The English speaking world rarely acknowledges the many and varied gifts that “disbelievers” have bestowed upon humanity. Churchmen generally contend that great figures in history, such as America’s founders, were conventional believers. But author James A. Haught demonstrates that this just isn’t true. In 2000 Years Of Disbelief: Famous People With The Courage To Doubt, he offers a spirited collection of biographical sketches and choice quotations to set the record straight — intelligent, educated people tend to doubt the supernatural. It is hardly surprising to find a high ratio of religious skeptics among major thinkers, scientists, writers, reformers,scholars, champions of democracy, and other world changers — people called “great” in history. The advance of Western civilization has been partly a story of gradual victory over oppressive religion, and these brilliant doubters were men and women who didn’t pray, didn’t kneel at altars, didn’t make pilgrimages, and didn’t recite creeds.
Included in this handy reference are such internationally famous figures as Isaac Asimov, W. E. B. DuBois, Will Durant, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Edward Gibbon, Langston Hughes, Thomas Jefferson, Omar Khayyam, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Gene Roddenberry, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Voltaire, and many others whose own words reveal their rejection of the supernatural.