New Atheist in the house!! Heres a monster of a question. I can get a university degree in philosophy and divinity but what would a self study degree in Atheistic Thought be like.
Does anyone have a start on a comprehensive list of books and texts by subject or chronological order of what a fully qualified atheist should have Studied. Philosophy and Religious studies for some are the bedrock of atheist thought but the process of digging and discovering has for many been rather piece meal. Anyone have ideas on what kind of online system of study could be set up or are there any already set up. The goal here is that the graduate of this program should be able to debate anyone to the ground.

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Sebbie, you might get more response if you posted this in the "Atheism" category of the Forum, or maybe the Nexus Book Club.

Actually, there's already a discussion in the Nexus Book Club you might find helpful, Atheism: Books Beyond Hitchens.

Oh, and... welcome to Atheist Nexus!
Atheism -- The Case Against God, by George H. Smith; Prometheus Books
AcesLucky has got it right. George Smith's "Atheism: The Case Against God" is brilliant.
I don't know of a comprehensive list, but I asked a similar question in my blog and got a lot of good suggestions. My favorites so far are:

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris
God is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens
Breaking the Spell - Daniel Dennett (just started this one, but it's quite good so far)
The End of Faith - Sam Harris
Why I Am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell
and for fun and a break from non-fiction, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

I also suggest The Skeptic's Annotated Bible as an online study resource.

Welcome to AN! You're going to learn a lot here. I've been here a little over a week and I've loved being able to ask questions and get reasoned, well-thought answers. I feel like my knowledge has increased tenfold since I joined.
Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby was very insightful. It provides a history of secularism and free thought in America. Also, The Portable Atheist, which is a collection of essays that was edited by Christopher Hitchens. That had some really good stuff in it as well.


(1) The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark by Dennis McDonald

(2) The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture by Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D

(3) 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists by Russell Blackford

(4) The New Atheism: Taking A Stand For Science and Reason by Victor Stenger

(5) The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

(6) The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe

(7) The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You To Read by Tim C. Leedom

(8) The Case Against Christianity by Michael Martin

(9) The Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy by Burton Mack

(10) Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms

(11) Can We Trust the New Testament?: Thoughts on the Reliability of Early Christian Testimony by G.A. Wells

(12) The Bible Against Itself: Why the Bible Seems to Contradict Itself by Randel McCraw Helms

(13) An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism by Daniel Harbour

(14) Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Robin Le Poidevin

(15) Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby

Also, Why God Won't Go Away by Andrew Newberg

and, THINK by Simon Blackburn has a good chapter on God in it.

If you do a search on Amazon under "Atheist" or "Skeptic" or a similar title, you're bound to find some good ones that way, too (my Wish List is F'in THICK with atheist books), although you'll also run into the problem of finding a lot of apologist books, too, which isn't necessarily bad, because they're good to read, too, but for your project, I mean....
I guess a reading list for christian fundamentalists would also help: things about "creation science", the stuff. A flu vaccine can help you not to catch the disease; the same with their crap.




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