List of atheists (authors)

List of atheists (authors)


* Douglas Adams (1952–2001): British radio and television writer and novelist, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". ["I am a radical Atheist..." Adams in an interview by American Atheists [] .]
* Tariq Ali (1943–): British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner and commentator. ["It is well known that I am not a religious person, I grew up and remain an atheist [...] ". Tariq Ali, [ Interview: Tariq Ali] , "Socialist Review" November 2006 (accessed April 22, 2008).]
* Jorge Amado (1912–2001): Brazilian author. [Amado is described as an "ateu convicto", or "convinced atheist". cite web | url= | title=Velório de Jorge Amado foi discreto | author=Cynara Menezes | publisher=Folha de S. Paulo | date=August 8, 2001 | language=Portuguese | accessdate=2007-11-24]
* Sir Kingsley Amis (1922–1995): English novelist, poet, critic and teacher, most famous for his novels Lucky Jim and the Booker Prize-winning The Old Devils. ["His son Martin, who led the ceremony, said: "His relationship with the Christian God was not entirely frictionless. In 1962 (the Russian poet) Yevtushenko asked him 'Are you an atheist?'. He replied: 'Well, yes - but it's more that I hate Him'." " John Ezard, 'Secular send-off for an 'old devil' who did not wans too much fuss over his funeral', "The Guardian" (London), October 23, 1996, Pg. 8.]
* Eric Ambler OBE (1909–1998): influential English writer of spy novels who introduced a new realism to the genre. ["Once, filming in Italy with the American director John Huston and a US army crew, Ambler and his colleagues were shelled so fiercely that his unconscious 'played a nasty trick on him' (Ambler, "Here Lies", 208). A confirmed atheist, he heard himself saying, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' " Michael Barber: 'Ambler, Eric Clifford (1909–1998)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, January 2007 [] (accessed April 29, 2008).]
* Isaac Asimov (1920–1992): Russian-born American author of science fiction and popular science books. ["I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it... I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time." Isaac Asimov in "Free Inquiry", Spring 1982, vol.2 no.2, p. 9 ( [ See Wikiquote] .)]
* Diana Athill (1917–1992): British literary editor, novelist and memoirist who worked with some of the most important writers of the 20th century. ["Last week, looking through a book about 15th-century painting in Italy, I began to wonder why I loved these paintings so much. Almost all of them are illustrations of religious subjects, and I have been an atheist almost since the day I was confirmed in the Christian faith by the Bishop of Norwich in 1931. To describe the atheism first: it originated in a certainty that I was going to start breaking the rules as laid down by the god I'd been taught about, followed by a suspicion that if his rules were so easy to break he couldn't be all that he was cracked up to be. Then came its firmer base: the observation that many of the most hideous things done to each other by human beings have been done in his name. It can be argued that this is our fault, not God's. But the god we Europeans are supposed to believe in a) created us as well as everything else that is; b) is omnipotent; c) is Love. In which case, one must assume from the evidence rammed down our throats for century after century that he is liable to fits of serious derangement during which he is Not Himself." Diana Athill, 'I'm a believer - but only in a good story', "The Guardian", January 21, 2004, Features Pages, Pg. 5.]
* Iain Banks (1954–): Scottish author, writing mainstream fiction as Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. ["I'm an evangelical atheist so I'm not into supernatural effects - I hated The Exorcist - but John Carpenter's remake of The Thing is different." 'I was a brain-eating zombie... As the scary season descends [...] famous horror experts choose their most terrifying screen experiences', "Daily Telegraph", October 30, 2004, Arts Pg. 04.]
* Pierre Berton CC, O.Ont (1920–2004): Noted Canadian author of non-fiction, especially Canadiana and Canadian history, and was a well-known television personality and journalist. ["Berton's book, "The Comfortable Pew", in which as a lifelong atheist he attacked status quo religiosity, outraged churchgoers. But the wider public came to expect to be challenged by Berton's views." Cathryn Atkinson, 'Obituary: Pierre Berton', "The Guardian", December 7, 2004, Pg. 27.]
* Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840–1922): English poet, writer and diplomat. ["Wilfred Scawen Blunt was notorious as an atheist, a libertine, an adventurer and a poet. Somehow he also found time to be a diplomat - one of the earliest in this country to make a real attempt to understand Islam - and an anti-imperialist, becoming the first British-born person to go to jail for Irish independence." Phil Daoust, "The Guardian", March 11, 2008, G2: Radio: Pick of the day, Pg. 32.]
* William Boyd CBE (1952–): Scottish novelist and screenwriter. [" "What song would you like played at your funeral?" "We'll Meet Again. I'd like the congregation to join in. As a devout atheist, I should make it clear there are no religious connotations." " Rosanna Greenstreet, 'Q&A: William Boyd', "The Guardian", February 3, 2007, Weekend Pages, Pg. 8.]
* Marshall Brain (1961–): Author of [] and [] and HowStuffWorks founder.
* Lily Braun (1865–1916): German feminist writer. ["Passionate and enthusiastic, Lily was converted to atheism, pacifism, and feminism by Georg von Gizycki, whom she married in 1893." ' [ Braun, Lily] ', "Encyclopædia Britannica Online" (accessed August 1, 2008).]
* Howard Brenton (1942–): English playwright, who gained notoriety for his 1980 play "The Romans in Britain". [Reviewing a production of "The Romans in Britain", Charles Spencer wrote: "It strikes me as an exceptionally powerful study of the human need for belief in a higher power, notwithstanding the fact that Brenton himself is an atheist. And the dramatist examines the nature of Paul's faith with both sympathy and insight." 'A powerful and thrilling act of heresy', "Daily Telegraph", November 10, 2005, Reviews, Pg. 30.]
* John Brockman (1941–): American literary agent and author, specializing in scientific literature, and founder of the Edge Foundation. ["He has a keen sense for interesting ideas, but also for the ways in which they fit into society. For instance, he would never call himself an atheist, he says, in America: "I mean I don't believe: I'm sure there's no God. I'm sure there's no afterlife. But don't call me an atheist. It's like a losers' club. When I hear the word atheist, I think of some crummy motel where they're having a function and these people have nowhere else to go. That's what it means in America. In the UK it's very different." " Andrew Brown, [ John Brockman profile] , "The Guardian", April 30, 2005, pp 20-22 (accessed June 9, 2008).]
* Brigid Brophy, Lady Levey (1929–1995): English novelist, essayist, critic, biographer, and dramatist. ["It [her non-fiction book "Black Ship to Hell" (1962)] endeavoured to formulate a morality based on reason rather than religion—Brophy described herself as 'a natural, logical and happy atheist' ("King of a Rainy Country", afterword, 276)." Peter Parker: 'Brophy, Brigid Antonia [married name Brigid Antonia Levey, Lady Levey] (1929–1995)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, May 2006 [] (accessed April 29, 2008).]
* Alan Brownjohn (1931–1995): English poet and novelist. [Reviewing Brownjohn's "Collected Poems", Anthony Thwaite wrote: "Brownjohn is 75 at the moment of publication. He has been on the literary scene - publishing, reviewing, judging, chairing, tutoring, giving readings - since the 1950s. He has also been a London borough councillor, a Labour parliamentary candidate (Richmond, Surrey, 1964), very much what I think of as decent, persistent, dogged "Old Labour" - sensitive but solid, inclining towards the puritan (though a self-confessed atheist in matters of religion) - and a strenuous campaigner for serious radio and television, anti-muzak, anti-destruction of libraries, for the proper traditional cultural concerns of the British Council, et al." 'Poetry: The vodka in the verse', "The Guardian", October 7, 2006, Review Pages, Pg. 18]
* Lawrence Bush (19??–): Author of several books of Jewish fiction and non-fiction, including "Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist". [Bush describes himself as "an atheist who has nevertheless worked intimately in Jewish religious institutions as a writer and editor for much of my adult life." [ The rabbi and the atheist] , "New Jersey Jewish News", September 20, 2007 (accessed 21 april 2008).]
* Mary Butts (1890–1937): English modernist writer. ["By this time she had become an atheist and socialist." Nathalie Blondel: 'Butts , Mary Franeis (1890–1937)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* João Cabral de Melo Neto, (1920–1999): Brazilian poet, considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time. ["Though an atheist, Cabral had a deep, atavistic fear of the devil. When his wife died in 1986, he placed an emblem of Our Lady of Carmen around her neck, saying, in his mocking way, that this would make sure that she went directly to heaven, without being stopped at customs." 'Joao Cabral: His poetry voiced the sufferings of Brazil's poor', "The Guardian", October 18, 1999, Leader Pages; Pg. 18.]
* Angela Carter (1940–1992): English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism and science fiction works. ["All the mythic versions of women, from the myth of the redeeming purity of the virgin to that of the healing, reconciling mother, are consolatory nonsenses; and consolatory nonsense seems to me a fair definition of myth, anyway. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths of these cults gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place." Angela Carter, "The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography" (1978) p. 5 ]
* Luigi Cascioli (19??–): Italian author, who trained to become a Roman Catholic priest, but he left to become a pronounced atheist, arguing that Jesus never existed. ["Italian judge Gaetano Mautone has, with that special blend of flamboyance and arrogance you really only see in the continental judiciary, ordered a priest to appear in court to prove that Jesus exists. Or at least existed. Luigi Cascioli, a militant atheist and author of "The Fable of Christ", has brought a case against Father Enrico Righi after the priest lambasted the writer for questioning Christ's historical origins." Lucy Mangan, 'Proving Christ existed, and other resolution', "The Guardian", January 4, 2006, Pg. 36.]
* Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008): British scientist and science-fiction author. ["…Stanley [Kubrick] is a Jew and I'm an atheist". Clarke quoted in Jeromy Agel (Ed.) (1970). "The Making of Kubrick's 2001": p.306]
* Edward Clodd (1840–1930): English banker, writer and anthropologist, an early populariser of evolution, keen folklorist and chairman of the Rationalist Press Association. ["We can only guess what Clodd would have thought of having an evangelical preacher owning his old house: he was a noted atheist, who rejected his parents' ambition for him to become a Baptist minister in favour of becoming chairman of the Rationalist Press Association. His contribution to literature was in popularising the work of Charles Darwin and other evolutionary scientists in the face of opposition from the church. "The story of creation," wrote Clodd, " is the story of gas into genius"." Rose Gibbs, 'A religious conversion', "Sunday Telegraph", August 14, 2005, Section: House & Home, Pg. 004.]
* Claud Cockburn (1904–1981): Renowned radical British writer and journalist, controversial for his communist sympathies. ["For one whose life had been so full of ironies, it was fitting that five priests celebrated a requiem mass for him in Youghal, although he had been a committed atheist." Richard Ingrams: 'Cockburn, (Francis) Claud (1904–1981), rev. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2006 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Jonathan Coe (1961–): British novelist and satirical writer. ["Or you can ask: was that you in The Rotters' Club, the schoolboy so crazed with fear of being seen naked that you prayed to God for deliverance and He was moved to fling a wet pair of bathers into your orbit. Yes and no. There was no such epiphanous moment, he says, and besides, he's an atheist." Sally Vincent interviewing Coe, 'A Bit of a Rotter', "The Guardian", February 24, 2001, Pg. 36.]
* G. D. H. Cole (1889–1959): English political theorist, economist, writer and historian. ["An unlikely friendship developed between Reckitt and G. D. H. Cole. Although an unapproachable cold atheist, and at root an anarchist, Cole joined forces with Reckitt, the clubbable, romantic medievalist, archetypal bourgeois, and unswerving Anglican with a dogmatic faith, to found the National Guilds League in 1915." J. S. Peart-Binns, [ 'Reckitt, Maurice Benington (1888–1980)'] , rev., "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Ivy Compton-Burnett DBE (1884–1969): English novelist. ["Like Margaret Jourdain, and most of her characters who are not fools or knaves, Ivy Compton-Burnett was a firm atheist, dismissing religion because ‘No good can come of it’ (Spurling, Ivy when Young, 77)." Patrick Lyons: 'Burnett, Dame Ivy Compton- (1884–1969)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Cyril Connolly (1903–1974): English intellectual, literary critic and writer. [" 'Don't stand any nonsense from the Astors,' Sitwell concluded: prophetic advice, for within a short time of his arrival, Lord Astor was writing to the new literary editor to say that reviewers must combine 'ability and character and high ideals': he was especially worried in case A.L. Rowse proved a 'militant atheist', for 'I am convinced that our great influence in the world is due to the fact that this country has given a definite place to religion and to free religion, ie Protestantism at that.' Undaunted, Connolly made it plain in his reply that he would not put up with such nonsense: he himself was an atheist, and discerned no difference in behaviour between an English Protestant and an English atheist." Jeremy Lewis, 'Wine, Women, £800 a Year: Nice One, Cyril', "The Observer", April 13, 1997, "The Observer" Review Pages, Pg. 1.]
* Edmund Cooper (1926–1982): English poet and prolific writer of speculative fiction and other genres, published under his own name and several pen names. ["I'm an atheist. God is an abstract noun, he's not a Father Christmas up there in Heaven, he's an abstract bloody noun who has been exploited by men in order to exploit other men, through the centuries." Edmund Cooper, [ We must love one another or die: an interview with Edmund Cooper] (pdf), c.1973. ]
* William Cooper (1910–2002): English novelist. ['Cooper' was the pen name of Harry Hoff. "As a militant atheist he was especially on his guard in churches, and at the wedding of a much younger friend had to be restrained from heckling the bride's clerical uncle, who was delivering an address." D. J. Taylor, [ 'Hoff, Harry Summerfield (1910–2002)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", online edn, Oxford University Press, Jan 2006 (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Jim Crace (1946–): English writer, winner of numerous awards. ["The impulse of this book came when I was writing "Quarantine". At the end of writing that book, I was no less of an atheist than I was before, yet it did make me think about my atheism. Thinking about the bleakness of my own atheism, and the inadequacy of the old fashioned kind of atheism when the big events of life-- especially death--came along, made me want to see whether I could come up with a narrative of comfort, a false narrative of comfort, but one that could match the narratives of comfort religions come up with to get you through death and bereavement." Jim Crace, [ Beatrice Interview: Jim Crace] , c. 1999 (accessed April 28, 2008).]
* Theodore Dalrymple (1949–): pen name of British writer and retired physician Anthony Daniels. [Criticising the 'New Atheists' (Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, Onfray, Grayling and co.), Dalrymple wrote: "Yet with the possible exception of Dennett's [book "Breaking the Spell"] , they advance no argument that I, the village atheist, could not have made by the age of 14 (Saint Anselm's ontological argument for God's existence gave me the greatest difficulty, but I had taken Hume to heart on the weakness of the argument from design)." [ What the New Atheists Don't See] , "City Journal", Autumn 2007 (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Rhys Davies (1901–1978): Welsh novelist and short story writer. ["As a boy he attended a nonconformist chapel, and later an Anglican church, but in later life was to declare himself an atheist." Meic Stephens: 'Davies, Rhys (1901–1978)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Frank Dalby Davison (1893–1970): Australian novelist and short story writer, best known for his animal stories and sensitive interpretations of Australian bush life. ["Davison died on May 24, 1970 at Greensborough, Melbourne; a lifelong atheist, he was cremated after a secular funeral." Robert Darby, ' [ Davison, Frank Dalby (1893 - 1970)] ', "Australian Dictionary of Biography" Online Edition (accessed July 16, 2008).]
* Alain de Botton (1969–): English writer and television producer. ["Status Anxiety" is divided into two parts: an analysis of the problem, followed by 'solutions', which are, in fact, less solutions than consolations (they include philosophy, art, politics, bohemia, a certain kind of opting out, and Christianity, for which, as an atheist with no Christian background, he says he is able to have a 'weird sympathy')." Geraldine Bedell interviewing de Botton, "The Observer", February 29, 2004, Observer Review Pages, Pg. 15.]
* Marquis de Sade (1740–1814): French aristocrat, revolutionary and writer of philosophy-laden and often violent pornography. ["De Sade overcame his boredom and anger in prison by writing sexually graphic novels and plays. In July 1782 he finished his "Dialogue entre un prêtre et un moribond" ("Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man"), in which he declared himself an atheist." ' [ Sade, Marquis de.] ' "Encyclopædia Britannica", 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online (accessed August 1, 2008).]
* Isaac Deutscher (1907–1967): British journalist, historian and biographer. ["He rejected his father's ambition to make him a rabbi. Instead he became an atheist and, following in the footsteps of Marx, Trotsky, and his countrywoman Rosa Luxemburg, a lifelong 'non-Jewish Jew' ("Non-Jewish Jew", ed. Deutscher)." John McIlroy: 'Deutscher, Isaac (1907–1967)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Thomas M. Disch (1940–2008): American science fiction author and poet, winner of several awards. ["Friends said Disch had been despondent over ill health and Naylor's death in 2005. Yet he seemed in good humor for a brief Publishers Weekly interview last spring about his most recent book, "The Word of God." An outspoken atheist, Disch adopted the deity's perspective to score points on the absurdity of hell and similar numinous postulates. "One of the wonderful things about being God is you can say such nonsense and it's all true," he said." Stephen Miller, 'Thomas M. Disch, 68, Eclectic Writer of Science Fiction', "The New York Sun", July 8, 2008, Obituaries, Pg. 6.]
* Roddy Doyle (1958–): Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter, winner of the Booker Prize in 1993. ["He does appreciate the new and confident pluralism that has loosened the grip of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on education. His three children attend secular state schools, and he welcomes the widening "rift between Church and state. It has happened, it is happening, and for me that's a great thing. As an atheist, I feel very comfortable in Ireland now." " Boyd Tonkin interviewing Doyle, "The Independent" (London), September 17, 2004, Features, Pg. 20-21.]
* Ruth Dudley Edwards (19??–): Irish historian, crime novelist, journalist and broadcaster. ["Tariq likes permanent revolution, whereas I am a libertarian conservative. True, we are both atheists, but Tariq is evangelical while I am benign about religion and think the Throne should be occupied by a member of the Church of England." Ruth Dudley-Edwards, 'Will half of Ireland really back Cameroon? How will a win affect public sentiment? Or a defeat?', "Daily Telegraph", June 1, 2002, Pg. 24.]
* Carol Ann Duffy (1955–): Award-winning British poet, playwright and freelance writer. ["But the 21st century has done nothing to prevent two others from the Manchester area from reshaping and modernising the Christmas story -the poet Carol Ann Duffy and the composer Sasha Johnson Manning, who have written 16 new carols. Duffy, brought up a Catholic, pronounces herself an atheist; Johnson Manning is a committed Christian." Geoff Brown, 'O great big town of Manchester', "The Times", December 7, 2007, Times2; Pg. 15.]
* Turan Dursun (1934–1990): Islamic scholar, imam and mufti, and latterly, an outspoken atheist. ["Turan Dursun, a former imam and an atheist writer..." [ A dark shadow over Turkey] , "Turkish Daily News", January 20, 2007 (Accessed April 15, 2008)]
* Terry Eagleton (1943–): British literary critic, currently Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester. ["It was also a sign that, though Eagleton is now an atheist, he has not entirely shaken off his religious upbringing. "I attacked Dawkins's book on God because I think he is theologically illiterate. I value my Catholic background very much. It taught me not to be afraid of rigorous thought, for one thing." But it is also because, he insists, Marxism offers the blueprint for a moral society." Paul Vallely, 'Class warrior; The Saturday Profile: Terry Eagleton', "The Independent" (London), October 13, 2007, Pg. 42.]
* Greg Egan (1961–): Australian computer programmer and science fiction author. ["I was raised as a Christian, and I still retain a lot of the values of Christianity. The trouble with basing values on religions, though, is that the premises of most of them are pure wishful thinking; you either have to refuse to scrutinise those premises - take them on faith, declare that they "transcend logic" - or reject them. As Paul Davies has said, most Christian theologians have retreated from all the things that their religion supposedly asserts; they take a much more "modern" view than the average believer. But by the time you've "modernised" something like Christianity - starting off with "Genesis was all just poetry" and ending up with "Well, of course there's no such thing as a personal God" - there's not much point pretending that there's anything religious left. You might as well come clean and admit that you're an atheist with certain values, which are historical, cultural, biological, and personal in origin, and have nothing to do with anything called God." Greg Egan, [ An Interview With Greg Egan] , "Eidolon" 11, pp. 18-30, January 1993 (accessed April 28, 2008)] ["When I discussed my own atheism and Peter his own belief, he wrote that he needed God as a "friend of loneliness, who does not speak, does not laugh, does not cry"." Greg Egan, [ Letters from the forgotten] , "The Age" (Australia), February 17, 2005 (accessed April 28, 2008)]
* Dave Eggers (1970–): American writer, editor, and publisher. [Q: "Are you a religious man?" Eggers: "Most of my siblings and I stopped believing when we were around 14. I'm somewhere between an atheist and an agnostic - I'd be an atheist if I could muster the energy." 'You Ask The Questions: Dave Eggers', "The Independent" (London), September 30, 2004, Features, Pg. 5.]
* Barbara Ehrenreich (1941–): American feminist, socialist and political activist. She is a widely read columnist and essayist, and the author of nearly 20 books. ["Saturday, my last night at the [Motel] 6, and I refuse to spend it crushed in my room. But what is a person of limited means and no taste for "carousing" to do? Several times during the week, I have driven past the "Deliverance" church downtown, and the name alone exerts a scary attraction... The marquee in front of the church is advertising a Saturday night "tent revival," which sounds like the perfect entertainment for an atheist out on her own." "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America", Barbara Ehrenreich, Henry Holt and Company, 2001, (p. 66-67) ISBN 0-8050-6389-7]
* George Eliot (1819–1890): Mary Ann Evans, the famous novelist, was also a humanist and propounded her views on theism in an essay called "Evangelical Teaching'. [Reprinted in cite book|first=Christopher|last=Hitchens|title=The Portable Atheist|date=2007|isbn=978-0-306-81608-6] .
* Harlan Ellison (1934–): American science fiction author and screenwriter. ["Look, I'm an atheist. People say to me, do you believe in God? No, I don't believe in God." Harlan Ellison in clue book for the computer version of "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream"( [] .)]
* Gavin Ewart (1916–1995): British poet. ["He died of prostate cancer in Trinity Hospice, in Clapham, south London, on October 23, 1995. He was a declared atheist and a member of the Humanist Society and he was cremated on October 30 at Putney Vale crematorium, south London." Paul Vaughan: 'Ewart, Gavin Buchanan (1916–1995)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Oriana Fallaci (1929–2006): Italian journalist, author, and political interviewer. ["I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion." [ Prophet of Decline: An interview with Oriana Fallaci] , "Wall Street Journal", June 23, 2005 (accessed April 10, 2008).]
* Vardis Fisher (1895–1968): American writer and scholar, author of atheistic "Testament of Man" series. [American Atheists article on Fisher [] .]
* Tom Flynn (19??–): American author and Senior Editor of Free Inquiry magazine. ["I've been doing media appearances as a secular humanist activist for fifteen years now. I perennially underwent this exchange: REPORTER/HOST: Are you an atheist? ME: I call myself a secular humanist. Secular humanists disbelieve in the supernatural and prefer to use reason, compassion, and the methods of science to build the good life in this life. REPORTER/HOST: But you're an atheist, aren't you? I couldn't sidestep the "A" word. When I tried, it was all I'd get to talk about. Today, I handle this question differently: REPORTER/HOST: Are you an atheist? ME: Yes, but that's only the beginning." Tom Flynn, [ Why The "A" Word Won't Go Away] , Council for Secular Humanism op-ed article (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Ken Follett (1949ndash;): British author of thrillers and historical novels. ["Follett, who is 58, was born in Cardiff, the son of a tax inspector. His family belonged to the puritanical Plymouth Brethren, so he was barred from watching films and television and even visiting other churches. Sounds like a strict upbringing. Perhaps too strict, given that he is now an atheist. 'Yeah, as soon as I reached the age of reason - about 16 - I stopped going to church. But I also have a sybaritic streak and could never have been happy in any puritanical religion. Self-denial is not my thing." Nigel Farndale, 'Damn Right I Got The Talent', "Sunday Telegraph", October 7, 2007, Section 7 (Books), Pg.22.]
* E. M. Forster OM (1879–1970): English novelist, short story writer, and essayist, best known for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th century British society. ["Some time in his middle teens, he had announced that he had become an atheist, and this had led to a violent flurry in the family, various clerical friends being called in, in vain, to shepherd him back to orthodoxy. [...] Despite his churchy friends, Forster was very ready to be parted from his faith, which did not go very deep. [...] Within a short time, under Meredith's ministrations, he had lost his faith completely." Extract from P. N. Furbank's "E. M. Forster: A Life, the Growth of the Novelist 1879-1914", "which E. M. Forster invited P. N. Furbank to write", 'Saturday Review: Forster at Kings', "The Times", July 23, 1977; pg. 7; Issue 60063; col A. ]
* John Fowles (1926–2005): English novelist and essayist, noted especially for The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Magus (novel). ["In 1989 a stroke slightly impaired his memory. But the death of Elizabeth, who had been in all his novels, was an incomparably worse blow. "As an atheist, it made me very angry with someone - He, She or It - who doesn't exist," he said. It was the paradox his books had been written to solve." John Ezard, 'Obituary: John Fowles', "The Guardian", November 8, 2005, Pg. 36.]
* Maureen Freely (1952–): American journalist, novelist, translator and teacher. ["Hijuelos has a way of making even the most uninspiring life unique, the ugliest scene beautiful. This devout atheist was moved and at moments even transported." Maureen Freely, reviewing "Mr Ives' Christmas" by Oscar Hijuelos, "The Guardian" (London), December 17, 1995, The Observer Review Page, Pg. 15] .
* Frederick James Furnivall (1825–1910): English philologist, one of the co-creators of the "Oxford English Dictionary". ["Frederick Furnivall was a man of diverse causes, all based on passionately held beliefs: vegetarianism, sculling, spelling reform, atheism (in his later years), socialism, egalitarianism, teetotalism, and above all the supreme importance of editing historic and literary texts that could shed light on the cultural and social life of England's past." William S. Peterson, [ 'Furnivall, Frederick James (1825–1910)'] , Oxford "Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, May 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Alex Garland (1970–): British novelist and screenwriter, author of The Beach and the screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine. [In his introduction to the "Sunshine" screenplay (Faber and Faber 2007), Garland writes: "Aside from being a love letter to its antecedents, I wrote Sunshine as a film about atheism. A crew is en route to a God-like entity: the Sun. The Sun is larger and more powerful than we can imagine. The Sun gave us life, and can take it away. It is nurturing, in that it provides the means of our survival, but also terrifying and hostile [...] Ultimately, even the most rational crew member is overwhelmed by his sense of wonder and, as he falls into the star, he believes he is touching the face of God. But he isn't. The Sun is God-like, but not God. Not a conscious being. Not a divine architect. And the crew member is only doing what man has always done: making an awestruck category error when confronted with our small place within the vast and neutral scheme of things. The director, Danny Boyle, who is not atheistic in the way that I am, felt differently. He believed that the crew actually were meeting God. I didn't see this as a major problem, because the difference in our approach wasn't in conflict with the way in which the story would be told." ]
* Constance Garnett (1861–1946): English translator, whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics which first introduced them widely to the English and American public. ["Constance became a lifelong sceptic and atheist." Patrick Waddington: 'Garnett, Constance Clara (1861–1946)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, May 2007 [] (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Nicci Gerrard (1958–): British author and journalist, who with her husband Sean French writes psychological thrillers under the pen name of Nicci French. ["I am an atheist who married in a register office, but I can sympathise with those who don't want the clerkish atmosphere of the civic ceremony, the threadbare, legalistic words." Nicci Gerrard, 'Beyond belief', "The Observer", January 2, 2000, Observer Review Pages; Pg. 1.]
* Sir William Golding (1911–1993): British novelist, poet and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. ["Golding learned from his father, a science master at Marlborough grammar school, to be a rationialist, a sceptic and an atheist. But it may be that his mother's influence was the more profound in filling his mental landscape with anti-rational horrors." John Walsh, 'William Golding: 1911-1993 part Hornblower, part Lear', "The Independent" (London), June 20, 1993, Pg 3.]
* Rebecca Goldstein (1950–1993): American novelist and professor of philosophy. [From an interview with Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein by Steve Paulson for "Salon" magazine: "Spinoza certainly dismissed the religion he'd been exposed to. Do both of you consider yourselves atheists? [pause] GOLDSTEIN: Yes. PINKER: Yes. GOLDSTEIN: Proud atheists. PINKER: There, we said it. [Laughs.] [Paulson:] So you have to hesitate for a moment before you use that dirty word? PINKER: Atheists are the most reviled minority in the United States, so it's no small matter to come out and say it." ' [ Proud Atheists] ',, October 15, 2007 (accessed August 5, 2008).]
* Nadine Gordimer (1923–): South African writer and political activist. Her writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. She won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991. ["I have no religion - I'm an atheist, and I don't believe in any afterlife..." [|Gordimer looks towards end] ", BBC News, 2003-06-06. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.] ["I am an atheist. I wouldn't even call myself an agnostic." [ The Art of Fiction No. 77: Nadine Gordimer] , Interview by the Paris Review Foundation, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-24.]
* Robert Graves (1895–1985): English poet, scholar, translator and novelist, producing more than 140 works including his famous annotations of Greek myths and I, Claudius. ["In addition, between 1919 and 1924 Nancy gave birth to four children in under five years; while Graves (now an atheist like his wife) suffered from recurring bouts of shell-shock." Richard Perceval Graves, 'Graves, Robert von Ranke (1895–1985)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, Oct 2006 [] (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Graham GreeneOM, CH (1904–1991): English] novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer and critic. ["Though Greene later objected to being called a 'Catholic novelist', he became celebrated for employing religious themes in his works, praised by Catholic critics during his lifetime for the powerful way in which his novels explore the subjects of sin, damnation, evil, and divine forgiveness. But Greene's relationship with the church was never easy, and he was often critical of the religion. In his last years he began referring to himself as a 'Catholic atheist' (Shelden, 6)." Michael Shelden: 'Greene, (Henry) Graham (1904–1991)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edition, January 2006 [] (accessed May 1, 2008).] ["I don't like conventional religious piety. I'm more at ease with the Catholicism of Catholic countries. I've always found it difficult to believe in God. I suppose I'd now call myself a Catholic atheist." Graham Greene, interviewed by VS Pritchett, "Saturday Review": Graham Greene into the light', "The Times", March 18, 1978; pg. 6; Issue 60260; col A. ]
* Germaine Greer (1939–): Australian feminist writer. Greer describes herself as a "Catholic atheist". ["I am still a Catholic, I just don't believe in God. I am an atheist Catholic - there are a lot of them around. One thing lapsed Catholics do not do is go in for an "inferior" religion with less in the way of tradition and intellectual content."—Greer, Germaine (November 27, 2003), [ The habit of a lifetime] , "The Guardian". Accessed February 12, 2008.]
* David Grossman (1954–): Israeli author of fiction, nonfiction, and youth and children's literature. ["Sitting in his home in Jerusalem, Grossman says he can see nothing in his own "banal" upbringing to explain the path he took. His father emigrated from Poland to Palestine in 1933, working as a bus driver and raising his family along traditional lines. Grossman describes himself as "very secular, an atheist and very, very Jewish"." Sarah Helm, 'The moral guardian, writing to create an emotional bridge', "The Independent" (London), May 29, 1993, Weekend section, Pg 29.]
* Jan Guillou (1944–): Swedish author and Journalist. [sv icon "Translation:" "I am [an] atheist, but Ann-Marie and I light a candle anyway. I have dedicated "Madame Terror" to her. Since she has helped me much with [my] books, not least with this one, the latest. Much talk on and forth, I've had a lot yellings." cite web|date=2006-12-03|url=|title="Det ska mycket till för att reta upp mig"|publisher=Expressen|accessdate=2007-01-20]
* Daniel Handler (1970–): American author better known under the pen name of Lemony Snicket. Handler has admitted to being both an atheist ["Handler says he's 'pretty much' an atheist..." [ Autumn of a book-lover’s contentment] , Marvin Olasky, "World Magazine", October 07, 2006 (Accessed April 5, 2008)] and a secular humanist. ["Mr. Handler... describes himself as a 'secular humanist.'", [ Lemony Snicket reaches 'The End'] , By Todd Leopold,, October 5, 2006 (Accessed April 5, 2008)] Handler has hinted that the Baudelaires in his children's book series "A Series of Unfortunate Events" might be atheists. [Interviewer: "Are the Baudelaires Jewish?" Handler: "I think that if you had that many terrible things happen to you, you'd probably become an atheist." [ A Very Frustrating Dialogue] , by Marc Silver, "U.S. News & World Report" web exclusive, 5/20/02 (Accessed April 5, 2008)]
* Sam Harris (1967–): American author, researcher in neuroscience, author of "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation". [Author of [ "An Atheist Manifesto"] ]
* Harry Harrison (1925–): American science fiction author, anthologist and artist whose short story "The Streets of Ashkelon" took as its hero an atheist who tries to prevent a Christian missionary from indoctrinating a tribe of irreligious but ingenuous alien beings. ["Harry Harrison is a self-confessed atheist" per official website [] ]
* Tony Harrison (1937–): English poet, winner of a number of literary prizes. ["Although his parents never saw the poems he wrote about them, they are still included in his audience. "I'm a total atheist but I do write things for them." " [,,154405,00.html The Guardian Profile: Tony Harrison] , April 1, 2000 (accessed April 15, 2008) ]
* Seamus Heaney (1939–): Irish poet, writer and lecturer, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. ["So the ghosts in his poems haven't the status of reported sightings. But is he giving credence to a world beyond or an afterlife? "No. I believe in the atheist position, or Wordsworthian one - it's not in the Elysian fields but on this earth that we find our happiness, in the inner theatre or the theatre of relationships, in society or the home. It all becomes a bit simpler when you feel that, it clarifies things. All those folk wisdoms you hear that go past you - 'There's no next time round' - suddenly you appreciate that they're true." " Blake Morrison interviewing Heaney, 'Seamus Famous: time to be dazzled', "The Independent" (London), May 19, 1991, The Sunday Review Page, Pg. 26.]
* Zoë Heller (1965–): British journalist and novelist. ["I am not a believer. In fact, on religious matters, I am inclined to take the Christopher Hitchens line - not only am I atheist, I am anti-theist. (If God did exist, I would be against him on any number of grounds, not least of which is that He is always behaving in such an unreasonable, autocratic manner.)" Zoë Heller, 'God doesn't have the best tunes New York', "Daily Telegraph", March 27, 2004, Features, Comment Pg. 22.]
* Dorothy Hewett (1923–2002): Australian feminist poet, novelist, librettist, and playwright. ["She was educated at home, by correspondence and at Perth College. This was run by Anglican nuns who, she said, informed her she would never enter the kingdom of heaven. Since she was already an atheist - which she remained all her life - she greeted this news with a certain nonchalance. She was amused when, in later life, she was designated as a patron saint of Australian writers." Philip Jones, 'Obituary: Dorothy Hewett', "The Guardian", September 5, 2002, Pg. 26.]
* Archie Hind (1928–2008): Scottish writer, author of "The Dear Green Place", regarded as one of the greatest Scottish novels of all time. ["Hind became a socialist and an atheist, and at 14 left Riverside high school, Carntyne, and became a process clerk at Britain's largest engineering firm, Beardmore." Jackie Kemp, 'Obituary: Archie Hind: Author of a novel of Glasgow working-class life which won the Guardian award', "The Guardian", February 29, 2008, Pg. 41.]
* Christopher Hitchens (1949–): Author of "God Is Not Great", journalist and essayist. ["Secularism is not just a smug attitude. It is a possible way of democratic and pluralistic life that only became thinkable after several wars and revolutions had ruthlessly smashed the hold of the clergy on the state. ... I have spent all my life on the atheist side of this argument..." Hitchens in article, [ "Bush's Secularist Triumph"] .]
* Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1792–1862): British biographer, and co-author with Percy Bysshe Shelley of "The Necessity of Atheism". ["In March 1811 he was expelled along with Shelley for refusing to reveal who wrote "The Necessity of Atheism". Though Shelley wrote the final version and arranged the printing and distribution, Hogg had garnered philosophical arguments for the essay and probably wrote an early draft. Consequently, his decision to share Shelley's expulsion was partly a matter of loyalty and partly of pride—he could not allow his friend to accept full credit (or blame) for their joint production." Carol L. Thoma, [ 'Hogg, Thomas Jefferson (1792–1862)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* R. J. Hollingdale (1930–2001): English biographer and translator of German philosophy and literature, President of The Friedrich Nietzsche Society, and responsible for rehabilitating Nietzsche's reputation in the English-speaking world. ["Grimly atheist, he appreciated Nietzsche's attempt to establish a philosophy that was simultaneously nihilist and life-affirming. He understood Nietzsche's keen wit, and was very funny in his own fashion, cracking many a joke, often at his own expense. ("A drink? Oh alright, just a large one!")" Carol Diethe, 'Obituary: RJ Hollingdale', "The Guardian", October 10, 2001, Pg. 24.]
* Michel Houellebecq (1958–): French novelist. [cite journal
last = Masson
first = Sophie
authorlink = Sophie Masson
title = The Strange Case of Michel Houellebecq
journal = Quadrant
volume = XLVII
issue = 6
year = 2003
month = June
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-20
* A. E. Housman (1859–1936): English poet and classical scholar, best known for his cycle of poems "A Shropshire Lad". [Jim Page, the chairman of the Housman Society, said: [...] "He writes about church bells in his poems and his ashes are buried at the church in Ludlow. He was an atheist but retained an affection for churches and the sound of the bells." Richard Savill, 'Housman's bells ring again at Bredon', "Daily Telegraph", June 28, 2004, Pg. 08.]
* Stanley Edgar Hyman (1919–1970): American literary critic who wrote primarily about critical methods. ["Hyman blatantly proclaimed his biases: for example, he vigorously opposed any critical approach that took organized religion seriously (he often described himself as a "militant atheist"), and his dismissal of Eliot and Winters was based in part on their religious sympathies." Ann T. Keene: "Hyman, Stanley Edgar", "American National Biography Online", Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008) [] .]
* Howard Jacobson (1942–): British author, best known for comic novels but also a non-fiction writer and journalist. ["But what had religion to do with it? I am not remotely religious. What brought out the venom of my attack - in so far as that's a fair description, which it isn't - was the complacency of Dawkins' prose, his inability, which he mistakes for a virtue, to imagine how another living soul imagines the universe. All of which I could have said exactly as I said it and still been more of an atheist than he is." Howard Jacobson, "The Independent" (London), September 15, 2007, Comment, Pg. 52.]
* Susan Jacoby (1945–): an American atheist, secularist, and author, most recently of the New York Times best seller, "The Age of American Unreason", which is about anti-intellectualism. ["In response to the popular atheist books of Susan Jacoby, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens..." [ Review] by Fred Edwords of "What's So Great about Christianity" (by Dinesh D'Souza), expanded online version of that originally published in "The Humanist", March/April 2008 (Accessed April 14, 2008)]
* Clive James (1939–): Australian author, television presenter and cultural commentator. ["I really do think religions are just advertising agencies for a product that doesn't exist." [] retrieved September 16, 2008] ["I'm an atheist myself." [,3123,Discussion-between-Richard-Dawkins-and-Clive-James,Richard-Dawkins-Clive-James-Edinburgh-Book-Festival] retrieved September 16, 2008]
* Robin Jenkins (1912–2005): Scottish writer of about thirty novels, though mainly known for "The Cone Gatherers". [Reviewing Jenkins's "The Missionaries", Paul Binding wrote: "In addition to registering as a pacifist Jenkins became a member of the Independent Labour Party and was a declared atheist." Paul Binding, 'Saints and sinners', "The Guardian", November 5, 2005, Review Pages, Pg. 17.]
* Neil Jordan (1950-): Irish novelist and filmmaker. [ [ God is the greatest imaginary being of all time."] ]
* S. T. Joshi (1958–): American editor and literary critic. [Joshi's book: " [ God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong] " at]
* Ismail Kadare (1936–): Albanian novelist and poet, winner of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca and the inaugural Man Booker International Prize. ["Born near the Greek border in Gjirokaster in 1936, of two Muslim parents, Kadare claims to be an atheist. However, much of his language, especially when he talks of forgiving the old Stalinist order rather than seeking revenge, is Christian. The paradox, then, is that Kadare is a humanist who claims that the greatest riches of Albanian culture derive from its Christian tradition." John Murray, 'The Orphan's Voice', "The Independent" (London), January 25, 1998, Page 25.] ["Muslim Identity and the Balkan State", Hugh Poulton, Suha Taji-Farouki, 1997, ISBN 1850652767, [,M1 google print p. 133] .]
* Ludovic Kennedy (1919–): British journalist, author, and campaigner for voluntary euthanasia. [Kennedy's book: " [ All in the Mind: A Farewell to God] " at]
* James Kelman (1946–): Scottish author, influential and Booker Prize-winning writer of novels, short stories, plays and political essays. ["It should be clear from the above, and is made explicit in an essay on 'The Importance of Glasgow In My Work', that Kelman's strengths as a writer and thinker have nothing inherent to do with his being (as he likes to put it) "a white middle-aged Glaswegian atheist protestant-bred male writer and father of two mature daughters who spent his early years in Govan, Drumchapel, Partick and Maryhill"." Jenny Turner, 'Some Recent Attacks: Essays Cultural and Political', "The Guardian" (London), November 17, 1992, Features, Pg. 9.]
* Douglas Kennedy (1955–): American-born novelist, playwright and nonfiction writer. ["Now I'm a pretty hardened atheist - not to mention something of a metropolitan sceptic - but I do appreciate the human need to believe that, behind life's important happenstantial events, there is a larger meaning. And even if we don't buy the "controlling hand of God", we often try to console ourselves with the "to everything a purpose" theory of chance. This is especially true in instances of random calamity." Douglas Kennedy, 'The Hand of Fate', "The Independent" (London), April 28, 2001, Features, Pg. 30-33.]
* Paul Krassner (1932–): American founder and editor of the freethought magazine "The Realist", and a key figure in the 1960s counterculture. [Krassner contributed a piece entitled 'Confessions of an Atheist' to the anthology "Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion" (The Disinformation Company 2007, ISBN 1932857591). Excerpt: "I had developed that habit of communicating with my imaginary friend when I was a kid who actually believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful Being. [...] My faith disappeared when I was thirteen. [...] On the day after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, I would read that headline over and over and over and over again. That afternoon, I told God I couldn't believe in him any more because he had allowed such devastation to happen. "Allowed? Why do you think I gave humans free will?" "Okay, well, I'm exercising my free will to believe that you don't exist." "All right, it's your loss!" So at least we would remain on speaking terms." ]
* Pär Lagerkvist (1891–1974): Swedish author who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1951. He used religious motifs and figures from the Christian tradition without following the doctrines of the church. ["...Lagerkvist... wrote of himself that he was 'a believer without a belief, a religious atheist.'" [,9171,895937,00.html The Religious Atheist] , Time Magazine review of Lagerkvist's book "The Death of Ahasuerus", February 23, 1962. Retrieved July 24, 2007.]
* Philip Larkin CH, CBE, FRSL (1922–1985): English poet, novelist and jazz critic. ["Larkin, a typical moody 20th-century atheist, thought religion was "that vast moth-eaten musical brocade / Created to pretend we never die". A.N. Wilson, 'Give me that old-time religion', "Daily Telegraph", April 17, 2006, News section, End column, Pg. 19.] ["It is a curious fact, but if I want a poet who will get me in an Easter frame of mind, I turn not to these orthodox followers of the Creed, but to that out-and-out atheist and self-confessed nihilist Philip Larkin." A.N. Wilson, 'This is the time when Larkin comes into his own', "Daily Telegraph", April 21, 2003, World of Books section, Pg. 21.]
* Marghanita Laski (1915–1988): English journalist and novelist, also writing literary biography, plays and short stories. ["In view of the enduring influence of Moses Gaster it is a mark of Marghanita Laski's true independence of mind that, while remaining proud of her Jewishness, she renounced her faith even before she went up to Oxford and declared herself to be an atheist." R. W. Burchfield, [ 'Laski, Marghanita (1915–1988)'] , rev. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2007 (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Rutka Laskier (1929–1943): Polish Jew who was killed at Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 14. Because of her diary, on display at Israel's Holocaust museum, she has been dubbed the "Polish Anne Frank." [Laskier wrote "The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, He would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with gun butts or shoved into sacks and gassed to death." "New Pages of Past Horror: Writings depict the innocence of a Jewish teen coming of age--and Nazi brutality", Aron Heller, Associated Press, June 6, 2006.]
* [ Ismael Leandry Vega] (1979–): Puertorrican lawyer and author of La Maldad y la Imbecilidad de tu Dios y de tu Religión (ISBN: 978-0-6152-4471-6). [Ismael Leandry Vega. (2008). La Maldad y la Imbecilidad de tu Dios y de tu Religión. Morrisville, North Carolina.: Lulu Press. ISBN: 978-0-6152-4471-6.]
* Stanislaw Lem (1921–2006): Polish science fiction novelist and essayist. [ An Interview with Stanislaw Lem] by Peter Engel. "The Missouri Review", Volume 7, Number 2, 1984.]
* Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837): Italian poet, linguist, essayist and philosopher. Leopardi is legendary as an out-and-out nihilist. [ In his posthumously published "Zibaldone", Leopardi writes, among other such arguments: "In sum, the foundation of everything, and of God himself, is nothing. Since nothing is absolutely necessary, there is no absolute reason why something could "not" be, or not be in a certain way...And everything is possible, that is there is no absolute reason why some arbitrary thing can not exist, or exist in a certain manner....And there is no absolute distinction between all these possibilities, nor absolute difference between all the possible perfections and so on....It is certain that since the Platonic forms that preexist all things have been destroyed, God is destroyed." (Zib. 1341-42, July 18, 1821) —trans. Francesco Franco]
* Primo Levi (1919–1987): Italian novelist and chemist, survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp. [Levi quoted as saying "There is Auschwitz, and so there cannot be God." Interview with Marlboro Press (1989) [] .]
* Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799): German scientist, satirist, philosopher and anglophile. Known as one of Europe's best authors of aphorisms. Satirized religion using aphorisms like "I thank the Lord a thousand times for having made me become an atheist." [ "Waste Books" E 252, 1765-1770]
* Pierre Loti (1850–1923): French novelist and travel writer. [Repeatedly mentioned in Lesley Blanch's biography of him: "Pierre Loti - Travels with the Legendary Romantic".]
* H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937): American horror writer. [Joshi, The Scriptorium, "H. P. Lovecraft", section II.]
* Franco Lucentini (1920–2002): Italian writer, journalist, translator and editor of anthologies. ["A convinced atheist, he had discussed the possibility of suicide with his friend Fruttero in the past, at one time contemplating driving his car into a canal with his companion, Simone Bennes Darses, at his side. On this occasion he rose early, leaving her sleeping undisturbed in bed." Philip Willan, 'Obituary: Franco Lucentini', "The Guardian", August 9, 2002, Pg. 18.]
* Norman MacCaig (1910–1996): Scottish poet, whose work is known for its humour, simplicity of language and great popularity. ["During the Second World War McCaig was a conscientious objector, though not on religious grounds for, as he asserted in an interview, 'I was born an atheist' (Murray, 88)." Hilda D. Spear, [ 'MacCaig , Norman Alexander (1910–1996)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edition, May 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Colin Mackay (1951–2003): British poet and novelist. ["There was grim humour in such careful planning. Perhaps Mackay, also, was serious about sainthood. Amongst the allusions and quotations in his memoir, the King James Bible and Bunyan's wonderful Pilgrim's Progress are predominant. He was an atheist, he reiterated, but his disappointment with the world - with failed and brutal Communism, with crass capitalist consumerism - moved him towards "prophecy" in the Judaeo-Christian tradition." Obituary: Colin Mackay, "The Independent" (London), August 9, 2003, Pg. 20.]
* Naguib Mahfouz - Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature.Ilan Pappé, "The Modern Middle East", Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0415214092, [,M1 Google Print, p. 189] .]
* Gareth McLean (19??–): Scottish journalist, writer for The Guardian and Radio Times, shortlisted for the Young Journalist of the Year Award at the British Press Awards in 1997 and 1998. ["What's all the fuss about? Stephen Bates explains, while political sketch-writer Simon Hoggart, theatre critic Lyn Gardner and gay atheist Gareth McLean review the bishop's performance." Gareth McLean: "As someone who doesn't have faith - as well as one of those whose sexuality is considered abominable by many of those who do - I sometimes struggle to take seriously any of the brouhaha surrounding the schism in the Church of England. [...] Now even if I didn't think that the Bible was just a book - one that's thousands of years old, that is made-up, that was compiled, edited, translated and has had bits omitted over the years - we all know that, for centuries, it's been cherry-picked to justify all sorts of abhorrent thought and behaviour. [...] Of course, there are millions of people who do believe, even if I don't, and if the battle is for their hearts and minds and, consequently, for a wider tolerance of the gay people among them, then we should engage at least a little." [ Preaching to the converted] , "The Guardian", July 15, 2008 (accessed July 15, 2008).]
* Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958): French author, winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature. ["Gide's campaign of liberation extended to religion and politics. His friend Roger Martin du Gard saw disbelief as a modern responsibility, and claimed that 'my atheism was formed at the same time as my mind'." Peter Conrad, reviewing "Andre Gide: A Life in the Present" by Alan Sheridan Hamish, "The Observer", November 15, 1998, The Observer Review Page; Pg. 15.]
* W. Somerset Maugham CH (1874–1965): English playwright, novelist, and short story writer, one of the most popular authors of his era. ["So why should Maugham, self-declared atheist, "continental" more than English, choose so inappropriate a burial place?" Shona Crawford Poole, 'Pilgrimage to the heart of England', "The Times", January 26, 1985; pg. 12; Issue 62046; col D.] ["In "The Summing Up" (1938) and "A Writer's Notebook" (1949) Maugham explains his philosophy of life as a resigned atheism and a certain skepticism about the extent of man's innate goodness and intelligence; it is this that gives his work its astringent cynicism." [ 'Maugham, W. Somerset'] , "Encyclopedia Britannica", accessed May 8, 2008.]
* Charles Maurras (1868–1952): French author, poet, and critic, a leader and principal thinker of the reactionary Action Française. ["The French right, to give it its due, has been astonishingly persistent throughout history. [...] In "Action Francaise"sic it found a congenial form of expression and a leader, Charles Maurras; the fact that Maurras was an atheist who believed that religion was a useful social cement [...] did not distress the Catholics on the French right as much as it should." Peter Hebblethwaite, 'Misguided catalogue of blame for the passing of the glory that was France', "The Times", January 4, 1975; pg. 12; Issue 59285; col B.]
* Joseph McCabe (1867–1955): English writer, anti-religion campaigner. [Multiple quotes from McCabe substantiating his atheist view [] .]
* Mary McCarthy (1912–1989): American writer and critic. ["Throughout her childhood, McCarthy took refuge in Catholicism, but, although she was schooled in convents and considered herself a devout Catholic, she tried to call attention to herself as a teenager by pretending to have lost her faith. Questioned about her claim, she found that she had in fact done so. She remained an atheist." Kathy D. Hadley: "McCarthy, Mary", "American National Biography Online", Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008) [] .]
* Ian McEwan, CBE (1948–): British author and winner of the Man Booker Prize. ["Yes, I am an atheist, and probably Briony is, too. Atheists have as much conscience, possibly more, than people with deep religious conviction, and they still have the same problem of how they reconcile themselves to a bad deed in the past. It’s a little easier if you’ve got a god to forgive you." cite web | last=Solomon | first=Deborah | authorlink=Deborah Solomon | date= December 2, 2007 | title= A Sinner's Tale: Questions for Ian McEwan | work=New York Times | url= | accessdate=2007-12-02]
* China Miéville (1972–): British Science Fiction author. ["My distaste for Lewis and Tolkien as writers does not stem from the fact that, as an atheist, I disagree with their religious beliefs or think that religious concerns cannot make great literature." – [ "Reinvigorating the Fantastic"] , Accessed February 12, 2007.]
* Arthur Miller (1915–2005): American playwright and essayist, a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as "The Crucible", "A View from the Bridge", "All My Sons", and "Death of a Salesman", which are widely studied. [Interviewed in 2004 by Jonathan Miller for his television series "Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief", Arthur Miller said: "Well I tried to be a religious person when I was twelve, thirteen, fourteen, it lasted about two years. And then it simply vanished. I simply lay down one evening to go to sleep and woke up the next day and it wasn't there anymore. [...] Of course, I could no longer believe. I quickly, at some point in my late teens, began reading and surmising that the idea of religion was a creation of man's longing to be a permanent part of the universe. [...] But myself, personally, I don't have the talent to believe. [...] It just seems to me so patent that what man has done is to project himself into the heavens, where he can be all-powerful as he's not here, and moral, and decent, and vengeful, and all the things he's not allowed to do on the earth, and to don that white garment and the beard and be what he wished in his dreams he could be... and I just can't get past that." "The Atheism Tapes: Arthur Miller", 3.25–6.14, BBC television, first broadcast October 2004.]
* David Mills (author) (1959–): Author who argues in his book "Atheist Universe" that science and religion cannot be successfully reconciled. ["Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism." [] ]
* Terenci Moix (1942–2003): Spanish writer who wrote in both Spanish and in Catalan. ["At the close of the Franco regime, he was already advocating personal liberation on every front - he was atheist, homosexual, anti-bourgeois and a leading figure of the early "Movida" led by artists and film-makers with provocative zest typical of what became called "the divine left-wing"." James Kirkup, 'Obituary: Terenci Moix', "The Independent" (London), April 7, 2003, Pg. 19.]
* Brian Moore (1921–1999): Irish novelist and screenwriter, awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1975 and the inaugural Sunday Express Book of the Year award in 1987, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. ["Over a 45-year writing career, Moore produced fabulously varied novels, whose settings ranged from Vichy France to Haiti post-Duvalier. He was an atheist, yet conjured a sense of holiness in thrillers like "The Colour of Blood" and "No Other Life". In these parables of conscience, Moore investigated the betrayal of religious loyalties and political beliefs." Ian Thompson reviewing "Brian Moore: A Biography" by Patricia Craig, 'Loved by Greene, likened to Joyce, unknown to millions...', "The Observer", November 24, 2002, Observer Review Pages, Pg. 16.]
* Sir John Mortimer CBE QC (1923–): English barrister, dramatist and author, famous as the creator of "Rumpole of the Bailey". ["I'm also obsessed by religion, being an atheist myself. There's something eternally fascinating about respectability gone wrong." Quoted in Sheridan Morley, 'Mortimer on Heaven and Hell', "The Times", May 27, 1976; pg. 7; Issue 59714; col E.]
* Dame Iris Murdoch (1919–1999): Dublin-born writer and philosopher, best known for her novels, which combine rich characterization and compelling plotlines, usually involving ethical or sexual themes. ["Iris was a rare being in the modern world - a dispassionate scholar who understood passion, an atheist who, with a sense of the sacred understood faith, a moral philosopher who was truly unjudgmental towards individuals. She was devoted yet never demanding, serious yet never solemn, a lover of all living things yet never a preacher, and in laughter never jeering but always joyful." Natasha Spender, 'Books: Nothing like a dame', "The Observer", February 14, 1999, The Observer Review Page; Pg. 16.]
* Aziz Nesin (1915–1995): Turkish humorist and author of more than 100 books. ["He [Salman Rushdie] emphasised that the direct cause of the riot seemed to be a speech by Nesin, rather than "The Satanic Verses". "I'm damned if I'm going to carry the can for this one," he said. Versions of the speech that Nesin delivered differ, but all agree that he said he was an atheist, that religion should be adapted to modern times and that there was no reason to obey books written hundreds of years ago, including the Koran." Hugh Pope, 'Turks say publisher provoked 35 deaths', "The Independent" (London), July 4, 1993, Pg 15.]
* Joyce Carol Oates (1938–): American author and Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University. ["Q: I noticed that nobody uses the "A-word"-- atheist--for you. Perhaps it is a step beyond nontheist or humanist. Do you identify as an atheist?
Oates: That's a good question. I have met Christopher Hitchens once or twice, and he has a book that I'm sure you've either read or are aware of titled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. He is very adversarial, very eloquent, and very funny in his interviews. And, of course, he is very much a self-declared atheist.
I'm not averse to acknowledging it, but as a novelist and a writer, I really don't want to confront and be antagonistic toward people. As soon as you declare that you are an atheist, it's like somebody declaring that he is the son of God; it arouses a lot antagonism. I'm wondering whether it might be better to avoid arousing this antagonism in order to find--not compromise--some common ground." Joyce Carol Oates, [ Humanism and Its Discontents] , "The Humanist", November/December 2007 (accessed June 9, 2008).
* Redmond O'Hanlon (1947–): British author, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. [" He had been very religious as a boy — 'You have to be to survive being brought up in a vicarage' — but he became, on discovering Darwin at 14, not merely an agnostic, but a militant atheist, much to his father's distress. They still don't talk about it. His mother, he says, is also very religious but in an emotional way: 'She believes that in heaven she will be reunited with every spaniel she has ever owned.' While O'Hanlon was away in Africa, his older brother, a book rep, took Belinda and the children to communion. O'Hanlon was shocked, but 'I decided not to be angry about it. A real atheist, you see, is not exercised about it.' " Lynn Barber interviewing O'Hanlon, 'Carry On Up the Congo', "The Observer", October 13, 1996, "The Observer Review Page, Pg. 7.]
* George Orwell (1903–1950): English writer and journalist, a novelist, critic, and commentator on politics and culture, one of the most admired English-language essayists of the twentieth century, and most famous for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general (Nineteen Eighty-Four), and Stalinism in particular (Animal Farm). ["Again, Astor took care of arrangements. Orwell, the atheist, had requested that he be buried according to the rites of the Church of England. Astor found a plot in the churchyard in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire." Andrew Anthony, 'Review: George Orwell's Books', "The Observer", May 11, 2003, Observer Review Pages, Pg. 1.] ["Both Orwell, the avowed atheist, and Waugh, the Catholic convert, railed against moral relativism." Cristina Odone, ' [ What would Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell think?] ', "The Times" Online, August 5, 2008 (accessed August 5, 2008).]
* John Oswald (activist) (c.1760–1793): Scottish journalist, poet, social critic and revolutionary. ["Oswald, a vegetarian and atheist, used the pseudonyms Ignotus (in the Political Herald, 1785–7), Sylvester Otway (London newspapers 1788–9), and H. K." T. F. Henderson, [ 'Oswald, John (c.1760–1793)'] , rev. Ralph A. Manogue, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2006 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Frances Partridge (1900–2004): English member of the Bloomsbury Group and a writer, probably best known for the publication of her diaries. ["Frances Partidge was a pacifist long before she met Ralph. She says she cannot pinpoint the day with the same clarity with which she can remember discovering herself an atheist—at the age of 11 in an Isle of Wight boarding house—but hearing about the outbreak of World War I in the company of bellicose friends, and a feminist cousin who supported conscientious objectors, put her on the path." Caroline Moorehead, 'Love and laughter on the fringe of the Bloomsbury set', "The Times", August 12, 1978; pg. 12; Issue 60378; col A.]
* Camille Paglia (1947–): American post-feminist literary and cultural critic. [Salon magazine April 28, 1999 [] ]
* Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975): Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer. ["Not since 1964 had Pasolini created such a stir, and even then it was not the content of his "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" that stunned people. It was the discovery that a director who was both a communist and an atheist could bring such fervor and insight to a religious subject. [...] There are times when Pasolini sounds remarkably religious for a self-acknowledged atheist. "I suffer from the nostalgia of a peasant-type religion, and that is why I am on the side of the servant," he says. "But I do not believe in a metaphysical god. I am religious because I have a natural identification between reality and God. Reality is divine. That is why my films are never naturalistic. The motivation that unites all of my films is to give back to reality its original sacred significance." Guy Flatley, [ The Atheist who was Obsessed with God] , 1969, located at (accessed April 25, 2008).]
* Edmund Penning-Rowsell (1913–2002): British wine writer, considered the foremost of his generation. ["Penning-Rowsell and his sister were born Roman Catholic, but he was, if anything, an atheist. He was at Marlborough at the same time as John Betjeman, where his disposition to dissent first showed itself when he was the only boy to refuse to join the Corps." Paul Levy, 'Penning-Rowsell: surely the most conservative Communist ever', "The Independent" (London), March 7, 2002, Obituaries, Pg. 6.]
* Calel Perechodnik (1916–1943): Polish Jewish diarist and Jewish Ghetto policeman at the Warsaw Ghetto. [ [ Am I a Murderer? Testament of a Jewish Ghetto Policeman] ]
* Harold Pinter (1930–): British playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor, director, author, and political activist, best known for his plays "The Birthday Party" (1957), "The Caretaker" (1959), "The Homecoming" (1964), and "Betrayal" (1978). Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005. [cite news
title = Pinter 'on road to recovery'
url =
publisher = BBC News
date = 2002-08-26
accessdate = 2007-04-20
* Fiona Pitt-Kethley (19??–): British poet, novelist, travel writer and journalist. ["As a child she was very religious, and planned to become the first woman vicar. But she lost her faith when she discovered snogging because she couldn't bring herself to believe that it was sinful. She now describes herself as an atheist, but with "a penchant for the pagan gods"." Lynn Barber interviewing Pitt-Kethley, "The Independent" (London), June 2, 1991, The Sunday Review Page, Pg. 9.]
* Terry Pratchett (1948–): English Fantasy author known for his satirical "Discworld" series. ["I'm an atheist, at least to the extent that I don't believe in the objective existence of any big beards in the sky."— [ "The Line One Interview with Terry Pratchett"] , Gay, Anne, 1999. Accessed December 24, 2006.]
* Kate Pullinger (19??–): Canadian-born novelist and author of digital fiction. ["Spanish churches are dark and gloomy, fitting locations for a Christianity that often seems completely demented to an appreciative atheist like myself." Kate Pullinger, 'Extremadura's Moorish tendency', "The Independent", November 18, 1989, Weekend Travel, Pg. 49.]
* Philip Pullman CBE (1946–): British author of "His Dark Materials" fantasy trilogy for young adults, which have atheism as a major theme. ["As an atheist I'm rather on difficult ground here, but presumably this is what a Christian believes." [ The Dark Materials debate: life, God, the universe...] (interview of Pullman by Rowan Williams),, March 17, 2004 (Accessed November 12, 2007).]
* Craig Raine (1944–): English poet and critic, the best-known exponent of Martian poetry. [Reviewing Raine's collection "In Defence of T. S. Eliot", Charles Osborne and Sally Cousins wrote: "Raine, a fine poet, is also an entertaining and thought-provoking critic, and his subjects range widely from the Bible, which as an atheist he appreciates for its short stories, "some of the greatest ever written", to Bruce Chatwin, whom he sensibly does not take too seriously." "Sunday Telegraph", October 14, 2001, Paperbacks, Pg. 14.]
* Ayn Rand (1905–1982): Russian-born American author and founder of Objectivism. ["I am an intransigent atheist, but not a militant one." Rand quoted in Michael S. Berliner (1995). "Letters of Ayn Rand": March 20, 1965 [] ]
* Derek Raymond (1931–1994): English writer, credited with being the founder of English noir. [Derek Raymond was the pen name of Robert Cook. "Cook was an atheist, but he described his probes into abjection and despair with almost religious intensity." Phil Baker: 'Cook, Robert William Arthur (1931–1994)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Stan Rice (1942–2006): American poet and artist, Professor of English and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, and husband of writer Anne Rice. [Reviewing Anne Rice's "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt", Matt Thorne noted: "In a long author's note, Rice explains how she experienced an old-fashioned, strict Roman Catholic childhood in the 1940s and 1950s, before leaving the Church at 18 due to sexual pressure and her desire to read authors she considered forbidden to her, such as Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Camus. Two years later she married a passionate atheist, the poet and artist Stan Rice, and in 1974, began a literary career that she now retrospectively views as representing her 'quest for meaning in a world without God'." "Sunday Telegraph", December 18, 2005, Section 7, Pg. 43.]
* Michael Rosen (1946–): English children's novelist, poet and broadcaster, Children's Laureate 2007–2009. ["Monica asked my parents if they minded if I said grace (my family are Jewish), they said not at all. Apparently, though, I wouldn't close my eyes, put my hands together or say the prayer but would only shout 'No thank you, God!' I am an atheist now." Michael Rosen interviewed by Emily Moore, "The Guardian" (London), June 6, 1995, Education Page, Pg. 2.]
* Salman Rushdie (1947–): Indian-born British essayist and author of fiction, known for his frequent criticism of Islam. [Interview with Rushdie by Gigi Marzullo; Sottovoce, RAIUNO, March 31, 2006.]
* José Saramago (1922–): Portuguese writer, playwright and journalist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. [CNN reports that: "Among these works are mythical stories through which Saramago, a communist and atheist, weaves his own brand of social and political commentary." [ In praise of Portuguese] (Accessed May 30, 2007)]
* Dan Savage (1964–): Author and sex advice columnist. ["If Osama bin Laden were in charge, he would slit my throat; my God, I'm an atheist, a hedonist, and a faggot." "Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America", Dan Savage, Plume, 2002, p. 258.] Despite his atheism, Savage considers himself Catholic "in a cultural sense." [Savage declared in his syndicated sex advice column: "I'm Catholic—in a cultural sense, not an eat-the-wafer, say-the-rosary, burn-down-the-women's-health-center sense. I attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, a Catholic high school in Chicago for boys thinking of becoming priests. I got to meet the Pope in 1979..." [,savage,62908,24.html Savage Love] (column), "The Village Voice", April 12, 2005.]
* Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822): British Romantic poet, contemporary and associate of John Keats and Lord Byron, and author of "The Necessity of Atheism". [Listing of Shelley's "The Necessity of Atheism" at [] .]
* Michael Shermer (1954–): Science writer and editor of "Skeptic" magazine. Has stated that he is an atheist, but prefers to be called a skeptic. ["I am an atheist. There, I said it. Are you happy, all you atheists out there who have remonstrated with me for adopting the agnostic moniker? If "atheist" means someone who does not believe in God, then an atheist is what I am. But I detest all such labels. Call me what you like — humanist, secular humanist, agnostic, nonbeliever, nontheist, freethinker, heretic, or even bright. I prefer skeptic." [ Why I Am An Atheist] , Michael Shermer, June 2005 (accessed March 31, 2008). ]
* Joan Smith (1953–): English novelist, journalist and human rights activist. ["Like most atheists, I don't mind in the least being insulted for my beliefs, as long as I am not prevented from expressing them." Joan Smith, 'None of us has the right not to be offended', "Independent on Sunday", October 21, 2001, Comment, Pg. 30.]
* Warren Allen Smith (1921–): Author of "Who's Who in Hell". [Listing of Smith as a founder of [ Freethinkers New York] .]
* David Ramsay Steele (19??–): Author of [ Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy"] . [Reviewing Steele's book, Victor J Stenger called it "A clear, concise, complete, and convincing presentation of the case for atheism."]
* George Warrington Steevens (1869ndash;1900): British journalist and writer. ["By early 1890 Steevens had broken with his family's Brethrenism, and he described himself as 'a discontented atheist' (Steevens to Browning; Oscar Browning MSS)." Sidney Lee, [ 'Steevens, George Warrington (1869–1900)'] , rev. Roger T. Stearn, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, October 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Bruce Sterling (1954–): American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the "Mirrorshades anthology", which helped define the cyberpunk genre. [In response to the question "What do you think about Umberto Ecco's words that "libraries are the houses of God", and since you are doing that Dead Media project - I kinda connected you two in my head?", Sterling said "I don't believe in God. I read Umberto Eco, though." [ Interview with Bruce Sterling] ]
* Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894): Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer, especially famous for his works "Treasure Island" and "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". ["A decadent dandy who envied the manly Victorian achievements of his family, a professed atheist haunted by religious terrors, a generous and loving man who fell out with many of his friends - the Robert Louis Stevenson of Claire Harman's biography is all of these and, of course, a bed-ridden invalid who wrote some of the finest adventure stories in the language. [...] Worse still, he affected a Bohemian style, haunted the seedier parts of the Old Town, read Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, and declared himself an atheist. This caused a painful rift with his father, who damned him as a "careless infidel". Theo Tait, review of "Robert Louis Stevenson: a Biography" by Claire Harman, "Daily Telegraph", January 29, 2005, Books Pg.3]
* Allen Tate (1899–1979): American poet, essayist and social commentator, and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress 1943–1944. [In "Allen Tate: Orphan of the South", biographer Thomas A. Underwood quotes Tate as saying: "I am an atheist, but a religious one—which means there is no organization for my religion."]
* Vladimir Tendryakov (1923–1984): Russian short story writer and novelist. [Commenting on Tendryakov's obituary in the "Times", Professor Geoffrey A. Hosking wrote: "Perhaps because of his concern for the human personality, Tendryakov was the first writer in the post-Stalin period to raise religious questions seriously in fiction. Though an atheist himself, he understood the intrinsic importance of religion, and did not treat it merely satirically or condescendingly." 'Vladimir Tendryakov', "The Times", August 17, 1984; pg. 10; Issue 61912; col G. ]
* Tiffany Thayer (1902–1959): American author, advertising copywriter, actor and founder of the Fortean Society. ["Characterizing himself as an atheist, an anarchist, and a skeptic, he enjoyed his image of impudent prurience, though he revealed little to the public of his personal life." Dennis Wepman: "Thayer, Tiffany", "American National Biography Online", Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008) [] .]
* James Thomson ('B.V.') (1834–1882): British poet and satirist, famous primarily for the long poem "The City of Dreadful Night" (1874). ["His beliefs moved from pantheism to an atheism which causes less of a frisson now than it did in his own day, and his apocalyptic vision of the megalopolis in 'The City of Dreadful Night' continues to have resonance." Ann Margaret Ridler, [ 'Thomson , James (1834–1882)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 6, 2008).]
* Miguel Torga (1907–1995): Portuguese author of poetry, short stories, theatre and a 16 volume diary, one of the greatest Portuguese writers of the 20th century. ["His education in Jesuit seminaries made of him a lifelong atheist, though he sometimes used the less sadistic imagery of Christianity." James Kirkup, 'Obituary: Miguel Torga', "The Independent" (London), January 20, 1995, Pg. 16.]
* Sue Townsend (1946–): British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. ["A republican, atheist and socialist, she is married, has four children and five grandchildren, and lives in Leicester." 'You Ask the Questions', "The Independent" (London), April 24, 2003, Features, Pg. 6.]
* Freda Utley (1898–1978): English scholar, best-selling author and political activist. ["Her parents were radicals in their outlook and they educated their daughter in a rationalist and humanist mode. As an atheist she saw religion only as the shield of tyranny, intolerance, and cruelty." D. A. Farnie, [ 'Utley, Winifred (1899–1978)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Frances Vernon (1963–1991): British novelist. ["She was educated partly at Cranborne Chase, a free-thinking school where there was no religious education, and was a committed atheist." Caroline Brandenburger, 'Obituary: Frances Vernon', "The Independent" (London), July 20, 1991, Pg 42.]
* Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007): American author, writer of "Cat's Cradle", among other books. Vonnegut said "I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in churches quite a lot)."cite book | last = Haught | first = James A. | title = 2,000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt | year = 1996 | publisher = Prometheus Books | id = ISBN 1-57392-067-3 | pages = pp. 261-262]
* Ethel Lilian Voynich (1864–1960): Irish-born novelist and musician, and a supporter of several revolutionary causes. ["She returned to England an atheist and radical, eager to view nihilism in Russia." Patrick Waddington, [ 'Voynich , Ethel Lilian (1864–1960)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, October 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Edmund White (1940–): American novelist, short-story writer and critic. ["If I were a believer, perhaps I'd have some answers. As an atheist, I can't even imagine that I was spared so that I wouldn't die a fool or a sinner. Of course the values we're left with are all the residue of Christianity, though shorn of system and stripped of finality. An atheist lives in the present, since there will be no eternity ('They were shut up in days,' John McGahern says with strangely beautiful concision in Amongst Women.) Perhaps that's why I was given so much of the present to work with, since it's all I'll be getting." Edmund White, 'Thinking positive', "The Observer", November 29, 1998, The Observer Review Page; Pg. 1.]
* Simon Winchester OBE (1944–): British author and journalist. ["An interview with author Simon Winchester is presented. He states that the book "Science and Civilization," by Joseph Needham is focused on every issues linked to China's relationship with water. Winchester admits that he is an atheist in a nonpolemical way." Abstract of the article 'An Eclectic Writer Takes on an Eccentric One', "Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition"; 5/6/2008, Vol. 251 Issue 106, pD7. (Located via EBSCOhost August 6, 2008; full text not available).]
* Tom Wolfe: Noted author and member of 'New Journalism' school [ [ tv national review] ]
* Leonard Woolf (1880–1969): Noted British political theorist, author, publisher, and civil servant, husband of author Virginia Woolf. ["He was brought up in Reform Judaism, became an atheist in his teens, and remained sceptical about the religious temperament." S. P. Rosenbaum, [ 'Woolf, Leonard Sidney (1880–1969)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Gao Xingjian (1940–): Chinese émigré novelist, dramatist, critic, translator, stage director and painter. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000. [ [ Nobel Lecture by Gao Xingjian] ]


Writers who are primarily known for their journalism.

* David Aaronovitch (1954–): British journalist, author and broadcaster. ["Like most of the Godless (or Godfree), I have no desire to proselytise for atheism or to persuade people out of religions that may offer them comfort and companionship." [ Wicked untruths from the Church] , David Aaronovitch, "Times Online", March 25, 2008 (Accessed March 26, 2008)] ["What makes me think I "can reduce the function of religion to the provision of 'comfort and companionship'" instead of seeing it as a "public truth"? Being an atheist, I suppose. I see religion as a cultural and psychological construct, which fulfils certain almost universal needs and which, as a consequence, I am disinclined to condemn." [ Who wants to kill the elderly?] , David Aaronovitch, "Times Online", March 31, 2008 (Accessed March 31, 2008)]
* Amy Alkon (19??–): American advice columnist known as the Advice Goddess, author of "Ask the Advice Goddess", published in more than 100 newspapers within North America. ["Come on, somebody tell me I can't possibly have morals because I'm an atheist." Amy Alkon/Advice Goddess Blog, [ Awww, How Sweet!] , May 25, 2008 (accessed June 9, 2008).]
* Lynn Barber (1944–): British journalist, currently writing for "The Observer". ["But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to have morals: many atheists, myself included, have the habit of examining their consciences. "Of course you do," he says soothingly, "and I think for people who have been well brought up and educated and so on, this does apply. But for a great many people who don't have those advantages a religious framework is very important." Lynn Barber interviewing Paul Johnson, "The Independent" (London), August 25, 1991, Pg. 23.]
* Paul Barker (1935–): English journalist and writer. ["What was I doing here, I wondered, as I sat holding a little candle at the carol service in the local church? I am, in fact, an atheist. Yet here I was, listening to the readings, and singing several verses of the occasional carol I sort-of-knew." Paul Barker, 'Even an atheist can't resist the lure of Christmas', "The Independent" (London), December 27, 2003, Comment, Pg. 21.]
* Anna Blundy (1970–): British journalist and author. ["Father Denis, who, for more than a year now, has been attempting to convert me from staunch atheism to Catholicism, is trying a different tack." Anna Blundy, "The Daily Telegraph", March 7, 2001, Pg. 21.]
* Richard Boston (1938–2006): English journalist and author, dissenter and pacifist. ["It is surely not only born- again atheists such as myself who start the day by fuming at the idiocies of Radio 4's Thought for the Day and Prayer for the Day. Famine, earthquakes, plane crashes, unemployment figures, plagues, wars all are grist to the Panglossean mill. Nothing is too horrible for it not to be used as evidence of the mysterious way in which God is working His purpose out. Nothing is too ghastly for it not to be further proof of His infinite love. On the media God-slots, they pray for anything from better weather to the release of hostages. To me the logic is incomprehensible. If this omnipotent God is in control of the climate then in His infinite wisdom he must have sent the floods and hurricanes and droughts, and if he is capable of releasing the hostages then he must be responsible for their having been taken in the first place. If I was a hostage I would rather put my trust in Ted Heath, Tony Benn, Jesse Jackson or even Kurt Waldheim." Richard Boston, 'Spirit of Christmas futile', "The Guardian", December 24, 1990.]
* Jason Burke (1970–): British journalist, chief foreign correspondent of "The Observer". ["The very practical nature of Islam, a religion that enjoins the faithful to act in the world to change it, is also a boon to activists, good and bad, as does its emphasis on public demonstration of faith. The sight of rows of believers facing Mecca to answer the call to prayer often moves me, an atheist, deeply. Yet the Arabic word for martyr - and currently suicide bomber - comes from the same linguistic stem as the word for bearing witness." Jason Burke, 'Ideology's violent face', "The Guardian", July 22, 2005, Weekly Pages, Pg. 6.]
* Chandler Burr (1963–): American journalist and author, currently the perfume critic for the New York Times. ["People ask me, "Is there that much to write about perfume?" Lan-vin just sent me its latest, Rumeur. If I weren't already an atheist, I would lose my faith in God again. But it gave me an idea for another piece for the Times." Chandler Burr, "The Independent" (London), September 4, 2006, Pg. 11.]
* John Diamond (1953–2001): British broadcaster and journalist, noted for his column chronicling his fight with cancer. ["In recent years, he had begun to write an always witty column for the Jewish Chronicle and, after his diagnosis, had even joined a synagogue - though this, he told friends, was not because he had discovered God. He remained an atheist to the end, but, he said, he wanted his children, Cosima and Bruno, to know something of the Judaism into which they had been born." Jay Rayner and Roy Greenslade, 'Obituary: John Diamond', "The Guardian", March 3, 2001, Pg. 22.] ["That I usually describe myself as an agnostic rather than an atheist is, my inner therapist tells me, a matter of neurosis rather than one of logic: there is still some spiritually atavistic part of me which worries about what God will think if he discovers my guilty atheism. But all these years in I still don't know what to do about the evangelists. [...] But since I started dying so publicly I get something more than random evangelism. I've written here before about the problem I have disposing with the tracts, pamphlets, Bibles, crucifixes and so on which I get sent pretty regularly: the neurosis which stops me proclaiming my atheism is the same which stops me binning glossy books promising me life eternal. There is some part of me which pictures my spectral self at the pearly gates being forgiven for the sundry lies, thefts, treacheries and so on to which we're all so humanly prone, but seeing the archangelic finger run down the column until it hits "Put Children of God pamphlet in cat litter tray", and starting to quiver angrily." John Diamond, 'The last word', The Times (London), January 6, 2001, Features Section.]
* Robert Fisk (1946–): Multi-award-winning British journalist, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, "probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain" according to the New York Times. [Criticising Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young, Gillian Reynolds wrote: "Fisk is an atheist. Why didn't she pick up his constant conversational invocations of God, press him on his choice of Psalm 23 as disc six?" 'It's time to come off the fence on Kirsty's island', "Daily Telegraph", October 17, 2006, Features: Arts, Pg. 28.]
* Paul Foot (1937–2004): British investigative journalist, political campaigner, author, and long-time member of the Socialist Workers Party. ["Describing his old friend as a "devout atheist", Ingrams said Paul Foot had been much upset to discover, after he suffered a near-fatal aneurysm five years ago, that some of his religious friends had been praying for him - and even more indignant to hear that some of them thought that their prayers had been answered when he survived to go on campaigning and writing." Duncan Campbell, 'Funeral of Paul Foot', "The Guardian", July 28, 2004, Pg. 5.]
* Linda Grant (1951–): British journalist and novelist. ["What's stopping me is that I don't believe in God. Not in an agnostic sense but in the spirit of pure atheism which asserts that man invented divinities to account for the temporarily inexplicable. [...] Jews were just as welcoming, as long as you're Jewish by birth or conversion. Would I, as an avowed atheist, be turned away, I asked Rabbi Pini [...] ." Linda Grant, 'Almighty gamble', "The Guardian", June 25, 1999, Art Pages, Pg. 2.]
* Muriel Gray (1958–): Scottish journalist, novelist and broadcaster. ["She doesn't like religions (in fact, the day I meet her, she has just penned a vitriolic attack on Catholicism for the "Guardian", and blithely talks to me of rosaries being shoved up arses). She is disturbed by 'the dark clouds of religious fervour that are closing in again', and doesn't believe in God. She grew up an agnostic and for four years has been more of an atheist, there being no room for God in a world in which her daughter lost so much. But she has no fear of death, not any more." Nicci Gerrard interviewing Gray, 'A darker shade of Gray', "The Observer", April 29, 2001, Observer Review Pages, Pg. 3.]
* Johann Hari (1979–): British journalist and writer, columnist for "The Independent" and the "London Evening Standard". ["They are epitomised by the late Jerry Falwell, who proclaimed before the last presidential election: "I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. The Lord has just blessed [Bush] . It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad." This is the kind of religious figure we left-wing atheists like to argue against. I'm with Christopher Hitchens, who declared, "It's such a shame there isn't a Hell for him to burn in." [...] All this puts left-wing atheists like me in a quandary. I think faith is a dangerous form of bad thinking - it is believing something, without evidence or reason to back it up. Where does that end? Yet at the same time, when there are so many Murdochian pressures on a British Prime Minister dragging him to the right, pressing him to fellate the rich, isn't it good to have a countervailing pressure to help the poor - even a superstitious one? If religion drives Brown's best instincts and whittles down his worst, should we still condemn it?" Johann Hari, 'The tricky question of Gordon Brown's God', "The Independent" (London), May 28, 2007.]
* John Harris (1969–): British journalist, writer, and critic. ["This is my Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens moment here I suppose, but the problem with arguments like this really is we are a largely secularized society now, particularly when it comes to Christianity, and I worry a bit that we tiptoe around religious belief systems because they have got God in them. [...] My belief system hasn't got God in it so it is not privileged in the way that Christianity is here, and I personally think that is wrong, you know. [...] It is a funny kind of Christianity where the loudest things we hear from it are sexism, homophobia etc etc that I would much rather Christianity... re rooted itself back to what I, in my atheistic way, understand to being the central tenets of what Jesus had to say." John Harris, "Any Questions?" BBC Radio 4, July 11, 2008. ( [ Transcript] , accessed July 22, 2008.)]
* Simon Heffer (1960–): British journalist and writer. ["In a hideous act of precocity, I saw as a child that, having tried as hard as I could, I could not believe in God. I greatly regret this, but, despite extensive reflection, I can see no reason after all these years to revise my view." However, "... I rejoice wholeheartedly as an atheist that I live in a Christian culture". [ Stop apologising for being Christian] , Simon Heffer, "Telegraph", December 21, 2005 (Accessed March 31, 2008)]
* Anthony Holden (1947–): British journalist, broadcaster and writer, especially of biographies. ["The church does not emerge well, with its ferocious insistence on doctrinal orthodoxy; but nor, for all the affection with which he is portrayed, does Galileo - the victim of either religious philistinism or his own mortal frailty. We lucky atheists can skip the dilemma and savour the score - vintage Glass, as if his musical imagination had moved on barely a bar since the repetitive rhythmic patterns he pioneered 30 years ago." Anthony Holden reviewing Glass's "Galileo Galilei", The Observer, November 10, 2002, Review Pages, Pg. 14.]
* Mick Hume (1959–): British journalist – columnist for "The (London) Times" and editor of "Spiked". Described himself as "a longstanding atheist", but criticised the 'New Atheism' of Richard Dawkins and co. [The article is subtitled "At Easter I, a longstanding atheist, find myself feeling affinity with religious folk", and begins "As a godless, atheistic Marxist, I have never been less worried about religion. What does worry me is the rise of a New Atheism that, never mind God, appears to have lost faith in humanity." [ It looks like Man crucified] , Mick Hume, "Times Online", March 21, 2008 (Accessed March 31, 2008)]
* Tom Humphries (19??–): English-born Irish sportswriter and columnist for The Irish Times. ["For us atheists there is a nagging suspicion that the whole attraction of the concept of reincarnation is the idea that in a previous existence everybody was Alexander the Great or Plato. What if, however, every incarnation for eternity was just a life of disappointment. Suppose you were born and reborn and born again to great fanfare and welcome and died every time to indifference and derision. See. You probably wouldn't be so keen on reincarnation if it was like the National Football League." Tom Humphries, 'Decent finale to the annual diminuendo', "The Irish Times", April 28, 2008, Pg. 12.]
* Simon Jenkins (1943–): British journalist, newspaper editor, and author. A former editor of "The Times" newspaper, he received a knighthood for services to journalism in the 2004 New Year honours. [Jenkins wrote "I'm an atheist but still I resent this joker in Rome slighting my community. [,,2125508,00.html Sorry, Pope, but this 'proper church' declaration is surreal nonsense] by Simon Jenkins, "The Guardian", July 13, 2007 (Accessed March 31, 2008).]
* Terry Lane (1943–): Australian radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist. ["Speaking as one atheist to another, I find that when I say with absolute certainty 'I'm an atheist', there's always a slight look of shock on the face of the person that I'm talking to, as though this is the one area where we're not permitted to be absolutely certain." [ Terry Lane interviews Graeme Samuel] , "Big Ideas", ABC Radio National, May 2006 (accessed June 11, 2008).]
* Dominic Lawson (1956–): British journalist, former editor of The Spectator magazine. ["Lawson doesn't think he'll fall for god - any god. "One's feelings are governed by one's upbringing" is how he rationalises it. He comes from a long-line of atheists; his mother and his step-father, AJ Ayer included. "I can't make myself believe in something. That is not the way I am. I believe we're utterly alone, and we must do the best we can in that emptiness." " John Cunningham interviewing Lawson, 'Stirrer with a silver spoon', "The Guardian" (London), June 26, 1995.]
* Magnus Linklater (1942–): Scottish journalist and former newspaper editor. ["Thank God I'm an atheist. It's a big step to take, but it was becoming difficult to cling to the agnostic fig-leaf any longer. As Lloyd George once said, if you sit on the fence too long it means that the iron enters your soul. Now, however, I am reassured by Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, that I can "stand tall to face the far horizon"." Magnus Linklater, 'Like any half-decent atheist, I'm fond of a bit of religion', "The Times" (London), September 5, 2007, Features, Pg. 17.]
* Heather Mallick (1959–): Canadian columnist, author and lecturer. ["I'm an atheist. So is everyone I know, or maybe they're being Canadian and refraining from mentioning their religion. Don't poke atheists with a stick or we'll want our own morning manifesto." [ Religion in the public discourse? It's a can of worms] (, February 18, 2008 (Accessed 25 Mars 2008).]
* Lucy Mangan (19??–): British journalist, columnist for "The Guardian". ["This distresses me on many levels. First because as a card-carrying atheist, I had transferred my faith to these secular deities and passionately believed in their perfect marriage." Lucy Mangan, 'The Beckhams - do we deserve any better?', "The Guardian", October 19, 2005, Pg. 36.]
* Andrew Marr (1959–): Scottish journalist and political commentator. ["For those of us without religious faith, there are awful questions to be faced about living well in a world that we are still struggling to understand. We, too, need stories about moral choices, about love and a life's priorities. Because we still stand on the edge of a Christian culture, or at the very least a Mosaic one, these stories have not yet been written." Andrew Marr, 'Pullman does for atheism what C S Lewis did for God', "The Daily Telegraph", January 24, 2002, Pg. 26.]
* Jules Marshall (1962–): English-born journalist and editor. ["Revelation or recreation? It is, clearly, hard to be sure. As an atheist, I was not predisposed to believe the church's claims; but neither, having experienced them first-hand, was I particularly disposed to dismiss them. On balance my reaction was not so much to question my world view as to ask a more obvious question: what is this stuff and how does it work?" Jules Marshall, 'The Outdoors of Perception', "The Independent" (London), September 8, 1996, Features, Pg. 12.]
* Jonathan Meades (1947–): English writer and broadcaster on food, architecture and culture. ["My ideology is atheism. The interest I have to 'fess up to is being an honorary fellow of the National Secular Society. It's one of those things that happens. One day I was an everyday atheist, next day (I'd just made a film about the pointlessness of building churches as anything other than essays in architectural hubris) and Keith Porteous Wood writes to me to tell me I am now - how shall I put it? - a cardinal of atheism." Jonathan Meades, "Independent on Sunday" (London), May 20, 2001, Pg. 24.]
* Padraic McGuinness AO (1938–2008): Australian journalist, activist, and commentator. ["Mr Coleman revealed that McGuinness, a staunch atheist, was a fan of the prayer from the Gospels known as the Magnificat. The lines he quoted -- "He has filled the hungry with good things / And the rich he has sent empty away" -- were a reminder McGuinness's sympathies were with working people and that he remained true to the Irish revolutionary spirit of Padraic Pearse, after whom he was named." Imre Salusinszky, ' [,25197,23146962-2702,00.html Hayden laments attack on Paddy] ', "The Australian", February 2, 2008 (accessed May 29, 2008).]
* Stephanie Merritt (1974–): British critic and feature writer for a range of newspapers, Deputy Literary Editor at "The Observer" since 1998. ["And I'd be the first to admit that without the whole nativity business, attempting to extract any worthwhile non-commercial values from the festive season leaves you with the kind of sticky, non-specific sentiment to be found in the Santa Clause movies. It's just that I can't quite admit it out loud, what with being an atheist. So, as in every situation, I ask myself: what would Richard Dawkins do? (The answer, inevitably, would be something involving memes and therefore of little use.)" Stephanie Merritt, 'The Santa delusion', "The Observer", December 30, 2007, Observer Review Arts Pages, Pg. 26.]
* Martin O'Hagan (1950–2001): Northern Irish journalist, the most prominent journalist to be assassinated during the the Troubles. [" "Marty really rattled the paramilitaries because he had such good contacts," said John Keane, a friend and colleague of O'Hagan's. "He'd be able to tell you what they had for breakfast before they went out to kill. He had a cynical eye and he was very aware of the sub-structure of society, the unusual alliances, the way people weren't always what they seemed. He was an atheist and a Marxist, liable to start spouting Hegel if you gave him a chance. He used to say, my enemy's enemy is my friend. Very little that happened in Northern Ireland would have surprised Marty." " Susan McKay, 'Faith, Hate and Murder', "The Guardian", November 17, 2001, Weekend Pages, Pg. 19.]
* Deborah Orr (19??–): British journalist and broadcaster, married to writer and satirist Will Self. ["As a fully paid-up atheist, I need no persuasion that God is neither great nor real. But, at times, as I hear for the umpteenth time the assertion that religion is the cause of all human strife, I start to find myself thinking that blaming religion for war is like blaming coloured bibs for school netball. The belief that religion is the root of all human evil is as blinkered and simplistic as the most unquestioning faith of religious adherents." Deborah Orr, 'Assaults on religion are all too easy; what we need is to define human rights', "The Independent" (London), December 26, 2007.]
* Matthew Parris (1949–): South African-born British journalist and former Conservative politician. ["Tanya Byron: Former MP and newspaper columnist Matthew Parris is proud to call himself an atheist. Matthew Parris: I don't have a lot of doubt any more. I think it's a mistake, religion. I think that God doesn't exist. I am not absolutely hundred percent certain of that, any more than I am not absolutely a hundred percent certain that there isn't an elephant in the next room. There may be, but I think it's highly unlikely. Of course I know lots of very nice Christians, and their Christianity doesn't make me angry at all. But I get irritated with laziness of mind, with bad arguments and with a reaching for the comfort of something that, in some part of their brain, they must know is unprovable, and perhaps not true." "Am I Normal?" episode 'Spirituality', BBC TV, first broadcast BBC2, April 28, 2008 21:00. ]
* Ruth Picardie (1964–1997): British journalist and editor, noted for her memoir of living with breast cancer, "Before I Say Goodbye". ["I found the self-mocking humour relentless, and would have almost been relieved if Ruth had given way to complete despair, which I'm sure she sometimes did in private. She and most of her friends were atheists. Would it have been easier for her, and for them, if they hadn't been? Instead, as a self-confessed "post-feminist chick" she found solace in Pret-a-Manger, Ghost and style magazines. It seems sad that these products acted as life-lines, but I suppose this is the reality of life in a secular age." Elisa Segrave reviewing "Before I Say Goodbye" by Ruth Picardie, "The Independent" (London), May 6, 1998, Features, Pg. 2.]
* Claire Rayner OBE (1931–): British journalist best-known for her role for many years as an agony aunt. ["I tell you something, in case anyone wonders, not a single out-of-body experience, no long corridors of light, I was an atheist when it started and I've remained one. People used to say to me, 'You wait until something really bad happens, you'll start praying', but I didn't and I can't. I don't put this down to any superior being, I put it down to the superb training and skill of the people looking after me. I remain the humanist I always was." Claire Rayner, interviewed by Libby Brooks, "The Guardian", September 12, 2003, Features Pages, Pg. 6.]
* Jay Rayner (1966–): British journalist, writer and broadcaster. ["For however devout an atheist I may be (and, by God, I am), and however little time I have for the rituals of the tribe of which I am a part, there is still something about the taste of a fine piece of salt beef which speaks to a fundamental part of me." Jay Rayner, 'Salt beef of the earth', "The Observer", January 26, 2003, Observer Magazine: Life: Restaurants, Observer Magazine Pages, Pg. 75.]
* Ron Reagan (1958–): American magazine journalist, board member of the politically activist Creative Coalition, son of former U. S. President Ronald Reagan. [When asked by Larry King if he would ever run for office, Reagan Jr. responded by saying, "I'm an atheist so... I can't be elected to anything, because polls all say that people won't elect an atheist." Interview on "Larry King Live", June 26, 2004. See [ clip] .]
* Jill Singer (19??–): Australian journalist, columnist and television presenter. ["I love Christmas. Some might think I have no right to because I am an atheist. But for countless millions of non-believers across the world, today is still a very special day. [...] Like Dawkins, I am an atheist who is deeply concerned about the rapidly escalating intolerance of free thought and speech that is being fuelled by religious fundamentalism, whether we are talking about Australia, the US, Iraq, Indonesia or Saudi Arabia." Jill Singer, ' [,21985,20971575-5000107,00.html Another view of Christmas] ', "Herald Sun" (Australia), December 25, 2006 (accessed May 29, 2008).]
* Matt Taibbi (1970–): American journalist and political writer, currently working at Rolling Stone. [Matt Taibbi, interveiwed by 'Friendly Atheist' Hemant Mehta: "HM: What role should religion play in the political arena? MT: Well, I’m an atheist/agnostic, so I would say none. People should stick to solving the problems they have the tools to solve." [ 'Interview with Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi'] ,, April 29, 2008 (accessed May 10, 2008).] note: he calls himself an agnostic/atheist.
* Jeffrey Tayler (1970–): American author and journalist, the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. ["But despite his own atheism and his distaste at his companion's relentless evangelising, he comes to understand the appeal of religion to desert dwellers. "Nowhere for me had words Qur'anic or biblical taken on as much life as they had here in the Sahara, where, apart from the Word, there was nothing but rock, sky and sun." " Matthew Collin reviewing Tayler's "Valley of the Casbahs: A Journey Across the Moroccan Sahara", "The Guardian" (London), April 12, 2003, Guardian Saturday Pages, Pg. 14.]
* Bill Thompson (1960–): English technology writer, best known for his weekly column in the Technology section of BBC News Online and his appearances on Digital Planet, a radio show on the BBC World Service. ["Facebook knows I'm an atheist, and if Facebook knows it then the CIA probably knows it too, which could be a problem if I tried to stand for election in South Carolina, Mississippi or any of the other seven US States which require candidates to believe in a supreme being." [ Facebook knows I'm an atheist] , "New Humanist" (web exclusive article), January 2008 (accessed April 17, 2008).]
* Nicholas Tomalin (1931–1973): British journalist and writer, one of the top 40 journalists of the modern era. ["B.B.C. 2 (Ch. 33) [...] 10.20 Doubts and Certainties: a Dean talks to an atheist, with Harry Williams, Nicholas Tomalin." 'Television and radio', "The Times", September 17, 1968; pg. 18; Issue 57358; col A.]
* Jerzy Urban (1933–): Polish journalist, commentator, writer and politician, editor-in-chief of the weekly "Nie" and owner of the company which owns it, Urma. ["As a godless atheist I never cared much for the church or the papacy. I disliked the fact that the papacy bore down so heavily on Poland." Jerzy Urban, quoted in 'Pope John Paul II 1920-2005: The world pays tribute', "The Observer", April 3, 2005, Observer News Pages, Pg. 3.]
* Francis Wheen (1957–): British journalist, writer and broadcaster. [" [...] I'm an admirer of what you might call 'Enlightenment values' (though they go way beyond the Enlightenment). Things like scientific empiricism, the separation of church and state, the waning of absolutism and tyranny, yes, I cling to those. [...] It [his childhood home] was quite a religious household. I wouldn't be surprised, frankly, if I'm the first Wheen to be an atheist. And so, of course, there was a lot of church-going and all the rest of it, and gradually, through my childhood, I found myself rejecting more and more of it, until finally all I was left with was the Litany and the hymns. I know the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern and the King James Bible practically backwards, and I'm very fond of them all." Interview with Francis Wheen by Simon Jones for "Third Way" magazine, reprinted in Wheen's 2004 book "How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World", Harper Collins paperback 'P.S.' section, p.2, ISBN 0-00-714097-5.]
* Peter Wilby (1944–): British journalist, former editor of The Independent on Sunday and New Statesman. ["These are powerful arguments. But as a practising atheist (as I like to call myself), I cannot accept them. I fear community pressures will force parents to use all-Muslim schools, when they would prefer not to do so; that Muslims who go to non-faith schools will be left more isolated; that the mosque's hold on Muslim areas will be strengthened; and that government support will legitimise what would amount to ethnic segregation." Peter Wilby, 'In a godless land, faith schools are the betrayal', "The Times Educational Supplement", July 11, 2008, News, Comment; Pg. 28 No. 0210.]

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