Rebecca Goldstein receives the Richard Dawkins Award at the Atheist Alliance of America convention

The Atheist Alliance of America chose, as the 2014 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, the philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein.

Richard was unfortunately unable to attend the National Convention in Seattle, so he recorded a short speech in Rebecca’s honour. Here is his speech, as played at the Convention.


  1. Rebecca’s book 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, a work of fiction is one of the finest novels I have ever read. It is entertaining on one level and educational on several other deep levels. i will probably read is several more times before I actually appreciate all of it. She says that writing fiction is more difficult than non-fiction, and i see her point. Her husband, Steven Pinker, writes about what he knows, brilliantly. Rebecca can put what she knows into a great, entertaining and educational story with great characters. Her book, The Mind Body Problem is also great and i could really relate to it.

    • I’m glad it wasn’t just me trying to see the book titles (whilst simultaneously listening to Richard’s introduction of course). Interesting to see Why We Love just to the left of his shoulder; I remember that being referenced in The God Delusion. So many books, so little time. And, after such strong recommendations for Rebecca Goldstein, I now need to add ’36 Arguments’ to my list too!

  2. I’m very happy to hear that Rebecca Goldstein has been chosen to win this award. I’ve read her novel, Thirty Six Arguments for the Existence of God and also her book, Betraying Spinoza, The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Both books were excellent. Her new book is coming up soon on my reading list.

    Since I live in the Boston, US area I’ve had the opportunity to hear Goldstein speak two times and I know that she will serve well as a smart, assertive role model for atheist women and especially for young women and teens who are on the fence and floundering around under pressure from religious families and the awareness that there is something better out there that offers them the opportunity to be strong and independent in their own right.

    This is the supreme importance of recognizing the achievement of atheist women in our community and promoting them in their position that I’ll call public intellectuals. (Goldstein already was one in her own right before this award was given). With all of the animosity that has played out over gender issues in this community, I feel that the recognition of this woman is a positive sign. I hope she will use this opportunity to address some of the issues that women atheists have faced which cause us to be oftentimes discouraged.

    Congratulations and fist bump to Rebecca Goldstein.

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