It works the other way to, though. I hope to have a successful writing career some day. I would hate to have people judging me on my sociopolitical views, rather than on the merits of my work. (Not to mention that it could hurt my book sales, and I'd have to continue working my crappy day job.) Considering that I'm an ultraliberal atheist, this is a real concern. (I heard that atheists in America are less trusted than gays, illegal immigrants, and Muslims.)
However, Cloud's concern about an author's beliefs coloring their work is a real one too. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the book I'm planning prominently features several atheist characters who are openly scornful of the religious society in which they live. Despite the fact that the religious folks in my story turn out to right all along, I can just imagine all the publicity denouncing my "atheistic agenda." I just want to entertain people, not change their opinions. Of course I'll draw on my own beliefs to an extent. But only as far as it serves the story. All I would ask is that my readers approach my work with an open mind.
[I have an active imagination, don't I? I haven't finished Ch. 1, and already I'm imagining all the bad press.]
To all of you writers out there, what happens when you are interviewed? What happens with the interviewer asks you about your influences? What if you drew heavily on your religious beliefs? What if your story was based on the controversial stem-cell debate? This is all valid source material, correct? Should you decline to answer the questions for fear that you will be accused getting up on your soap box? You finally get a book published, and now you're not allowed to have opinions?
Look at poor J.K. Rowling. She's as reclusive as they come. And she's been labeled with all sorts of evil intentions...corrupting the children with her witchcraft and such. She doesn't even have to say anything.
Just be true to your beliefs and principles. If people don't like it - tough. For every one that would hold it against you there will be one who would buy because you are an atheist - me for one. Just let me know the title and I'll be down the bookshop pronto! Us atheists have to stick together.
I've recently come to thing of that as the religion with no god. My understanding of the definition of atheism is a disbelief in the existence of God.
why would that be a problem? the book orlando had the main character change gender. and katherine kerr's devery series had reincarnated characters who changed gender (only once though i think. in her world souls tended to come back as the same gender, something that annoyed me. the last thing i'd want is to ALWAYS be female. i'd like to be male sometimes, or a cat so i like the idea of people coming back as anything)
but are these people likely to read your book? i was worried about the same thing, mostly ailenaiting homophobic fantasy readers (of whcih i am sure there are some) or just those who don't like male on male lovin, as my stuff always has that (and i have had some emails from people who didn't like it, including a gay man who said only gay men should write gay sex) but my theory was, dont' like it, don't read it! you can't please everyone. and even if you write something that isn't altnerative in any way, not everyone will like it. i don't like tolkein or rowling. you just have to write what is right for you and see what happens cos for every person who hates that sort of thing, you will probably find one who likes it
My view is that no belief is the norm and that belief is aquired. Therefore the 'disbelief' or 'religion' don't enter into it.
It's a bit like being or not being a supporter of, say, cricket. We aren't born being cricket supporters but some people get interested and become fans. Those that don't aren't described in 'cricket' terms as 'non-crickets supporters' because that is the default state.
As for 'religion with no god' I prefer 'no religion' and as for 'disbelief in the existance of god' I prefer 'don't believe god exists'. There is a difference. Your definitions imply that belief is the default state and somehow that atheists opt out. I think it is the other way around.
"An atheist simply does not believe in any gods. By definition this is not a belief. Just as nakedness is not a way of getting dressed; sleep is not a technique for paying attention; sunlight is not a kind of shade (nor even its opposite): atheism simply means that one has no religious beliefs. Even to call it a 'non-belief' is perhaps misleading. After all when you are feeling comfortable you don't call it 'non-pain'. Many believers literally cannot imagine that atheism is possible. But millions of us enjoy it - all day every day."
At the risk of getting flamed by fans of Orson Scott Card, I'm just wondering if his writing (or the man himself) is as homophobic as I've heard/read other people say. I've heard a lot of great things about this guy but the whole homophobic thing has put me off.
Can some true fans set the record straight for me?
well for me, i guess, i wouldn't want to read a book by someone who was anti something that i believe in. i know that a person's personal view points doesn't always come out in their literature or affect their books, or even have that much to do with what they're writing, but i just wouldn't want to buy a book by someone who had personal dislike/issues, with something i supported. i wouldn't buy a book from anyone pro life (in an aggressive sort of way) anti gay, or misognistic or anything like that, even if theire books had nothing to do with abortion, gays or women whatsoever. i guess i just wouldn't want to have any links with someone that was that openly against things i believed in.
I doubt he's a homophobe. And I respect that he is perfectly comfortable saying what he believes, which causes him a lot of flack.