This is not really a blog, more an advert for my new book, which has different titles in the UK and USA. The British title is THE AGE OF NOTHING, while the American title is THE AGE OF ATHEISTS. The subtitle for both editions is: ‘How we have sought to live since the death of god.’
I am not sure which title I prefer but the British title, in case anyone is wondering, refers to two things: one, that, after the death of god, we have nothing similar to replace him with, so we are left to our own devices, and the book explores the devices that some of our best secularists have conceived. And two, it refers to the fact that even for the religious we are in an age of nothing, for the latest theology interprets god as indefinable, unknowable, and accepts that we will never have any evidence of ‘his’ existence.
The book starts with Nietzsche’s pronouncement in the early 1880s to the effect that ‘God is Dead and we humans have killed him.’ Of course there had been atheists before that, but it is really only since then that influential atheists have been around in sufficient numbers for us to call the last 130 years The Age of Atheists. And how interesting it has been. Atheists’ secular thought is just more varied – and the actual texts more beautiful – than recent religious thought.

3 commments on “A Tale of Two Titles”

  • joel paris says:

    Dear Mr. Watson,

    I very much appreciated your latest book (and so many of your previous ones!)
    I also want to thank you for quoting my 2013 “Psychotherapy in an Age of Narcissism”.
    The 2014 book will be a primary source for a volume I am preparing on psychoanalysis and ideology.

    Joel Paris

  • Daniel del Valle says:

    I have started reading the American edition, THE AGE OF ATHEISTS, and I cannot put it down. It is a fascinating journey into the minds of the most important secularists since Nietzsche. As an atheist myself, the book has deepened my search into the principles of secular culture. I compare m reading experience so far to drinking a fine wine. One must take one’s time and enjoy the nuances of an intellectual pleasure.

  • C. Ardinger says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed THE AGE OF ATHEISTS. It did what a really good book should do: drive me to acquire at least 4 other books; to learn something more. However, one small quibble regarding naming. Running underneath Anglo-American culture is the idea that to name is to control; to know the true name of someone or something is to be able to control them. Think Rumpelstiltskin, or why we seldom use our full name except on formal documents. I suspect that so called “old wife’s tales” about naming are part of the unrecognized beliefs of many people. One of the many “Metaphors We Live By”(Lackoff and Johnson) Lack of a name does not necessarily preclude existence. A nameless God is not a “nothing” but an entity beyond human control.

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