in brackets [ ] and a link to the source. References in parentheses ( ) indicate sources that substantiate a claim.
This book is available online at https://suchanek.name/texts/atheism. It is also available as an EPUB e-book and as PDF. The book is not available in printed form (unless you print the PDF yourself). All versions are under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. This means that you can freely use this text, except for commercial purposes. If you re-use parts of this book, you have to give credit to the original by linking to the online document.
StructureThe book consists of 6 parts. Each part contains several chapters. Each chapter contains several sections. Each section consists of several articles. Each article has a short unique name, which shows in the address bar of the browser when you navigate to the article via a link.
The articles are linked by cross-references (indicated by a small arrow). In the printed version of this book, these arrows serve merely to indicate that a claim is substantiated in a different part of the book. In the digital version, the references are clickable.
All articles are self-contained: every article can be read in isolation from the others. For this, the articles have to contain a certain redundancy, and the book may thus not be suitable for reading it cover to cover. Not all chapters may be interesting to all readers. Rather, you can jump directly to the articles or chapters that you find interesting. For example, the chapters that I (the author) found most interesting when writing them are:
- Chapter on the Universe
- Chapter on the World Religions
- Chapter on Memes
- Chapter on Christianity
- Conclusion (summarizes the entire book in half a page)
- Part 0: This Book
- Introduction (above)
- Part 1: Atheism and Atheists
- Part 2: The World
- Truth: Discusses the concept of truth.
- The Universe: Gives an overview of what science knows about the universe.
- Morality: Discusses ethics from a secular humanist point of view.
- The Sense of Life: Treats “the” principal question of humanity: What is the meaning of life? We also discuss where atheists go when they die.
- Part 3: Gods
- Part 4: Religion
- Religion: Formally defines religions and gods, and shows the diversity of today’s religions.
- The World Religions: Traces the history of religion from ancient rites to today’s world religions.
- Founding of Religions: Discusses factors that may lead to the creation of a religion.
- Following Religions: Discusses factors that may make people believe in religious statements.
- Memes: Analyses strategies that religions have developed in order to survive.
- Part 5: The Abrahamic Religions
- Part 6: The Effects of Religion
In times of rising fundamentalism and fanatism, this book wants to remind the reader of the values of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment has given us the rule of law, tolerance towards other creeds, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of science, freedom of religion, freedom of the arts, the emancipation of disadvantaged groups, freedom in the choice of a partner, and freedom in general, as long as the freedom of others is not engaged.