Atheism in Literature Mins

– Cat presented about “Atheists in Literature”

– First slideshow was a catalogue of famous atheist authors

o Joseph Conrad

o Oscar Wilde

o George Orwell

– Some categories of atheist literature:

o Classical dysopian novel

o Religious satire/commentary novel

o Humanist novel

o Some examples:

§ Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzche

§ His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

§ The Crucible, Arthur Miller

Representation of Atheism, Humanism, and Anti-theism in literature

– Moby Dick: The whale, Moby Dick, is a representation of God

o The will of Moby Dick cannot be defeated, only accommodated or avoided

o Moby Dick cannot be physically or scientifically described

o God-like characteristics of Moby Dick:

§ Impersonal force

§ White (color connotations reversed: white now represents evil)

§ Hogs n’ Gods. Hogs = people?

– Huckleberry Finn contains religious satire

o Uses ironic situations to illustrate absurdities such as:

§ Superstition and folk beliefs

§ Hypocrisy of slave-owners

· Right vs. wrong

o Huck relies on his sensory experiences of the world, his own logic and developed conscience to sort out right vs. wrong. This is a contrast to blind following of Biblical guidelines.

– 2001: A Space Odyssey

o This is a humanist novel

o Evolution is not “the end” but merely a stepd in a thousand directions of possible beginnings.

Some conclusions:

– Not enough female atheist novelists.

– Portrayals of atheism sometimes depend on anti-theism (or inversions/reflections of Christianity)

– People interpret their marbles and made parallels to themselves as atheists as part of an exercise to compliment Cat’s presentation.


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