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The Way of the Heathen

Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
Narrated by: Greta Christina
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

So you're an atheist. Now what? The way we deal with life - with love and sex, pleasure and death, reality and making stuff up - can change dramatically when we stop believing in gods, souls, and afterlives. When we leave religion - or if we never had it in the first place - where do we go?

With her unique blend of compassion and humor, thoughtfulness and snark, Greta Christina most emphatically does not propose a single path to a good atheist life. She offers questions to think about, ideas that may be useful, and encouragement to choose your own way. She addresses complex issues in an accessible, down-to-earth style, including: Why we're here, sexual transcendence, how humanism helps with depression - except when it doesn't - stealing stuff from religion, and much more.

Aimed at new and not-so-new atheists, questioning and curious believers, Christina shines a warm, fresh light on the only life we have.

©2016 Greta Christina (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for Scott Bresinger
  • Scott Bresinger
  • 21-01-17

Navigating the world outside of church

If you could sum up The Way of the Heathen in three words, what would they be?

Humanism for everybody!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Way of the Heathen?

A full-throated advocate for humanism and social justice, Greta Christina provides some possible paths for fair-minded, reasonable and compassionate people to move forward once they've shed their attachment to the supernatural. She describes some of the conflicts within the secular community and defends her own positions with clarity, intellectual rigor and eminent good humor. She doesn't expect you to agree with her, but to consider where she's coming from and question your own assumptions against the available facts. In short, if you can't change the world, maybe you can change your mind.

What about Greta Christina’s performance did you like?

Her warm voice is sincere and sympathetic. She understands sadness and can communicate happiness and even frivolity without becoming saccharine.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

If there weren't consent issues involved, I'd marry this book if I could. When people claim life would be empty without religion, this is a great response. I can't say what anybody would take away from this book, but it made me think and feel more deeply about moral and ethical issues.

Any additional comments?

This book was written for people, not trolls. If you're the latter, you'll probably hate it. If you hate it without reading it, that doesn't mean you're a troll, but it's a symptom.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa Gomez
  • 20-03-17

Touches on a lot of different topics

This book makes you evaluate how you live your life without religion. After finishing the book I looked up atheist/humanist groups in my city and look forward to volunteering and connecting with fellow nones.

5 people found this helpful

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  • robert peters
  • 14-10-16

Hits all the right spots

Inspiring! Deals with every facet of ethics personal and social atheists will grapple with. A flawless reading.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Taylor
  • Taylor
  • 13-04-18

A Heathen Like Me

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's difficult to find female writers in the atheist genre that align with my principles and perspective. I was so happy to stumble on Greta, as she is not only a brilliant writer - she also takes measures to make the reader feel safe and understood. I think this is a great read for anyone at any point on their atheist journey - from questioning to 10 years de-converted. I completely recommend.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how it was broken up into many chapters, made for a more consumable and meaningful experience.

Have you listened to any of Greta Christina’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't! I figured this would be a good book to start with and I was not disappointed!

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Way of the Heathen?

Be more positive about life and my place in it and not be afraid to live or share my truth.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jeff Koeppen
  • Jeff Koeppen
  • 26-03-20

How to be a Good Atheist

Greta Christina is one of the brightest lights in the atheist community. I've listened to some of her speeches but this is the first book of hers I've read. She's a great speaker and an engaging writer. She narrates it herself, which is a bonus.

In this book she explains how to be a good atheist and live progressively in light of the issues we face non-believers face in modern times. She approaches every subject from the exact opposite angle I approach life from as a straight, old, white guy. She covers countless topics in a rapid-fire manner in 62 chapters, most of which are between five and ten minutes long. The book is full of humor and wit.

This would be a good book for a new atheist, especially one from a marginalized group, but any non-believer or potential non-believer will glean a lot of great insight from it