Best history of religion & politics books according to redditors

We found 455 Reddit comments discussing the best history of religion & politics books. We ranked the 154 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about History of Religion & Politics:

u/UPPERCASE_THOUGHTS · 7683 pointsr/politics

>The course, called “Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course,” includes 28 hours of audio and visual lectures given by Moore and others, as well as a study guide. The course is available for purchase on Amazon, where “Chief Justice Roy Moore” is listed as a co-author alongside Doug Phillips, Dr. Joseph C. Morecraft, and Dr. Paul Jehle.

Only $29.87 on Amazon, complete with one review about someone forcing their poor daughter to use the course.

>The curriculum was a product of Vision Forum, a now-defunct Texas-based evangelical organization headed by Doug Phillips, which taught “Biblical patriarchy”, a theology that prescribes strict, unequal gender roles for men and women. According a statement on the Vision Forum’s website, “Egalitarian feminism is a false ideology that has bred false doctrine in the church and seduced many believers.”

Uh, huh... and why is Vision Forum defunct now?

>Vision Forum closed in 2013 after Phillips resigned, having admitted to a “lengthy” and “inappropriately romantic and affectionate” relationship with a woman who was not his wife. Shortly thereafter, that woman, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, sued Phillips and Vision Forum, detailing an emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusive relationship that started when she was just 15 years old.

Yeah, sounds about right. Roy Moore and his crew are straight out of a William Faulkner novel.

u/crazythrowa · 32 pointsr/SubredditDrama

Scott Atran's work is a good place to start, I'd recommend [Talking to the Enemy: Religion, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists] (http://www.amazon.com/Talking-Enemy-Religion-Brotherhood-Terrorists/dp/0061344915). He's spent years with the very groups he writes about and earned their trusts. He's very good.

If you want a quicker read, here is a good [overview] (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10683169808401747) of the situation and here is a good [self observation] (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=randy_borum&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dpsychopathy%2Bterrorism%26btnG%3D%26as_sdt%3D1%252C10%26as_sdtp%3D#search=%22psychopathy%20terrorism%22) of the research itself.

u/Kingshorsey · 32 pointsr/badhistory

For quantitative analysis of American Christianity, see Stark and Finke, The Churching of America.

For narrative history of the rise of contemporary evangelicalism as a right-wing political entity, see Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt; and Daniel Williams, God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right.

On how Christians dealt with the issue of slavery, see Mark Noll, The Civil War as Theological Crisis.

But to give my opinion (studied this in grad school), no, that's horseshit. He's just making up something that allows him to reduce cognitive dissonance.

u/DreadNephromancer · 32 pointsr/politics

I mean, the thing exists, and the article has audio excerpts.

I get that the source is going to put some people off and I don't know of any "better" source atm, but honestly if they're going to refuse to believe something this easy to research just because of the source, they're probably going to refuse regardless of which source you give them.

u/TheGrammarBolshevik · 28 pointsr/samharris

> You answered my question with three spokes comprising a wheel that is one
> non-answer, because you could not provide any material outside of reddit the
> philosophy community, that details Harris' faults as a philosopher. This is
> obviously of monumental significance.

It's not obviously significant, and on the contrary I've given an argument
supporting its insignificance, whereas the only thing supporting its
significance is your say-so.

That being said, there are plenty of criticisms of Harris's work that have been
published outside of Reddit. For example:

u/TracingWoodgrains · 20 pointsr/TheMotte

Ah, you beat me to sharing this by a few minutes. I've deleted my top-level post, but I'll keep it as a comment here, because my reaction was opposite to yours.

A fun interview to take you into the weekend: "[UK interviewer] Andrew Neil DESTROYS Ben Shapiro!" Lest you're thinking that quote is too boo-outgroup...

Shapiro was the one who tweeted it.

I'll cop to my bias prior to writing this. I've been hoping to see someone else post this, because Ben Shapiro is not my favorite, and this interview really doesn't present him at his best. I find myself enjoying this a bit too much to really be a credible neutral source, but I'll take a shot at summarizing nonetheless.

I had no idea who Andrew Neil was prior to this. Some context I have since heard: he is one of the leading conservative commentators in the UK, previously working under Rupert Murdoch and writing for the Daily Mail, currently chairman of a media group that runs some of the most influential center-right media in the UK. He's provided some passionate commentary in defense of western values, and is famous for hard-hitting interviews with a wide range of people. A great moment between him and Alex Jones: "This is half past eleven. You're watching the Sunday Politics. We have an idiot on the program today."

So what happened? This is one of the only times I'll actually encourage watching the video over reading a summary, because it's fast-paced and frankly pretty entertaining. Neil comes into the interview pretty aggressively, pushing back against a lot of Shapiro's positions and focusing especially on the contrast between Shapiro's commentary about the ways discourse is being degraded and the ways Shapiro himself degrades discourse at times. Shapiro responds largely by firing off questions and accusations about Neil's motives.

A couple of highlights:

  1. Neil asks Shapiro about titles of videos like "Ben Shapiro Destroys The Abortion Argument" and "Ben Shapiro DESTROYS Transgenderism". Shapiro responds by saying he can't be held accountable for what random people post on YouTube, not mentioning that the videos in question are, well, posted by The Daily Wire itself.

  2. He asks about the recent Georgia anti-abortion law in pretty harsh terms, asking for a defense or response from Shapiro. Shapiro's response: "My answer is something called science. Human life exists at conception. It ought to be protected," then asking why Neil won't admit he's on the left and his questions are motivated by bad faith. I was disappointed with Shapiro's answer here, since I'm broadly pro-life myself and would like to see the position represented well, but "something called science" doesn't really do it for me.

  3. In the end, Shapiro tersely cuts the interview short after one too many hardball questions. Final words from Neil: "Thank you for your time and for showing that anger is not a part of American political discourse."

    All told, it's a pretty fascinating crossover between American and British politics, and probably not Shapiro's finest moment.

    ---

    That was my top-level comment. I'll take a moment to respond to your main question as well: Why throw old things at him? Because the UK isn't as familiar with him as the US, and snark is still a huge part of his brand. I'm fully and deeply on board with the message that there's too much hate in politics, but even as he writes condemnations of that hate, I see Shapiro as a vector for and intensifier of it. The video titles above are a good example, alongside his pinned tweet ("Facts don't care about your feelings"), his comments in the interview... this sort of combativeness is a huge part of his brand. If he's approaching things from that combative of an angle, I expect to see him prepared with thoughtful responses to combativeness directed at him. He didn't do that here.
u/kleinbl00 · 20 pointsr/history

The best thing to do is to start searching for "eugenics." For some reason that stuff hasn't been buried as much and you can see more of it. And, since links in English are favored by the web over links in German, you get more of an allied perspective on it. You can start here, move on to here, spend a little time here and then dip in here for a little light reading before going down the rabbit hole for ever and ever.

u/gnurdette · 19 pointsr/Christianity

The book God's Own Party suggests that it started with the identification of Communism as the ultimate enemy of Christianity. At some point, it got into a self-reinforcing spiral, where if some is good, more is better.

Most of the bylines at Sojourners show you what churches those authors make their homes in.

u/NukeThePope · 16 pointsr/atheism

I second the suggestion of Letter to a Christian Nation. While I loved TGD, I think it's better received by people who already like science, and who enjoy having a professor talk at them through a book. LtaCN is shorter and more to the point, so it may be a better choice as a first and maybe only atheist book.

After being reminded by Murrabit, I also recommend Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World. It's gentler, not as aggressive as LtaCN and doesn't have the "eww, Dawkins!" stigma. To Americans, Sagan is more lovable than Dawkins.

u/aPinkFloyd · 14 pointsr/exmormon

Lots of love for you, here are some thoughts of mine...

  • it is a mistake to believe that you should be asking the question "What is the purpose of my life?" it's not a question you ask, IT IS A QUESTION YOU ANSWER! and you answer it by living your life as ONLY you can, having the adventure that is your life experience, discovering the magical miracle that is ONLY YOU in all of this vast universe!

  • After losing Mormonism and the understanding of the universe that goes with it, I find myself an atheist, which has made this little journey of life INFINITELY more precious to me. It's all and everything we have! (as far as we know).

  • I have pulled in many helpful, empowering, peaceful ideas from Buddhism, Philosophy, Science that has helped me start to form a new, optimistic, and amazingly open minded new world-view. I no longer have to believe anything that doesn't make sense, I get to believe only sweet things now, and that is SO nice.

    Here are some resources that I have been really grateful for on my journey, which I am 12 months into...

    The Obstacle is the Way

    The Daily Stoic this is my new "daily bible" I read a page every morning

    Secular Buddhism podcast

    Waking Up podcast

    End of Faith

    The Demon Haunted World

    Philosophize This! podcast OR Partially Examined Life podcast

    I wish you the very best in your journey, be patient with yourself, you have EVERY reason to be! Start filling your mind with powerful positive ideas, keep the ones that help you find your way, set aside the ones that don't.

    And remember, you are young and free and the possibilities of what your life can become are boundless!
u/LoomisDove · 12 pointsr/EverythingScience

I think this is the tragedy of our times. Instead of arguing about the solutions from an ideological view point, we argue about the science. Chris Mooney, at the Washington Post, wrote an interesting book about the subject that came out in 2005, The Republican War on Science. It is well worth reading:

https://www.amazon.com/Republican-War-Science-Chris-Mooney/dp/0465046762

And this even goes further back as you can see if you listen to Erik Conway's lecture on the "Merchants of Doubt: How Climate Science Became a Victim of the Cold War"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV6A4CZkOXg&t=186s

u/sylvan · 11 pointsr/atheism

Sam Harris is good at being the "gentle" voice of New Atheism. Someone mentioned the End of Faith, check out Letter to a Christian Nation as well.

You might find it worthwhile to read the book your parents gave you, then sit down with them for maybe half an hour a week or so, and critique a chapter, pointing out flaws or logical errors.

After that, you can go through the book you gave them together.

u/NewUploader1 · 11 pointsr/MMA

If you're a Sam Harris fan, there are a few of his debates on the DebateGod podcast on iTunes. You don't have to be an atheist to like those podcasts either. Good points from both sides. Also, here is a great article he wrote about BJJ from his site. Lastly, feel free to read The End Of Faith. It is a HUGE eye opener.

Sorry to just get all teen girl on you guys... I just get excited when multiple interests of mine join together like Voltron.

u/anomoly · 9 pointsr/atheism

Ok, I'll give it a go...


The first thing that got me questioning religion was seeing massive amounts of hypocrisy in church leadership. I was extremely involved as my father was a deacon and my mother worked at the church we attended. It was a common practice for us kids to go to one friends' house or another between morning and evening services, so I saw how the adults acted differently at home then they did at church. I realize not all religious people are like this, but it was the first step for my questioning. Once I was old enough I became a leader in the youth group and started seeing the same hypocrisy in myself.


Despite realizing my hypocrisy I continued to believe, even to the point in participating in multiple missions trips held by the organization Speed the Light. While on these trips we were told to write down our personal testimony so that we could present it during presentations and services. When I tired to put into words why I believed in God and, more importantly, why the audience should believe, I couldn't come up with a good reason. I sat in a bed in the country of Belize thinking, "If I can't come up with a good reason why these people should believe what I do, then why do I believe it?". Despite this thought I continued my charade for two more missions trips and a few more years.


Eventually I stepped down from youth leadership and entered a state of apathy towards religion. I didn't go to church, but I didn't really think about it much. Every now and then something really bad would happen and I'd wonder if God was punishing me, but they were more of fleeting thoughts than anything.



The next big hit for me was when I went to Iraq for a year. When you see good people with families who love them (some of which who were religious) die, the answer "God allows us to suffer so we learn/build character/build faith etc" just doesn't cut it anymore. About a year after I came home from the deployment I actually started looking for information that refuted religion. I'd say that was when my state started the path from apathetic to agnostic to atheist.



The book Letter to a Christian Nation was a big eye-opener for me. Along with other works of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, and other authors I'm sure you'll become aware of if you continue to question things. The more I investigated, the more absurd religion seemed; and the more science explained all of the things that I attributed to the supernatural. When I was a child I believed, truly believed, that when I was lying in bed one night I saw an angel appear in my room. It wasn't until I read The God Delusion that I realized there was a scientific explanation for things like that.



The more I found that science could prove things, really prove things, the more I realized that "it's true because the Bible says so" didn't work for me anymore. In the last few years I've learned things that have blown my mind. Things that I thought would take away the wonder of the world have actually enhanced it. I'm a good person because I want to be, not because I'll burn in hell if I'm not; I don't steal because I realize that it's unproductive in the long run, not because some ancient stone tablet and a preacher told me not to, etc.



I'm not saying I don't have personal issues like anger, sadness or depression. You can only fight evolution to a point, we are still human. I guess I'm just saying that the answers I found leading me to atheism were far more satisfying and comforting than anything religion ever offered me. Hope that helps.


tl;dr: it's basically a de-conversion story, read if you'd like I suppose.

u/LRE · 8 pointsr/exjw

Random selection of some of my favorites to help you expand your horizons:

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan is a great introduction to scientific skepticism.

Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris is a succinct refutation of Christianity as it's generally practiced in the US employing crystal-clear logic.

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt is the best biography of one of the most interesting men in history, in my personal opinion.

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski is a jaw-dropping book on history, journalism, travel, contemporary events, philosophy.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a great tome about... everything. Physics, history, biology, art... Plus he's funny as hell. (Check out his In a Sunburned Country for a side-splitting account of his trip to Australia).

The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland is a thorough primer on art history. Get it before going to any major museum (Met, Louvre, Tate Modern, Prado, etc).

Not the Impossible Faith by Richard Carrier is a detailed refutation of the whole 'Christianity could not have survived the early years if it weren't for god's providence' argument.

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman are six of the easier chapters from his '63 Lectures on Physics delivered at CalTech. If you like it and really want to be mind-fucked with science, his QED is a great book on quantum electrodynamics direct from the master.

Lucy's Legacy by Donald Johanson will give you a really great understanding of our family history (homo, australopithecus, ardipithecus, etc). Equally good are Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade and Mapping Human History by Steve Olson, though I personally enjoyed Before the Dawn slightly more.

Memory and the Mediterranean by Fernand Braudel gives you context for all the Bible stories by detailing contemporaneous events from the Levant, Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc.

After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton is an awesome read if you don't know much about Islam and its early history.

Happy reading!

edit: Also, check out the Reasonable Doubts podcast.

u/db2 · 8 pointsr/atheism

>PROTIP: He's not a moderate Muslim.

Yes he is. Grab a copy of Harris' The End of Faith and check it out. He explains quite well how our definition of "moderate" simply does not exist in Islam.

u/Sparky0457 · 8 pointsr/Catholicism

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor https://www.amazon.com/dp/0802867618/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Y8jRDb10R02NG

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/politics

This book gives a good explanation

Basically, Breitbart tells its readers what they want to hear. You look deep into the ideology it promotes and it is essentially a giant rant against modernism. It wants to force things at gunpoint backwards in time. The world today is chaotic and previously stable elements of it are undermined constantly by changing technology and culture. A lot of people hence start looking backwards towards some past of wholeness and security that in actuality never even existed.

Breitbart exploits that. It presents people with clear enemies and even clearer solutions.

"Mexicans are your problem. Vote for trump and he'll deport/kill all the mexicans. Then you'll be safe".

More broadly this is an attitude that is deeply rooted in American nationalism and conservative ideology in general. Both have always been racist and violently hostile to any notion of change.

So it is that Breitbart strikes a chord with millions of people. It confirms their fears and then promises them that violence can ease them.

u/GreedyDuck666 · 7 pointsr/Christian

I'm on a similar side, my parent's are not technically atheists, but they just don't care and my dad openly mocks me for going to church. I also don't like going to church, because the Catholic Church is kinda corrupt in my opinion. I'd suggest finding an academic bible-study meetings, I've been invited to one community and I was blown away how warm and intelligent those people were, also very decisive about making a positive change in the world and in themselves.

When it comes to doubts, I get them aswell. What works for me is to look at the theories that don't say - "God exist, therefore His commandments work", but "God's commandments work, therefore there is something transcendent behind them".

Nice fuel for thought on the Old Testament - also the new Shapiro's book seem to be on a similar page. I didn't read it yet, but I've seen a lot of interviews with him where he states that judeo-christian values are what made the Western society far better than it is. Speaking from a Polish perspective, my nation was literally supported by God with overthrowing russian communist rule and becoming independent.

u/VitruviannMan · 7 pointsr/atheism

I've read the Letter to a Christian Nation and the Moral Landscape. Like the derpy gentleman below said, LTCN is very short and easy to read. I'd recommend starting with that over the Moral Landscape, which is a denser book.

u/TooManyInLitter · 7 pointsr/DebateReligion

Here Star-Lord, let's put the quote-mined text you presented in context with the rest of the section of Sam Harris' book:

----

Sam Harris: The End of Faith

The Problem with Islam

Jihad and the Power of the Atom

For devout Muslims, religious identity seems to trump all others.
Despite the occasional influence of Pan-Arabism, the concept of an
ethnic or national identity has never taken root in the Muslim world
as it has in the West. The widespread support for Saddam Hussein
among Muslims, in response to the American attack upon Iraq, is as
good a way as any of calibrating the reflexivity of Muslim solidarity.
Saddam Hussein was, as both a secularist and a tyrant, widely despised
in the Muslim world prior to the American invasion; and yet the reaction
of most Muslims revealed that no matter what his crimes against
the Iraqi people, against the Kuwaitis, and against the Iranians, the
idea of an army of infidels occupying Baghdad simply could not be
countenanced, no matter what humanitarian purpose it might serve.
Saddam may have tortured and killed more Muslims than any person
in living memory, but the Americans are the "enemies of God."

It is important to keep the big picture in view, because the details,
being absurd to an almost crystalline degree, are truly meaningless.
In our dialogue with the Muslim world, we are confronted by people
who hold beliefs for which there is no rational justification and which
therefore cannot even be discussed, and yet these are the very beliefs
that underlie many of the demands they are likely to make upon us.

It should be of particular concern to us that the beliefs of Muslims
pose a special problem for nuclear deterrence. There is little
possibility of our having a cold war with an Islamist regime armed
with long-range nuclear weapons. A cold war requires that the parties
be mutually deterred by the threat of death. Notions of martyrdom
and jihad run roughshod over the logic that allowed the United
States and the Soviet Union to pass half a century perched, more or
less stably, on the brink of Armageddon. What will we do if an
Islamist regime, which grows dewy-eyed at the mere mention of
paradise, ever acquires long-range nuclear weaponry? If history is
any guide, we will not be sure about where the offending warheads
are or what their state of readiness is, and so we will be unable to
rely on targeted, conventional weapons to destroy them. In such
a situation, the only thing likely to ensure our survival may be a
nuclear first strike of our own. Needless to say, this would be an
unthinkable crime—as it would kill tens of millions of innocent
civilians in a single day—but it may be the only course of action
available to us
, given what Islamists believe. How would such an
unconscionable act of self-defense be perceived by the rest of the
Muslim world? It would likely be seen as the first incursion of a
genocidal crusade. The horrible irony here is that seeing could make
it so: this very perception could plunge us into a state of hot war
with any Muslim state that had the capacity to pose a nuclear threat
of its own. All of this is perfectly insane, of course: I have just
described a plausible scenario in which much of the world's population
could be annihilated on account of religious ideas that belong on
the same shelf with Batman, the philosopher's stone, and unicorns.
That it would be a horrible absurdity for so many of us to die for the
sake of myth does not mean, however, that it could not happen.
Indeed, given the immunity to all reasonable intrusions that faith
enjoys in our discourse, a catastrophe of this sort seems increasingly
likely. We must come to terms with the possibility that men who are
every bit as zealous to die as the nineteen hijackers may one day get
their hands on long-range nuclear weaponry. The Muslim world in
particular must anticipate this possibility and find some way to prevent
it. Given the steady proliferation of technology, it is safe to say
that time is not on our side.

----

So Star-Lord, in your quoted text, why did you terminate the quoted text where you did and omitted the last 4 words of the sentence - "given what Islamists believe."?

> Do you agree with his position on launching nukes in the muslim world pre-emptively and causing mass genocide?

Strawman argument. Sam Harris does not endorse a first strike preemptive attack against the Muslim world. Nor does he condone genocide. At best you could claim that Harris proposes and considers a scenario where Muslims acquire long range nukes, and that combined with the inherent martyrdom and jihad zealot mindset demonstrated by so many Muslims (based upon their No-True-Scotsman interpretation of Islam, of course), provides little to no self-imposed restraint as shown, for example, between the US and the USSR based upon MAD - especially if "zealous [...] may one day get their hands on long-range nuclear weaponry."

Star-Lord, if ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham), with an ideology that aims first to reestablish a Caliphate system of governance across the entire Muslim world and then from there the intention is to spread the Caliphate across the entire world, were to acquire long range nuclear missiles, and given their expressed intent on taking their demonstrated murderous genocidal mission to the rest of the world, do you wish to attempt to make a credible argument that ISIS would not use these tools to further their mission and increase the scope of their genocidal actions already underway? To strike at the United States or other perceived threat?

I posit that if ISIS, or another of many Islamic ideology groups (or any group with the same type of genocidal expansionist goals), were to acquire long range nuclear missiles, in addition to diplomatic and economic and conventional arms options, a preemptive nuclear strike will also be considered as an option as such a scenario, e.g., zealots who worship martyrdom and jihad, represents a clear and present danger to the world. Under these conditions, a preemptive nuclear strike is an option under the military response doctrine of many countries that possess nuclear weapons capable of neutralizing the threat. Will this nuke option be utilized? I posit that such a response would be a last resort after all other options have failed, and probably would not be utilized regardless; and even if a group such as ISIS were to acquire and use nukes, there is a good chance that a nuke retaliation will still remain off the table as a viable response.

u/disaffected_southern · 7 pointsr/latterdaysaints

>The research is actually more complicated than that. Research shows that religious people are NOT more happy. However, people who report having friends in church are more happy. (I believe some of that research is here- https://www.amazon.com/American-Grace-Religion-Divides-Unites/dp/1416566732 ) So the intervening variable appears to be connections at church, not a feature of religion/non-religion. (Non-believers who report having friends at church are just as happy, strong believers who do not report so are no more happy).

​

u/yourdadsotherkid · 7 pointsr/politics

The democrats are soft and they refuse to acknowledge the kind of people they are opposed to. The whole "they go low, we go high!" thing was the most naive shit I ever heard in my life. And the Clinton campaign kept using it in response to Trump's demagoguery.

What they failed to understand is that your average American is an emotionally driven, subservient, sheeplike, cretin. They go by the balls, not the brains. If you don't believe me just watch Fox or listen to talk radio for five minutes. They don't deal in "facts", they deal in emotional catharsis, anger, horror. That's why it's effective. More than that the GOP strategy revolves around loading liberal rhetoric with emotional/racist detritus that works on a subconscious level more than a rational one. If you want a great explanation of all this then this and this are both great books. I'd highly recommend this also.

Whenever I hear a democrat say "I'll reach across the aisle!" I cringe. Tell me, who does that inspire? Why vote for you just so you can bend over backwards for people you hate? Bernie Sanders did as good as he did not because of policy specifics but because he knew how to capitalize on people's legitimate anger. Trump capitalized on racism. Bernie Sanders capitalized on the very obvious inequality and institutional crony capitalism that defines our government. One appealed to the worst in people, the other reminded people of how much they're getting screwed.

And that's the problem with democrats: they're stuck thinking in terms of political compromise, of moderation, of political correctness.

The most intelligent thing to come out of a democratic politician's mouth recently was when Perez said in public that republicans "don't give a shit about people". That's both true and sensationalist enough to make an impact.

You don't need to tell lies. You need to tell the truth so bluntly, brutally, and without any sort of veneer of compromise or civility. You need to be willing to look the entire GOP in the face and describe it as a corrupt octopus that is a threat to fucking civilization. You need to weigh down their language with subliminal associations with nazis marching down the street and mass slaughter of minorities.

Democrats need to stop treating republicans like people with good intentions and treat them as a fucking threat to our democracy. Then their base will get out and vote, then the spotlight will be shone brightly in the faces of the fucking dickheads. They need to attack, constantly. Instead they sit around defending.

The republicans offer nothing of substance. They do not treat political campaigns as debates but as a kind of mental warzone. The democrats try to appeal to people's better nature. People don't have a better nature, people are cynical shitheads. Roger Stone gets that.

u/truthredux · 7 pointsr/milliondollarextreme

Hate to be that goy, but actually the conservative whites are gaining in numbers. They have more children than liberal faggots, they are generally healthier, and have higher reported life satisfaction (urban/rural).

https://www.amazon.com/Shall-Religious-Inherit-Earth-Twenty-First/dp/1846681448

u/peninsuladreams · 6 pointsr/samharris

Letter to a Christian Nation is short, accessible, and always relevant. It's written as a response to the critics of Harris' first book, The End of Faith, but you certainly don't need to have read The End of Faith to appreciate what he says in Letter.

Sam is perhaps a generation younger than Hitchens, Dawkins, and even Dennett, but as others in this thread have pointed out, he tends to be more reserved, collected and cool in his talks, debates, and interviews. He does use some dry humor, often to pretty good effect.

I think Sam's address at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival is probably one of the most well-written and compelling anti-religion speeches I've ever seen. And although the moderator is pretty awful, he has some similar powerful talking points in the Truthdig debate against Chris Hedges of the same year.

u/heresybob · 6 pointsr/atheism

Congrats! You're officially on my "you're fucking ignorant" list.

Go read his books. Letter to a Christian Nation is a great place to start. And yes he does support his stance in many different positions. You can check it out of your local library.

Edit - added link to Amazon.

u/victoryorvalhalla · 6 pointsr/atheism
u/scchristoforou · 6 pointsr/OrthodoxChristianity

I've become predictable!

If you want to dig into the concept a bit more, I highly recommend "How (Not) to be Secular." Definitely not our term.

u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 6 pointsr/atheism

Agree.

More comments for the OP:

Basically, the OP is in a country with religion receding in the public space, and the US is a country with religion growing in the public space. What works in one, doesn't necessarily work in the other.

Remember, one of the houses of legislature in one of our states literally passed a bill this week that says if your religion says someone else is bad, it's fine for you to bully them, but everyone else needs to be nice! Luckily, it seems after the huge outcry from the rest of us, that version is unlikely to be signed into law, and will be modified to remove the exemption.

If you want to know what it's like over here, I recommend reading The Anointed (and I've heard good things about Attack of the Theocrats but haven't read it yet).

I appreciate your perspective, and we hope to be in a place where that sort of strategy is possible in 10 years or so. Even then, it will still take all kinds.

u/Olsettres · 5 pointsr/AskHistorians

God's Own Party also provides a comprehensive narrative on the rise of the Religious Right and its political influences. Its been well received in the field of American Religious history.

u/uncletravellingmatt · 5 pointsr/atheism

When I was a little kid I loved the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. They are very Christian, but I just enjoyed them as entertaining stories. So I guess that's an honest answer to your question. (Although reading his apologetics like Mere Christianity now it just looks like a lot of double-talk and logical fallacies, it seems like it would only seem deep or meaningful to people who really wanted to smooth-over their own cognitive dissonance, and doesn't prove any points if you weren't already assuming his conclusions to be true.) If you broaden your question to "from a religious perspective" without requiring that it specifically be a Christian one, it gets easier to think of answers. I just read "The Story of God" and even though the author was a theist (Jewish) I thought he made a lot of good points in explaining the cultural and religious history of how monotheistic religions including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam came to be.

I think Sam Harris stands out as a very readable atheist author. His books such as "The End of Faith" and its follow-up "Letter to a Christian Nation" are short and powerful paperbacks. Watch this short talk and you can get an idea of his perspective before you buy any books:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3YOIImOoYM&t=1m25s

u/DRUMS11 · 5 pointsr/atheism

I think everyone should read The Republican War on Science. It was so frigging depressing I couldn't finish the book.

u/ShavedRegressor · 4 pointsr/atheism

You may not get far trying the argument route with your parents, but the fact that they’re willing to listen is a very good sign.

I strongly recommend Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation. It’s a great introduction to the idea that atheists aren’t evil. It’s a non-confrontational hugs-all-around sort of book, perfect for this sort of situation (assuming your parents are American).

u/Tbone139 · 4 pointsr/atheism

For Christians,

Sam Harris - Letter to a Christian Nation

u/scottklarr · 4 pointsr/books
u/Nostromo1905 · 4 pointsr/politics

No surprise. This is from 2006 The Republican War on Science

u/AetheralCognition · 4 pointsr/JoeRogan

>You'll need to think of a better ad hominem.

I addressed the position you've taken and the reasons why you see things that way. If you found that offensive, i'm sorry but that is a personal problem. Insulting you was not the point or the totality of what i said.

>And you probably think NYT is unbiased also.

Strawman

>"conservative christian right" hasn't been a boogey man since 1997

Are you serious? Have you watched any of the red debates? Its like 90% theocrats.

Since Nixon/Reagan and the merging of religion and politics the right has gone so much further right and into science and fact denial that it's ridiculous to anyone that isn't brainwashed by it, and repeatedly told to dismiss any dissenting information on any desperate and falsified grounds they can find

Id like to give you some homework.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Republican-Science-Chris-Mooney/dp/0465046762

http://www.amazon.com/The-Republican-Brain-Science-Science/dp/1118094514

The first is more about ideological factors driving the detachments from reality

The second is more about psychological factors driving those same detachments.

"Reality has a well known 'liberal bias' " - Stephen Colbert

u/davidjricardo · 4 pointsr/Reformed

My top recommendation is Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation by Allen and Swain. If you haven't read it please do. It's not the easiest read, but well worth the effort.

A close second is Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ by Todd Billings. If you or a loved one are suffering, read this right away. If not, read it anyway for when the time comes.

A few more that I have on my list to read, but have not yet read:

u/AbsoluteElsewhere · 4 pointsr/OpenChristian

I agree with a lot of what /u/Diet_Victreebel wrote. The idea that "belief" is solely a head-based, intellectual exercise is actually quite new and shaped by Western cultural thinking. These days I understand faith more in the sense of trust. For example, believing that a Ferris wheel is operating under a set of mechanics that will support its structure is different than trusting in those mechanics enough to step inside it and go around. The book How (Not) to be Secular has helped me understand how we have come to understand belief in its modern sense, and how we can conceive of other possibilities. I don't always agree with the author but I highly recommend it.

u/thisa_reddit_account · 4 pointsr/politics

This is a great book

Steve Bannon is part of a long line of reactionary nitwits

u/liatris · 4 pointsr/news

If you're interested in the topic check out the book by the British political scientist Eric Kaufman "Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?"

He explains that demographically social conservatives and religious fundamentalist in countries around the world are quickly beginning to dominate due to their large population expanses. The Orthodox Haredim will soon outnumber the Reformed Jews in Israel, evangelical Christians are overtaking Anglicans, the Amish population is doubling every 20 years, Hutterites are exploding in population, Mormon populations are growing very fast as well as is the Quiverfull movement.

If you combine high birth rates with very low rates of people leaving these extreme forms of religion, then you can see how it's religious moderates who are being destroyed, not extremist.

Interview with Eric Kaufmann, Author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?

>Question: This trend of “quiverfull” Christian families and large Catholic families (to name a couple) has been around for a while… And yet, the percentages of non-religious people keep increasing according to recent polls. Does that contradict your thesis?

>Answer: No. The composition of a population is always a product of the relative pace of secularisation and religious growth. I use the analogy of a treadmill.
Seculars are running on a treadmill that is tilting up and moving against them because of their low fertility and immigration. The religious — notably fundamentalists — are standing still or walking backward, but their treadmill is pushing them forward and tilting downhill. So in Europe in the late twentieth century, seculars were running fast enough to overcome their demographic disadvantage and overtook the faithful. But today, secularism is slowing down outside England and Catholic Europe, and is facing a more difficult incline from the treadmill of demography. London is a good example: it is more religious now than 20 years ago despite secularisation, simply because of religious immigration and fertility.**

Here are some interviews with the author...

Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century

Battle of the Babies - A new book argues that liberal secularism and high birth rates are fuelling a revival of religious fundamentalism. Caspar Melville speaks to its author Eric Kaufmann

u/einTier · 4 pointsr/atheism

I came to atheism late in life. It was a strange thing for me, there was no story to tell like there is for those who suddenly find Jesus. I just woke up one morning and realized that not only did I not believe in God, I hadn't believed in quite some time. I always explain it like having a beach house and every year the ocean washes a little of the beach away. One day, you wake up, go out on the porch and realize there's no longer a beach -- the water is lapping at your back deck. When did the beach cease to exist? It's hard to say, even if you went and looked at the beach every morning, which you probably didn't. You just know there isn't a beach anymore and it's time for new plans.

Since I came to it so late in life, I got to look it from a much more adult perspective and got to really understand it. Hopefully, I can help you understand your son.

  1. First, understand that atheism isn't really a religion, though many try to classify it that way. You don't need a word that describes your disbelief in Santa Claus, the Chupacabra, or any other number of mystical beasts. However, because religion is so pervasive in our society, we need a word to explain that we don't believe the accepted narrative.

    That said, we're kind of all over the place. Some of us kind of disbelieve a little, like my girlfriend. She really wants to believe there's a God of some sort, and she tries continually to find evidence. I'm a little more strong in my atheism, I don't believe there's a God and I've stopped looking for Him. I'd be perfectly happy with a God worth worshipping, but I'm living my life as if there is no God. Others are more militant, and some are out to convert others. But there's no universal string that ties us together other than our lack of belief. We're as different as any other general subset of the population. You might as well ask what people who like Chinese food believe in.

    Because of that, you're not going to find the Tabula Rasa you're seeking. It doesn't exist. We don't have a holy book. We don't even have real tribal leaders. I can recommend some reading, though. I highly recommend Richard Dawkins as a primer, and in particular, I found The God Delusion to be really helpful in understanding my atheism. Before that, I was really uncomfortable with the label "atheist" and preferred the less loaded term of agnostic. However, after reading that book, I found that atheist really was accurate and it didn't have to mean "complete and absolute knowledge of the non-existance of God" or even "I hate religion".

    Dawkins doesn't suffer fools lightly and he can be sharp at times, but he generally wants people to understand and is trying to talk to all audiences, not just the already converted. Authors like Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris can be fun to read for someone who has already acknowledged their atheism, but they are preaching to the choir and their books pull no punches. They aren't going to convert anyone. I highly suggest staying away unless you want to be angry.

  2. Almost all of us go through this phase. It's part of the reason why r/atheism is kind of considered a circle-jerk around here and why people generally don't stay very long. It's a very confusing time when you're newly atheist. You really don't know what you believe, only that you know you don't believe what you did before. I would say it's very similar to going through a divorce and you can expect a lot of acting out. There's a part of you that's bitter because you feel you've wasted some part of your life chasing something that doesn't exist. You've been lied to and that hurts. You probably denied yourself certain pleasures because you believed them to be sinful and that makes you angry because those opportunities are gone now. Quite frankly, some of it is just reveling in the blasphemy you were prohibited from engaging in before.

    However, there are some of us that are legitimately upset and angry. Many of us lose family members over our atheism. My mother has disowned me because of it, and that's not uncommon. All of us lose friends over it. Some of us lose jobs or won't be promoted because we're perceived as not moral. A friend of mine has told me that while he likes my company, he could never hire or work for an atheist because he doesn't trust them. For all the talk of religious persecution, try walking around just one day as a vocally out atheist. There's a reason why the majority of us are silent and only talk openly about it in safe places such as this.

    Your son is probably looking up anti-religious articles and books and such because it's the easiest way for him to find confirmation of his disbelief. A lot of the anti-religious stuff he's posting is probably helping him understand why he stopped believing the way he did. Understand that he may be going through a period where he hates religion, but it's not that he's anti-God. It's very difficult to be against something you don't believe in, and this includes the devil. He may well be anti-religion and that may or may not pass. Atheists often find that religion seems to do a lot of evil in the world (terrorism, hateful laws, justification for immoral acts such as slavery) and that can be painful to witness.

    If it's any consolation, I find myself fascinated by religious objects and I tend to collect them. My bookshelf is filled with religious texts and I have many representations of religious beings in my apartment. I find it incredibly interesting the power that someone can ascribe to a mere object or idea.

  3. Understand that atheism isn't a lack of moral character. This is one of the first misconceptions that I find that the religious have. When you believe that your moral character derives from a holy text, it's hard to understand how you could derive it absent that text or one similar to it. But that's not true, and you do it every day. There are moral judgements you must make every day that your religious text cannot help you decide. There are moral judgements you make that your religious text would mislead you about. For one, you would never condone slavery, yet your Bible tells you exactly how to treat your slaves and which people are ok to keep as slaves. You don't need your Bible to tell you that slavery is wrong. I don't need my Bible to tell me that stealing is wrong. I know that I would hate it if someone stole from me, and therefore, I do not steal from others.

    If anything, I feel more moral and more obligated to be moral now that I'm an atheist. I know that sounds odd, but please hear me out. I feel this is the only life I get. This is the only life you get, and the world as it is today is the only world we get to experience. Because there is no better place, I want to make sure I leave this world better than I found it. I want to leave you with a life that is as good as it could have been while still living a life that is equally good for me. I suspect your son feels the same way, because moral people are moral without religion.

    I know you want to reach your son and teach him good values and good morals and how to make good decisions, and quite frankly, it is your obligation to do so. However, you will have a harder task because you can no longer argue from authority. You're right that you can't say, "do this because God says so." It won't matter to him any more than "do this because Santa will love you" would matter to you. No one could point to Christmas stories or point out that bad kids get coal because you don't believe and you've seen plenty of bad kids who didn't get coal at all. Instead, you'll have to make logical arguments about why things are bad. For instance, you don't want him to have sex. That's probably unrealistic, because studies show that kids have sex whether they are religious or not. We are simply built to have sex when we hit adolescence and our bodies compel us to do it. Abstinence worked fine when we all got married at 15, but it works much less so now that we're waiting until our late 20's. Instead, explain that people can legitimately be hurt by sex when its done for amoral reasons. Explain that at his age, he doesn't have the experience to understand the complex feelings and emotions that go into it. He probably won't understand that, so you'll also have to council him that if he is going to do it, here are many ways to do it safely so that he doesn't end up with a kid. Explain that having a child at a very young age requires tremendous sacrifice and is emotionally and financially difficult. Doing it when you are not prepared likely means that many of his dreams will be unachieveable.

    Of course, this doesn't help you if you think premarital sex is sinful. He is going to have a different idea about that and there's not a good logical argument that can be made. However, you can make sure that his decision to have sex doesn't result in terrible consequences. That's kind of how you'll have to frame everything from now on.
u/1337sh33p · 4 pointsr/zen

I know this is a facetious thread but Amazon has The Zen Experience ebook for free (I believe you can download it to the kindle PC client if you don't have a kindle / android / iOS device). It's an abridged but still somewhat lengthy history from Lao Tzu and the Buddha to Hakuin so be warned

u/citizen511 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation is probably the simplest, most concise atheist treatise directed towards christians. It's short, to the point, and very convincing in its arguments (and definitely not inflammatory).

u/baxter45 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Letter to a Christian Nation is a fun, light read. It's also fun to lend it to your religious/christian friends.

u/astroNerf · 3 pointsr/atheism

It's been mentioned at least once here in this thread, but I'll second Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World. It's an excellent manual for developing critical-thinking skills that is great for anyone, not just people interested in god claims. The book touches on religion a bit but mostly deals with pseudoscience and magical thinking in general - it covers a lot of ground.

A few books I've read that I'll recommend specifically:

u/Veylis · 3 pointsr/atheism

http://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393035158

Why would you steal from someone who's work you enjoy?

u/CalvinLawson · 3 pointsr/atheism

Honestly, "The Greatest Show on Earth" is WAY better. Dawkins on religion isn't nearly as good as Dawkins on biology.

You want to read a devastating book on religion, try "The End of Faith". Or better yet, this.

u/atheistcoffee · 3 pointsr/atheism

Congratulations! I know what a big step that is, as I've been in the same boat. Books are the best way to become informed. Check out books by:

u/lanemik · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Recommended reading material:

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

The End of Faith

If Christians were closeted, if they kept their morality judgments to themselves, if they did not push for laws to enforce this version of morality, if they did not actively seek to disparage atheists for no other reason than for refusing to believe in the invisible thing in the sky that they believe in, then I'd have no reason to give a shit about what Christians believe. What does or does not happen to my consciousness after I die is absolutely immaterial.

u/SnakeGandhi · 3 pointsr/Christianity

You are correct that many Christians take offense, and of course they do. Their fundamental sense of self is rooted in belief. However, the atheist is no different. You yourself indicated this with the last line of your post. When one's paradigm is challenged, it is normal for those who are not used to dialogue with other paradigms to lash out like white blood cells attacking a foreign body in the bloodstream. At the very least, if you're looking for academic dialogue about Christianity, you'll need to stop going to non-academic Christians. The examples of Trump representing (and in my opinion, "Christian" Trump supporters) true orthodox (correct) theology is simply false, along with any Christian institution that "bears fruit" of violence, etc.

As an aside, I also picked up a small but strong presupposition common among many atheists/agnostics (assuming atheism/ag from your post, correct if wrong) that the book is closed academically on the existence of God. I would assume that you're aware that at the most basic level, the belief in or not in God is indeed still a belief and can never be proven; this is much more problematic for the positivist than the believer. Fortunately for us all, the metamodern landscape has resulted in the contesting of all things secular and religious. There is no longer (nor ever was) a separation.

I would recommend these books to you for some further reading on the point: #1 and #2. Here are to qualifying reviews on the first text. 1 and 2.

Hope it helps.

u/littlealbatross · 3 pointsr/sociology

Another contemporary source that could be useful is "American Grace: How Religion Unites Us and Divides Us." I read it for a Politics of Religion class (not Soc specifically) but it was a good book.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1416566732/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

u/MildlyAgitatedBovine · 3 pointsr/atheism

check out Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?. Lecture doesn't touch on all the numbers you want, but he take a good look at the issue from a number of angles. (not just conversion rates, but disparity in birth rate among various religious groups)
His book of the same title will probably have the numbers you're looking for.

u/mavnorman · 2 pointsr/atheism

Indeed. When Harris writes:

> Our humanities and social science departments are filled with scholars and pseudo-scholars deemed to be experts in terrorism, religion, Islamic jurisprudence, anthropology, political science, and other diverse fields, who claim that where Muslim intolerance and violence are concerned, nothing is ever what it seems. Above all, these experts claim that one can’t take Islamists and jihadists at their word: Their incessant declarations about God, paradise, martyrdom, and the evils of apostasy are nothing more than a mask concealing their real motivations.

any skeptic should wonder how it's possible that only Harris manages to see the Truth while all others fail. Are they really biased by wishful thinking? Do they have no evidence to support their conclusions?

Atheists often claim to follow a rational and scientific method, willing to follow the evidence whereever it may lead.

Well, then. What sort of evidence does Harris provide? All I have ever seen is anecdotes, counter-factuals, and an appeal to intution. This is hardly good evidence. He never managed to get a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal about the topic, as far as I know.

What about the so called "pseudo-scholars" in the humanities and social science departments? What sort of evidence do they have? It seems they do take terrorists by their word. They do in-depth interviews with former terrorists. They do statistical analysis where terrorists come from. They do a careful comparison of the available data.

What's more: Their explanation is consistent with what we know about motivations for violence, in general, and what we know about the relative impotence of religious doctrines for getting people to do good.

There's hardly any doubt who's closer to the truth, here.

u/IClogToilets · 2 pointsr/reddit.com

There is a fantastic book about car dealerships titled Don't Get Taken Every Time. I highly recommend you read it then go try and buy a new car. It is funny to watch them try some of the same crap as described in the book.

u/thnk_more · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

If you really want to learn about car buying and enjoy a good book Don't get taken every time
Fantastic information and very entertaining book by an insider in the car industry. Written a while ago but everything still applies. Can't recommend this enough!

u/frodegar · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

My sister bought online through (I think) carsdirect.com. She got a better price than she could get from local dealers. (She tried. She wanted to buy local, but none of the dealers would match the price.)

Don't Get Taken Every Time by Remar Sutton (an older edition) helped me when I bought a new car in 1996.

I actually did my research online and most of my shopping on Sunday when the dealerships were closed. By the time I talked to a salesman, I already knew what I wanted, what I was willing to pay, and what they had in stock.

In general, used is probably better. In my case, the banks would not finance a used car for me but were happy to finance a new one.

u/MillardKillmore · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/KoDCBP · 2 pointsr/atheism

For starters, what's your time limit? This is a topic that would take a while to unpack and make a convincing case for. If you decide to go through with it, read Hitchen's book, Harris' two books, and watch some debates to determine how you want to deliver your speech. Make a list of different arguments that the religious use for when your audience asks the standard questions and have a response for them. Have a list of examples of problems that different religions have caused and the source for that information.

u/gbCerberus · 2 pointsr/atheism

Letter to a Christian Nation (Amazon, more quotes)

u/OuRR_World · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I'm not sure if Jerry's gotten to this one yet, but I'll post also just in case.

  1. The God Virus
  2. Godless
  3. The Magic of Reality
  4. Letter To A Christian Nation

    Also there are great podcasts, of course we are partial to Living After Faith (our official Podcast with Deanna and Rich Lyons), and there are many others as well. For blogs there is always Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist, and we're starting our blog this weekend as well, but there are tons of just quality folks out there who have so much to share and offer to the secular world.
u/ralph-j · 2 pointsr/changemyview

> 1) He initially states that his issue is specific with the Islamic ideology itself, not Muslim people. Okay, following so far...

> 2) But then he supports his argument by referencing polls. Polls have to do with people; You can't poll an ideology. He references a few poll results that show a significant number of Muslims believe in oppression or violent acts.

> So, already he's stuck. You can't make the argument that an ideology is dangerous and that we need to do something about it without bringing Muslims into it.

He isn't saying Muslims don't need to change. However, there's a difference between being against people for who they are and being against the things they believe and do. He wants those Muslims who hold extreme views to change those views. This comes from a stance of well wishing, not ill wishing, so to speak.

According to Affleck it seems that any criticism of the beliefs of Muslims automatically falls under Islamophobia and thus racism. Yes, you can make a case that by its effects, such criticism predominantly happens to target non-white people. That however, would only be hypocritical if Harris refused to criticize white people for holding equivalent beliefs, which is definitely not the case. He is known to criticize all unreasonable religious beliefs, e.g. Christian beliefs and others. His frequent comparison to Jainism (which arguably lacks fundamentals that could lead to violence) shows that he really cares about the things people actually believe, and the consequences he presumes those beliefs to have on the world.

u/AlSweigart · 2 pointsr/atheism

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins doesn't really go into anything new or original, but the strength of the book is that is a great, concise summary of all the beginning arguments for atheism.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618680004

I'd follow it with Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", also a good recommendation. Same goes for Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World"

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Spell-Religion-Natural-Phenomenon/dp/0143038338

http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Haunted-World-Science-Candle-Dark/dp/0345409469/

Christopher Hitchens is a bit vitriolic for some, but "God is not Great" has some nuggets in it.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446579807/

I personally didn't like Sam Harris' "End of Faith" but I did like his "Letter to a Christian Nation".

http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Vintage-Harris/dp/0307278778/

For the topic of evolution, Talk Origins is great (and free) http://toarchive.org/
Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" is also a good read (and short). Not so short but also good are Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker", "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Unweaving the Rainbow"

http://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Gene-Anniversary-Introduction/dp/0199291152/

http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Watchmaker-Evidence-Evolution-Universe/dp/0393315703/

http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Mount-Improbable-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0393316823/

http://www.amazon.com/Unweaving-Rainbow-Science-Delusion-Appetite/dp/0618056734/

u/SecretAgentX9 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I was a Jehovah's Witness for the first 24 years of my life. Very devout.

It's hard for me to know what these particular folks' motivation for being in the JWs is.

Here is what helped me:

Problems With a Global Flood, 2nd Edition: Witnesses are very literal about their interpretation of the bible. If they actually read this page it will go a long way toward dislodging the cornerstones of their faith.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

Finding Darwin's God by Ken Miller: A book about evolution that is not directly threatening to religion. It's written by the head of biology at Brown University. The science is solid. The theology is unsurprisingly weak. This book changed my life.

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Darwins-God-Scientists-Evolution/dp/0060930497

If they make it that far, give them this one: Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Not all of it applies to witnesses directly (they're not young-earth creationists, for example), but a lot of it still applies. This will supply many final nails for the coffin.

http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Vintage-Harris/dp/0307278778/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291101892&sr=1-1

One thing to keep in mind is that they're very unlikely to seek any of this out on their own. They'll view it as a sin. Your best bet is to print these texts out or buy them. Both books can be purchased on Amazon in used condition for almost nothing. Tell them you'll read their books if they read yours and hold them to it. That culture has a very strong intellectual conscience. Most witnesses are really decent people. They're just stuck in a totally stupid mind-trap.

Good luck! You're doing a great thing by trying to help these people.

u/qxe · 2 pointsr/atheism

Great! My best advice for you is to start your reading with Sam Harris' The End of Faith. You can buy a hardcover of it on Amazon for $3.11 plus shipping and in my opinion, it gives an excellent overview of the subject.

Another one I would read concurrently is Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Both are excellent for beginning your exploration.

u/cspayton · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Thanks for responding!

I think that there are a few books which have influenced me greatly, but I have a much more expansive list of books I want to read than ones I have already consumed.

To start, you should try the greats:

u/Lordsnoww · 2 pointsr/agnostic

Book [The End of Faith] (https://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655) By Sam Harris
-This book was the support I needed to feel comfortable saying I do not believe in organized religion. (I felt guilty for never being a believer but this book helped me find my voice to explain why.)
-He also has a fascinating podcast on the topic along with youtube videos, just type in Sam Harris and you will easily find it.

[Stephen Fry Annihilates God] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-d4otHE-YI) Short video but fantastic.
EDIT: The link I posted for this all you need to watch is the first two minutes.

Other than those two sources that is pretty much all I have. I am fairly new to giving a voice to my lack of belief in organized religion so I do not have many sources yet.

Hope this provides some use to you.

u/M_Dupperton · 2 pointsr/infertility

I was raised Catholic, became an agnostic before IF, and am now an atheist. I believe in physics, evolution, and maybe random chance grounded in chaos theory, but I haven't explored that last one deeply. It doesn't matter much to me. But not believing in god matters is a core value of mine. At best, the idea of an all knowing, all loving, all powerful god is just impossible. Look at the world, all the suffering. People starving to death, families being ripped apart, kids and others suffering from abuse. Life can be nasty, brutal, and short. If god is all knowing, he knows about all those horrors. If he's all powerful, he could prevent them. If he's all loving, he would. But... he hasn't. So yeah, at least one of those isn't true.

I believe there is no god. It's no coincidence that "miracles" have become scarce with scientific knowledge. That demonic possessions are essentially over now that we know about mental illness. God just seems like an outdated fable for understanding a confusing world. Science has replaced that fable with truth.

If there is a god, I think he's either extraordinarily limited in power (which makes no sense given the definition of god) or he's indifferent to us or he's actually just an asshole. I've seen too much suffering in the world to believe otherwise. Just look at the sadistic people who get kids easily compared to all of us in this community. Or go to the pediatric ICU and see some of the kids there who have no quality of life due to horrible congenital illnesses, and never will have any. It's worse than any horror show.

I get SO much peace and happiness out of not believing in god. When bad shit happens, I don't have to wonder why or what lesson I'm supposed to be learning. I don't have to feel like the god who "loves" me is also putting me through horrible experiences, like some sadomasochistic father figure. Some religious/spiritual people rationalize suffering by saying we grow from it. I think that's twisted. If we analogize to parenthood, good parents don't beat up their kids, starve them, give them horrible diseases, etc. God does all of those things. YES, challenges bring growth. But there's a fucking limit to the horror. Giving your kids chores to do is one thing. Giving them horrible painful illnesses is another. Just look at shit like Tay Sachs, osteogenesis imperfecta, etc.

Some people say that God isn't responsible for horrible things, but "man's sin" brought evil into the world. To them, I say that if you believe god created the universe, then he created a universe that allows for one person to be punished for the actions of another. Where is the justice and love in that?

As for finding meaning in life, I've never felt compelled to find some grand plan in why I'm here or what my life is about. More important is that I'm here and it's up to me to make the most of it. And if there's no god, then we can only count on each other for help and kindness. I think that's a better motivation to be a good person, and a more altruistic motivation, than being a good person out of fear of god's wrath.

I think I've missed out on very little by not believing. Maybe the only thing is a church community, but even that is a double edged sword - so much gossip and judgment in most of them. Other than that, I can't think of anything that I've missed. I've never longed for god's "love." I've never wanted an indefinite afterlife. When I was five, I asked my mom if I could have god make me disappear when I'd had enough of all that heaven had to offer. It's not that I was depressed, I just didn't and don't want ANYTHING forever, except maybe to be with any future kids. I love my husband buckets, but I'm sure that eventually we'd want to disappear together, too. The idea of eternity is daunting, not particularly appealing. And the idea that the afterlife matters more than the present just seems like a tool to maintain a shitty status quo in this world - wealth inequalities, social inequalities, etc.

I just want to say that a life without god is not necessarily something to be afraid of. It can be so liberating and fulfilling. If you're looking for books on the subject, I'd recommend The End of Faith by Sam Harris. It's an eye opener. All the best to you.

u/slosmoothsmoothfast · 2 pointsr/Atlanta

This is true. Based on your comment, you might like a book called "The End of Faith".

https://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655

"In The End of Faith, Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs―even when these beliefs inspire the worst human atrocities. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic. Winner of the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction."

u/fookhar · 2 pointsr/agnostic

When it comes to understanding evolution, Why Evolution is True is a very entertaining, easily read introduction. I would also recommend The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

u/voodootribe · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

If you enjoyed the God Delusion you would probably enjoy either God Is Not Great by Hitchens or The End of Faith by Sam Harris

u/Indubitablyz · 2 pointsr/changemyview

I am as ardent an anti-theist as you'll find, however, few points

>I am not trying to offend anyone who is religious

Not up to you, they're going to get offended anyway.

>I know religion is responsible for many of our moral values

Is it though? Morality is still an incredibly rich area of study and thought (along with consciousness.) There are many competing theories such as: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_morality

In any case- religion certainly teaches that some things are bad and other things are good. I reject the claim that it is responsible for "many of our moral values." (Reference the Old Testament- morality isn't the word I would use to describe stoning people to death for transgressions.)

>Religion is responsible for some of the worst atrocities in human history.

I would say that close-minded adherence to bad ideas are the root of the worst atrocities in human history. Religions are among the worst ideas and the most deeply held convictions people have and have contributed mightily (and have been the primary factor for a lot of the atrocities) however, people are responsible for the worst atrocities in human history.

>I don't understand how people are willing to die for something that they have been told and never actually seen.

Philosophy Psychology of` religion is pretty useful here. You may find the following concepts interesting:

  • The Backfire Effect
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Confirmation Bias

    It is important to note that religious adherents often grow up being taught these dogmatic systems as truth. To them it is common sense and they attribute their good feelings and positive experiences to the religion.

    >We are not born believing in religion it is taught to us.

    Someone along the way came up with the idea. Generally these days we cannot tell because not many people can get to age 18 without being subject to religious ideas. Although, I tend to agree with this hypothesis in a modern sense.

    >I believe that any religion, whethever it's monotheistic (one god) or polytheistic (many gods) that believes in a divine creator is a plague and gives evil people justification for committing awful crimes againist others (molesting children, terroist attacks, etc).

    Well, polytheistic religions have a history of being tolerant and intolerant of other gods/faiths. Monotheism has a horrific track record here.

    Jainism is non-violent: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

    >I think social philosophies like confucianism which are built on more ethical and natural principles should replace religion.

    Secular Humanism sounds like it would float your boat: https://secularhumanism.org/index.php/3260

    What people find irreplaceable about religion is its answers to big questions, comfort, and "spiritual fulfillment."

    Whether you believe in spirituality or not, there have been many hypotheses about what spiritual experience is, or where exactly it comes from. Personally, I think religions are middle men between you and whatever those experiences are. Meditation and other methods have been suggested.

    >Religion is an evil plague apon society CMV.

    Ultimately, I agree with you. Although, I do think that some people get things from religion that are good or benign (things that could be gotten from other sources IMO.) Your view just needs a bit more nuance, respectfully. The following sources would be interesting to you:

    https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Essays-Religion-Related-Subjects/dp/0671203231

    https://www.amazon.ca/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655

    https://www.amazon.ca/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0771041438
u/devoNOTbevo · 2 pointsr/Reformed

There are good reasons to believe it's true. But perhaps what I want to encourage you with is that everyone has seasons of doubt like this. I think it's easy for Christian communities to demonize doubt and dismiss it as somehow bad or sinful. But as Smith says in How (Not) to be Secular, most ordinary folks live in between the extremes of belief and doubt, between fundamentalism and new atheism, in a world haunted by the other: believers are haunted by doubt and skeptics are haunted by belief. It's only human to live in this space. That said, I encourage you to find a way forward, seeking truth, because if Christ is true, you'll find Him.

u/BubBidderskins · 2 pointsr/sociology

It's awesome to see someone interested in sociology (especially sociology of religion) in high school.

Before you start doing research, you need to think about what your actual question is. What is it about the sociology of religion that interests you? Are you interested in explaining religious variation? Are you interested in how different people experience religion? Are you interested in studying how religion influences people's behavior or beliefs? Think of something in the social world that you don't know, but want to know. The answer will guide how you approach research.

Also, not all of the sociology of religion is quantitative with large sample sizes. There's been some great qualitative work with small sample sizes done in the past. Nancy Ammerman has done some awesome qualitative work. One of my favorite sociology books is Baptist Battles which offers a window into the fundamentalist/progressive conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 80s.

If you are interested in more population level, quantitative stuff, take a look at Putnam and Cambell's American Grace. It's not really an academic book, but the research is solid and it's a great example of the kind of findings quantitative sociology of religion can produce.

If you find that interesting, then you should take some statistics courses and begin to learn statistical software like STATA, SPSS, R. A lot of that software is really daunting to learn at first. We had to learn R in my first year statistics course in grad school, and it had PhD students scratching their heads. Still, getting even a very basic understanding of something like that will get you a head start on research. You WILL need to learn a statistical software in order to quantitative research. If you feel comfortable with doing some basic statistics, check out The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) for some cool public use data.

Also, if you want to do research you need to read research. People here have suggested classic works like Berger's Sacred Canopy or stuff from Weber, Marx and Durkheim. That stuff is cool and all, and if you continue to be interested in sociology you will have to read that. However, nobody doing research today is trying to emulate what Berger, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim did. I suggest looking through some of the articles in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion to get a sense of the kinds of research sociologists of religion are doing now. Don't get too bogged down in ancient stuff said by old dead white guys.

One last thing -- absolutely nobody expects you do any kind of research in high school. All the stuff I mentioned are things I learned in grad school and I would consider way above what would be expected from a typical high school student. If you find it overwhelming and confusing that's totally normal. Research is overwhelming and confusing all the time.

u/WillSanguine · 2 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

> Points 1 and 3 in the summary I quoted apply to measures of income regardless of whether you're counting household size or individual income.

Okay. Taken together, the following issues would tend to make me question my men's wage example:

  1. The tables in the article found by /u/YaDunGoofed show that the median working man's income did grow, even if it grew less than women's.

  2. As /u/GodoftheCopyBooks' article showed, the median man was actually doing worse than any other man - including the first, second, fourth, and fifth quintile. So using the median man as a representative indicator is a bit misleading.

  3. Finally, there are plenty of female Trump supporters - how do I explain that?

    One resolution could be that we are looking at the wrong time frame (30-45 years vs. 8 years). EDIT: Here is an article from five thirty eight, looking at a 15 year time frame. There is some sense in attributing the rise of Trump to things that happened recently as opposed to 45 year trends.

    It's also possible that what is "lost" can be not just economic but social or cultural ... e.g. Putnam #1, Putnam #2, Cahn and Carbone. This would still relate to loss aversion, it would just be a loss of a more intangible sort.
u/apeiron12 · 2 pointsr/atheism

No, but the best predictor of party is, statistically speaking, religiosity.

Source.

u/OberOst · 2 pointsr/BlackPillScience

Please read actual scientific work on the societal effects of religion such as this and this before you make such statements.

u/aduketsavar · 2 pointsr/EnoughCommieSpam

I enjoy critiques of intellectuals and learning relations between them. You should also check out The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism by him. Mark Lilla is very similar, The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals and Politics and The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction Of course philosophers and politics would be very lacking without Isaiah Berlin Also Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: The Thinkers of The New Left is very good. Lastly The Opium of Intellectuals of Raymon Aron is a must-read classic.

u/SammyD1st · 2 pointsr/Natalism

> will nearly everyone be religious again?

Some people think so.

That's a very interesting point about donating to Mormonism. I hadn't thought of that.

u/DooDooDoodle · 2 pointsr/tucker_carlson

It's a reference to "revenge of the cradle" a plan put in place by Catholics in Quebec to out birth other groups in Canada as a way to shift politics through demographics. Considering most demographic studies are showing that religious radicals of every stripe are having more children than secular folks, that phrase might strike fear into your average, atheist leftist in Canada.

Great book on the topic....

https://www.amazon.com/Shall-Religious-Inherit-Earth-Twenty-First/dp/1846681448


>Dawkins and Hitchens have convinced many western intellectuals that secularism is the way forward. But most people don't read their books before deciding whether to be religious. Instead, they inherit their faith from their parents, who often innoculate them against the elegant arguments of secularists. And what no one has noticed is that far from declining, the religious are expanding their share of the population: in fact, the more religious people are, the more children they have. The cumulative effect of immigration from religious countries, and religious fertility will be to reverse the secularisation process in the West. Not only will the religious eventually triumph over the non-religious, but it is those who are the most extreme in their beliefs who have the largest families.

>Within Judaism, the Ultra-Orthodox may achieve majority status over their liberal counterparts by mid-century. Islamist Muslims have won the culture war in much of the Muslim world, and their success provides a glimpse of what awaits the Christian West and Israel. Based on a wealth of demographic research, considering questions of multiculturalism and terrorism, Kaufmann examines the implications of the decline in liberal secularism as religious conservatism rises - and what this means for the future of western modernity.

u/Quock · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Popular Richard Dawkins books are The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene. I haven't read the Selfish Gene yet, but I have read the God Delusion, and it is a very good book. It may be a tad technical if you aren't well versed in science, but it's still very manageable.

The late Christopher Hitchens wrote a very famous book called God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Admittedly, I have not read this one either, but it's an atheist staple.

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is next on my reading list (as you can tell, I have a HUGE reading list...), but also widely regarded as an amazing piece of literature for rational thinking.

I'm sure others can suggest more specific books, but these are the basics as far as I know.

Edit: Definitely forgot to mention that the Skeptic's Annotated Bible can be found online. I assume that this is in it's entirety?

Edit 2: Found this list on GoodReads.com. Seems to be another good resource for finding books :). Happy reading!

u/fduniho · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

For Atheism:

  1. Superstition in All Ages by Jean Meslier - a comprehensive treatise against religion, written between 2 and 3 centuries ago.

  2. The Religion Virus: Why we believe in God by Craig A. James - explains how religion and particularly belief in God is due to memetic evolution.

  3. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin - a comprehesive overview of arguments for and against the existence of God.

  4. Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett - explains why the idea of evolution is so powerful an explanation of things, it acts as a universal acid against supernatural beliefs.

  5. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - specifically addresses the idea of God as a supernatural creator

    For Christianity:

  6. The Five Great Philosophies of Life by William De Witt Hyde - covers Epicureanism, Stoicism, Plato, Aristotle, and Christianity, explaining the value in each.

  7. Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas - a comprehensive and detailed examination and defense of Christian beliefs

  8. The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus by Bruxy Cavey

  9. Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald

  10. Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams - a novel
u/happyface710 · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheist
  1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."

  2. De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."

  3. Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

  4. Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."

  5. Leaning towards Atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

  6. De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."

  7. Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability

    Read this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins-ebook/product-reviews/B003JTHWJQ/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion
u/scorpionMaster · 2 pointsr/kindle

Only good ones I've found Are Dawkins' The God Delusion and America's Test Kitchen: Pancakes and Waffles. Second one is a bit borderline on the "science" genre, I suppose, but it's better than nothing, right?

u/sheepfreedom · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

Blyth's Mumonkan

The Zen Experience by Thomas Hoover

and these

if looking for Ch'an/Zen those are great starting points, but don't miss the moon for the finger pointing at it. That which is before you is what you are looking for.

u/shen-han · 2 pointsr/chan

Ah yes, thank you for reminding me. This comes from the book, "The Zen Experience" by Thomas Hoover.

u/ZeroZuluBravo · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

It is, and a great one at that. by JK Sheindling. It starts from the author's initial force-fed perception that Islam is the "religion of peace", and follows the journey to the realization of the true face of Islam.

u/the_str · 1 pointr/news

Downvote if you'd like, but here you go. Good reading: https://www.amazon.com/Talking-Enemy-Religion-Brotherhood-Terrorists/dp/0061344915

u/HairyToxicCow · 1 pointr/Feminism
u/lurking_for_sure · 1 pointr/AskALiberal

I’m on the opposite end of this because he’s in my daily podcast rotation for the last 2 years, so I’ve definitely seen a ton of bad content (typically his religious commentaries are just dumb), but I’ve also seen him go very deep into topics to the point where I really respect his effort.


While his books he wrote in his 20’s are terrible (Porn generation, etc), his most recent book is actually pretty interesting since it’s a primer on the history of western philosophy

He’s definitely got bad times, but it irks me when everyone pretends like he’s an idiot. I respect him a ton.

u/Lord_Vorian · 1 pointr/changemyview

Religion: False but necessary.

​

According to a 2015 University of Auckland (New Zealand) study published in the journal Nature, religious belief in judgment after death was a positive (correlative) predictor of the eventual size of 96 past pacific island civilizations. Where a culture lacked this religious idea, the population rarely grew beyond the size of a few villages as a result of "political complexities." Common moral values are required to build a society greater than Dunbar's Number, and the historically best proven way to achieve this is via religion. In fact, the decline of the this common moral value (more commonly referred to as "Social Capital") has been lamented at length by the renowned Robet Putnam and more recently Ben Shapiro (Book). Those authors argue that the depopulation of common meeting places (like churches, pubs and Elk lodges) where community is formed is to blame for the recent disenfranchisement and political apathy we are seeing in the United States.

​

Plenty of foolish things are done in the name of religious beliefs. The same can be said of many ill-founded scientific causes like eugenics and phrenology. My point is that we've only made it this far as a result of the common values shared between us and reinforced by our involvement in community -- and that churches are a huge, if empirically irrelevant, vehicle for that community. Not a roadblock.

u/phughes · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/OZY1 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Get this book. I used to think I was pretty savvy at car buying, but I was wrong. This guy tells you how dealers work and what you can do about it, step by step.

u/OogaOoga2U · 1 pointr/Christianity

Missions have done NOTHING to further AIDS research, what kind of crack are you smoking????? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2969142/

The only thing you are going to do with this "genocide in the Middle East" is scream about the persecutions of Christians. And then you are going to go to church and your pastor is going to scream about christian persecution. But hes only gonna spend 15 minutes talking about the middle east before he gets onto the topics of how Liberal education is turning kids away from religion and that Colleges and Democrats are trying to undermine the christian foundations of this nation. Christianity in America has SEVERELY deluded people to the the machinations of politics and how those machinations effect international political dynamics. WE (as in YOU AND ME) are genociding Christians in the middle east with our silent support of the war in Afghanistan and whatever the hell we did in Iraq and our support of Saudi Arabia. And then our government is trying to prevent these refugees from even coming here. Christians in america are addicted to the cycle of persecution, we need to stop going to church, and start making America and the world a better place.

read: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0020964313505984b?journalCode=intc or https://www.amazon.com/Roads-Dominion-Right-Wing-Movements-Political/dp/0898628644 or https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Own-Party-Making-Christian/dp/0199929068

Matthew 25:31 is the only Bible verse that matters, the rest is just a waste of paper.

u/tikael · 1 pointr/atheism

Sam Harris wrote a book that is a pretty good summary

u/darth2 · 1 pointr/atheism

Both of you should read "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris. Short, easy read. Then move on to the more weighty stuff. http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307265773/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

u/robisodd · 1 pointr/atheism

Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation: http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307265773

It's a quick read (96 pages; so there's much more of a chance he will actually read it), he probably has never heard of Sam Harris either which will restrict some close mindedness and it packs quite a punch.

u/morrison0880 · 1 pointr/atheism

Letter to a Christian Nation
Sam Harris takes a firm but personal approach to explaining away religious faith. Use this as an introductory book to a much more straightforward and aggressive book like The God Delusion, or as a closing argument to a primer in rationalism that begins with a softer book by Sagan or the like. It depends on the approach you want to take, although I would suggest going the later route. Demon Haunted world was an excellent suggestion. Your parents will obviously agree with him when he dismisses ancient myths and beliefs, so when he shows their own beliefs to be on the same level, that skeptical thought process will start to catch hold of them and hopefully make them question those beliefs.

u/Dorrin · 1 pointr/atheism

Coming out is a big and unpleasant step. Kudos for planning.

Also, welcome to the party.

Many stay in the closet for years for good reason, coming out to religious family can rend that family to bits. No amount of logic, documentaries, or articles can bridge the fundamental gap if they decide you aren't family anymore. End result=huge unpleasantness.

That being said, there are two general trajectories for this type of thing. Fast and hard, or slow and kind. Both have their value, sometimes a swift thwap to the skull can break down barriers, for others a slow approach can provide better results over time. Slow and kind isn't my forte and others can help with that. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris and Dear Christian by JT Eberhard are the top of my list for kicking down doors and taking names.

u/larynx1982 · 1 pointr/atheism

Christianity was not mentioned in the submission title, the Abrahamic religions were.

The majority of religiously motivated stoning nowadays most likely falls with fundamentalist Muslims but modern/moderate Christians are easily blamable for the extreme actions of the fundamentalist Christians such as killing abortion doctors, taking away women and LGBT rights, helping spread AIDS in Africa by denying people access to condoms, etc.

By calling themselves Christians (even though they don't follow their own holy book's rules) and tithing they enable (and in-turn justify) the actions of the fundamentalists who are more in-tune with the fundamentals of their religion.

You should check out Sam Harris' Letter To A Christian Nation which explains this very astutely.

u/ikevinax · 1 pointr/Advice

On the rare occasion when I have little to do (cough), I purchase a book on Kindle and read it on my monitor using my browser at http://read.amazon.com . I'm currently reading The Vikings: A History. The last one I read, which I highly recommend, was Letter to a Christian Nation.

u/BustyMetropolis · 1 pointr/atheism

My one-stop book recommendation would be Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation. It's a short read, but nearly every paragraph is its own distinct argument, and it covers a lot of territory.

If you're aiming to construct your paper around a set of the most popular arguments, here are some common refutations to arguments for the existence of God. Keep in mind that many of our arguments are in the form of refutation instead of assertion, since the burden of proof is on the claimant:

Ontological Argument (Argument from experience) - We assert that feelings do not equal facts; revelation is not a reliable basis for a factual claim. We also realize that to criticize someone for feelings that are personal can seem like a personal attack. Most of us wouldn't tell someone who claims he/she had a spiritual experience that it didn't happen, but we would try to find a scientific explanation rather than coming to the immediate conclusion that it was God's doing. As a brief example, a friend of mine said he "felt the touch of God" when his daughter was born, but we interpret his feeling as a normal, natural high that most people feel at such an emotional moment.

Teleological Argument (Argument from design) - We accept the evidence for evolution and realize that it is inconsistent with the biblical creation story. For further reading about what proof we have for evolution, I'd personally recommend The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, and he promotes Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True though I haven't read the latter yet.

Cosmological Argument (Causal Argument) - This is a case of people assigning the "God" label to something difficult to comprehend. The best we have to go on so far is the Big Bang Theory, and scientists will continue to test the theory. We don't have evidence that the beginning of the universe was brought about by an omnipotent/omniscient being outside of what is claimed by religious texts, and that goes back to the. We might also ask, "who/what made God?" inviting an infinite loop of "which came first" questions.

Moral Argument - We believe (normal) people are able to tell the difference between right and wrong without religious guidance. In turn, it seems that the Christian Bible teaches, excuses, or condones actions that our enlightened society would deem immoral, such as slavery, killing of children and non-heterosexuals, oppression, rape, and genocide. Interpretations of the Bible differ, of course, and most modern Christians don't believe they should actually kill their disobedient children (or that the laws of the Old Testament no longer apply since the coming of Christ, which is another conversation). Regardless of arguments from the Bible, we believe that science can tell us a lot more about morality than we give it credit for.

Lastly, here is a wikipedia list of lots more arguments in case you'd like to ask about specific ones: link

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy writing your paper. Not that you should necessarily crowd-source coursework, but you'd probably get quite a strong response if you posted up a final draft, too.

u/My_Toothbrush · 1 pointr/atheism

I upvoted because you're asking a(n at least sort-of) respectful question. I'm sure others could answer you better or more completely, but I'll take a stab.

I firmly believe that no one here wants to "destroy any reference" to Yahweh. Many of us enjoy the Greek pantheon, and a few of us like the Norse better.

The problem with Christianity is that it encourages faith, which is not only pretty much useless as a decision making paradigm, but also cripples us in regards to making sane, rational decisions. I'm sure I don't need to harp on the extensive list of atrocities committed that would have been impossible without faith.

You might be interested in reading Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation.

u/MWrathDev · 1 pointr/atheism

> For the past 2-3 years, I've grown uneasy with the things I've heard and have been taught over the years.

From our perspective this is a good sign! Throw another baby on the BBQ lads, one of us, one of us /s ;)

> I'm feeling pretty lost and a little scared since pretty much all of my family is religious (they would never abandon me or disown me if they knew but the thought of disappointing them hurts...a lot).

Be careful! When it comes to religion you don't know what people are capable of and this sub is littered with tragic stories of people who thought they knew their families, but didn't expect what happened when they let on they were doubting, came out, or were outed.

To sum up if you don't have some kind of independence (namely financial) be discreet in your movements to keep the peace. That doesn't necessarily mean lie (though you can if you want), it means don't reveal all at the drop of a hat, gotta look out for #1.

> Which leads me here. Both sides of this religious debate hold biases

Unfortunately that's not really true, we don't hold bias when attempting to ascertain the truth regarding gods existentialism.

In fact most atheists (being skeptics) hold religion to the same standards of evidence as everything else, and try to remove as much bias as possible i.e. you'll hear the scientific method (methodological naturalism) bandied about a fair bit in atheism, because that's the best method we have for reliably producing results.

Oh yeah that's one other thing you gotta reconcile. Absolute truth (or falsity), doesn't exist. You can only say what is true with X amount of certainty based on how good the evidence is (i.e. how much there is, quality/standards, etc).

> So I'm looking into maybe some books, documentaries, research papers...anything really addressing the validity of the bible, the historical evidence, the contradictions, etc.

Be my guest : http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

That's notes regarding what's contradictory in the bible when read literally, can't remember if they included the "poetic" bits in it. The thing is though most of the bible is supposed to be read literally, there are a few poetic bits yes, but just like any book the author sets the context for reading.

So whenever you hear a Christian saying : no it's supposed to be "interpreted" like this... that's generally code for

"oh shit bible says something wrong, better try and make excuses by putting it in a different context (than the author intended) that makes sense for the modern day".

Which is completely wrong, you don't get to read Harry Potter and put him in the star wars universe (although that would be kinda fun), nope JK determines the context.

Sorry got a bit ranty there, but it's one of my pet peeves.

> I'm trying to find sources that are mostly impartial, so nothing that goes into the subject that actively tries to prove or disprove.

Self-contradictory? You just said you're looking for resources addressing the validity of the bible... that's literally asking to prove / disprove things in it.

No one's forcing you, and it can be scary / frustrating. But you should know that even if you don't accept the bible as true anymore it doesn't make you an immoral monster i.e. morals are independent of religion...

But you gotta make up your mind, you either care about "the truth" or not, you're either going down the rabbit hole or not. Pandora's box once opened is not so easily closed and once you see, it's difficult to unsee.

If you want some "softer" titles, i'd recommend:

https://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307278778/

Or any of Bart Ehrmans books:

https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/wiki/recommended/reading#wiki_bart_ehrman

To save you some time, most of the bible is either:

  • Made up e.g. story of moses/egypt, genesis, etc.

  • Stolen... "appropriated" from other religions, mainly zoroastrianism which influenced all the messianic religions of the time : judaism, islam, christianity e.g. Ahura Mazda = God, Angra Mainyu = Satan (responsible for demons), Zarathustra = Jesus.

  • The result of "chinese whispers" i.e. where there could be a story that was based on some truth (e.g. Noah's Ark / epic of gilgamesh / Atrahasis / King Ziusudra), but it was retold over and over again so many times by word of mouth before it was recorded in writing that it only faintly resembles the original story.

    All the best, feel free to ask questions here.
u/bigger_than_jesus · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

> Daniel 9 is a big one... Christianity was written about within decades of the events.

Within decades? Most studies do not show this to be true. But even if your statement were true, aren't the gospels supposed to be written by those who lived with Jesus? This is clearly wrong even when reading the first few verses of Luke.

>Joseph Smith was tried and convicted of being a con man...

No doubt he was a con. But I'd venture to guess that even if you discovered Jesus was tried and convicted of being a con, or any of his apostles, your faith would still be in tact. The fact Joseph Smith was a con does not mean that God did not talk to him, right?

Whenever I read these justifications, it screams of an inadequate attempt to confirm your beliefs, not challenge them. Who taught you about Daniel 9? I can safely guess that you either found it on the internet or were taught by some other influence. You didn't read the book of Daniel and come up with this calculation yourself. You were looking for proof and someone gave it to you.

Why do you believe Jesus resurrected in April? Because it's Easter? Do you know the history of Easter? Did you know that pagans used to celebrate Spring with a god or goddess of fertility? And how is fertility represented--a bunny. Christians adopted these customs in order to convert pagans. Just like December 25. You do know that, don't you? If you do know that, then why would you even for a second pretend to know Jesus resurrected on "Easter Sunday."

I promise to read The Case for Christ, if you read Letter to a Christian Nation. It's only about 100 pages long.

Here's the point. You say "Daniel 9 is a big one." I can guarantee, if Daniel 9 proved to be false, your faith would still be in tact. You would rationalize some way to believe the entirety of Christianity. If I believe in UFOs, and I research all of the evidence with a hidden attempt to confirm my belief, I will ignore evidence to the contrary. But if I don't believe in UFOs, and keep an open mind to all possibilities, and rationally examine all the evidence presented before me, my conclusions can be more objective.

u/xanos5 · 1 pointr/atheism

I couldn't recommend Richard Dawkins The God Delusion enough.
https://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618918248

it's a fantastic entry point for somebody that is skeptical about religion.

also Sam Harris Letter to a Christian Nation is a great short read about morality and religion in America.

https://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307278778/

u/quicksilversnail · 1 pointr/atheism

I would highly recommend Sam Harris. He can be quite verbose at times, but his logic is impeccable. You might want to try Letter to a Christian Nation to start. It's directed to a Christian audience and was a real eye opener for me. Plus, it's pretty short (144 pages).

Edit: His YouTube videos are excellent as well.

u/MarcoVincenzo · 1 pointr/atheism

Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation. It's short and can be read in a few hours, but it should open their eyes a bit.

u/ThePressman · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

I listed a few common logical flaws that are proposed by the existence of a deity in this thread that was posted right before yours. To add on to it, the existence of a God is a positive assertion, and the implications that follow from the existence of an omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient being raise a whole lot more questions than most theists want it to answer.

All in all, it's hard to present the entire case for atheism; if you have specific problems that are holding you back from leaving your faith, we might be able to provide more assistance if we knew specifically what you need addressed.

That said, you mentioned fear of hell; the existence of hell raises even more absurd questions than the existence of God:

First, it requires the existence of an eternal and immaterial soul, which doesn't bode well with our current understanding of the way the brain works. Our understanding of the human brain is still lacking, but we understand enough of it to know that pretty much every perception, personality function, thought, and impulse that we experience can be traced back to their respective parts of the brain. If our personalities and consciousness are defined by our brain, on what basis can an immaterial soul possibly function? Not to mention, we feel pain through our nervous system, so the idea of an individual's immaterial essence suffering in hell without a nervous system or brain to perceive those signals is non-sensical.

Second, the idea that many otherwise good individuals will be suffering the exact same eternal punishment as people like Hitler, Charlie Manson, and Ted Bundy simply because they chose not to believe in God, chose the wrong God, or were never even put in a position to learn about God (isolated island tribes) seems illogical and unethical. Could you really enjoy eternal paradise while completely aware of the fact that billions of souls are suffering eternal agony? The ethics of this just don't make sense.

If you want a good starting point outside this subreddit, I highly recommend Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. It's relatively short, but comprehensive.

Once again, if there's any specific issues that are preventing you from letting go of your faith, let us know.

Good luck!

u/dustershorty · 1 pointr/atheism

For an intro into the atheism, anti-religion genre, I would recommend A Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Short, to the point, and gets your hungering for more information. Have fun!

u/laserinlove · 1 pointr/worldnews

I'm sorry that I don't have it in myself at the moment to carry this conversation where it should head but if I tried the attempt would half hearted and you deserve a more rigorous explanation than I'd provide. As a consolation I'll suggest you read Letter To a Christian nation if you really want to hear an outsiders view on Christianity and some well reasoned arguments of how Christians might advocate violence. It's a cheap book ad pretty quick to read and he's got better prose than I ever would. If you're not interested that's fine too. Best of luck.

u/dunmalg · 1 pointr/atheism

I've noticed that much of the internet ascribes that quote to "unknown" or "anonymous", which is quite unfair to Mr Harris. Therefore, I would like to add a plug for his book, from which the quote originates:

http://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393035158

It's an excellent read, and practically a must-read for any atheist who engages in debate on the subject.

u/HolyRamenEmperor · 1 pointr/atheism

As others have said, reading the books themselves is the ultimate illuminator. Seeing first-hand the insanity, dissonance, and hostility evident in the original documents is invaluable.

I recently finished Sam Harris's The End of Faith, and while somewhat meandering at times (and confusing in his usage of the word "spirituality" to mean "sense of wonder" or "self-consciousness" or even a sort of "high"), he focuses on rationality vs religiosity, often going very in-depth into those holy books of the Abrahamic religions (remember that Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, and even Islam claim to rever the same character, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

Another book that I just added to my wishlist is Asimov's Guide to the Bible... apparently it's pretty "understanding" of religion, but he's a brilliant author and a staunch atheist, so I'm very interested in what he had to say about the historicity of the Bible.

u/DidntClickGuy · 1 pointr/pics

Ah, so the real problem here is that you don't know anything about Buddhism and its function as a religion. Here is a good introductory book about it written by one of its best-educated scholars. And while we're at it, you may be interested in this well-known atheist's views about the difference between faith and meditation.

u/LordUa · 1 pointr/Christianity

I would suggest reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris. This may be helpful to you, or it may not. I had lost my faith by the time I read this one, but I think it would be a good read for some one in your situation.

u/ohisuppose · 1 pointr/worldnews

Everyone commenting here should read this book: https://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655

u/Dem0s · 1 pointr/atheism

I like them both and have strong points that compliment each other. I would suggest reading both and then moving on to The Greatest Show on Earth, The End Of Faith and Unweaving the Rainbow in no particular order, but all great books in their own right.

u/Shizuma_Hanazono · 1 pointr/Destiny

It's a direct quote from The End of Faith on page 41.

>There may even be some credible evidence for reincarnation.

He cites as a reference for this "evidence": Stevenson, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, Unlearned Language New Studies in Xenoglossy, and Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.

u/super__mario · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

If you will read only one book read The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

This is the best critique of faith that really explains why believing on bad evidence is itself a problem, but also why omnipotent, intelligent being would not demand it from other sentient, intelligent beings.

u/jonbristow · 1 pointr/albania

Censuset nuk jane te sakta, por mendimi yt qenka i sakte? Mire hajt po e pranojme.

Po Kosova? SIpas definicionit tend eshte shtet mysliman.Atehere pse votojne femrat? Pse marrin patenta? Pse nuk veshin ferxhe me detyrim nga shteti? Pse dalin te pashoqeruara? Pse zgjodhen femer presidente? Pse nuk vrasin me gur ateistet?

> Ku i gjen këto shifra e fesë njëherë? Se po më çudit.

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Fundamentalism-Confronting-Religious-Globalization/dp/0812978307

> Që të krishterët praktikojnë FGM nuk do të thotë që s'ka lidhje me fenë myslimane.

Pike e zeze. Edhe kur te krishteret e praktikojne e kane fajin myslimanet.

Si mendon pra? A eshte FGM problem katolik? A eshte persekutimi i homoseksualeve problem katolik? Apo problem afrikan? A eshte perdhunimi i femrave ne grup problem hindu?

> Indonezia është afrikane?

?

jo

u/RojeNeThekerishte · 1 pointr/albania

> Censuset nuk jane te sakta, por mendimi yt qenka i sakte? Mire hajt po e pranojme.
>

Këshilli i Evropës jam unë? Se këtë po thua.

> Po Kosova? SIpas definicionit tend eshte shtet mysliman.Atehere pse votojne femrat? Pse marrin patenta? Pse nuk veshin ferxhe me detyrim nga shteti? Pse dalin te pashoqeruara? Pse zgjodhen femer presidente? Pse nuk vrasin me gur ateistet?


Ta thashë shpjegimin më sipër. Kosova është shtet laik dhe feja ka pak ndikim falë komunizmit dhe nacionalizmit laik shqiptar.

> https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Fundamentalism-Confronting-Religious-Globalization/dp/0812978307

Në qoftë Reza thotë se Eritrea është katolike atëhere ia fut kot. Unë shoh shifrat e WHO-së.

> Pike e zeze. Edhe kur te krishteret e praktikojne e kane fajin myslimanet.

>Si mendon pra? A eshte FGM problem katolik? A eshte persekutimi i homoseksualeve problem katolik? Apo problem afrikan? A eshte perdhunimi i femrave ne grup problem hindu?

Në radhë të parë, mos e përdor "katolik" në vend të "krishterë" se është e gabuar në çdo mënyrë.

FGM është problem afrikan dhe mysliman. Pra zbatohet në kultura afrikane dhe është pranuar në fenë myslimane. Ka mjaft burime që e vërtetojnë këtë gjë.

Diskriminimi ndaj LGBT është problem i krishter dhe mysliman, vetëm se bota historikisht e krishterë sot po bëhet gjithnjë e më laike.

Ky është një rezolucion për LGBT në OKB. Shikoi mirë vendet.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/LGBT_rights_at_the_UN.svg/530px-LGBT_rights_at_the_UN.svg.png

Ti s'ke lexuar as Kuran as hadithe, si të flasësh për diçka që nuk e njeh? Sipas shkollarëve myslimanë Muhameti ka thënë se pranohet FGM dhe ai e përmend specifikisht. Tani sipas teje kjo s'paska vlerë fare?

> ? jo

Në Indonezi deri në 97% e grave kanë pësuar FGM. Në Malajzi deri në 93% e grave myslimane e kanë pësuar.

Te vendasit jo-myslimanë në këto vende është e padëgjuar kjo praktikë, ndërkohë myslimanët vendas e justifikojnë pikërisht me fenë. Para se këto vende të bëheshin myslimane prapë ishte e padëgjuar kjo praktikë.

Tani ma thuaj pak si nuk qenka problem i fesë ky.


u/HolyScheisse · 1 pointr/progressive_islam

An interesting book by Reza Aslan. Basically its what you said. Their only goal is to fight in the name of Allah. That's the goal. Not about great society, not about prosperity, not about "true Islam". Its what fringe lunatics of religious people do, and it has been existed in every other religions.

u/swordmaster006 · 1 pointr/atheism
u/ShakaUVM · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

> I've seen this before about religious people being more charitable. It is entirely possible it is true, but what are the studies counting and are they based on self-reporting or other forms of data?

" In our book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, Robert Putnam and I show that there is a strong connection between being religious and being charitable. Not surprisingly, the most highly religious Americans contribute their time and treasure to religious causes. But they also give to secular causes—at a higher rate than do the most secular Americans."

u/Bacon-covered-babies · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Atheism is most common among the following populations: white, college-educated, non-southern, younger (Generation Y/Millennials).
The best source of this data is here:
http://amzn.com/1416566732
You should be able to google to find articles about the absence of women and minorities in the atheist movement, at least in the US.

u/domhel · 1 pointr/HistoryofIdeas

(interesting overview of the book from amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1590179021/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_e.cNyb8A290F8)

We don’t understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today’s political dramas are unintelligible to us.

The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked in the rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motivated by highly developed ideas.

Lilla begins with three twentieth-century philosophers—Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss—who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks since the French Revolution, and shows how these narratives are employed in the writings of Europe’s right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate.

The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when the tragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why.

u/fadan · 1 pointr/AskReddit

It is indeed so. I think that atheism today is doomed, because atheists have too few children, which gives them strong evolutionary disadvantage. There's a good book about it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shall-Religious-Inherit-Earth-Twenty-First/dp/1846681448

u/Katholikos · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

No problem, friend.

For an argument against religion, I'd highly recommend the famous The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It's very well-received and typically considered one of the best arguments against.

For an argument in favor of religion, I haven't read it yet, but I've heard very good things about Five Proofs of the Existence of God by Edward Feser.

They go well together, because the Five Proofs book tries to make arguments with specific reference to The God Delusion, but of course there are tons of other resources you could use instead. Either way, if you do decide to read through them, hopefully it at least gets you thinking a bit, even if it doesn't sway your opinion at all! :)

u/iamtimeless · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Children do not have the mental capacity to detect bullshit, hence the need to proactively inoculate them against religious beliefs. Evolution has bestowed an innate belief in God and a sense of an afterlife because of the way our social structures evolved. There are two separate parts in the brain that deal with others.

  • The Lateral cortex deals with perception of self and others bodies and physical attributes

  • The medial frontal cortex deals with perception of self and others emotions, beliefs, desires and intentions

    If you attack me and I hit you with a rock and kill you, my lateral cortex knows that you are dead. However, there was no need for my medial frontal cortex to have the same notion. In fact, believing you are still alive, though not physically, allows my brain to think about why you tried to attack me so I can take further action. It wouldn't be very advantageous to cease to be able to think about why you attacked me the split second you died. These parts of the brain, seemly providing incongruent information, are the basis for why people believe in "souls." The person you are thinking about is both dead and not dead to you, at the same time.

    I won't debate religion with you because it will be a waste of my time. However, I encourage you to read the following books:

    Why We Believe In Gods

    The God Delusion
u/sektober · 1 pointr/atheism

Try this link instead.

u/ethicsengine · 1 pointr/atheism

Oh man, you've hit on a really hard topic.

First off, before I get into any of the juicy topics, let me say this: Consider where your parents are coming from based on their views. An analogy: If you were evacuating a building on fire and saw someone who didn't know they are in danger, would you try to notify them? For the sake of argument, let's say yes (I expect so). They see this world as a building burning down and they view themselves as trying to warn us of the danger we are supposedly in. Expand this to the fact that they are your parents and as their kid, you told them you are walking back into a burning building. They are literally scared for you. Irrationally scared, but still scared non the less. I am not sure if your short term situation or plans, but in the long term you need to accept that they are not going to share your views and may not accept you. Don't let them abuse you! They have to independently accept you for who you are or you need to distance yourself if they don't. Take care of yourself, maintain your dignity and self respect, and make decisions that make you happy and lead you towards living a happy and fulfilled life.

Some information on their reaction:

> I tried to be gentle about it and not criticize her but she kept telling me to defend why I didn't believe in God, and then when I answered she was like "you're trying to disprove God and attack my beliefs" . she later said I was being rude, (I was being as respectful as possible) when I explained that she said I was being "politely rude"???? But because of my beliefs I obviously thought she was a moron and I reject her values. (I never called her a moron and I said that I respected her faith and I didn't want this to be a source of contention for us)

Let's step back and parse this. Typically, strongly religious people follow a form of ethics called "Theological Ethics." The theological ethics system may incorporate other forms of ethics such as utilitarian, kant or phenomenological, but it is ultimately rooted in theology. Do [Action] because god demands it in or through [insert religious book, prophet, etc...]. In their view, all ethics and morality flow only from god. If god says give to the poor, you give to the poor. If god says kill that tribe, you kill that tribe. All ethics and morals are literally rooted in their version of god.

So, when you say "I don't believe in god," many people will imply "therefore I am not a moral person" OR "you think I am an idiot because I need god to work out what is right or wrong." In some cases, a person "without god" is seen as downright evil. However, we know that people can be moral and develop an ethics system without attributing it to or believing in god. We often follow heuristics such as the golden rule, informed consent or "no person is a means to an end."

Some theologians argue that this is only by the grace of god that he has allowed us to be a tool for good despite disbelieving, never mind that in many religions we are still considered doomed to eternal torment no matter how much good we do in the world and that an immoral or amoral person who believes in god has a higher chance into being accepted into paradise over an atheist who genuinely wanted to help others.

A few things you can do is work out why you can continue being a good person without needing to believe in a god. I personally see value in both society and individuals. I want the world to be a better place so that I can enjoy less violence, longer healthier lives. I want to see people individually succeed because it betters our society. Society is made up of individuals. Because life is precious, and this is our one life, we must make the most of it but not at the expense of others because their life is precious too. Informed consent is incredibly important. A society following informed consent reduces or prevents rape, murder, irresponsible or malicious human testing, robberies, etc...

Anyways, if you are interested in ethics and morality in the context of atheism and why reason will likely lead to a more just society, you should pick up a copy of The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer. http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Arc-Science-Better-People/dp/0805096914

If you're interested in why atheism and why you don't need religion to be moral, you should pick up a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (who is giving an AMA this may 27). https://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins-ebook/dp/B003JTHWJQ

I personally think you will have a hard time converting your family to atheism, but if you want to shore up some of your arguments about why atheism, you should pick up a copy of A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghassian. I don't recommend you actively seek out these conversations with your family at this point, but they can help give you a better grounding about your belief system (yes, atheism is a belief system). http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Creating-Atheists-Peter-Boghossian/dp/1939578094

To conclude, don't stop loving your parents but don't let them abuse you either.

[edits for minor typos and formatting]

u/Ohthere530 · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Atheism is spreading and seems to be getting more socially acceptable in many parts of the US. That is a social phenomenon worth studying.

Atheism itself (non-belief in any gods) isn't much of a belief system, but it is often associated with other beliefs. In that sense, there are "atheistic mindsets" worthy of study. Some atheists focus on the reliability of the scientific method and skeptical thinking more generally. Others focus more on the discovery that their childhood religion seems not to make sense. There are probably other clusters of "atheistic thought".

I don't agree with everything they say, but "prominent atheists" like Dennett (link and link) and Dawkins (link) have certainly influenced my thinking.

There are interesting polls (link and link) that give a broad-based sense of what people think about religion and atheism.

How to keep up with atheism? My three main sources are amazon, google, and reddit.

u/theclapp · 1 pointr/atheism

The God Delusion for Kindle for $6.29.

There are Kindle clients for Windows, Mac, iPhones, and several other platforms.

u/ftctkugffquoctngxxh · 1 pointr/clevercomebacks

Most atheists don't actively work on "intensifying" their belief like some religious people do. But if anyone wants a serious suggestion check out The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

u/NeverForgetTheFuture · 1 pointr/atheism

Utter bullshit. The Kindle version of God Delusion is right here. It's the very first result when you search through the Kindle App on the iPhone/iPad. God Delusion is very much available to US readers through both the Apple and Amazon distribution channels. To the extent that people outside the US do not have it available, well, that's on the publisher(s), not Apple/Amazon.

u/xlava · 1 pointr/atheism

No problem. Yeah I feel like thats a question people harp on. If god does exist and he seriously is so close minded that he'll send me to hell for not believing in him, but he'll send a mass murderer (who went to confession right before he died) to heaven.... lol fuck that, I don't even know what to say to such a distorted system of justice.

Anyway...

http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Delusion-ebook/dp/B003JTHWJQ/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333947248&sr=1-1

Buy the ebook/kindle book. You can access it via kindle app for your iPhone, and on amazon.com on your PC. Simply create an account through paypal to pay for it, or buy a visa gift card from a store so you don't have to use parents credit card.

Then log off amazon, clear your history, and nobody will be the wiser.

u/Craiggles · 1 pointr/reddit.com

This is a much better explanation of what the whole "invention" of Al Qaeda was. Anyone interested should read "How to Win a Cosmic War" for an interesting background on the whole idea.

u/rasilvas · 1 pointr/pics

Actually there is some debate over the translation of the piece of text. If I remember correctly (sorry, I don't have a citation), I read somewhere that it specifically says, in one translation at least, that it's only applicable if you defend your faith, i.e. if you are attacked first.

Also, the Qu'ran is pretty explicit about not killing or harming other people in plenty of other passages. But this doesn't matter to those who want young men to do their dirty work for them. You don't tend to see the masterminds behind this blowing themselves up, those who do so are just pawns.

If this is a topic that interests you, I can't recommend How to Win A Cosmic War highly enough for a really interesting perspective on the topic. It is certainly explained/debated better than I can

u/Dalhaus · 1 pointr/The_Donald

I cannot confirm the subtitles. The comments in the original are 50/50 half saying fake the other half saying true. Both sides claiming to speak the language. All I can say is the reviews on Amazon for the book completely agree with what this guy is saying.

Edit: The Quran is not a peaceful book!

u/Lvl3CritStrike · 1 pointr/politics

Your laziness is not my problem. But since you're such an ignorant fuck like the majority of reddit I'll link sources and get downvoted

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests_in_the_Indian_subcontinent

Conservative estimation is 80 million here

a minumum of 28 Million African were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Millions. When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 Million people. -- John Allembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legacy-of-arab-islam-in-africa-john-azumah/1113871213?type=eBook

So 140 + 80 = 220

Lets go further!

http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/crusades_timeline.htm

Here, some of the information about Africa is taken into account! Bu we haven't even begun to talk about other areas of Islamic conquest!

My 270 came form this

https://www.amazon.com/People-Muhammad-Psychological-Analysis-ebook/dp/B00ZE45LUG

u/folderol · 0 pointsr/reddit.com

>there are no legitimate religious terrorists, only terrorists, who fail to follow the teachings of their religion, or else misinterpret it.


Where are you coming up with this? Where does anybody come up with this. Have you read the Bible? How about the Koran or the hadiths? Religious people who show restraint and tolerance are the ones not following the teachings of their religion. Islam and Christianity both perpetrate and tolerate absolute bullshit including violence toward innocents. We need to all stop believing the TV when it tells us that Islam is a religion of peace. It's absolutely not. I recommend that you and madcaesar read some of Sam Harris' books.. Google him and listen to what he has to say.

Edit: quoting

u/OB1-knob · 0 pointsr/politics

I appreciate that you're coming at this with an open mind and asking reasonable questions. That's a great start.

The problem is that you've "listening" to the people on the right instead of reading a variety of material. There's way too much background manipulation going on in right-wing media, and what it does is create urgency and rage to open up your limbic brain (the part that controls feelings) to attach emotion to what the speakers are saying to your neocortex (the part that processes reason and language).

This is how marketing works. It's how branding messages bypass our rational thought and make us identify with the brand. It becomes a part of us. It's how commercials are designed to make you want that brand of fast food right now.

By reading, you use your rational brain to decide what you agree or disagree with. I personally feel that if the right had any actual good ideas they wouldn't have to resort to this kind of propaganda technique (Rush Limbaugh's drive-time-rage-show), gerrymandering, vote suppression and election voodoo, and other kinds of dirty tricks.

If they can't compete on a level playing field in the battle of ideas, then their ideas are simply too weak. They had 9 years to replace ObamaCare, so where is it? It doesn't exist because they lied to you. They never wanted a better plan at all.

If you want to understand the reality of what's going on today, stop listening to these talking heads and read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine, Al Gore's The Assault On Reason and Sam Harris's The End Of Faith.

These three books are excellent primers to understand the issues facing us today, how we got here and where we need to go.

u/HeavyMetalStallion · 0 pointsr/skeptic

Ah, that is difficult. Middle Eastern conservative conspiracy theorist parents are the most convinced that everyone outside the Middle East is the "enemy". It becomes very hard. They sometimes even believe in many Jewish conspiracies, and may even pretend it has nothing to do with their religious beliefs but it does.

He believes this because he thinks Muslims are incapable of committing evils if they "truly believe in his Islam" (his being his own beliefs). This is very common, even among secular Muslims.

The only way to combat this thoroughly, is if they can read in English, buy them books by Sam Harris (to undo his religious indoctrination from childhood upbringing; and he specializes in understanding Islam better than most), Bernard Lewis (to undo his historical indoctrination, as Arabs are very historically-aware people and they love to cite history. Bernard Lewis can also explain the positive sides of Westernization and how due to religion, Muslims try to explain every fault in the Muslim world, by blaming external enemies).

These guys know the Middle East and Islam better than any westerner. I tell you this as an ex-Muslim. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise as there are people who think that criticizing Islam is wrong but criticizing an idea is NEVER wrong. Criticizing people who believe strongly in an idea stubbornly, is also never wrong.

As a side note, I believe your father can indeed be convinced. However, it will take a monumental effort on your part to flood him with information to undo his Islamic-Arab indoctrination. He could even be an atheist Arab currently, but that Islamic indoctrination is hard to undo. It makes them biased to be sympathetic to Middle Eastern governments/peoples.

Because books are difficult for someone to read and finish...

I might suggest some other options:

u/justinmchase · 0 pointsr/atheism

You should try reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris. He makes some pretty compelling arguments about the assumption that religiously motivated killers are especially mentally ill. He argues that many of them seem to be as rational as anyone else absorbed in faith, they simply believe what their holy book is actually saying.

u/warmrootbeer · 0 pointsr/atheism

counter-counter clockwise... and yeah. I live in the south, and it seriously isn't a stereotype. It really is about 90% Bible thumpers. There's a special place in my heart for any post related to Christians whining about being oppressed, when every few months I'm made to feel extremely uncomfortable about my lack of faith. And I'm not a preaching atheist, I grew out of that after a couple years of falling on purposefully deaf ears.

(I mean like, I'll comment on my Facebook something funny and atheist in response to someone on my page, always, and rarely, if ever an OP from me re: atheism. And every once in so often I'll get a roommate pissed at me cause her grandma read it and was offended... no joke, or one of my 'bros' will randomly decide to pseudo-debate (read: trash talk) me because he knows no one else is atheist, or would admit to it publicly. High school shit.)

Sam Harris' book The End of Faith kind of re-kindled my openness to... well being open about it, but it was much worse. Once I hit my 20s and it really just settled in to my mindset and my regular day-to-day thoughts were no longer bogged down by faith and whether I had it, whether I really believed in all of it and then apologizing to Jesus for driving a fresh nail into his skin for having sinful thoughts...

I don't know. Once you hit that stride it becomes really, really difficult to have any patience for perfectly intelligent people who are also... fundies. Of course there are the samaritans and the non-denominationals and the small churches where the Real gospel is preached and those people tend to be awesome people. People I love dearly. But their small percentage of good deeds in the name of a false god legitimizes extremist sects of the same faith, whether they denounce extremism or not. Which means the blood shed by extremists is ultimately on the hands of us all: the extremists for the sword, the moderates for defending the faith, and the non-believers for demanding a stance of non-involvement.

It's a simple fact that by globally refusing to reject the teachings of moderate religous sects, we grant that same acceptance to extremist sects of the same religous affiliation. They will always continue to co-exist, because the teachings of Islam and Christianity, for example, literally demand the conversion at the cost of death of every other sect on Earth. As long as moderate faith persists, there will be extreme faith. As long as there is extreme faith, there will be war.

That's fine and fucking dandy when we're all scimitars and swords. But we live in a global world now. I don't need to spell it out in put-you-on-a-list keywords, but holy shit man. What else do we drop the big bombs for? We're pretty well settled up on land- the only people callin' nukes these days are Ahmadinejad (yes I know he has no real power) and wild card-ass North Korea. Israel doesn't even have to call em, everyone knows they got em and Big Daddy 'Murica got em all day, come GIT SOME!! GIT SOME! 'MURICA!

TL;DR The world needs atheism, but isn't ready for it, and will probably end in nuclear fire while we all pretend it's not over fucking fairy tales so as not to offend. Oh and also, I should really go to sleep because the sun's coming up.

u/DumbassBlonde · 0 pointsr/teenagers

Meant "him"? Al'Qaeda wasn't just one man, it had several heads but people only seem to focus on one.

I'm unable to explain it correctly, but "Beyond Fundamentalism" (book), explains the whole meaning of a cosmic war (on another plane).

As part of an extreme Jihadist movement (or something of the sort), their base still lies in line with Muslim beliefs, though yes, political opinions were the head of their actions, their "cause", but their follow-through was very much based in religion.

u/Traveling_wonder · 0 pointsr/worldnews

Obama was a highly dignified man, there is no doubt about that. He had many social graces which created a standard in your mind. Lets revisit some previous presidents.

President Jefferson described President Adams as a
> "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Very presidential eh?

Presidential George W. Bush wore cowboy boots with the Royal seal of the House of Windsor on the sole when he met the Queen of England. He constantly embarrassed the United States with his harebrained verbal oopsies.

President Clinton received and gave oral sex to an intern while in office.




Trump is intentionally baiting you, and baiting everyone else. He is intentionally saying things that will offend sensitive individuals, it has purpose and intention. That purpose and intention is to reverse the course we are on towards political correctness. If you have an interest, you should read The Shipwrecked Mind, it really lays out the idealism of both the liberal and conservative crowds.

This intentional baiting, or trolling is a whole movement in the media/politics/social issues.

Edit: I wanted to add this tidbit because it means a lot to me. We have a lot of very graceful, dignified people in our country who are well educated and well spoken. We often forget the roots we came from though, we are the fruit of the lower classes from all over the world. Robert Downy Jr. hit this right on the nose during an interview in France.

u/Rathadin · 0 pointsr/atheism

> If a woman doesn't want to gestate a fetus, that's her business and her business, period...

Depends on how far along the child is. At some point, its no longer simply a zygote. At some point, the brain has formed, and its now a human being. At that point, I don't agree with abortion.

> This shouldn't even be a discussion. It's a woman's personal medical decision, and no one else's.

Yes, it should, for yet another reason that I didn't get into, and that's the fact that the religious people are "winning". What I mean by that, is that they're having more babies than us. And not by any small amount either. Too many western civilizations are below replacement birth rate, while Muslim and Christian communities are having babies left and right.

The problem with that, is that it won't take too many generations before us secularists are outnumbered. Significantly. And then its just a matter of time until we go away... either bred out completely, or we're persecuted so severely that we just "give in". Don't believe that? Read this - https://www.amazon.com/Shall-Religious-Inherit-Earth-Twenty-First/dp/1846681448

So whether secular women (and men for that matter) like it or not, we need to be having babies, at at least the same rate as the religious.

A big problem I see with a lot of atheists is they believe they're not at war with religious extremism. Well you are, because they're at war with you, whether you like it or not.

It would be a hell of a thing to see 5000 years of Western civilization turn to shit because women got "liberated" and then sat around with a "Now what?" attitude. Like it or not, women exist to create new humans. Men exist to help create new humans. That's just the way it is. It might be unfair, it might not be politically correct, but that's the reality of our situation.

u/andreasmiles23 · -6 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

The real problem is that a lot of the people who deserve criticism and backlash use rhetoric that starts to tread into the Nazi camp.

You use Shapiro as your example so let's take one of his main talking points: "The West is great." Well what do Nazis have to say about the matter? "The Nazis said that since Western civilization, created and maintained they asserted mostly by Nordics, was obviously superior to other civilizations, then the "Nordic" peoples were superior to all other races..."

So yeah. The rhetoric isn't that much different. So why are we so concerned with splitting hairs over what we label these clearly terrible people who are basically saying the same thing that Nazis did?