Atheist Reading Material
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19-07-2012, 08:25 PM
Atheist Reading Material
In the past two weeks (and for three more), I've had the opportunity to go to a library downtown, everyday, after class. I decided to use this valuable time to read up on topics that I think would benefit me most - atheism, mathematics (although they didn't have what I was looking for, so I read none) and physics (not formulas and such, but books that explain topics to the average person.) My library didn't have a copy of The God Delusion, but I am reading it off of a PDF online. I had also bought The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Dawkins, a short time before, and have a copy of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens (My father, a Christian, had a copy given to him by an unknown source to me, and probably did not bother to read it. One day, he cleaned out his closet and asked if there was anything I wanted. I said I would look through a box, found the book, and snuck it out. I think he still doesn't know I have it, and although he is at least somewhat tolerant, I don't want to provoke unnecessary conflict right now.)

Anyways, I've read or am reading the following:

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens
Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris
The Grand Design - Stephen Hawking
A Briefer History of Time - Stephen Hawking
The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins
The Blind Watchmaker - Richard Dawkins

and I will try to read a couple others, such as The End of Faith by Sam Harris and Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett. What books do you recommend, besides these? Purely religious (or, anti-religious) books, books for the evidence of evolution, actual theist books, books on physics phenomena (Big Bang, cosmology, or really tiny into quantum mechanics and such), etc.

Also, although I was a staunch atheist before, I'm becoming increasingly anti-theistic, and really am exploring the arguments I've seen, and even come up with a few more. I feel compelled to start writing these thoughts down, getting them on paper (well, actually I'm typing them), and now I think of how much religion really does poison the world. Any suggestions on to how I could approach my writings? I would love to one day publish a book, but I don't see exactly how someone like me could measure up to the standards of the Four Horsemen, at least for many years to come. I've even read some theistic arguments and counters to atheism, and I can point out the fallacies in them (lots of argumentum ad consequentiam (I think that's it), and flawed morality arguments), and I would like to write about those too. I also think I'm going to join the "Secular Club" at my high school (which I didn't even know existed until very recently) and debate with people (one reason why I'm reading up on evolution, to provide evidence. A couple of smart people I know deny or doubt evolution, but not through anything legitimate, through fallacious arguments and ignorance, which is disturbing to me.) Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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19-07-2012, 08:38 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
Check out: "Philosopher without gods"
http://www.amazon.com/Philosophers-witho...0195173074

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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19-07-2012, 08:58 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle in The Dark by Carl Sagan.

Brilliant. Affirmative. Life-changing. It doesn't really attack religion like the other books you've read, it just makes the point over and over that grasping reality is better than anything that religion's ever offered.

As far as anti-theism goes, I understand the position, but I think it's venturing into fanaticism. The "God" meme is too entrenched in human psychology to ever go away, and being an atheist also means being a realist, and understanding that you can't change very much, and the world doesn't revolve around you.
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19-07-2012, 10:13 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
A system of nature, and Good Sense by Baron D'holbach
http://www.ftarchives.net/holbach/good/gcontents.htm
http://www.philosophy-index.com/d-holbac...em-nature/

Micheal Shermer - The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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20-07-2012, 06:19 AM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
Watch all of the Qualia Soup and Theremin Trees videos on YouTube. Read Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
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20-07-2012, 09:09 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
Time to be rational : Darwin, demons and sex by Geoff Simons

"Gary, it's burning, what we gonna do"
-Bill Bailey
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20-07-2012, 09:35 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
Have you tried the bible?

It will really strengthen your atheism.

(Unless you have a sheeplike mind).

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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20-07-2012, 09:38 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
(19-07-2012 08:58 PM)Blood Wrote:  The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle in The Dark by Carl Sagan.

Brilliant. Affirmative. Life-changing. It doesn't really attack religion like the other books you've read, it just makes the point over and over that grasping reality is better than anything that religion's ever offered.

As far as anti-theism goes, I understand the position, but I think it's venturing into fanaticism. The "God" meme is too entrenched in human psychology to ever go away, and being an atheist also means being a realist, and understanding that you can't change very much, and the world doesn't revolve around you.
This is easily one of the most profound books I have ever read.

I'd also recommend Cosmos - the book version - because there's a lot of stuff in there that didn't make it to the TV series.

I'm actually making a meme based on a quote from that book as we speak. Let me know what you think:
http://theunconverted.com/why-not-save-a-step/

Join the Logic Speaks Community

I am the unconverted
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20-07-2012, 09:51 PM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2012 09:54 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Atheist Reading Material
Nietszche, Camus and Sartre. ... Wittgenstein if you can stomach him.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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20-07-2012, 11:13 PM
RE: Atheist Reading Material
I wanted to read the Bible, but I don't know how much it would help me. It's tough to read, very long, very boring, and I wouldn't catch everything. Of course, it would strengthen my arguments, but I don't really know how much debating I will be doing.

And as far as strengthening my atheism, I'm sold. Of course, if legitimate evidence came up, then I would switch, but I'm not convinced that anything will pop up anytime soon. I will continue to read and learn as much as I can. I'll try to see if the library I'm going to has copies of these books.

Thanks guys!! A reading list definitely helps.

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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