Media Interviews and Appearances: Print
The Three Atheists
By Stanley Fish
Writings against God and religion have been around as long as God and religion have been around. But every so often an epidemic of the genre breaks out and a spate of such writings achieves the status of notoriety (which is what their authors had been aiming for).
By Lisa Miller
It may not be fair to call what’s happening in the atheist community a backlash, since atheists have always been and continue to be one of the smallest, most derided groups in the country. In a recent NEWSWEEK Poll, only 3 percent of respondents called themselves atheists and only 30 percent said they’d ever vote for an atheist. No, what’s happening in the “atheist, humanist, freethinkers” community is more like what happens to any ideological or political group as it matures: the hard-liners knock heads with the folks who want to just get along, and the cracks are beginning to show.
Believe It or Not
By Lynn Andriani
The dominant role of religion in today’s politics and culture has produced a backlash and a new publishing subcategory: the anti-religion books.
COVER | The New Atheists
By Ronald Aronson
What began with publisher W.W. Norton taking a chance on a gutsy, hyperbolic and idiosyncratic attack on religion by a graduate student in neuroscience has grown into a remarkable intellectual wave. No fewer than five books by the New Atheists have appeared on bestseller lists in the past two years—Sam Harris’s The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion and now Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great.
Is Atheism Just a Rant Against Religion?
Despite its minority status, atheism has enjoyed the spotlight of late, with several books that feature vehement arguments against religion topping the bestseller lists.
Atheist authors grapple with believers
By Rachel Zoll
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.
Atheists with Attitude
By Anthony Gottlieb
Great portents and disasters turn some minds to God and others away from him. When an unusually bright and long-tailed comet was tracked through the sky in the last two months of 1680, posters and sermons called on Christians to repent. A hen in Rome seemed to confirm that the Day of Judgment was near. On December 2nd, it made an extraordinarily loud cackle and produced an exceptionally large egg, on which could be seen a likeness of the comet, or so it was said. This added to the religious panic. But the comet also sparked a small triumph for rationalism. In the next few years, as Armageddon somehow failed to arrive, a stream of pamphlets across Europe and America argued that heavenly displays were purely natural phenomena. The skeptics won the day. From the eighteenth century onward, no respectable intellectual saw comets as direct messages from God—though there were still some fears that one might eventually hit the earth.
The New Atheists loathe religion far too much to plausibly challenge it
By Madeleine Bunting
Anti-faith proselytising is a growth industry. But its increasingly hysterical flag-bearers are heading for a spectacular failure
Better God-fearing than sneering
By Stephanie Merritt
For some years, AC Grayling and Richard Dawkins have been the good cop/bad cop of anti-religious thought. Dawkins publicly fights fire with fire, while Grayling has opted for a gentler advocacy of humanist values. But now, in Against All Odds, a little collection of his reworked newspaper essays, a distinct note of exasperation has crept in. ‘If the tone of the polemics here seems combative,’ Grayling writes, ‘it is because the contest between religious and non-religious outlooks is such an important one, a matter literally of life and death, and there can be no temporising.’
Rolling Stone’s 40th Anniversary: Talking With Tom Wolfe
By Rolling Stone
Today we present The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test author and New Journalism forefather Tom Wolfe… For our fortieth anniversary issue, Mark Binelli sits down with Wolfe to discuss the 1960s, his firsthand experience of the madness of Ken Kesey, witnessing the Apollo 17 launch and his thoughts on God.
Faith eludes Floyd’s former frontman
There is a pile of books on the coffee table in Roger Waters’s Sydney hotel suite. Perched on top is the religious-baiting The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. The tall, slim Waters, whose long, wavy grey hair gives him the air of a bohemian priest, is eager to get stuck into it, having already enjoyed Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, another provocative poke at religious belief.
By Christopher Orlet
The soft atheists have it in for three bestselling authors in particular: Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation) and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great).
Disliked, not oppressed
By Paul Thornton
You’ll never be president. Neither will your spouse, son, daughter, partner, friend, or anyone else you’ve ever known. If it makes you feel any better, the same goes for me.
The DNA of Religious Faith
By David P. Barash
The four horsemen of the current antireligious apocalypse are Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, and Carl Sagan. All are (or, in the case of Sagan, who died in 1996, were) passionate advocates of reason, committed to the proposition that religion is essentially unreasonable.
Problems and Mysteries
By Marc Gellman
The recent theological disputation between Rick Warren and Sam Harris on whether God is real was wonderfully enlightening—but sadly was offered up without a verdict.
Answers To the Atheists
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
The neo-atheists, like their predecessors from a century ago, are given to a sometimes-charming ferociousness in their polemics against those they see as too weak-minded to give up faith in God.
Does God Exist? Two Authors Debate
By Pastor Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren says atheists have their place: North Korea. That is just one reason Sam Harris, whose books include “The End of Faith,” says the nonbelieving minority is the victim of a terrible public-relations campaign. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham moderates a debate between the two men, both bestselling authors, on the ultimate question: Does God exist?
A new fundamentalism? Some decry strident tone of fellow atheists
By Jay Lindsay
Atheists are under attack these days for being too militant, for not just disbelieving in religious faith but for trying to eradicate it. And who’s leveling these accusations? Other atheists, it turns out.
National Review: “Lonely Atheists of the Global Village”
By Michael Novak
Time magazine, ever the vigilant trend spotter, has celebrated a recent wave of books by atheists—among them, these three by Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. These books have three purposes: to speed up the disappearance of Biblical faith, especially in America; to proselytize for rational atheism; and to boost morale among atheists, in part by calling attention to support groups for them. Their overriding purpose is the first one: in the words of Harris, “to demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity.”
By David Aikman
In the tradition of Voltaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell, Sam Harris, a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University, has been battering at the walls of religious faith, especially Christianity and Islam.
By Robin Marantz Heing
Lost in the hullabaloo over the neo-atheists is a quieter and potentially more illuminating debate. It is taking place not between science and religion but within science itself, specifically among the scientists studying the evolution of religion. These scholars tend to agree on one point: that religious belief is an outgrowth of brain architecture that evolved during early human history. What they disagree about is why a tendency to believe evolved, whether it was because belief itself was adaptive or because it was just an evolutionary byproduct, a mere consequence of some other adaptation in the evolution of the human brain.
Books on Atheism Are Raising Hackles in Unlikely Places
Yes, it is true that “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins has been on The New York Times best-seller list for 22 weeks and that “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris can be found in virtually every airport bookstore, even in Texas.
The times they are a-changing for US fundamentalists
By Will Hutton
For a book which ridicules religion and ruthlessly exposes the inadequacies of the Bible to become a bestseller is a classic Schlesinger-style signal that times are a-changing.
Foreward to the UK Edition of Letter to a Christian Nation
By Richard Dawkins
I dare you to read this book…it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do.
Without God, Gall Is Permitted
By Sam Schulman
...The atheists say that they are addressing believers. Rationalists all, can they believe that believers would be swayed by such contumely and condescension? They seem instead to be preaching to people exactly like themselves—a remarkably incurious elite.
Atheists challenge the religious right
By Jane Lampman
For some time, the religious right has decried “secular humanism,” a philosophy that rejects the supernatural or spiritual as a basis for moral decisionmaking. But now, nonbelievers are vigorously fighting back.
Letter From America: Atheists throw down the gauntlet
By Richard Bernstein
Here on the first days of the year of our lord 2007 it seems awkward to talk about a Godless world, but the fact is that in the waning months of 2006, a kind of militant atheism was making itself felt across the land. There were two best-selling books declaring belief in God to be a kind of mass delusion, and a harmful mass delusion at that, occasioning a vigorous and often angry response from many people who believe the repeated announcement of the death of God to be wrong, spiritually deaf and dangerous.
Facing the Islamist Menace
By Christopher Hitchens
The most alarming sentences that I have read in a long time came from the pen of my fellow atheist Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, at the end of a September Los Angeles Times column upbraiding American liberals for their masochistic attitude toward Islamist totalitarianism.
The Grinch Delusion: An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas
By Randy Kennedy
IF last holiday season charitably could have been described as the war-on-Christmas Christmas — with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News declaring war on the warriors and others declaring war on him — maybe it’s not such a stretch to think of this year’s prevalent yuletide theme as the war-on-Christ Christmas.
The Celestial Teapot
By James Wood
Harris has an Orwellian robustness and a good journalistic way with his one-liners. To the creationists who believe that the world is six thousand years old, he says: “This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.”
A Modest Proposal for a Truce on Religion
Nicholas D. Kristof
...Look elsewhere on the best-seller list and you find an equally acerbic assault on faith: Sam Harris’s “Letter to a Christian Nation.” Mr. Harris mocks conservative Christians for opposing abortion, writing: “20 percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. There is an obvious truth here that cries out for acknowledgment: if God exists, He is the most prolific abortionist of all.”
By Richard A. Shweder
...Why, then, are the enlightened so conspicuously up in arms these days, reiterating every possible argument against the existence of God? Why are they indulging in books—Daniel Dennett’s ‘‘Breaking the Spell,’’ Sam Harris’s ‘‘Letter to a Christian Nation,’’ and Richard Dawkins’s ‘‘God Delusion’’—in which authors lampoon religion or rail against the devout under the banner of a crusading atheism?
A Free-for-All on Science and Religion
By George Johnson
Somewhere along the way, a forum this month at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., which might have been one more polite dialogue between science and religion, began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told.
Beyond Belief: In place of God
It had all the fervour of a revivalist meeting. True, there were no hallelujahs, gospel songs or swooning, but there was plenty of preaching, mostly to the converted, and much spontaneous applause for exhortations to follow the path of righteousness. And right there at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts was God. Yet this was no religious gathering - quite the opposite. Some of the leading practitioners of modern science, many of them vocal atheists, were gathered last week in La Jolla, California, for a symposium entitled “Beyond belief: Science, religion, reason and survival” hosted by the Science Network, a science-promoting coalition of scientists and media professionals convening at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. They were there to address three questions. Should science do away with religion? What would science put in religion’s place? And can we be good without God?
Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and E.O. Wilson on the gospel of science
By Robert Lee Hotz
What a problem religious faith poses for learned men of empirical mind. How it baffles, angers, frightens them, prompts them to domesticate it or uproot it, leaf and bough. In a trio of new books, three scientists — an English evolutionary theorist, a bestselling philosopher-turned-neuroscientist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist — take Christianity to task. Their works comprise a new testament for atheists, in which science is the only acceptable gospel.
Losing Our Religion
By Jerry Adler
A gathering of scientists and atheists explores whether faith in science can ever substitute for belief in God.
The New Unbelievers
...Dawkins and Harris conclude that religion itself has outworn its social utility and should be retired from the field. They know that religion cannot be banished politically, as past attempts (for example, in France under Robespierre) have shown. The only way forward is for unbelievers to make an unapologetic stand for unbelief…
The New Unbelievers
By David Segal
...Harris is straight out of the stun grenade school of public rhetoric, and his arguments are far more likely to offend the faithful than they are to coax them out of their faith. And he doesn’t target just the devout. Religious moderates, Harris says in his patient and imperturbable style, have immunized religion from rational discussion by nurturing the idea that faith is so personal and private that it is beyond criticism, even when horrific crimes are committed in its name…
COVER | The Church of the Non-Believers
By Gary Wolf
This autumn, Harris has a new book out, Letter to a Christian Nation. In it, he demonstrates the behavior he believes atheists should adopt when talking with Christians. “Nonbelievers like myself stand beside you,” he writes, addressing his imaginary opponent, “dumbstruck by the Muslim hordes who chant death to whole nations of the living. But we stand dumbstruck by you as well – by your denial of tangible reality, by the suffering you create in service to your religious myths, and by your attachment to an imaginary God.”
Belief Watch: The Atheist
By Lisa Miller
...In spite of his appearance, Harris is very angry, and “Letter” is a readable, exhortatory screed, a response to all the Scripture-quoting e-mail he received from Christians who read his first book…
A Pair of Atheists Agree: Time to Let Go of God
With the publication in 1976 of The Selfish Gene, in which he argued that genes—not individuals—are the key units of natural selection, Richard Dawkins made his grand entrance into the world of evolutionary biology. A rakish lecturer on zoology at Oxford, he soon earned a reputation for wittily demystifying scientific riddles for laypeople. He also became known for his snarling brand of atheism. “Faith is powerful enough to immunize people against all appeals to pity, to forgiveness, to decent human feelings,” he lamented in this first book. “It even immunizes them against fear, if they honestly believe that a martyr’s death will send them straight to heaven.”
Oh, dear God—it’s him again
By Gina Piccalo
Taking on Christians’ gospel truth
By Sam Harris
This combination of ruthless argument with polemic designed to provoke (he describes the Catholic Church as the “institution that has produced and sheltered an elite army of child-molesters”) will further delight Harris’ supporters and infuriate his critics.
The Age of Horrorism
By Martin Amis
On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, one of Britain’s most celebrated and original writers analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West’s faltering response to this eruption of evil.
“The Temple of Reason,” Interview in The Sun
Sam Harris is a brave man. In a country where 90 percent of adults say they believe in God, he has written a bestseller condemning religion…
The Sun Magazine, September 2006
“The New Naysayers,” Newsweek
By Jerry Adler
Americans answered the atrocities of September 11, overwhelmingly, with faith. Attacked in the name of God, they turned to God for comfort… Sam Harris, then a 34-year-old graduate student in neuroscience, had a different reaction. On Sept. 12, he began a book…
Newsweek Magazine, September 11, 2006
“Sam Harris: The Truthdig Interview”
The best-selling author of “The End of Faith” talks about the way to navigate a dinner party without coming off as the Antichrist; about the “Salman Rushdie effect” that accompanies his newfound celebrity as America’s most prominent atheist; and about the new secular foundation he is founding. —Blair Golson
Introducing 15 people who have shaped the global conversation about science in 2005.
By Edit Staff
For Sam Harris, nothing is more sacred than reason…
The sea of faith and violence
By Johann Hari
“Sam Harris launches a sustained nuclear assault… A bold and exhilarating thesis… The End of Faith is a brave, pugilistic attempt to demolish the walls that currently insulate religious people from criticism… The End of Faith is badly needed…”
“The Iconoclast,” Stanford Magazine
Sam Harris wants believers to stop believing.