I love Susan Jacoby and Richard Dawkins too. I'm reading The Greatest Show on Earth right now. Carl Sagan's lectures are in a pile of books on my nightstand too. I've yet to read Dennett, but he's on my list. I understand Paul Kurtz is the man for secular humanism. He's on my list too. If I had to name my favorite 10 books for freethinkers, I'd pick (alphabetical order):
Barker, Dan (2008) godless Dawkins, Richard (2006) The God Delusion
Eller, David (2004) Natural Atheism
Harris,Sam (2006) Letter to a Christian Nation
Hitchens, Christopher (2007) god is not Great
Jacoby, Susan (2004) Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Price, Robert M. (2003) The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man
Shermer, Michael (2002) Why People Believe Weird Things
Smith, George H. (1979) Atheism: The Case against God
Stenger, Victor J. (2007) GOD: The Failed Hypothesis
I chose "god is redundant" for the title of my book because throughout it, the concept of god became unnecessary to explain anything. It was never the best answer in explaining nature (creation, design, etc.) or morality or...
I wrote the book for my daughters who were fairly young, so I tried to keep it simple and moving fast. There’s a few dozen chapters that are on average only 5 pages long. The whole book is only 200 pages and can be read in a couple sittings.
After introducing the topics, I provide some simple definitions and do a quick American history lesson on the Founding Fathers.
The next section gets into all the things I don't like about theism: the nature of faith (vs. reason), the nature of religion (vs. science), why the benefits to theists aren't benefits to me, why I think it's psychologically unhealthy, and why I think it promotes intolerance, anit-Semitism, and misogyny.
In the third part of the book, I tackle the great debate dedicating brief chapters to all the historic arguments theists have offered over the ages: Pascal's Wager, causal, arguments from design, authority, etc.
The next section dives deep into Christianity and provides more likely answers to prophecies, miracles, virgin births, resurrections, etc. I also examine references to Jesus in other holy books, historical writings, and discuss historical authenticity.
I wrap up by examining the relationship of morality and reason to theism, and lay out my wish for my kids. My goal was not to indoctrinate them, but it was to be honest and make sure they knew whether and what to believe was their choice.
If you're interested in learning more, my profile has a link to my book's facbook page where there are many links to free chapters, reviews, etc. I'm told it's a fun, fast read that makes for a handy little freethought primer.
Still reading Pinker (taking longer than usual, this book is not as 'readable' as I'd hoped) but I went down to London last week Listened to Prof. Dawkins and Philosopher A.C Grayling give speeches at The British Humanist Association, had a great time, but on the way down I cracked open Denet's 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' as I felt I had to have something evolutionary about my person since I would be in such august company, and that scores over Pinker in the 'readability stakes' so I'm now trying to read both.
Dawkins by the way is a lovely man (I'm taller than him! :D) who very kindly signed my copy of 'Ancestor's Tale' before he left.
There is a video of the Pope's 'exorcism' caught on film. The man isn't demon possessed, there are likely no 'real' demons. He's just delusional and doesn't want to accept personal responsiblity for his own behavior for his own dysfunctional life.
There is an ad that reads ' Do you support 'traditional' marriage? Vote Now"! .
No, I don't support 'traditional' marriage because there is no such thing. I support heterosexual and same-sex couples marry each other legally , yes. 'Traditional' marriage promoters largely do not believe that heterosexual women are co-equal to their husbands. Their only purpose in 'traditional' marriage is to sexually satisfy their husbands if they can and raise children and do all…
i've got no problem with everyone saying "merry christmas" on christmas day. however, they've turned it into an entire holiday season where it lasts a month or more. in those situations it should be perfectly acceptable to say "happy holidays" or call it a…
I posted the bulk of this on another thread, but wanted to add some context separately.
I finally confronted my faith and embraced the fact of my atheism late last August, 2012. Days after I revealed my "epiphany" to a few friends who knew me from another message board, my sister died from Lou Gehrig's Disease (which pissed her off because she hated catching a disease from someone she never f---ed).
THAT was my sister, understand? She was a beautiful, life-loving, potty-mouthed…