Many books have been written by Atheists and all tower above the gibberish of faith. ...Ingersoll gave speeches and are compiled by LITTLE BLUE BOOKS: " WHAT GREAT INFIDELS HAVE DONE FOR CIVILIZATION " and : " MISTAKES OF MOSES " ridiculing the most fallible of all faith books. ...my favorite words to read ARE THE REAL TIME CALLS TO ACTION by Atheists here on www.agnostic.com as Ingersoll died 1899 America's most famous Agnostic in the Huxley Darwin Era
I have not read many "atheist books" since I am comfortable with my belief and never had need for substantiation. But I have read both Hitchens and Dawkens, and of course. Bertrand Russel who preceded them and who's short essay Why I Am Not A Christian is very good and I have given it to several young people to good effect.
My short answer: Why I Am Not A Christian, by Bertrand Russell.
I read it when i was in collegenot part of any assignment. I think i just found it in the University of Washington Bookstore. In HS i had taken the most lifechanging class in my whole life. Although i didnt know that then. A philosophy class taught by a middle aged man small in stature but big in ideas. I was Methodist, an extremely curious, avid learner.
He had us read nearly all of Russell's History Of Philosophy. And write about each philosopher and discuss. I loved it. What was shocking was the way he would smirk ar any mention of religion. I'd never seen one person in all my 16 years do that. Today, i think hed be fired. He taught me critical thinking. To not believe everything i was told or read. For our final paper we had to choose from his page and a half long list of philosophical topics. The one that grabbed me was Can You Prove The Existence of God? This was way before computers. I discovered The Great Books. And wrote down as many arguments by great thinkers throughout the ages, pro and con, on my 3x5 notecards. My conclusion was No, you cannot prove it one way or the other but there are excellent reasons not to believe. And, i rather envied people who did believe.
I didnt realize, honestly, that i had lost it. I got an A on my paper. My teacher wrote the word "prodigious" on the cover. From that point on, my attitude toward religious belief had been scrubbed. I went on to UW, lived in a big sorority with 80 girls and had a few who knew my agnostic keanings and shook their head, not really liking me for that. I started out in med tech, switched to English , minored in Socioligy, dabbled in Psychology and Music.
At age 25 in DC i worked for a San Francisco Congressman (another story) , met and fell in love with an Irish Catholic from New Jersey in a Kenbedy like but upper middle class lawyer family.
I made the conscious decision to join the Church. His family were fun Democrats. We raised our children in Catholic Schools in CA, immersed in Catholic life. We rarely talked about politics back then. I believe most Catholics we knew were Democrats.
Our marriage lasted 18 hard years with my making some money as a sub teacher and piano teacher, going to grad school, while raising three darling successful grade school age children. He insisted on being a lawyer too but he was terrible at it and our house went into foreclosere, his father bailing him out i i don't know how times. Then he met another woman who said Why Are You In This Loveless Marriage?
The irony of that story is multifold. None of us are Catholic anymore. Not even my ex husband and the woman he married. Her. Not even our fabulous 3 children.
My son even attended a Baptist Seminary in Marin County, almost an oxymoron.l, for a Masters in Theology.
I had never believed in Annulment. Nor, really, the Virgin Birth. But i did feel a sense of beauty and reverence in the rituals. I enjoyed visiting other Catholic churches. That son because a Youth Pastor in a non denominational church. He left that and is now a Family Coach, helping troubled teens and giving fun school assembly lectures to students and parents. He has libertarian edges . His wife home schools their 3 kids.
One daughter became a Nurse Practitioner and attends a middle of the road politically and religiously church in Missouri. They other daughter hints at maybe wanting to try church again.
My story continues but i must save it or another day. I will say this: i remarried another Catholic. Who had stated he didnt care what religion people were. NOT TRUE. he turned out to be a fundamentalist Catholic. Fundamentslist. That whole story may come later. It's amazing.
In the meantime, your homework is to look up Father Maciel from Mexico. That husband's daughter joined Regnum Christi and is still in it. That marriage lasted 7 years and ended painfully. i had said those priests who have been abusing men, women and children, for hundreds of years, should have been jailed. I was told No, they are forgiven.
At that point in 2011 i give up ALL RELIGION. I say i gave up religion for Lent. No, it's permanent. For good this time. And it is good.
Sadly my awesome philosophy teacher i found out had committed suicide at the time i was in college. Think about that.
Until recently i have tried to be religious and was but i had not just agnostic but athiest thoughts. I am comfortable with that now. Although my children know i am the most liberal one on my family. They are not thrilled. They know i have changed over the years from a church goer to a non church goer. They know I'm not thrilled with homeschooling. They know i am a life long learner, artsy, an avid reader, and pro strong public education. They know i detest Trump and they don't like him.
But that philosopher teacher and that book Why I Am Not A Christian were life changers for me. Left their marks.