While I have been an atheist for about ten years now, I have to admit that I am not that educated on different religious views and all the contradictions that have been pointed out within said views. I became an atheist for one simple reason, and that is for all I know, the bible is just one lengthy fictitious story filled with, for the lack of a better word, immoralities that no one in their right mind should follow or even support for that matter. That one simple reason was enough for me to decide that I am not an insane, mindless sheep. That being said....what reading do you fellow atheists recommend?
Speaking of popularising science, one of my favorite lecturers has become Neil De Grasse Tyson. Incredibly intelligent and witty, as well as a great explainer.
Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker. It's been updated and is now called Godless but it's important because it covers the issue from the perspective of a believer whereas people like Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris have very little to say in this area.
Thomas Paine's the Age of Reason
Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman, easily the least biased of the non-Christian literature I've read and it's very well written. Authors like Dawkins appeal to emotion far too much for my liking.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. "We know right from wrong therefore Christianity is right" summarizes his argument.
A book on Bible apologetics is good for insight into reasons for believing.
Catholic schools are thorough, so when I quit Catholicism in the late 1950s I found 3 books helpful: one comparing the various xianities, one comparing the various world religions, and finally one about the many creation myths. A sequence like that might be helpful only to people who had twelve years of daily religion classes. I don't have titles, as I found the books in a university library.
I was very hostile to authority then so I avoided books written by the "Church fathers". When I found that Aquinas, who never married, had written a marriage manual, I knew without reading it that it had been his porn.
I settled for agnosticism then. Several years ago I saw Jonathan Miller's 'Brief History of Disbelief' on a PBS station. I found it very informative and it moved me off the fence.
I decided to kick back and do some atheist reading for fun.
The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris is turning out to be excellent.
Well, I have read God is Not Great by Hitchens and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Hitchens' book is good while Dawkins' is OK. The worst sections of Dawkins' book is the sections where he discusses the arguments for and against the existence of God. But, my best recommendation is to read Dialogues by David Hume. It is a must read book for all atheists.
However, I also think that it is good to know what the "enemies" are saying. Therefore, you should read The Coherence of Theism, The Evidence of God and Faith and Reason all by Oxford Professor Richard Swinburne. And perhaps Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, whom I consider to be an average philosopher at best.
You are too kind with Craig. He's undoubtedly one of the most intellectually dishonest charlatans ever to walk the face of this planet. But I do agree, "know thy enemy!".
Well, I wouldn't call Craig a charlatan. However, I don't have much patience or respect for him as a philosopher. His debates are mostly scripted, which proves to be very weak against the more "unorthodox" atheists he debates against such as Prof. Arif Ahmed of Cambridge University and Prof. Stephen Law of the University of London, both of whom challenged every single one of his 5 arguments to great effect and left Craig with weak replies because he hasn't been challenged like that before.
Prof. Stephen Law also proposed a slightly different perspective on the Problem of Evil argument. He puts forth what he calls the "Evil God" challenge (his paper on this can be found here). Basically, the challenge asks this simple question: If theists say that an evil god doesn't exist, why is a good god more likely to exist than an evil one? I think this is an excellent challenge. Any serious atheist should read this.
Another person Craig debated and didn't do very well against is Oxford University's Prof. Peter Millican. Prof. Millican is most famous arguably for challenging the famous Ontological Argument. He has written three papers on the topic, making him one of the world's foremost atheist who challenges the Ontological Argument. His four papers are as follows: "Ontological Argument" (2000), "The One Fatal Flaw in Anselm's Argument" (2004) and "Ontological Arguments and the Superiority of Existence" (2007).
Happy reading! :)
I think Dawkins is much better as a lecturer than in the written word.
looks like some'one took it over whoa!