Yeah, lots of snark mixed in, from what I've seen. Still a better way to read it than going dry. Leviticus and Numbers were so damned painful.
First of all, congratulations, Kaila! It's a huge step coming out like this, and a brave one, so good for you. I sort of know what you're going through with your family since I'm still the only atheist in my entire family, immediate and extended. I come from a long line of fundamentalists, so it can be really difficult when the people you care about most suddenly seem to turn on you and try to re-convert you.
My advice to you is to take some time away from your family, at least engagement-wise. If you're anything like me, you need some time to get to know yourself as an atheist, and purge some of the ideas that you were raised with. We call this "de-converting." Set some boundaries with them as to what you will and will not discuss, and let them know that you'll let them know when you're ready to talk about it. You're a baby atheist! Give yourself some time before you walk into the Battle of Little Bighorn.
I'd second the advice given above in saying to hold off on "God Delusion" and "God Is Not Great," at least if you're trying to keep your family around. Dawkins and Hitchens come from the neo-atheism camp, which is really aggressive towards religion. I'd recommend Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape," Michael Shermer's "How We Believe" and Robert Wright's "The Evolution of God." Also, if you're interested in science I can't recommend any of Dawkins' other books more strongly, particularly "The Selfish Gene" and "The Blind Watchmaker." I practically had a religious experience reading the former, just in the way that Dawkins describes cellular evolution! Massimo Pigliucci is also a great author (and blogger), and his most recent book "Nonsense on Stilts" or even "Denying Evolution" are fantastic places to start.
Third, I would say get on Meetup.com or do an Internet search and find your closest atheist/freethinker groups. Check out the Atheist Community of Tulsa. Start going to events and meet other atheists. It's really important to start surrounding yourself with people who are going to help and encourage you.
In the meantime, there's Atheist Nexus! Cheers!
I would highly recommend Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". I've also started readin Penn Jillette's "God, No" but it's too soon for me to recommend it. You could also check out "God and his demons", but all that does is point out the reasons why religion fails as a moral guide.
"God No" is good...with a warning. I like it, in that he writes/speaks in a way you feel "allowed" to disagree with him, if that makes any sense. Also more of a "common" person's book, without going over your head, as I believe many do. The warning part would be the language. People who get offended by words like "fuck" and the such, I recommend to just stay away. The foul language is used a fair bit. Anyone who watches "Bullshit" (a series I'd recommend. Again, you may not agree with it all, but...) knows what I mean.
Your question will help atheists back to their roots.
what science aspects go alongside atheism
Science is the most modern, strongest, most reliable to atheism. Science doed not work for creating atheism. What help you will need from atheists here and from science will depend on how far you have travelled on the road to atheism.
There are and have been many religions and beliefs about god. Every religion believes that the god or gods of its belief created the universe and life forms. This simply could not be true. Many of the gods so trusted have ceased even to exist. How can we therefore reconcile the many faiths that still exist and make the same old claims? All gods resemble their creators. Look at the ancient gods of China, India, Egypt etc and you will be convinced that they were the image of their creators. The god of Bible, that is, those who wrote the Bible, had therefore become a little wiser for this fact and so they told the believers not to draw any pictures or to create idols. God has not given humanity any true knowledge, because he himself did not know how to even remove a tooth. God has wholly and totally failed to make this world a good place, a virtuous place, free of vices, injustice, evil. No religion has been able to prove the existance of god or other beliefs like the soul, heaven, hell, salvation etc.
These are a few things you can place before your believer parents. The list could be long.
I am in the same boat you are in. I realized I was an atheist just under a month ago after a couple years of doubting and questioning my previously held beliefs. A video series on youtube really encourged me because it was created by a man who went through a similar experience to mine. His youtube channel name is Evid3nc3 and here's a link to the first video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSy1-Q_BEtQ&feature=plcp&con...
Ditto on this recommendation. The producer of the series is intelligent and astute. It offers both a scientific and cultural coherent narrative of transition from evangelical Christianity to atheism.
Just to put in my two pennies Kaila, (by the way, you share the same name with my great niece)
Becoming an atheist is - just kinda common sense... You have become more intellectually intelligent, than most of those you call, friends, or family...
Once you jump... Just shut up and do it... We need hard chargers, those that are willing to argue... Some will argue otherwise; however, I believe superstition, make-believe even, should be aggressively discouraged...
The bible, is a good start... Read it completely, especially the old testament... You will be awe struck... The good book is enough to sicken your stomach...
From what Matthew Greenberg said about Richard Dawkins is an excellent suggestion... My personal favorite, is page 4... Quote from the book...
" A Gallup poll taken in 1999 asked Americans whether they
would vote for an otherwise well-qualified person who was a woman
(95 per cent would), Roman Catholic (94 per cent would), Jew (92 per
cent), black (92 per cent), Mormon (79 per cent), homosexual (79
per cent) or atheist (49 per cent)."
WTFUCK is all I have to say on the matter... Most people don't like honesty, or integrity. Atheists have made a very, non-biased, and intelligent decision... We don't dream for a better life. We do it! I am personally threatened by theists. I feel theists put my children in danger. The only thing worse than child indoctrination, is murder. Hope it helps...
I agree, even though science does make the best source for defending arguments against science. Often it can be the worst source for arguing for atheism, as it affirms one of their oft employed fallacies.
Know what science is, and what it isn't.
Atheism, …isn't science, nor is science, atheism. Science can be useful, but more often then not I see atheists arguing against creationist misrepresentations of evolution with their own misinterpretations of evolution, …often when all they had to do is point out the flaw in the creationist argument (this is where some atheists forget about Okham's Razor, …d'oh!).
If you're going to argue for science or counter-argue from science, make sure you actually know what you're talking about.
I answered a similar thread with a similar post here.
If you don't want to read that link, the gist of it is: It's more valuable to learn how to spot and refute logical fallacy than it is to use "science" to refute theism.
After all, if science could actually refute theism, there would be no theist scientists, …and there are theist scientists, …some who are well respected by their peers.
Kaila, I would like to help you out by sending you a complimentary copy of my recently published book Unholy Writ: An Infidel's Critque of the Bible. As well as debunking the Scriptures, it contains chapters on the history of atheism and the scientific arguments against creationism. You can get more information about it at www.unholywrit.com. I think it may be of assistance to you as you get on your feet as an atheist. If you decide that you want the free copy simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.