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 The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, tells of his exasperation with colleagues who try to play both sides of the street: looking to science for justification of their religious convictions while evading the most difficult implications—the existence of a prime mover sophisticated enough to create and run the universe, “to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously.” Such an entity, he argues, would have to be extremely complex, raising the question of how it came into existence, how it communicates —through spiritons!—and where it resides. Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand. No one who has witnessed the merciless dissection of a new paper in physics would describe the atmosphere as overly polite.” – From Scientific American.

 

 

Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists
Atheists are the last of the minorities in America to come out of the closet, and like other civil rights movements this one began with leaders like Dan Barker and his Freedom from Religion Foundation defending the civil liberties of godless Americans, who deserve equal protection under the Constitution. In his new book, Godless, Barker recounts his journey from evangelical preacher to atheist activist, and along the way explains precisely why it is not only okay to be an atheist, it is something in which to be proud.

 

 

 

 

 

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

 

 

 


Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism
details why God is unnecessary to explain the universe’s diversity, organization and beauty. Using simple, straightforward logic, this book rebuts every argument that claims to “prove” God’s existence.  A comprehensive primer for countering today’s religious dogma, Atheist Universe addresses all the major historical and scientific questions surrounding god belief.

 

 

 

 

 
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages–with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices–past and present–that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you’ll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they’re all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens–“political and literary journalist extraordinaire” (Los Angeles Times)–can. Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter: The Portable Atheist will speak to you and engage you every step of the way.

 

Atheism: The Case Against God (Skeptic’s Bookshelf)
With this intriguing introduction, George H Smith sets out to demolish what he considers the most widespread and destructive of all the myths devised by man – the concept of a supreme being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous arguments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad “proofs” offered by theists – the defenses of sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the average religious layman. He explores the historical and psychological havoc wrought by religion in general – and concludes that religious belief cannot have any place in the life of modern, rational man.

 

 

 

 

 

Atheism Advanced answers many questions, including: Why must Atheists stop ‘speaking Christian?’ — not only to prevent religionists from setting the terms of debate but also to prevent them from determining the very thoughts we think? Are there any religions without gods? How are gods created, and are they being manufactured today? Why is science necessarily atheistic? Why must Atheists advance from being simply ‘without gods’ to being ‘Discredists,’ thinkers who reject belief-based reasoning altogether? Includes an anthropology of comparative religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “The most important new title from American Atheist Press since the death of Madalyn Murray O’Hair/” — Frank R. Zindler, American Atheist, Summer, 2004

DAVID ELLER was born an Atheist and has never found any reason to think otherwise. He holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and has conducted fieldwork among Australian Aboriginals. He has studied all of the major world religions and dozens of other traditional and tribal religions. He has concluded that an Atheist is not someone who knows too little about religion but someone who knows too much. His book “From Culture to Ethnicity to Conflict” deals with the problem of international ethnic conflict. Other books by Eller include “Culture and the Real World” and “Violence and Culture.” He is a regular contributor to major freethought as well as scientific journals. He teaches Cultural Anthropology in Denver, Colorado, where he lives with his wife and three cats. 

 

For about two decades John W. Loftus was a devout evangelical Christian, an ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and an ardent apologist for Christianity. With three degrees–in philosophy, theology, and philosophy of religion–he was adept at using rational argumentation to defend the faith. But over the years, as he ministered to various congregations and taught at Christian colleges, doubts about the credibility of key Christian tenets began to creep into his thinking. By the late 1990s he experienced a full-blown crisis of faith, brought on by emotional upheavals in his personal life as well as the gathering weight of the doubts he had long entertained.

In this honest appraisal of his journey from believer to atheist, Loftus carefully explains the experiences and the reasoning process that led him to reject religious belief. The bulk of the book is his “cumulative case” against Christianity. Here he lays out the philosophical, scientific, and historical reasons that can be raised against Christian belief. From the implications of religious diversity, the authority of faith vs. reason, and the problem of evil, to the contradictions between the Bible and the scientific worldview, the conflicts between traditional dogma and historical evidence, and much more, Loftus covers a great deal of intellectual terrain.

 

 

In this book Michael Martin provides logical reasons for being an atheist. Carefully examining the current debate in Anglo-American analytic philosophy regarding God’s existence, Martin presents a comprehensive critique of the arguments for the existence of God and a defense of arguments against the existence of God, showing in detail their relevance to atheism. Claiming that atheism is a rational position while theistic beliefs are not, he relies both on logic and evidence and confines his efforts to showing the irrationality of belief in a personal supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and the creator of heaven and earth.The author’s approach is two-fold. By presenting and criticizing arguments that have been advanced in favor of belief, he makes a case for ‘negative atheism’. By offering arguments against atheism and defending it from these attacks, he presents a case for ‘positive atheism’. Along the way, he confronts the views of numerous philosophers among them Anselm, Aquinas, Plantinga, Hick, and Swinburne and refutes both classical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced through the history of this debate.In his conclusion, Martin considers what would and would not follow if his main arguments were widely accepted, and he defines and distinguishes atheism from other ‘isms’ and movements.

 

 This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today’s world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes-heinous crimes. He asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer tolerate views that pit one true god against another. Most controversially, he argues that we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion; an accommodation that only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need. He calls on us to invoke that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.

 

 

What makes religion so powerful? How does it weave its way into our political system? Why do people believe and follow obvious religious charlatans? What makes people profess deep faith even as they act in ways that betray that faith? What makes people blind to the irrationalities of their religion yet clearly see those of others? If these questions interest you, this book will give you the tools to understand religion and its power in you, your family and your culture. For thousands of years, religion has woven its way through societies and people as if it were part and parcel to that society or person. In large measure it was left unexplained and unchallenged, it simply existed. Those who attempted to challenge and expose religion were often persecuted, excommunicated, shunned, or even executed. It could be fatal to explain that which the church, priest or imam said was unexplainable. Before the germ, viral and parasite theory of disease, physicians had no tools to understand disease and its propagation. Priests told people disease was a result of sin, Satan, evil spirits, etc. With the discovery of microbial actors, scientists gained new tools to study how it spreads. They could study infection strategies, immunity, epidemiology and much more. Suddenly the terrible diseases of the past were understandable.

 

 

Dinner party hostesses used to be warned to steer the conversation away from politics and religion. I used to wonder why, but I don’t anymore. There are some differences that reveal rifts so deep that dialogue breaks down. Among these are the current debates that have been raging between God-believers and the so-called new atheists. It often seems that people on one side can’t begin to grasp what the world is like, what it feels like, for those on the other side. When the person with whom one is conversing appears utterly opaque, then mistrust and contempt are easily aroused: How can he be saying that when the opposite seems so obvious to me? Is he stupid, dishonest, maybe just a touch evil? These are not the sort of suspicions that the gracious hostess wants intruding at her candle-lit dinner table.

But for me, as a novelist, it’s differences like these, indicating entirely different orientations toward the world, which are the most tantalizing to explore. Arguments alone can’t capture all that is at stake for people when they argue about issues of reason and faith. In the end, I place my faith in fiction, in its power to make vividly present how different the world feels to each of us and how these differences are sometimes what is really being expressed in the great debates of our day on the existence of God.

The title of the book is 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. I meant the subtitle to be understood as a sort of joke, but as a serious one, too. –Rebecca Goldstein


This fun and exciting FREE downloadable book is interesting, funny, and full of information that every well-versed atheists will learn something new from.  Print it out and read it for yourself (Please remember to save trees and print front and back or read online).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readers with an eye on European politics will recognize Ali as the Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after collaborating on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women with controversial director Theo van Gogh (who was himself assassinated). Even before then, her attacks on Islamic culture as “brutal, bigoted, [and] fixated on controlling women” had generated much controversy. In this suspenseful account of her life and her internal struggle with her Muslim faith, she discusses how these views were shaped by her experiences amid the political chaos of Somalia and other African nations, where she was subjected to genital mutilation and later forced into an unwanted marriage. While in transit to her husband in Canada, she decided to seek asylum in the Netherlands, where she marveled at the polite policemen and government bureaucrats. Ali is up-front about having lied about her background in order to obtain her citizenship, which led to further controversy in early 2006, when an immigration official sought to deport her and triggered the collapse of the Dutch coalition government. Apart from feelings of guilt over van Gogh’s death, her voice is forceful and unbowed—like Irshad Manji, she delivers a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion. – Publisher’s Weekly

 

 

 

“The new book from high profile philosophy writers Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom (authors of the hugely successful “Why Truth Matters”), explores a topical and controversial religious issue in a highly accessible manner.This fascinating book explores the role that religion plays in the oppression of women. Philosophy writers Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom ask probing questions about the way that religion shields the oppression of women from criticism and why many Western liberals, leftists, and feminists have remained largely silent on the subject.The lives of women in the industrialized world have improved enormously in the last hundred years, especially so, in social, cultural, and political terms, in the last forty. But throughout the rest of the world, a great many women lead lives of misery and sometimes plain horror. They are often considered and treated as the property of men and have few, if any, rights. Such treatment is generally sustained and protected by religion.”Does God Hate Women?” explores instances of the oppression of women in the name of religious norms and how these issues play out both in the community and in the political arena. Drawing on philosophical concerns such as truth, relativism, knowledge, and ethics, Benson and Stangroom assess the current situation and provide a rallying call for a progressive politics that is committed to universal values. This important new book will appeal to anyone interested in issues of women’s rights,  global justice, and multiculturalism. ”

 

 

Is America really one nation under God? Not according to Pulitzer Prize–finalist Jacoby (Wild Justice, etc.), who argues that it is America’s secularist “freethinkers” who formed the bedrock upon which our nation was built. Jacoby contends that it’s one of “the great unresolved paradoxes” that religion occupies such an important place in a nation founded on separation of church and state. She traces the role of “freethinkers,” a term first coined in the 17th century, in the formation of America from the writing of the Constitution to some of our greatest social revolutions, including abolition, feminism, labor, civil rights and the dawning of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Jacoby has clearly spent much time in the library, and the result is an impressive literary achievement filled with an array of both major and minor figures from American history, like revolutionary propagandist Thomas Paine, presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Robert Green Ingersoll. Her historical work is further flanked by current examples—the Bush White House in an introduction and the views of conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia in a final chapter—that crystallize her concern over secularism’s waning influence. Unfortunately, Jacoby’s immense research is also the book’s Achilles heel. Her core mission to impress upon readers the historical struggle of freethinkers against the religious establishment is at times overwhelmed by the sheer volume of characters and vignettes she offers, many of which, frankly, are not very compelling. Still, Jacoby has done yeoman’s work in crafting her message that the values of America’s freethinkers belong “at the center, not in the margins” of American life.

 

 

The humanist chaplain at Harvard University offers an updated defense of humanism in response to the belligerent attacks on religion put forward by such new atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Epstein’s approach to religion is respectful, and for the most part, friendly. He sees liberal Christians, Unitarian Universalists, Jews and spiritual self-help gurus, such as Oprah Winfrey, as natural allies of humanists—though at times he seems impatient for them to admit they no longer believe in a transcendent God. A student of Sherwin Wine, the late rabbi and founder of Humanistic Judaism, Epstein’s humanism is rooted in his mentor’s essentially Jewish formulations. His most impassioned argument is with megachurch pastor Rick Warren and other evangelicals who believe secularism is the enemy and a moral society impossible without a belief in God. While such an argument may be needed, Epstein’s book is marred by redundancies and a lack of organization that suggests it was hastily put together. – Publisher’s Weekly

 

 

Mehta, an atheist, once held an unusual auction on eBay: the highest bidder could send Mehta to a church of his or her choice. The winner, who paid $504, asked Mehta to attend numerous churches, and this book comprises Mehta’s responses to 15 worshipping communities, including such prominent megachurches as Houston’s Second Baptist, Ted Haggard’s New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Willow Creek in suburban Chicago. (Mehta ranks Willow Creek as the church most likely to draw him back.) Mehta, who grew up Jain, offers some autobiographical context, then discusses nonreligious people’s approach to topics such as death and suffering. But all that is just a preamble to Mehta’s sketches of the churches he attended. He doesn’t find much community in churches; families sit far apart from other families, and people race “out the front doors to their cars” as soon as the service ends. Churches earn high marks for Mehta when they offer great speakers and focus on community outreach, but they also do many things wrong, including singing repetitive songs and alienating non-Christians by ubiquitously proclaiming them to be “lost.” Mehta’s musings will interest Christians who seek to proselytize others and who want to identify their evangelistic mistakes. – Publisher’s Weekly
In his characteristically provocative fashion, Dennett, author of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, calls for a scientific, rational examination of religion that will lead us to understand what purpose religion serves in our culture. Much like E.O. Wilson (In Search of Nature), Robert Wright (The Moral Animal), and Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene), Dennett explores religion as a cultural phenomenon governed by the processes of evolution and natural selection. Religion survives because it has some kind of beneficial role in human life, yet Dennett argues that it has also played a maleficent role. He elegantly pleads for religions to engage in empirical self-examination to protect future generations from the ignorance so often fostered by religion hiding behind doctrinal smoke screens. Because Dennett offers a tentative proposal for exploring religion as a natural phenomenon, his book is sometimes plagued by generalizations that leave us wanting more (“Only when we can frame a comprehensive view of the many aspects of religion can we formulate defensible policies for how to respond to religions in the future”). Although much of the ground he covers has already been well trod, he clearly throws down a gauntlet to religion.

 

 

 

This title features a new foreword by best-selling author Christopher Hitchens.  Throughout history, arguments for and against the existence of God have been largely confined to philosophy and theology.  In the meantime, science has sat on the sidelines and quietly watched this game of words march up and down the field.  Despite the fact that science has revolutionized every aspect of humans life and greatly clarified our understanding of the world, somehow the notion has arisen that it has nothing to say about the possibility of a supreme being, which much of humanity worships as the source of all reality. Physicist Victor J. Stenger contends that, if God exists, some evidence for this existence should be detectable by scientific means, especially considering the central role that God is alleged to play in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans.  Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, Stenger examines all of the claims made for God’s existence.  He considers the latest Intelligent design arguments as evidence of God’s influence in biology.  He looks at human behavior for evidence of immaterial souls and the possible effects of prayer.  He discusses the findings of physics and astronomy in weighing the suggestions that the universe is the work of a creator and that humans are God’s special creation. After evaluating all the scientific evidence, Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.

 

 

“This is a wonder introduction to the art of thinking.  DiCarlo is to be commended for presenting philosohpically challenging material in an engaging and accessible manner, while demonstrating both the relevance and the moral significance of critical thinking.  It is well designed to prepare the reader to be ‘a really good pain the ass,’ and to convince you that this is a good thing to be.” – John Teehan, professor of religion, Hofstra University, author, In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence. 

 

 

“In the Name of God, by John Teehan, takes the evolutionary framework and applies it to the reading of religious texts. The result is a provocative discussion of the ubiquitous phenomenon of religious belief that can change the way we understand the role of religion in society… .Teehan’s analysis spans a wide range of material but his incisive and focused approach conveys arguments without overwhelming the reader….Overall, Teehan does a commendable job elucidating his thesis of religion as moral innovation while treating the material with sensitivity and respect… .The result is an enjoyable read packed with insights, covering research from a wide range of disciplines, which will appeal to both the researcher in the field as well as the interested layman. Anyone who has pondered the nature of religion and its apparent contradictions will find In the Name of God a gem and emerge with a deeper understanding of morality and the religious mind.” (Evolutionary Psychology, February, 2011)

 

 

In this modern memoir of faith, Sarah reveals how deep our ties to God can be, and how devastating they can be to break. Not unlike a divorce, leaving God meant Sarah had to reorient her life and face a future that felt darkly unfamiliar. Ultimately, Breaking Up with God is filled with hope, a coming out story that lets others know it’s safe to come out too, and that there’s light on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
In 1903, the Blue Grass Blade, a Kentucky/Ohio-based freethought newspaper, which started as the only Prohibition newspaper edited by “a Heathen in the interest of good morals,” requested letters from its readers describing how and why they had become atheists. Lawson has meticulously transcribed these letters from the digitized copies available at the Library of Congress’s “Chronicling America” website and has edited them for a 21st-century audience. He touches on the stigma that has been placed on atheism in America and why atheists feel they have to hide their true personalities from their closest friends and family. Like today’s atheists, the writers of these letters hid behind initials and nom de plumes, and Lawson has done us a great service by deciphering many of the letter writers’ mysterious pseudonyms to reveal their true identities. Will you find a branch of atheism in YOUR family tree?

The phrases and voices in these letters are over one hundred years old, but the thoughts and sentiments have changed very little, unlike the dogmas and doctrines they were hoping their descendants would have abandoned by now. Their thoughts could be pulled from the latest blogs of non-believers, but these are not merely letters from scientists, scholars, or intimidating intelligentsia, no, these are personal revelations from physicians, lawyers, dentists, veterans, pioneers, settlers, farmers, tradespeople, teenagers, and housewives. These letters are ironically Bible-like in that they are lyrical, repetitive, prophetic, and poetic, but the “revelation” will be left to the reader. If these century-old thoughts sound familiar, it would appear that there is nothing new about OUR century’s “new” atheism.

 

In Friedrich Nietzsche’s great masterpiece, The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche attacks Christianity as a blight on humanity. This classic is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Nietzsche and his place within the history of philosophy.

“We should not deck out and embellish Christianity: it has waged a war to the death against this higher type of man, it has put all the deepest instincts of this type under its ban, it has developed its concept of evil, of the Evil One himself, out of these instincts-the strong man as the typical reprobate, the ‘outcast among men.’ Christianity has taken the part of all the weak, the low, the botched; it has made an ideal out of antagonism to all the self-preservative instincts of sound life; it has corrupted even the faculties of those natures that are intellectually most vigorous, by representing the highest intellectual values as sinful, as misleading, as full of temptation. The most lamentable example: the corruption of Pascal, who believed that his intellect had been destroyed by original sin, whereas it was actually destroyed by Christianity!” -Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

 

 

In his book, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, Richard Dawkins presents his explanation of, and arguments for, the theory of evolution by means of natural selection.  In its preface, Dawkins states that he wrote the book “to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions is an easy-to-read, easy-to-access digest of the history of the world’s religions. Sarcastic, fun, and informative, “The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions” is the book you need on-hand when the true believers come calling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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