It is actually a play..but I recommend every member of this community to read it. It is called- "Life of Galileo" by Bertolt Brecht...It talks about the debate between religion and science-emperical evidence and blind faith..you must read it..a wonderful read.
I would also recommend 'Mind of God' which is one book I've come to worhsip..a great insightful book into the history of our universe...
The 3rd act of G. B. Shaw's Man and Superman, "Don Juan in Hell" is a great treatment of the Heaven/Hell bullshit.
I'm New here but I'
ll throw in some comments:
I like Dawkins But I think the God Delusion is one of the most overrated books in relation to atheistic readings. I mean Yes it is a good start but it's like how Watchmen is good start to get into "Good" Comics. SURE it does have merit. But is it the Atheist/Comic Book Bible (respectively) no.
Though related to the idea of non-theistic thinking my picks are (Forgive me I only recently started reading religious criticism voraciously):
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
God is Not Great
Why am I not a Christian (Yes...A Lecture I know)
I too worship Life of Brian. Its an amazing critique.
I OWN but have not yet read:
God The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger
The Dragons of Ede by Carl sagan
And Cosmos By Carl Sagan
I'm also in the process of going through: Cosmos: a Personal Voyage and Through the Wormhole with Morgan freeman
AS WELL As digesting many debates with Hitchens.
I'm super cliche what can I say.
There is a Pastafarian Bible out there, and the Principia Discordia, if you're looking for mock scriptures for comedic value.
As far as Greek philosophies that are non-theistic my favorite is Epicureanism, it's a very wholesome and inspiring humanist philosophy and the Epicureans were always very much egalitarians, they argued philosophy with women and slaves as equals in the Epicurean Gardens which was very progressive even for their times. The most prevalent scripture of the Epicurean movement as the Principal Doctrines of Epicurus.
Then there are the scriptures of Zen Buddhism, which is the most dynamic of all non-theistic spiritualities today. I really like the Dhammapada, which is the Gospel of Siddhartha Buddha. It really is a fountain if virtue. I've had it for years and still read it every now and then.
This may seem odd, but also the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible was apparently written by existentialists, agnostics or people with a philosophical mindset who questioned the afterlife (although they fell short of questioning the existence of God). It's full of practical advise in life and it's the height of the wisdom tradition in the Bible.
My favorite book on ethical philosophy is GOOD AND EVIL, A New Direction, by Richard Taylor.
For understanding the evidence and theory of evolution, any and all of the books on that subject by Richard Dawkins, and the book WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE by Jerry A. Coyne. I also strongly recommend YOUR INNER FISH by Neil Shubin.
For an overall view, a "worldview" if you don't mind, all of the books of Carl Sagan since COSMOS. This would include COMET, PALE BLUE DOT, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD, and TALES OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS.
Politically, My central concern is that we should make all efforts to put human civilization on a sustainable basis. I.E., we should avoid having our civilization collapse (and/or destroy itself fighting over resources on the way down). Between overpopulation, the pollution and depletion of groundwater, the exhaustion of fossil fuels ("Peak Oil"), the continuing degradation and erosion of croplands, the continuing hoarding of nuclear weapons and other WMD's by nations less than stable, and the rising threat of wholesale losses of cropland to climate change, we have many problems which our nation, and some others, are resolutely refusing to address. Two books on climate change I'd recommend would be STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN by James Hansen, and THE WINDS OF CHANGE by Eugene Linden. See also COLLAPSE by Jared Diamond.
Dare I talk about economics? In my foolish youth I started out with Ayn Rand and Libertarianism, which led me to get my B.A. in Economics; so if anyone is interested in that sort of thing, let me recommend PROGRESS AND POVERTY by Henry George, NATURAL CAPITALISM by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, STEADY-STATE ECONOMICS and BEYOND GROWTH by Herman Daly, and (if you can stay awake reading them) ECO-ECONOMY and WORLD ON THE EDGE by Lester R. Brown. (Brown has done great work, if I were King of the World I'd enact his policies wholesale, but his writing style is emotionally flat.)
For fiction, I have a huge collection of science-fiction and fantasy. But if I had to pick one book that was dearest to my heart it would be THERE WILL BE TIME by Poul Anderson. I don't know if it is still in print.