Sense and Goodness without God Now an Audio Book

Cover for AudioBook edition of Sense and Goodness without GodMy flagship defense of a naturalist worldview (and of philosophy in general), Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism, is now available as an audio book, through It’s a fairly faithful reading, so even things I’d probably change now (mostly minor stuff) is still in there (I didn’t want to deviate too much into creating a second edition just yet), but I still had to leave out many of the internal cross references and all the bibliographies.

To get those bibliographies in audio, you still have to get something like the kindle edition and run voice-to-text on them. They frequently appear at the end of each section, and there are a lot of them. So to make that task easier, I’ve compiled a single PDF file on my website (Bibliographies for the Original 2005 Edition) that just has the bibliographies, one after another, on which you can then run text-to-speech (so you don’t have to try and search the book for where the bibliographies are, a tedious task for the visually impaired).

Do note that those bibliographies are obviously ten years out of date (I completed the book in early 2004, and it was published in 2005), but I wanted to make speech-conversion available for the original edition of the book. Even if I were to update these bibliographies, I would usually just be adding the most recent best works. The ones in there now are still relevant to their respective topics and represent what I was working from at the time. And there are still a lot of crucial readings and good recommendations in there. I have found that leading works published after 2003 (which I have been keeping track of) almost always further confirm my conclusions, or provide better and more up-to-date explanations of why the facts I was relying on are correct.


  1. millssg99 March 4, 2013, 5:33 pm

    Richard, despite the fact that I disagree with your recent atheism+ approach, when you stick to atheism, philosophy, the historical Jesus, etc., your writing is brilliant. This is one of my favorite books and I’ve read it a couple of times. I love the fact that it is available on Audible now. I’ve found that getting audio versions of books I like is a great way to refresh the ideas I read in the original text. I can listen while I’m driving, walking, or otherwise just relaxing. This is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it. I gave it 5 stars on Amazon and I’ve just purchased the audio version. Thanks for the heads up as for some reason I missed it when reviewing new releases.

    1. Which is weird, since everything I have advocated vis-a-vis atheism+ I advocated equally ardently in Sense and Goodness without God. Apparently, you have no problem with that “approach” when I hide it under esoteric terms like “metaphysical naturalism,” “secular humanism,” and “moral realism.” What gives?

      1. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 9:25 am

        atheistic societies were the most inhumane the world has known, Atheist China, Atheist North Korea, Atheist Soviet Union,

        You guys defeat yourself by having no doctrine, no decree… that makes things like “population control” a hope of most atheists, and willing executioners – Mao, Tito, Stalin, Kim Jung,

        You checkmate yourself.

        1. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 12:16 pm

          Australia, Canada, Europe all are secular not atheist, there is a big difference. This occured thanks to Jesus and his teaching “Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Mark 12. By this there was separation of private faith and the state/authorities that governed.

          Also, the humanism that is now characteristic of the countries you listed all evolved thanks to the life of Jesus Christ.

          If it wasn’t for Jesus you would be sacrificing your child for some more corn like the Mayans and the Hindus, or maybe you would choose Zeus instead?

          As for Japan, only 60 years ago they killed and rampaged throughout Asia – because of their supremacist approach, atheist no doctrine, no decree, no operating system, gave them what they perceived was the right to dominate, rape and do as ‘thy will’ to the Chinese, Korean…

          Common condition with you atheists – the superiority complex.

          I lived in Nanjing, China why don’t you visit to see the greatness of the atheist Japanese empire.

        2. Australia, Canada, Europe all are secular not atheist, there is a big difference.

          Only if you are lying by falsely and slanderously claiming that all atheists want anything other than secular states.

          Otherwise, if you are not claiming that, then you aren’t attacking me, or even most atheists on this earth, but bad atheists, same as my attacking bad Christians and bad Muslims for the bad things they do and preach. But if that’s all you are doing, why are you posting here, to an atheist who isn’t on your list of evil atheists, any more than (I hope) you are not on any list of evil Christians (like, say, Torquemata, Joseph Kony, Ivan the Terrible, Hong Xiuquan, and Hitler).

    2. millssg99 March 12, 2013, 4:17 pm

      Richard, I disagree with this: “I advocated equally ardently”. I don’t think you advocated feminism, social justice, etc., basically your politics, nearly as much in the book. It is relegated to the end and of course you don’t advocate that at all in your other books and writing about Jesus and history. In the case of politics you said it was the most speculative and personal. In any case I simply think your emphasis in atheism+ is too much on the+, but I don’t want to debate it as that isn’t what my real objection is anyway. That’s my sense anyway, it’s what I took away from the book, but your intent in writing may have been different. I can only say what I took away from it. From what I can determine I think my politics and yours are fairly close but I wouldn’t call my overall worldview atheism+.

      I think it is a terrible mistake to label your beliefs or approach or whatever you want to call it atheism+ whether it was you or someone else who started it. Atheism is simply lack of theism and that is compatible with a wide range of other positions. There are dozens of other labels I would prefer in order to keep from conflating in other people’s minds what I think should not be mixed and that is that atheism does not entail any of this other stuff. Atheism should remain atheism without anything else implied. Atheism+ leaves all the emphasis on atheism. Call your approach progressive humanism, or feminist humanism, or whatever label makes sense, but just leave atheism to stand alone.

      It’s OK. I can think most of your writing is brilliant without having to agree with everything you do or say. Sense and Goodness Without God IS one of my favorite books and I DON’T think it has the same emphasis on the + as what you have said about atheism+. Anyway that’s my opinion..

      1. Social justice issues are all throughout section VII.5 of my book, as well as principles of equal rights. I likewise have expressed the susceptibility to revision and disproof of my values in my Atheism+ posts. There is therefore no difference on those points.

        So it seems you are only annoyed then at my admitting that the book’s values and ideals entail feminism. Which means you have a problem with feminism. Why?

        Either you object to something about feminism that isn’t already entailed by what I argue in my book (such as the values of compassion and equality under the law), or not. If not, then you cannot have any valid objection to Atheism+ that isn’t also an objection to the book. Whereas if you are imagining my defense of feminism adds something new, then you have an incorrect idea of what I have said about feminism and Atheism+, none of which adds to anything not already entailed by what I argue in my book.

        Your argument that atheism is only about atheism is silly considering we are talking about the term atheism+. That’s atheism plus stuff. To argue that we should not use the term google+ because the word google only refers to a search engine is to hallucinate the absence of the “+” symbol on the page and thereby get completely confused about what it is we are even talking about, which is google PLUS, not google. Likewise, atheism PLUS, not atheism.

        If you think we should not also advocate for certain moral values in addition to our atheism, then you are objecting to the entire argument of Sense and Goodness without God, and therefore cannot mean what you said about it earlier.

        See what I mean?

    3. millssg99 March 12, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Richard, I understand that the + indicates more but think it leaves the emphasis in the wrong place and creates confusion in people I don’t want to be confused. I don’t think it is silly at all. Somebody who is sexist, and I am not including myself as you seem to think I am, and hears somebody advocating atheism+ in a feminist context is going to think atheism means feminism. Same thing for any political position. I would rather have someone be an atheist and a feminist or and atheist and believer in individual liberty but I don’t want them lumping atheism in with feminism or atheism in with civil liberties because the danger is if they disagree on the + issue they may disregard the atheism side. But regardless that is a difference of opinion between you and me that clearly we are not going to agree on.

      I clearly do not nor have I ever said you shouldn’t advocate other moral values. I am an atheist and I advocate certain moral values and political positions, often the same ones as you. I certainly do think you and all other thoughtful people should as well. I simply don’t agree with the implication that they are just a + on atheism or that they should be linked together in the way you are linking them.

      For some reason you are taking what was intended to be a glowing review of your work as some kind of challenge because I don’t agree with “atheism+”. The reason escapes me. But regardless I agree too much with your views to spend much more time with something that we clearly are not going to agree on. I simply disagree with the label “atheism+” mostly and to some smaller extent as I indicated in my first post with the emphasis I’ve sensed lately. My opinion is my own and my opinion is that your best work is when you stick to those subjects I’ve mentioned.

      BTW, I’ve been trying to figure out when your new book is coming out or who is publishing it. Is there anything you can offer in that regard if I missed it somewhere?

  2. gwen March 4, 2013, 5:48 pm

    Yay! I listen to audiobooks on break at work when the godbots there get me down, and ‘Why I am not a Christian’ was my latest acquisition. You made great points I’d never thought of, and express them better than I could ever think to. I will be buying this one too. Keep them coming please! 🙂

  3. fredericksparks March 5, 2013, 7:53 am

    This was one of the first “atheist” books I read and I couldn’t have started from a better place. I’ve been a fan of yours since the days of Internet Infidels. congrats!

  4. Jeremy Hanon March 5, 2013, 10:53 pm

    Great news — congratulations. Sense & Goodness Without God is one of my all time favorite books and one that I recommend as often as I can. It’s really fantastic.

    1. What conservative political positions?

      And what then did you take away from my attack on conservatism in my section defending moderatism (VII.2, pp. 371-74)?

      Or my attack on traditionally conservative positions? (VII.5, pp. 389-404)

      Or my remark on the very first page of the politics part (p. 369) that “it is in politics that we find the greatest ignorance and uncertainty, and thus should permit the greatest scope for honest disagreement”?

      I’m genuinely curious. Because I am usually attacked for being too liberal!

  5. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 9:31 am

    I love how you put all your hate into a man who protected adulterous women sentenced to die by men,
    who fed the hungry,
    who hung out with prostitutes,
    who cried out FORGIVE THEM on the cross for those who hung him,
    who touched the sick,
    who broke religious rules of the day to be with the sick,
    who fought against religion and called religious leaders hypocrites and vipers,
    who declared “LOVE THY ENEMY” – “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR” that love is the way,
    who protected children,
    who did not condemn,
    who taught do not return evil with evil,

    all this and you know that He is full of love so there will be no backlash, but in your cowardness you DARE NOT so a word about Islam, a religion, a man made religion that would behead you if you talked about Mohammed like you do Jesus.

    You humiliate yourself and earn the title as COWARD typical atheist, trembling in the sight of Islam, yet rabid as dog when it comes to Christ who taught LOVE is everything.

    1. Tell us the page numbers in my book Sense and Goodness without God where I direct “hate” toward Jesus. And please also tell us the page numbers where I am “rabid as a dog” about Jesus. Then we can talk.

      Otherwise, you should know, that the story about the adulteress was a fiction later inserted into the Gospel and thus never really happened.

      The tales of his miraculous feedings are likewise absurdist symbolic fiction. And so on. Saying the stories about him are made up does not amount to hate. It’s just telling the truth.

      Meanwhile, if we ignore that it’s all fiction, Jesus repeatedly condemned people: Mark 3:29, 8:33, 16:16; Matthew 23:15, 23:33; etc. He even physically beat them: John 2:15. And his teachings were backward even by the standard of moral philosophers of his own day (e.g. see Some Godless Comments On Jesus and Some Godless Comments On Jesus II; with On Musonius Rufus: A Brief Essay and Was Musonius Better than Jesus?)

      in your cowardness you DARE NOT so a word about Islam

      Not only do I condemn Islamic fascism in this very book you are commenting on (thus, clearly, you haven’t read it), I have written often against its apologetics: Cosmology and the Koran: A Response to Muslim Fundamentalists; The Koran Predicted the Speed of Light? Not Really; Predicting Modern Science: Epicurus vs. Mohammed. I have also debated Muslims in a very public fashion.

      1. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Well, you have impressed me, you are one of the first atheists I have contacted to not “moderate” – thank you. I will not violate your comment policy further.

      2. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 12:54 pm

        well make up your mind are you against Christ or are you against religion? They are not the same. Religion is man made.

        Jesus fought against religion, as you mentioned in John 2:15 that was to the Pharisees and the religious leaders who thought they owned and controlled God by ritual and birthright/position. Jesus did not hit them, read the text he scattered them.

        Actually when it came to physical violence he taught the world, in a time when inhumanity was supreme, the world was full of violence, he was the only one who taught “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Luke 6.

        As for the verses you mentioned about condemnation, understand the difference between a warning and condemnation mark 3:29, 16:16… he did not condemn anyone directly except the religious who called vipers for cheating the poor out their money in God’s name,


        Here is a challenge for you, I write this and I will not take up anymore room on your blog… find me these three things in any book, any document, any religion, anything and I will throw the Bible in the gutter and declare God does not exist:

        1. Jesus said “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR” mark 12:31
        2. Jesus said “LOVE THY ENEMIES” matt 5:44
        3. “GOD IS LOVE.” 1 John 4:16 (no conditions, no prerequisites, JUST GOD IS LOVE.)

        Find me these three declarations, statements, anywhere, from anyone and I will become an atheist.

        But it cannot be “kindness” or “passiveness” it has to have the exact words – has to have “LOVE”

        because LOVE=FREEDOM. Freedom from the past, freedom from looking down on others, freedom from causing division, freedom from being exclusive, freedom from valuing certain behaviors over others, freedom from addiction, freedom anxiety of the future, freedom from the circumstance of the present, freedom from sexual abuse as a child, freedom from thoughts of superiority, freedom from hurting others, causing pain, freedom from… freedom from…

        Love sets free.

        Jesus said it “then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” what is the Truth – the Truth is “God is love.” Only Jesus Christ brought to the world a operating system based on love and love alone, and decreed that love is all. Jesus Himself said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.

        Love cannot be taught, it is already in us, we are programmed with it, yet so many of your great atheists Tito, Stalin, Mao, the list goes on… they all thought love was for the weak. Do you think love is for the weak? Look around you there is no love, throughout history we humans are the worst of all things this planet contains, how do we know? Because humans know pain and yet even in our conscious state of knowing we cause others pain we still do it knowingly and willingly. Animals do not have this capability, they do it for territory and survival but not us so your faith in humanity is reaching… you ignore 5000 years of recorded slavery, rape, lust for power, control, wealth, murderous hearts, torture, human sacrifice… and without a doctrine, without a decree this is what atheists become.

        You become walking APPETITES, never yielding appetites, bound and chained yet in the illusion that you are free.

        I leave you now… the challenge remains to find me what other system, what other human, what other doctrine declares “GOD IS LOVE” no conditions, no attachments, nothing else.

        Thank you for your time.

        1. I am against falsehoods and bad philosophies. Including judgmental, bigoted, and condemnatory slanders like you saying “my great atheists” are Stalin et al. You do not practice what you preach. You hate and condemn, while condemning hate and condemnation. Nice.

          My great atheists (if we limit the category to state leaders and not philosophers) are Kemal Ataturk, Julia Gillard, Jawaharlal Nehru, José Mujica, Janet Jagan, and Bengt Westerberg. Which does not mean I agree with everything they did or said. But they were moral people who did great and good things for their nations. They resemble none of the people you list.

          None of them said, for example, “If any man come to me, and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Who would say such a despicable thing? Your very own Jesus: Luke 14:26.

          Thus in these and many other ways, the truth does not align with your claims and beliefs. You would do well to adjust your beliefs to correspond to the truth.

        2. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 3:21 pm

          why so elementary? What differentiates you from them? Where is your doctrine, where is your principle? Where is your creed that I can study and through critical thought come to the conclusion that you are not like the great atheists of history listed – Mao, Stalin and so many more.

          Please direct me to a universal atheistic doctrine – system? Unless you have one we will continue to group you all together.

          You see, we have a doctrine/system… someone can kill in Christ’s, they can invade, they can devour, but none of it is decreed, it is Christ’s system, by doing those acts, perpetrating these crimes, the inhumanity, the will have disqualified themselves from this system. I can say I am a dolphin, but without a dorsal fin and other attributes doesn’t matter how many times I shout it – I am not a dolphin.

          But you atheists you do not have this, you can one day say self preservation is right, the next day claim different, this is your defeat, this is where you will always be checkmated.

          As for the desperate attempt to at grasping Luke 14, are you this elementary? Do I even have to respond to this… please look up the 5th commandment “HONOR THY MOTHER AND FATHER” – but so then why did Jesus say this? Jesus is expressing not literally but what kind of life is needed to walk in His love. Why? Because humans cannot do much on their own, again look at your great atheists (until you have a doctrine established for all the world to see then I will continue to group those atheists with you and the ones you think are great) what they have done to humanity, humans cannot rid themselves of exclusivity, division, hate, greed, envy, but a human that receives God’s love can. This is why Jesus said the whole summary, the whole meaning of life, the way to eternity is “LOVE GOD AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” – because without receiving God’s love we cannot be free to love all humanity in humanity’s forms and conditions, we will be full of prejudice and discord.

          To follow God is not easy, again look around 100,000,000 of us Christians are persecuted, raped, forsaken, bashed, and beaten every year. 100,000 of us are beheaded, crucified, tortured to death every year, the hardest thing in this world is to live like Christ, and without putting the LOVE of GOD first, we will never be able to do it – to freely love. We will be annoyed easy, impatient, critical, exclusive, develop a spirit that is anti God’s love. That is why Jesus says this, it is not literal hate – again see the 10 commandments Jesus already spoke about family.

          “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” 1 John 4:20

          I do not hate you, who am I, a nobody to hate. Do you not understand God’s love for you? Do you not understand that an infinite God, that our brain matter and quotient is too finite too limited for, but is revealed through Christ in ways we can understand, loves you with an everlasting love? oh right you are too good for love, like the others? Love is for the weak, it is about knowledge right? Well whatever your position is, it doesn’t matter – God loves you. no behavior, actions, position, anything will can change this.

          You have been challenged, you will add an atheist to your team if you can do the simple task of finding “GOD IS LOVE” “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR” “LOVE THY ENEMY” in any text, any book at any time.


        3. Uh, dude. You come in here and start commenting on a post about my book Sense and Goodness without God, a book which outlines and explains my doctrines and principles and my reason for believing them, and then you ask me “Where is your doctrine, where is your principle?”

          Um. Read the frakkin book. Okay?

  6. Ranko Tutulugdzija March 12, 2013, 9:34 am

    and now like a typical hate filled, censor filled atheist you will ignore these comments and “moderate” them

  7. Damon March 31, 2013, 8:15 pm

    This is great news!

    This is one of the few books that I really got into. I love the breadth of topics covered. I read quite a few books but they are mostly limited to programming. Rarely will I dig into bibliographies but I’ve bought and have read many of the books in the bibliography for Sense and Goodness without God: The Final Superstition, The Science of Morality, The Irony of Democracy, Defending Science Within Reason, and The Logic of Failure are some of my favorites. I was even able to find Lucian Satirist and Artist; from 1926 it’s the oldest made book I own 😉

    Your book inspired me to broaden my horizons and continues to do so.

    Thank you for writing (and now reading) Sense and Goodness without God. I have two copies of it and I just ordered the audible version.

    1. I appreciate those remarks.

      I had forgotten about The Irony of Democracy. That made a big difference in my life. It was the turning point between thinking the idealism was the reality (as you are taught in high school), and understanding the reality. For the advanced form of that education, I eventually found the works of Matt Taibbi. The whole world should read Taibbi. He’d be in those bibliographies now if I did a second edition.


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