Books on atheism
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20-03-2012, 07:22 AM
Books on atheism
Can anyone recommend books along the two following lines of thought:

1) getting a noncommitted agnostic off the fence. Is Hitchens too aggressive? Sam Harris? What book works the best in a non-aggressive manner?

2) making the case for anti-theism. What book does the best job in presenting the case that religion is bad and shouldn't just be tolerated?

God Delusion, Letter to a CN, God is not great: I have these but wonder if there are any that do a better job with the objectives above?
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20-03-2012, 07:25 AM (This post was last modified: 20-03-2012 07:28 AM by Eternal.)
RE: Books on atheism
I have found that the bible works great for getting people off the fence. It probably is a little too aggressive though.

I think anything by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett or Hitchens could be a good starting point. It is hard to say definitively without knowing the person, as different things work well for different people.

I think ultimately which book will be a judgement call on your part.

"Belief means not wanting to know what is true"
Friedrich Nietzsche
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22-03-2012, 08:08 PM
RE: Books on atheism
The fact that we have so many books about atheism blows up the notion that compares atheism to "not stamp collecting" or whatever.

In fact, atheism more closely resembles veganism than it does to "not believing in or doing X."

Vegans don't just not eat animal protein and abjure the use of animal products like leather. The firebrands among them go further to present an ideological critique of our culture's treatment of animals, and they argue for the advantages of abandoning animal exploitation altogether.

Similarly, the atheist firebrands don't just not believe in gods and related notions. They take the offensive by making philosophical and scientific critiques of religious beliefs, and they argue for the advantages of abandoning these beliefs altogether.

Given how people really use and understand the word "atheism," we should define it as "the skepticism or criticism of theism and related beliefs." Instead the atheists who write books and host podcasts or public access TV shows about atheism, and who therefore should know better based on their own behavior, say that the word "atheism" refers to some mysterious void in the universe called "absence of belief in gods."
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25-03-2012, 01:54 AM
RE: Books on atheism
If you're into philosophy, Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil". I'd recommend "Atheism: The Case Against God" by George H. Smith. It's the most thorough book on the subject that I've ever seen, going into detail on just about every argument that theists have used and why each one of them fails. The first edition was printed in 1979, and the edition I have is from 1987, but everything in it is still completely relevant.

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." - Abraham Lincoln
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25-03-2012, 02:07 AM
RE: Books on atheism
I greatly enjoyed reading:

"Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians"
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05-04-2012, 09:06 PM
RE: Books on atheism
Time to be Rational: Darwin, Demons and Sex - Geoff Simons

Great read, first book on the subject I read on the subject of being non-religious. Simons does come off as aggressive at first, but by the end of it you feel he’s just cutting straight to the point. It’s also incredibly well researched.

"Gary, it's burning, what we gonna do"
-Bill Bailey
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