ere, in no particular order, is a list of books on religion, skepticism, and freethought that I have found to be enlightening. Check out http://www.amazon.com if you want to purchase any of these. No I don't work for amazon.com, I've just purchased many books from them and am very happy with their service and price.
Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition by Stuart A. Vyse. Publised 1997 by Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507882-9 (hardback 257 pages). Stuart A. Vyse deals with many of the psychological reasons that people turn to fantasy.
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens. Published 1995 by Verso. ISBN 1-85984-929-6 (Paperback 98 pages) – Hitchens exposes the operations run by Mother Teresa to be little more that a money making scam intended to propel the nun to sainthood, and do almost nothing to help the poor that so claimed to benefit.
The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe. Published 1995 by Morningstar Books. ISBN 0-9644873-4-9 (Paperback, 221 pages) – Ellerbe shows what “Christian values” will do to a society if left to their own devices. A brief history of some of Organized Christianity’s darker and more bloody times.
The Big Domino in the Sky and Other Atheistic Tales by Michael Martin. Published 1996 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-11-4 (Paperback, 244) – A collection of fictional stories intended to explain atheism in a casual, non-technical manner.
Flim Flam by James (“The Amazing”) Randi. Published 1982 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-198-3 (Paperback, 342 pages) – Randi explores and exposeds outrageous deceptions that are now promoted so wildly in the media.
Scams from the Great Beyond by Peter Huston. Published 1997 by Paladin Press. ISBN 0-87364-912-5 (Paperback, 201 pages) – This book exposes common paranormal scams from the position of pretending to teaching the reader to take advantage of fools who are all to eager to part with their money.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (Illustrated Edition). Published 1996 by Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-93771-5 (Hardback, 248 pages) – A wonderful book of cosmology for non-scientists. Hawking explains science and the origins of the universe in a simple and easy to follow way suitable for casual readers.
Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan. Published 1997 by Random House. ISBN 0-679-41160-7 (Hardback, 241 pages) – Sagan writes about life, the environment, his own illness, politics and many other topics. A great read.
The Faith Healers by James (“The Amazing”) Randi. Published 1989 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-369-2 (Paperback, 318 pages) – Randi describes his experiences testing and exposing various faith healers for the liars that they are. A great book if you’ve ever wondered why people still keep following such obvious scams.
Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Skipp Porteous. Published 1991 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-689-6 (Hardback, 313 pages) – Porteous describes his journey from Fundamentalist to Freethinker.
Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking. Published 1994 by Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-37411-7 (Paperback, 182 pages) – a collection of essays about the universe and many other topics.
Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer. Published 1997 by W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-3090-1 (Hardback, 306 pages) – Shermer, the editor of “Skeptic” Magazine, explains why so many people still believe in pseudoscience and superstition.
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. Published 1996 by Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-40946-9 (Paperback, 457 Pages) - Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies as witchcraft, faith healings, demons, and UFOs. Sagan Demonstrates that the siren song of unreson is not just a cultural wrong, but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms
The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by C. Dennis McKinsey. Published 1995 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-926-7 (Hardback, 553 pages) - A huge resource of Biblical errors. McKinsey shows many of the inconsistencies, irrationalities, and contradictions that fill the Bible. This book is a great reference for debate but really needs to be read in it’s entirety in order to be fully useful.
Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists by Edward T. Babinski. Published 1995 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-907-0 (Hardback, 462 pages) - a collection of stories of former fundies who have become atheists, agnostics, or liberal Christians. Very interesting fundy horror stories.
Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment? by Tim Callahan. Published 1997 by Millennium Press. ISBN 0-9655047-0-0 (Hardback, 274 pages) - Tim Callahan investigates the claims of fundy ministers of the accuracy of Biblical prophecy. This book is incredibly well researched and gives a good historical context for all of the prophecies discussed.
Ken's Guide to the Bible by Ken Smith, B.A.. Published 1995 by Blast Books. ISBN 0-922233-17-9 (Paperback, 143 pages) - This is a great read! A straight forward look at all of the violence, hatred, sex, distortion, blood and guts, gender bashing, Christian Arrogance, and "family values" in the Bible. If you don't read any other book on this list, read this one!
Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith. Published 1989 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-124-X (Paperback, 355 pages) - George Smith sets out to destroy the most widespread and destructive myth of all the myths devised by man, the concept of a supreme being. Smith examines, dissects, and refutes the myriad "proofs" offered by theists. A very good book and a must read for anyone who wants sound logical arguments that will tear apart the best of what theology has to offer.
Why I am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell. Published 1957 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-20323-1 (Paperback, 266 pages) Anything by Russell is great, but this is a classic. Russell is one of the finest thinkers of this century and it is a joy watching his mind work.
Candide by Voltaire. Published 1947 by Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044004-6 (Paperback, 144 pages) - Another classic. A satirical book that attacks the belief that "This is the best of times, in this, the best of all possible worlds." A quick read, and tragically funny.
The Atheist Debater's Handbook by B. C. Johnson. Published 1983 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-210-6 (Paperback, 134 pages) - Just as the name says, this book is full of useful arguments that quickly and easily tear through most theist arguments. Not nearly as thorough as Atheism: The Case Against God, but easier to swallow and use.
Losing Faith In Faith: From Preacher to Atheist by Dan Barker. Published 1992 by Freedom From Religion Foundation. ISBN 1-877733-07-5 (Paperback, 392 pages) - a collection of writing describing Dan Barkers difficult journey from fundy preacher to outspoken atheist. This is a great primer to beginning freethinkers filled with real and personal reasons to leave Christianity. A great book!
The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. Published 1992 by Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93496-0 (Hardback, 257 pages) - a sequel to The Tao of Pooh (which I haven't read yet). Just a cute little book on Taoism.
2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt by James A. Haught. Published 1996 by Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-067-3 (Hardback, 334 pages) - a collection of short biographies and many quotes from famous skeptics.
Skeptical Essays by Bertrand Russell. Published by Routhledge. ISBN 0-415-07919-5 (Paperback, 189 pages) - a collection of writing essays by Bertrand Russell on many topics.
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