|With Joe LaRoy in Bangkok|
A friend asked me, "Who is your favorite atheist to read?"
What a great question!
Here are a few, in no particular order:
- Friedrich Nietzsche (One must read Nietzsche to understand Western atheism, and where it often goes wrong.)
- John Gray
- Julian Barnes
- Ronald Dworkin
- Peter Singer (One of the few atheists i know of who takes the statement There is no God to its logical conclusions, especially in ethics. Of course I don't agree with Singer. But, given atheism, he is mostly correct.)
- John Searle (I read Speech Acts while doing my doctoral work. It's an essay in the philosophy of language, not atheistic in tone, and influential in linguistic philosophy.)
- David Chalmers (The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory - anyone who can formulate a "zombie argument against physicalism" is a friend of mine.)
- Thomas Nagel (In Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Nagel the atheist presents himself as a non-physicalist. See his outrageously influential essay "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?")
Note: I've read the infamous, declining-in-influence "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins/Dennett/Harris/Hitchens), and find them tedious, sophomoric, rhetorical, and boring (except for Hitchens, whose rhetoric is always funny and interesting, even if his God Is Not Great is poor thinking).