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50voicesWe interrupt the series Can You Hear Me Now? to bring you even more combinations of 26 letters and 10 punctuation marks.

I’ve begun receiving more than the usual number of questions about my “path” vis-a-vis religious questions — which as it happens is the topic of my chapter in the newly-released 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. So I’ve decided to post the chapter here.

First of all, a note about the cover of the book, which I mentioned in passing a few weeks ago. I asked the co-editor Russell Blackford what the thinking was behind the snuffed black candle in darkness, which I thought might play into the idea of atheism as the death of hope.

No, he said:

It is supposed to represent the light of reason kind of snuffed out, and surrounded by the darkness of superstition. When you open the book, there’s a reference to this in the introduction, but then each essay has a lit candle near the top of its first page, next to its author’s name, as if the various authors are relighting the candle of reason.

Lovely. A bit subtle for the average cover-skimmer (c’est moi!), but there it is.

I just received my copy in the mail last week, so I’ve only just moved beyond cover-skimming to page-riffling, but it looks like a good read. Russell and Udo’s idea was to gather personal stories from prominent nonbelievers (and me) about why we believe as we do. Surprisingly, this was something of a gap in the literature, and I’m happy to be a part of filling that gap.

My contribution is too long for a regular post, so instead it’s a link in the sidebar, and will remain so. Might be a good thing, since I manage in the course of the essay to answer most of the common questions I get about my own background. Now, instead of stringing together letters and punctuation over and over, I can point and grunt.

Read “The Unconditional Love of Reality” by Dale McGowan,
from 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.