Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Isaac Asimov : January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992

From the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Asimov was an atheist: "I am Jewish in the sense that if an Arab wanted to throw a rock at a Jew, I would qualify as a target as far as he was concerned. However, I do not practice Judaism or any other religion." (March 17, 1969 letter). Asimov called himself "an orthodox, practicing atheist" (April 29, 1988 letter). Asimov wrote: "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived" (Feb. 22, 1966 letter). He also observed, "I must say that I stand amazed at the highly intelligent people who have taken so much of the Bible so seriously" (Oct. 28, 1966 letter). "Nobody but a dedicated Christian could possibly read the gospels and not see them as a tissue of nonsense" (Nov. 1, 1966 letter). "I would not be satisfied to have my kids choose to be religious without trying to argue them out of it, just as I would not be satisfied to have them decide to smoke regularly or engage in any other practice I considered detrimental to mind or body" (Aug. 22, 1963 letter). "I am prejudiced against religion because I know the history of religion, and it is the history of human misery and of black crimes" (March 27, 1976 letter). Elected in 1985 as president of the American Humanist Association, Asimov rejected an offer to support "Jewish" humanism: "I want to be a human being, nothing more and nothing less" (June 21, 1985). (All letters cited from Yours, Isaac Asimov, a Lifetime of Letters, edited by Stanley Asimov, 1995). Asimov noted that "it is an excellent sign that the right wing is trembling before a few thousand Humanists. We are weak and yet feared. Let's give them more cause to fear!" Upon his death at age 72, he had written more than 470 published books, covering every category in the Dewey Decimal System, fiction and nonfiction. Asimov was married twice, and had a son and daughter. Isaac's death from heart and kidney failure was a consequence of AIDS contracted from a transfusion of tainted blood during his December 1983 triple-bypass operation. D. 1992.


MomSquared said...

Very interesting! Thanks for posting this.

Also, I didn't know Asimov was so large! (ha ha, I'm so funny)

Deacon Barry said...

One of the greatest science writers ever. I've got the Asimov Guide to Science. I recommend it to any teenager studying for their science exams.
Oh, and I believe he wrote one or two novels as well...

Stardust said...

momsquared - you ARE funny! LOL! Yep..Asimov is as big as the moon. :-)

deacon- my husband is a huge Asimov fan. We have several of his books.

Wikipedia has a good bibliography of his works.

Tommy said...

Asimov even wrote a highly readable book about the Byzantine Empire which got me very interested in Byzantine history.

Stardust said...

tommy - I never really knew the large number of books Asimov actually wrote and all of the topics he wrote about.

Wikipedia states that "If all titles, charts, and edited collections are counted, there are currently 509 items in his complete bibliography. . . He has written books in every category of the Dewey Decimal Classification except for Philosophy."

As a writer who has a hard time cranking out a short story, I find this absolutely inspiring.