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Preface - Essays of an Atheist by Woolsey Teller

AS prefaces are usually written last and as few persons ever read them, I have reserved all the innocuous things I can think of for this section of my book. Here you will find no assault on time-honored sanctuaries, no treading on pious toes, no trampling on well-kept lawns, and pretty flower-beds with their signs, "Keep Off". All this has been done in the pages ahead.

These essays, originally published in The Truth Seeker, have been saved from a journalistic existence (as nearly as anything written for a monthly publication can be saved from oblivion in a world of ruthless extinctions) by its editor, Charles Smith, my publisher and companion in arms for many years, who, being a born crusader, has decided to give them an extended lease of life between covers. Revised and enlarged, they stand as a heterogeneous offering on sundry topics.

To my numerous friends, scattered in four continents, who, by their cordial letters and valuable criticisms, have encouraged me in my work, a thousand thanks. To my enemies, a thousand thanks as well. Without their stimulating opposition, these articles would never have been written.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the opinions expressed in this volume is of small moment; what really matters is the degree to which a writer stimulates others to independent research and a reappraisal of conventional doctrines.

After all, one must be judged, not by his errors,but by his batting average. If he can keep the mistakes down to a minimum and the score high, he will be contributing in some small way to a better understanding of life and its problems.

Friends and Colleagues