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What is your favorite most insightful atheist book, and who was it by?

Mkumar 4 May 25

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Well I guess the bible gave me all the reasons I ever needed not to believe in god...



My favorite is God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens is great to listen to on YouTube. I watch his debates.

Just finished reading this. I knew of Hitchens' erudition before, but on top of this it was funny.
The part about why would God appear in 1st Century Judea and nowhere else , had me laughing out loud. First rate.

@Tedoi @michaelcancook He does the reading of the audiobook version, so it's awesome. I have it on my phone and listen to it on long car trips or plane rides. I also have a ton of his lectures and debates on my phone too. Love him!

Hitch "KEEPS HIS POWDER DRY" meaning he does not dilute his argument and explodes his believer opponents very essence. ...sorry he loved his cigarettes more than life. ...he filled the empty shoes of Dr Madalyn Eads Murray O'Hair from 1995 onward to his last breath


A good starting point might be the Old Testament. How anyone can believe in any just and merciful God after reading even just a couple of smiting stories is beyond me. After that try the Book of Revelation.

Tedoi Level 4 May 25, 2018

Seminary was my breaking point from religion, if only more Christians followed the verse, "study to show god's approval"


The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

@RobLawrence Yeah, I sometimes wonder, if he'd had more time, he could have diverted us enough that things would have turned out differently


Have to say 'the stranger'/Albert Camus.
Read it in third grade and hundreds of times since.
It felt 'right' the first time, shaping my outlook and further studies.

Good call, Slappy. Re-read this recently, it really stood up after 20 or so years. I'd forgotten how good the part where he is with his dying mother and the priest.


The God Delusion is the one that tipped me over the edge of “deconversion”. I’m reading The Moral Landscape now by San Harris.

I agree Ron; the god delusion was a cracking good read. However, when I was reading it for the second and third time, it started to sound a bit over-zealous; evangelical even and I had a bit of a problem with that. Not to distract from his content and message, however and still one of the best books out there on the topic, in my opinion...

I have owned it for a couple months now but have yet to read it! I don’t have any by Sam yet tho..

Moral Landscape is a tough one to read. I love Sam Harris, but his writing lacks character. I might also not be smart enough to fully understand his work.

@RichWWeissmann It is extremely dense material. I have to read it very slowly.


The Bonobo and the Theist, by Frans de Waal.

Defines morality and explains how it is in all mammals, has evolved, and pre-dates religion.

Ah.. that sounds like a must read for sure!

Just noticed a typo, supposed to be ...and the Atheist.


"Arguably" by Christopher Hitchens. A collection of his essays and a highly enjoyable read.


Does "Small Gods" by Terry Prachett count?

Feet of Clay in a similar vein. I try to re-read both every so often

Good Omens by Prachett and Gaiman is also great


“Godless” by Dan Barker is good too.


A manual for creating atheists by Dr. Peter Boghossian. Hardcore debating skillset.


I read "The Happy Atheist" by P.Z. Myers. I don't read a lot of books, I have had trouble with reading my whole life, but I really love being entertained by shows like documentarys, such as: NOVA, Through the Work Hole, and so on.



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. favorite words to read ARE THE REAL TIME CALLS TO ACTION by Atheists here on as Ingersoll died 1899 America's most famous Agnostic in the Huxley Darwin Era

I just found Mistakes of Moses as a downloadable ePub on Project Gutenberg...reading it now. Thanks!


Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan Barker


Sense and Goodness Without God, Richard Carrier


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.


I've never read an atheist book. When a theist puts out a book that contradicts what I know, I'll read that one.


"Good without God" by Greg Epstein. It's a humanist book and makes the case for living by humanistic principles very well.


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.

Wow, I didn’t expect this, but it’s such an interesting story of your life! I will have to get that one for sure now ?

Hope you ard now a full time writer ?

I enjoyed your story. It's another example of how present-day atheism fails people. It's easy to convince intelligent people god does not exist, but that alone does not give people a productive operating system for their lives. As things are people almost have to return to some form of religion to function in their family lives, as do their children, which you document. My own thinking is that some form of tribalism is the obvious replacement to Christianity. This is how Judaism has evolved over time. Most Jews have abandoned a literal belief in god, but instead they focus upon the welfare of their own people in this life. It's also worth noting that African-American versions of Christianity have also always centered around the church as a tribal nexus for their people. Whether they were seeking to exist during slavery or fighting for freedom from Jim-Crow segregation, the black church was always the center for their struggle as a people, and the church leaders were usually their leaders as a people. Unfortunately, if white people adopted any kind of comparable religious approach mixed with tribalism, it would be denounced as rank racism. Until we figure out how to get around this problem, we are trapped with this utterly stupid Jesus business. We have no functional place to go.

Hello, ( now isn’t that original) Waterbaby? That sure doesn’t sound like your real name, but that’s alright. You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not very good at this.
I joined this group probably a year or so ago and haven’t done but very little with it.
I am also not much on joining organizations, although there are some good ones that do deserve support.
Your bio was an interesting read. I, myself of course, like most everybody else in this organization can not see any logical reason for religion, I don’t care what faith, I see it as a well planned detriment to society, designed by the oligarchs of old for the purpose of controlling the masses, and I’ll have to admit, they put a lot of planning and thought into it, as it’s all about mind control, and they learned early on the art of mind control because, we can see the results of it, they got good at it.
I see where you have quite an education behind you, I come from a family of pretty well educated people myself. My mom and dad were both school teachers, my sister, who is the oldest of my siblings graduated from college as a chemical engineer, my oldest brother an electrical engineer. When he got out of college he had his stint with Uncle Sam to take care of yet , so he joined the navy and Admiral Richover got ahold of him and invested a whole lot more education in him and made him an nuclear engineer, then there’s me, I didn’t even graduate from hi school, although I did later on get my GED, and I got a top score on it with no studying. I took the test on one afternoon and the next morning.
And then another brother who was a mechanical engineer.
Any way, I see you are from Bellingham as am I .
I live on five acres just north of town on Meridian
Maybe we could get together and have a cup of coffee and get aquinted some time


" No sacred cows " by David McAfee and " What do you do with a chocolate jesus " by Thomas Quinn. Good reading !

Haha I’m gonna have to find that!

You should enjoy them both !


God is not great. However, if it were not for reading a book on critical thinking many years prior I may not have read Hitchens' work.


I am still looking for it.

Look no further, read "God is NOT great" by Christopher Hitchens.

@IamNobody Thank you, I shall.

@Jolanta Hitchens wit on that one is just brilliant. On top of that, he was a very eloquent and well documented journalist.

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