The Portable Atheist

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Christopher Hitchens speaking in 2007

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer is a 2007 book edited by Christopher Hitchens. It is a collection of writings concerning atheism and philosophy written by many authors including Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, with introductions for each selection written by Hitchens himself.

Covering a wide range of counter-apologetic arguments, these selections also show that there truly is nothing new under the sun when it comes to these questions. Religion could have been put out of our misery a long time ago if it weren't for it's abuses of power. Even the oldest work selected from contains more clear thinking than current creationism.


  • Introduction by Christopher Hitchens
  • Chapter 1: Selections from De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (1st century BCE) by Lucretius
  • Chapter 2: Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (ca 1100 CE) by Omar Khayyám
  • Chapter 3: Of Religion, from Leviathan (1651) by Thomas Hobbes
  • Chapter 4: Selection from Theologico-Political Treatise (1670) by Benedict De Spinoza
  • Chapter 5: The Natural History of Religion (1757); Of Miracles, from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) by David Hume
  • Chapter 6: An Account of My Last Interview with David Hume, Esq. (1777) by James Boswell
  • Chapter 7: Extract from A Refutation of Deism (1814) by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Chapter 8: Moral Influences in My Early Youth, from Autobiography (1873) by John Stuart Mill
  • Chapter 9: Introduction from Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1843) by Karl Marx
  • Chapter 10: Evangelical Teaching (1855) by George Eliot
  • Chapter 11: Selection from Autobiography (1887) by Charles Darwin
  • Chapter 12: An Agnostic's Apology (1893) by Leslie Stephen
  • Chapter 13: Miracle, from Le Jardin d’Épicure (The Garden of Epicurus) (1895) by Anatole France
  • Chapter 14: Thoughts of God, from Fables of Man; Bible Teaching and Religious Practice, from Europe and Elsewhere and A Pen Warmed Up in Hell by Mark Twain
  • Chapter 15: Author's Note to The Shadow Line (1917) by Joseph Conrad
  • Chapters 16-47: Work-in-progress