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Old 02-01-2014, 05:09 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Indeed. I have not a single book by Dawkins or Hitchens, and say that as a fact, not as a boast. I am sure I'd love to read them, but I do not need to read why they don't believe in God.

Instead I read posts and books and sites by those who disagree and then find out whether their arguments stand up.

I am part of your trend. But many are not and to those who feel a need to see what the are arguments for unbelief, I applaud.
Read "Mortality" by Hitchens...takes like two hours. You're probably going to want to read more at that point. Guy was a phenomenal writer. Dawkins writes only slightly worse than Hitch and has a (much) greater base of scientific knowledge to draw from...you start reading them and you might never bother with city-data again
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:52 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,978,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
But you sure do make posts about not believing in leprechauns.
Analogies - look it up
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:42 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,015 posts, read 6,377,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
I don't believe in pink unicorns, and I don't read books about not believing in pink unicorns.

I don't believe in leprechauns, and I don't read books about not believing in leprechauns.

....... there is a trend here
I don't think the OP was referring only to books about atheism per se. There are several books I have read that have little to do with discussions about the merits of atheism but are nonetheless have certain premises that I would have had a problem accepting had I not been an atheist. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is the quintessential example that comes to mind. Fascinating book but you won't get anything out of it if you aren't able to accept that human culture - and religion - are completely artificial constructs because all of his points are premised upon that notion. I know if I was a god-fearing young man I'd probably have to put the book down after about 30 pages because I would be so offended. But I'm not, so I didn't
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:38 PM
 
16,105 posts, read 17,919,494 times
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Some others if you are interested

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennett
Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist by Dan Barker
Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects by Bertrand Russell
Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John W. Loftus
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer
God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette
Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions by Cami Ostman
The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons by David Fitzgerald
The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking out on Religion—and Others Should Too by Candace R M Gorham
Hope After Faith by Jerry DeWitt
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:46 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Analogies - look it up
Avoidance of threads that you have nothing to contribute to--look it up. I can do ok with analogies without your guidance, thank you, insert epithet here.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,092,754 times
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I recently finished reading Thomas Ligotti's Conspiracy Against the Human Race and would commend it to any freethinker. It is an overview of pessimistic philosophy that should not be missed, even by optimists. I particularly recommend it to deconverts, who sometimes struggle because the comforting lies of religion are no longer available to them. It won't comfort you, but it will explain how you feel at least. While I do not wholly agree with the author's overwrought and somewhat aggressively nihilistic conclusions about life (in particular, I feel that he makes the error of agency inference that are basically the same as religionists, in using "Conspiracy" in his title and concluding that life is "malignantly useless" -- hey, he's a horror writer and needs to see it all as Evil), I find his gathering of various writings in this direction an important contribution for anyone who is looking to synthesize EVERYTHING that's out there about the true nature of bare-metal reality. The key insight of this book is that the basic root of the suffering that arises from the human condition is self-awareness. Most, if not all of us, can't really handle that self-awareness. Thus, we get by through the mechanism of suppressing our self-awareness in various ways (and not just by using religion, either). We do this to avoid madness.

Thought-provoking stuff, as I say, whether or not you completely agree with it. It will make you think about your illusions. And it's interesting to consider: is what it means to be human an accident of evolution, and a not altogether happy one? And what should one do about it?
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,897,422 times
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All I had to do with my children was open the gate on all religion. Have them study religion as a whole. Have them attribute culture with religious belief. They will see for themselves how culture dominates ones beliefs and will see the correlations on their own.

If I were born in the middle east I would probably believe this......If I were born in Asia I would probably believe this.........etc. If I'm born in America I probably believe this...........If I am born into a free thinking environment in my home I choose to believe this.............you can explain that regardless of culture or training some have come to their own conclusions and you give a free environment in which to learn and choose. Tell them what you've chosen to believe, allow them the choice when they become old enough to understand what they've learned. This is what I've done.

Studying various religion and it's history will broaden their minds and they will see the contradictions themselves. They will see that one does not make you a better person than another. They will also see the harm it can cause because of superstition, and how good people can be lead into bad behavior because of belief. They will learn about religiously taught bias and prejudice. They will also see how contradictions in behavior run through all religious belief.

A well rounded religious education worked well for us.

For me, it comes down to what they decide, I feel good giving choice. I have no more need to have them become non believers in a God then I do for them to become believers.

So far, they have had an easy time deciding. They can clearly see that religion is a specific practice taught from an early age and since we didn't do that, they are non religious. But, they know a lot about others beliefs and have respect for this. They are understanding of others, and this is important. Do they agree> nope. But they do respect others right to have the choice, as well as understanding how they might have made it. They are older now and have friends of many faiths and non believers.

Books: Adult: Mythology Edith Hamilton's Mythology
Gayley's Classic Myths
Robert Graves' The Greek Myths
Norma Lorre Goodrich's Ancient Myths
Thomas Bullfinch's The Age of Fable
Joseph Campbell

Kids :
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
A Child's Introduction to Greek Mythology
Treasury of Greek Mythology

Also get various books for kids about different religions based largely on culture
Christian, Muslum, Buddhist, Hindu, Tribal, etc. Explain how their culture influences their traditional beliefs.

As an adult any well know religious studies books are great. It helps you explain to your kids when they have any questions. It's also just a good read.

I stayed away from atheist only info. I added a lot of science. I was clear on what is proven and what is not. Kids have to be brain washed into believing what they cannot see, hear or touch. So, if you don't brainwash your kids, they will most likely not brainwash themselves.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:54 PM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,708,653 times
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Quote:
Read "Mortality" by Hitchens...takes like two hours. You're probably going to want to read more at that point. Guy was a phenomenal writer. Dawkins writes only slightly worse than Hitch and has a (much) greater base of scientific knowledge to draw from...you start reading them and you might never bother with city-data again
Christopher Hitchens: Too bad he was taken so early at 62. For me, a prodigious, highly interesting intelligent thinker, reader and writer who intrigued immensely. His writing is real good with the literary prose and wit. Always always curious to me as I read and wrestled with his thoughts. When musing on a deathbed conversion, he insisted that the odds were slim that he would admit the existence of God. Interesting that he said 'no odds' but 'slim' and 'slim' only in the chance that he could make that remark as a 'raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain'. When he died, I didn't hear of any 'conversion' but yet I'd wish he could write back now and give me the lay of his land and his thoughts. It's too bad in a way that guys like him who expound on big thoughts vociferously has to keep quiet forever.
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