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I'm new at this. I'm the first in my whole family to brake the chains of religion. What literature is recommended to understand atheist.
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I know this will sound coy, but many people decide they are atheists after reading The Bible. There is soooo much rotten sh*t in that book...
julia sweeney "letting go of god" is a funny, yet informative book (and youtube video and ted talk) on coming out atheist. Checkout Skepticon Youtube videos. You'll find many speakers on various topics, from very funny to philosophical to scientific to pure logic. In addition to gaining new insight, they will introduce you to others in the community, talk about their own coming out atheist, (including some former ministers) and talk about many organizations such as the clergy project, freedom from religion, secular student alliance, dawkins foundation, etc. And welcome to your new tribe!
Finding atheist videos on You Tube would be helpful also. On that site (or their own) you can watch full episodes of The Atheist Experience which is an hour long program from Austin, Texas. It airs on Sunday once a week. Matt Dilahunty is the host and a good rational debater. He was once going to be a Baptist minister until logic got ahold of him. They have other people on and sometimes have guests. It's basicly a "call in" type program and questions are answered. Informative and sometimes funny.
Search and Google it. Good luck.
Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation is available in audiobook form on YouTube. I have an audio-only copy of that recording if you are interested.
Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
Daniel Dennett, Breaking the spell
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, YouTube
Christopher Hitchens, God is not great
These four men are known as the Four horsemen of atheism; I am a great fan of each of them.
I am including my reading list, which is huge, but all the authors have something useful to say, or ask the questions that need to be asked. Don't worry, I have been at this for 40 years as of July 1, 1974 and just take your time. Sit down with your favorite beverage, take on an author and just soak up what he or she has to say. There is no hurry.
Many authors have videos or audio recording so you can close your eyes and listen.
Atheism 101: A reading List
. Sam Harris The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
. Richard Dawkins The God Delusion
. David Mills Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism. Philosophical Atheism
. George H Smith Atheism: The Case Against God (Skeptic's Bookshelf)
. Bertrand Russell Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and
. Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
. Lawrence Krauss A Universe from Nothing
History of Atheism and Freethought in America
. Susan Jacoby Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Society, Culture, and Politics
. Michelle Goldberg Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism
. The Rev. Barry Lynn Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom
Atheism 210: An Intermediate Reading List
. Christopher Hitchens’ The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
. Richard Carrier's Sense & Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism
. Michael Onfray's Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
. Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.
. Michael Shermer Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.
. How We Believe, 2nd Edition: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God.
. Victor J. Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist.
. Daniel Dennet's Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
. Pascal Boyer's Religion Explained.
. Earl Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus.
. Bart D. Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus).
Society, Culture, and Politics
. John Bice's A 21st Century Rationalist in Medieval America: Essays on Religion, Science, Morality, and the Bush Administration (Revised and Expanded Edition).
. Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel
Also, Letters from the Earth, by Mark Twain.
To add to the list:
Inherit the Wind, a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee
Godless, by Dan Barker
H.L. Mencken on Religion, by H.L. Mencken
And, of course, the one book to read from cover to cover (and it's a struggle), that will convert anyone to atheism who has actually read it.
There are plenty of good ones:
Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason, by Seth Andrews - a former christian broadcaster who figured it out, and now hosts The Thinking Atheist radio podcasts (which are also worth your time!)
There are LOTS of others, but these can certainly get you started. Enjoy!
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