What books do you Atheists worship? (I need suggestions here. Selfish person coming through!)

Name favorite titles, even if they aren't really Atheist books. Read a great book on Evolution? A book that explains the science of homosexuality? A picture book of undersea creatures? A biography of Penn? A cookbook that includes flying spaghetti monster supreme? Or a beautiful fiction about Princess Sprinkles in the enchanted forest?

Okay, so I went overboard with the suggestions, but lets go for variety and the reasons you love them. Personally, I'd especially be interested in religious/psychology stuff. ...And maybe a picture book.

To start off, I really love The Scarlet Letter. ...Everyone else in my class hated it. Interestingly, even though it's fiction, it still offers a lot of information and combats Puritan ideals... a great perspective and beautiful story to boot.

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Lets take this in order mel. First off I never once said English was the language of religious people. Next people didn't just up and decide the meaning of a word yesterday like you are implying. Go out into your community tomorrow and poll what people think worship means. Just because you use the word differently doesn't mean everyone else does.

Now for your example with the word retarded. You are comparing apples and oranges. Even if you use it in the original sense it has become slang and a synonym for idiot and moron. Worship has not become slang it still means the same thing it always has meant.

Now for your example with theory. Theory is closer to our discussion but its still comparing apples to oranges. Theory has been adopted by Laymen but is still in use with the scientific community. Theory has 2 meaning depending on how versed the person is in science. However worship does not have a different meaning, you are just trying to apply the same meaning on something else.

Never once did I say the word worship belonged to the theists. I'm saying its a theistic label which is very easy to misunderstand and confuses theists which in turn makes it counter productive for atheists. I'm saying in order to help stop misconceptions about who we are that we need to abandon theist labels and use other ones. Its the freaking English language each word has 10 synonyms. Pick something thats not counter productive. You aren't bowing to shit use a word that means the same damn thing. If you say shit like, "You worship Darwin's Origin of Species" you are being very counter productive by playing into their misconceptions. Its not your fault they have those misconception but catering to them doesn't correct them.

Finally, if you are going around every Sunday to explicitly profess your "love" of gravity then you are just as bat shit crazy as theists. When the truth is on your side you don't need to profess love for that or the big bang theory, or evolution or any other scientific theory because it doesn't require love nor deserve it. If I woke up tomorrow and learned that gravity was wrong, that the big bang was wrong, and evolution was wrong I wouldn't be a theist why because my atheistic beliefs are independent of such. You are implicitly saying that your atheism is based off of scientific theories which in itself is a disservice to the atheistic community especially to those of us whose lack of theism isn't based on it.

Also a side note. I don't explicitly say it but I use the word all to describe 99% of our population, there is always the 1% that doesn't conform with almost any statement of certainty. Only the anal retentive complain about being in the 1%. And more than 1% is too big of a margin of error for me so then I use words like almost everyone (or something along those lines)
@Daniel: In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka, lighten up, Francis.

Worship has a common meaning of adoration. Many people say they worship their spouses. That doesn't mean they think their spouses are deities. I personally like to steer clear of words like spiritual and soul, because I don't think they have concrete meaning, but worship can certainly be used to describe a secular adoration for someone or something. In any case, it was fairly clear that Jezzy's usage was tongue-in-cheek.

Further, it's a bit tiresome to keep hearing about how only a lack of belief in deities unifies atheists. While that's technically true, there does tend to be rather a lot of common ground amongst most (not all) atheists--we tend to prefer explanations based on evidence and reason for more than just religious questions. That means most atheists regard evolution as a factual explanation of how current life forms got here. It doesn't mean that atheists are impervious to sloppy thinking or determined cons.

And it's just weird to assert that it's not OK to love a scientific theory and enjoy thinking about and discussing it. Science is fun. Why be so grim?
I agree with you Mel. Why not use worship just because it is associated with religion? Another example of this is the swastika. The swastika is actually a peace symbol used in Buddhism, it was the Nazis who took it and used it ironically as a symbol of imperialism. But why should it now be tainted with this connotation? To respect the original meaning I believe it should still be used as a symbol of peace, in the same way that religion should not hold the monopoly on the words 'worship' and 'devout'.
I was being ironic. Seriously? Do you think I would use the word "worship" on accident? And no, I'm sure that you're all interested in undersea creatures and find great humor in FSMism. They were examples. Random. If anything, I was trying to lead you down the path of things I'm interested in. It was meant to be lighthearted. This is just like that time I mentioned how all Christians clearly hate Atheists and people thought I was serious... I expected more.

Really. I'm noticing a very clear pattern in people who like to tear down word choices and thoughts in the thread title rather than actually discuss the ideas at hand. Why?

Honestly, it's been one time too many that someone has taken one word from something a person says, and disregarding their entire thesis based on that word, replacing it with a near synonym and deeming it the correct version. "Bananas are native to Puerto Rico" becomes "Bananas are indigenous to Puerto Rico" (And yes, I just made that up so no one bother checking it). They're basically the same thing. But visit that thread again and there will be 9 pages of banter...

Now (i'm not going to be fair here) if you had the same attitude as most liberal Christians have for the bible about your books you wouldn't have read them and claim you know what message shes sending.

It is, of course, okay to stereotype Christians. (That was sarcasm, I may as well mark it now).

And of course she shouldn't make inferences on my meaning! You, however, obviously know exactly what message I was apparently sending (also sarcasm).

Stereotypes can be funny, surprisingly enough. A Jewish friend of mine took my number off his phone because it would cost him 15 cents to text me. Should I be ashamed to find that hilarious? Okay, maybe. But I'm not. :/
Worship is a word that is just fine with me. I worship many things. Reality, my Sage fly rod, C. Hitchens voice and use of the English language, . etc.,etc. I think the best book ever written on religion is S. Harris...The End of Faith and I worship it too!! For the critics I will state that no animals are harmed nor children lied to in my worshing of so many things in my life!!

I worship Humpty-Dumpty, so when I use a word, it means precisely what I intend it to mean, and nothing else.

I do wish we wouldn't use words normally associated with worship because so many theists--and Republicans, go figure--are fond enough of equivocation to offer it as "proof" that we are just as crazy as they, as in "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" (wtf!) or when they tell us we have faith, too, because we have "faith" that the sun will rise tomorrow.  "Theory" is also frequently used in its vernacular sense to denigrate scientific theories.  My approach is to correct people when I can and to use the words distinctively, not saying "theory" when I mean "best guess" and not saying "faith" when I mean "reason."  Languages change over time, as do the meanings of words, depending on how people use those words; that's one of the reasons dictionaries are constantly changing.  The OED gives not only the current meanings of words, but quotations illustrating what the words meant centuries ago and showing approximately when changes in meaning occurred.  In Jacques Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence, the author frequently points out how words have changed, going so far as to say that "man" originally meant "humans," so the modern convention of using "him or her" rather than the male pronoun as all inclusive, is an awkward absurdity.  Good luck straightening that one out, Jacques.  If we want to communicate with the other side, we should keep in mind what certain words mean to them and be careful how we use them.

As far as stereotyping Christians goes, I find that no two Christians seem to have the same set of beliefs.  You can quote from their church's website, and they will say, "Well, I don't believe that.  I believe . . . . "  And there is a vast difference between, say, Episcopalians in New Hampshire and snake handlers in North Georgia.  I think it's fair to say that if one is a member of Focus on the Family, one shares the beliefs--at least most of them--of James Dobson.  Fundamentalists/evangelicals have been quite successful in stealing the word "Christian" out from under the more mainstream, more liberal established church organizations.

Who says which words are to be considered theists labels? I can't believe all the people who say I can't have "faith" in community, or humanity etc. because faith is a theist label. I don't care if theists are comfortable or not, but if someone tells me they worship the sun, I don't think they are making the sun their god, I realize they mean that the sun has great gifts and they appreciate that. Madonna worships fitness and wrote a book about it, Fitness is Religion, is that a problem here? The actions of theists are instinctive, looking for security, being afraid of no-hereafter. They don't own the words, and we have to take what we want without being afraid we are pandering to anyone.....

One has to ask Daniel if he is "Faithful" to his spouse, girlfriend, or significant other. "Faith" is a theist term.

@Daniel "You think all atheists believe in Evolution which isn't true."


Daniel, can you please tell me what other theories of life atheists believe in? As far as I'm aware there are only two; evolution and intelligent design (creationism) and ID requires a belief in god, which as we know, doesn't apply to atheists.....

My 2 favorites are Guns, Germs And Steel by Jared Diamond and The Happiness Myth by Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Guns, Germs And Steel is all about answering the question of 'why did Europeans build large societies, travel across the Atlantic and beat up the Native Americans and not the other way around?'. He's got a rather simple explanation that rest of the book is supporting it. It pretty much all just has to do with the environments of different places. What plants and animals can be domesticated in the region as well as the geography have a lot to do with it.

The Happiness Myth is written by a historian who's also an atheist. The book looks at various societies through out history and analyzes what they thought would make them happy. It's broken up in to sections for Wisdom, Bodies, Money, Drugs and Celebrations. She points out how a lot of things that we think are objective ways to happiness are actually just products of our society.
Guns, Germs and Steel  was one of my favorites also.  1492 by Charles Mann is the best book on the pre - Columbian American cultures that I've read - it's also one of the most extensively documented books I've read. 
The Red Tent is one of my favorite anti abrahamic anti patriarchal story. The Red Tent tells the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph, a talented midwife and proto-feminist. It's a first person narrative and is scathing and compelling.

Also, anything by Joseph Campbell, especially his transcribed lecture series.




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