In Defense of Atheism  

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"For the first time (but how long will it take us to acknowledge this?) in the history of ideas, a philosopher had dedicated a whole book to the question of atheism. He professed it, demonstrated it, arguing and quoting, sharing his reading and his reflections, and seeking confirmation from his own observations of the everyday world. His title sets it out clearly: Memoir of the Thoughts and Feelings of Jean Meslier; and so does his subtitle: Clear and Evident Demonstrations of the Vanity and Falsity of All the Religions of the World. The book appeared in 1729, after his death. Meslier had spent the greater part of his life working on it. The history of true atheism had begun."

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In Defense of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (2007) is a book by Michel Onfray.

Prior to announcing Meslier as the first atheist philosopher, Onfray considers and dismisses Cristóvão Ferreira, a Portuguese and former Jesuit who renounced his faith under Japanese torture in 1633 and went on to write a book titled The Deception Revealed. However, Onfray decides that Ferreira was not such a good candidate as Meslier, since Ferreira converted to Zen Buddhism.



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