Top Books/Videos for SHANANNAREEFERS

(updated October 1, 2009)


Seekers Humanists Atheists Naturalists
Agnostics Nonreligionists Nontheists Antireligionists
Realists Educationalists Experimentalists Freethinkers
Enlightened Rationalists Secularists

- - - Books Added on October 1, 2009 - - -

040. The God Delusion,
by Richard Dawkins
"... In his sensational international bestseller, the pre-
eminent scientist and outspoken atheist Richard Daw-
kins delivers a hard-hitting, impassioned, but humor-
ous rebuttal of religious belief.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins eviscerates the arguments
for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability
of the existence of a supreme being. He makes a com-
pelling case that faith is not just irrational but potentially

In a preface written for the paperback edition, Daw-
kins responds to some of the controversies the book
has incited. ..."

039. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,
by Christopher Hitchens
"... Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case
against religion. With a close and erudite reading of
the major religious texts, he documents the ways in
which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dan-
gerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our
origins in the cosmos.

With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument
for a more secular life based on science and reason,
in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's
awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the
burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry
of the double helix. ..."

038. The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer,
by Christopher Hitchens
"... The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of
'God Is Not Great' selects and introduces an illumin-
ating collection of the most essential and influential
writings for the non-believer. Includes selections from
Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain,  Ber-
trand Russell, Thomas Jefferson, H.L.Mencken, Sam
Harris, and others. Unabridged. ..."

037. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason,
by Sam Harris
"... Natalie Angier wrote in The New York Times: ...
The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdi-
ties of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly
that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost per-
sonally understood.

Sam Harris presents major religious systems like
Judaism, Christianity and Islam as forms of socially
sanctioned lunacy, their fundamental tenets and rituals
irrational, archaic and, important when it comes to
matters of humanity's long-term survival, mutually
incompatible. ..."

036. Letter to a Christian Nation,
by Sam Harris
"... 'Thousands of people have written to tell me that
I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile
of these communications have come from Christians.
This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no
faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more
effectively than their own.

The truth is that many who claim to be transformed
by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intol-
erant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this
to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws
considerable support from the Bible. ..."

035. Western Atheism: A Short History
"... illustrates the leading issues separating the theist
from the atheist and agnostic, and sheds light on
world events and the inconsistencies inherent in
supernaturalism and theistic theories. Thrower dis-
cusses atheism both as a reaction to belief and as
a separate and consistent form of belief in a world
stripped of the divine, where reason, science, and
humankind's endless search for knowledge flourish. ..."

034. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer
to Christian Fundamentalism,
by David Mills, Dorion Sagan (Foreword by)
"... Atheist Universe details exactly why God is
unnecessary to explain the universe and life's diver-
sity, organization, and beauty. The author thoroughly
rebuts every argument that claims to 'prove' God's
existence — arguments based on logic, common
sense, philosophy, ethics, history and science.

Atheist Universe ... presents its scientific evidence
in simple lay terms, making it a richly entertaining
and easy-to-read introduction to atheism. A com-
prehensive primer, it addresses all the historical
and scientific questions, including: Is there proof
that God does not exist? What evidence is there
of Jesus's resurrection? Can creation science recon-
cile scripture with the latest scientific discoveries? ..."

033. Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why
the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up,
by John Allen Paulos
"... Publishers Weekly : Few of the recent books on
atheism have been worth reading just for wit and style,
but this is one of them: Paulos is truly funny. Despite
the title, the Temple University math professor doesn't
actually discuss mathematics much ...

In this short primer ('just the gist with an occasional
jest'), Paulos tackles 12 of the most common argu-
ments for God ... Along the way, he intersperses irrev-
erent and entertaining little chapterlets that contain his
musings on various subjects ... 'Why does solemnity
tend to infect almost all discussions of religion?' Paulos
asks, clearly bemoaning the dearth of humor. This little
book goes a long way toward correcting the problem ..."

032. 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists
by Russell Blackford & Udo Schuklenk
"... presents a collection of original essays drawn from
an international group of prominent voices in the fields
of academia, science, literature, media and politics who
offer carefully considered statements of why they are
atheists. ... Likely to have broad appeal given the cur-
rent public fascination with religious issues and the
reception of such books as The God Delusion and
The End of Faith ..."

031. God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science
Shows That God Does Not Exist, by Victor J. Stenger
"... 'Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in
biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit
hole of physics. The laws and constants of the uni-
verse, we were told, are too good to be true: a
set-up, carefully tuned to allow the eventual evolu-
tion of life. It needed a good physicist to show us
the fallacy, and Victor Stenger lucidly does so.

The faithful won't change their minds, of course
(that is what faith means) but Victor Stenger drives
a pack of energetic ferrets down the last major bolt
hole and God is running out of refuges in which to
hide. I learned an enormous amount from this splen-
did book.' -- Richard Dawkins ..."

030. The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason,
by Victor J. Stenger
"... 'although the persuasive arguments against reli-
gious belief have existed for millennia, they are
now strengthened and confirmed with the insights
of modern physics and philosophy to such a degree
that we are brought to a tipping point. We have
surpassed the critical mass of evidence and rea-
soning where the time has come for atheists to
step forward - and they are indeed stepping for-
ward confidently - to occupy the intellectual and
moral high ground that is their rightful place.

What is truly new about atheism is that the world,
after too many centuries of giving religion a free
rein, is now prepared to see and embrace the
positive wisdom of doubt.

... Victor Stenger, with his affirming, incisive and
illuminating observations, shows us that there is
truly grandeur in taking a stand for something
precious: science and reason.' -- Dan Barker ..."

029. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,
by Daniel C. Dennett
"... From Publishers Weekly : In his characteristically provocative fashion, Dennett, author of Darwin's
Dangerous Idea and director of the Center for Cog-
nitive Studies at Tufts University, calls for a scientific,
rational examination of religion that will lead us to
understand what purpose religion serves in our cul-
ture. ... Dennett explores religion as a cultural phen-
omenon governed by the processes of evolution and
natural selection.

Religion survives because it has some kind of bene-
ficial role in human life, yet Dennett argues that it
has also played a maleficent role. He elegantly pleads
for religions to engage in empirical self-examination
to protect future generations from the ignorance so
often fostered by religion hiding behind doctrinal
smoke screens. ...

From Scientific American : ... One of the most
powerful fixations, and one that may have Dennett
flummoxed, is that it is sacrilegious to question your
own beliefs and an insult for anyone else to try.
'What a fine protective screen this virus provides,'
he observes, 'permitting it to shed the antibodies
of skepticism effortlessly!' ..."

028. Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy,
by David Ramsay Steele
"... 'A clear, concise, complete, and convincing presen-
tation of the case for atheism. Covers essentially all the
arguments for and against God, in science, philosophy,
and theology, with sympathy for the believer's views
even as they are shown to be untenable.'  -- Victor J.
Stenger ..."

027. The Atheist Camel Chronicles: Debate Themes
& Arguments for the Non-Believer (and those who
think they might be), by Dromedary Hump
"... 'the author has produced a hilarious book of
humorous and witty descriptions taken from her/
his blog. They are absolutely delightful arguments
useful to Atheists, Agnostics ... and also for Theists
who want to be prepared for challenges from secu-
larists. A real delight!

Caution: Be careful where you read this book. You
may find yourself helplessly rolling around on the
floor in laughter. So check for sharp objects in
advance." -- ..."

026. Atheism: A Beginner's Handbook:
All you wanted to know about atheism and why,
by Philip A. Stahl
"... Recent surveys have shown atheists to be the
least trusted group in the nation, despite the fact
that atheists espouse the use of reason in deter-
mining acceptance of claims. So why is reason
so distrusted, and how did the atheist come to
be seen in a negative light?

... This book makes a major effort toward casting
much needed light on atheist thinking, and how the
position of unbelief in a God or gods is arrived at
on the basis of diligently applying scientific principles
and reason.

The book is not about 'converting' anyone toward
an atheist mindset. Instead, it is more about shining
a light onto the basis for atheist thought and logic. For
the novice, a blueprint is provided for living authentic-
ally in a religious culture.  ..."

025. Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam,
by Michael Onfray
"... This tightly argued, hugely controversial work con-
vincingly demonstrates how the world's three major
monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism, and
Islam - have attempted to suppress knowledge, sci-
ence, pleasure, and desire, often condemning non-
believers to death.

If Nietzsche proclaimed the 'Death of God,' Onfray
starts from the premise that not only is God still very
much alive, but increasingly controlled by fundamen-
talists who pose a danger to the human race.

Documenting the ravages from religious intolerance
over the centuries, the author makes a strong case
against the three religions for demanding faith, belief,
obedience and submission, and for extolling the 'next
life' at the expense of the here and now. Not since
Nietzsche has a work so groundbreaking and explo-
sive appeared to question the role of the world's
dominant religions. ..."

024. Dictionary of Atheism, Skepticism, & Humanism
by Bill Cooke
"... addresses the contemporary need for a reference
book that succinctly summarizes the key concepts,
current terminology, and major contributions of influ-
ential thinkers broadly associated with atheism, skep-
ticism, and humanism.

In the preface, author Bill Cooke notes that his work
is intended 'for freethinkers in the broadest sense of
the word: people who like to think for themselves
and not according to the preplanned routes set by

... Readers are offered a wide range of concepts,
from ancient, well-known notions such as God, free
will, and evil to new concepts such as 'Eupraxsophy.'
[a nonreligious life stance or worldview emphasizing
the importance of living an ethical and exuberant life,
and relying on rational methods such as logic, obser-
vation and science (rather than faith, mysticism or
revelation) toward that end]

... The names of many people whose lives or work
reflect freethought principles form a major portion
of the entries. ..."

023. Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)
Atheism Portal, by User Contributions
"... Atheism is the philosophical position that either
affirms the nonexistence of gods or rejects theism.
In its broadest definition, atheism is the absence of
belief in deities, sometimes called nontheism.

Although atheists are commonly assumed to be
irreligious, some religions, such as Buddhism, have
been characterized as atheistic. Many self-described
atheists share common skeptical concerns regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evi-
dence for the existence of deities.

Other arguments for atheism are philosophical, social
or historical. Although many self-described atheists
tend toward secular philosophies such as Humanism,
rationalism, and naturalism, there is no one ideology
or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.

The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet
applied to any person or belief in conflict with estab-
lished religion. With the spread of freethought, scien-
tific skepticism, and criticism of religion, the term
began to gather a more specific meaning and was
sometimes used as a self-description by atheists. ..."

- - - Videos Added on October 1, 2009 - - -

022. DVD : Discussions with Richard Dawkins,
Episode One : The Four Horsemen

021. Pro-Humanist FREELOVER Posts which
include videos pertaining to Atheism
(as of October 1, 2009)

092309 Some Atheism Videos  Video

- - - Books from the 1999 & 2000 Versions of this post - - -

020. Atheism: The Case Against God,
by George H. Smith
"... George H Smith sets out to demolish what he con-
siders the most widespread and destructive of all the
myths devised by man - the concept of a supreme
being. With painstaking scholarship and rigorous argu-
ments, Mr. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the
myriad 'proofs' offered by theists - the defenses of
sophisticated, professional theologians, as well as the
average religious layman.

He explores the historical and psychological havoc
wrought by religion in general - and concludes that
religious belief cannot have any place in the life of
modern, rational man. ..."

019. Why Atheism?
by George H. Smith
"Discusses agnosticism, skepticism, secular humanism
and the burden of proof; the nature of religious experi-
ence; problems in proofs of God's existence; the ethics
of Jesus; sex and guilt; Christian values in American
society; religion and culture; the lure of 'afterlife'; con-
cepts of heaven, hell, and original sin: fearing death;
hedonism and stoicism; sex without God; tolerance;
atheism, ethics, and the pursuit of happiness; the
sacred and the profane; the impact of Paul, Aquinas,
Luther, and Calvin and the assault on reason.

The modern revival of reason, skepticism, atheism,
and secular humanism ensures that hope remains for
a future without the constraints of dogmatic doctrine
and religious tyranny. Why Atheism? is an accessible
guide to living a positive life without a supreme being.

018. Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies
by George H. Smith
"... a full analysis of Ayn Rand's unique contribution
to atheism ... Several chapters address the evolution
of atheism; arguments in favor of religious tolera-
tion; the efforts of early Church fathers to discredit
Roman polytheism and how these arguments can
be used with equal force against later Christian des-
criptions of God; and a survey of the contributions
to freethought made by the deists of the 18th and
19th centuries.

With incisive logic and considerable wit, Smith ties
atheism to reason and argues that reason itself can
be a moral virtue. ...

... Smith examines religion and education; addresses
the 20th century fundamentalist revival; offers sug-
gestions on how to debate atheism with religious
believers; critiques 'new religions,' ... and provides
a comprehensive bibliographic essay on the litera-
ture of freethought. ..."

017. What Is Atheism? A Short Introduction,
by Douglas E. Krueger
"Many questions and concerns arise when believers
question the purpose and meaning they suspect is
lacking in the lives of nonbelievers. Douglas Krueger
contends that atheism is a powerful alternative to
religion, yet it is also one of the most misunderstood
because people harbor preconceived ideas about
atheism. This concise introduction to the subject has
been designed with the general audience in mind. ..."

016. Atheism : A Reader,
by S. T. Joshi (Editor)
"This collection of essays from various luminaries
in the freethinking fields include those by Bertrand
Russell, Robert Ingersoll, Lucretius, H.P.Lovecraft,
Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson ... These
essays are grouped into various categories like
those who believe 'God's existence is impossible,
those who disbelieve in an afterlife, and those who
criticize the deplorable ethics of religionists.' ..."

015. 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With
the Courage to Doubt, by James A. Haught
"... The advance of Western civilization has been partly
a story of the gradual victory over religious oppression
... 2,000 years of Disbelief is a book of quotes that
brings together the words of the 'greats' of both East
and West, from antiquity to the present. Included in
this stirring collection are such renowned skeptics as
Epicurus, Voltaire, Arthur Schopenhauer, Mark Twain,
and Bertrand Russell. But also represented are many
whose skepticism is not so well known, and who are
for this reason regarded by churchmen and others as
conventional believers. Notable among these are many
U.S. presidents. ...

... Arranged chronologically for ease of reference, with
each chapter devoted to a particular figure or period,
this witty, insightful collection reveals the extent to which
the most renowned people in all areas expressed, both
publicly and privately, their courage to doubt, often in
the face of great personal risk. ... provides a powerful
weapon against religious conformists, dogmatists, and
others who would roll back the clock on the teaching
of evolution and who are working to tear down the wall
of separation between church and state ..."

014. The Great Infidels, by Robert Green Ingersoll
"... the book is an eloquent summary of the lives of the
'Great Infidels' of western history. Written by the 'Great
Infidel' orator of the 19th century Robert G. Ingersoll,
the book discusses the origin of God and Heaven, the
Devil and Hell, sacred books, the 'appeal to the ceme-
tery' as an argumentational ploy, and the role of fear in
religion. It epitomizes the lives of Julian, Bruno, Voltaire,
Diderot, Hume, Spinoza, Thomas Paine, and others. ..."

013. Atheists, Agnostics, and Deists in America :
A Brief History, by Peter M. Rinaldo
"... "When did atheism first appear in America? Why
did many of the Founding Fathers become deists?
Are atheism and deism a threat to the Christian,
Jewish, and Moslem religions?

The book not only attempts to answer these questions,
but also explores the influence of such philosophers as
Epicurus, Marcus Aurelius and Voltaire on American
leaders. You will meet not only Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Ingersoll, and Clarence
Darrow, but also Fanny Wright, an atheist whom
Thomas Jefferson invited to Monticello and Andrew
Jackson invited to the Hermitage.

Finally, the book examines why atheism has never
become more than a fringe belief in this country, as
contrasted with much greater popularity in Europe,
and whether it will have more influence in future
years. ..."

012. The Big Domino in the Sky and Other Atheistic
Tales, by Michael Martin
"... Demonstrating that important, well-reasoned posi-
tions don't have to be presented in dry, philosophical
prose, this collection is the only defense of atheism
written in the form of engaging short stories that will
arouse, provoke, and inspire.

This book contains works of science fiction, historical
fiction, and fantasy. Open-minded readers will find the
tales entertaining and enlightening. Martin's unforget-
table cast of characters includes the unique: A Catholic
detective-priest, an android professor, a fideistic Har-
vard student, polytheistic aliens, and the more familiar:
con men, a sadistic Marine Corps drill instructor, and
Satan. ..."

011. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification,
by Michael Martin
"... 'Thousands of philosophers--from the ancient Greeks
to modern thinkers--have defended atheism, but none
more comprehensively than Martin. ... Atheists should
read it to bolster their creed, and theists should read it
to test their faith against the deadly force of Martin's
attack.' -- Martin Gardner, The Humanist

'A tour-de-force for the mind.... This is a book to be
read several times and savored while being slowly
digested. ... If one follows Martin's reasoning through-
out this book, one will have gone through the most
thorough and vigorous examination of the logical
arguments surrounding atheism and theism that has
ever been offered.'  -- Gordon Stein, American

'[This book] has the impact of a runaway train. It is
certainly the best philosophical justification of atheism
that I have ever read.... Even readers with little philo-
sophical background will find themselves richly repaid.'
-- Free Inquiry ..."

010. Critiques of God: Making the Case Against Belief
in God, by Peter A. Angeles (Editor)
"... Peter Angeles sets out to assemble an anthology
--'of value to undergraduate philosophy classes as
well as to the general public'-- that presents the case
against God. ..."

009. Nonbelief & Evil: Two Arguments for the
Nonexistence of God, by Theodore M. Drange
"... Drange's book, with more clarity and meticulous
attention to detail than perhaps any other on the sub-
ject, demolishes traditional beliefs with two simple
arguments. The existence of nonbelief (in God) and
evil (premature death and suffering), as Drange per-
suasively demonstrates, may very well constitute an
insurmountable challenge to theists, especially evan-
gelical Christians. ..."

008. Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason
(Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion),
by J.L. Schellenberg
"... Schellenberg addresses a fundamental yet neg-
lected religious problem. If there is a God, he asks,
why is his existence not more obvious? Traditionally,
theists have claimed that God is hidden in order to
account for the fact that the evidence of his existence
is as weak as it is. Schellenberg maintains that, given
the understanding of God's moral character to which
theists are committed, this claim runs into serious dif-
ficulty. ..."

007. Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the
Philosophy of Religion, by Robin Le Poidevin
"... The arguments are accessible to the non-philoso-
pher, all terminology is carefully explained when
introduced. This book is rewarding for the intellec-
tual exercise provided by the rigorous logic and for
the insights that deep analysis of personally signifi-
cant beliefs can reveal. You do not have to be an
Atheist to enjoy this concise and fair set of argu-
ments in defense of Atheism and of embracing reli-
gion as useful fiction. ..."

006. Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism,
by Gordon Stein (Editor)
""... This anthology fills a conspicuous gap in the
discussion of religion and theism. ... a thorough
introduction to the writings of the world's most
famous freethinkers, will lead intellectually curi-
ous and intelligent people of all religious persua-
sions to an increased appreciation of the scope
and limitations of their own opinions and attitudes
... and the real history/contribution of atheism to
intellectual thought. ..."

005. Atheist Debater's Handbook, by B. C. Johnson
"... This handbook ... offers a concise set of rejoin-
ders for use by atheists in their formal (and informal)
debates with theists. Older, more traditional, argu-
ments are included as well ..."

004. The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays,
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
"... Shelley argues that the divine attributes of God are
merely projections of human powers; life everlasting
cannot be empirically demonstrated, for it runs counter
to all the evidence for mortality given by the natural
world, which is the only world we know. ... In all,
these essays provide an important statement of the
poet and freethinker's enlightened views on skepti-
cism, faith, and the corruption of organized Christi-
anity. ..."

003. The Ways of an Atheist, by Bernard Katz
"... Bernard Katz smartly turns biblical tales and reli-
gious declarations back on themselves to expose their
mythical origins and obvious contradictions. This re-
markable and entertaining collection of essays takes
an atheistic and humorous look at the most popular
religious beliefs, including the concept of God, bibli-
cal morality, magic and miracles, the much-touted
mental health benefits of religion, and the impact of
archeology on religious beliefs.

... He clearly illustrates in these essays that morality
and goodness are of human origin, not divinely in-
spired, and that religion can in fact breed immorality.

002. A Question of Faith : An Atheist and
a Rabbi Debate the Existence of God,
by William E. Kaufman, Morton Shor
"... The book is very thought-provoking, forcing
the readers to develop more questions as they go.
In true debate fashion, there is no 'final' answer.
We are left with the question of God's existence
still unproven, but our understanding of the debate
deeper and more enlightened.

... I recommend this book whole-heartedly to any-
one who wishes to understand their own faith or
the faith of others. In the end, it provides no magic
answer, rather it forces us to think for ourselves.
I can't think of a greater literary gift. ..."

001. The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Volumes I and II,
by Gordon Stein (Editor)
"... This comprehensive work covers the philosophy,
history, and biography of the various branches of
unbelief from skepticism to atheism. ... The five
appendixes include one on 'Periodicals of Unbelief,'
which lists nearly 500 periodicals and newspapers
on the subject. ...

... This is a reference work unlike any that exists
today. It provides a complete and detailed survey
of the varieties of agnosticism, atheism, freethought, humanism, scepticism, and unbelief, as they have
appeared historically and on the contemporary
scene. Editor Gordon Stein has collected compre-
hensive biographies of the many prominent men
and women associated with freethought ...

The 'Encyclopedia' brings together 203 articles
from all the influential philosophers and psycholo-
gists whose thoughts and writings contributed to
the growth of religious scepticism and unbelief ...
Stein also contributes a history of organised free-
thought ... He has added perceptive essays on
unbelief within the world's important religions:
Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism,
and Taoism. ..."