Books or Articles?

Torin

Member
What books or articles would you recommend on the topic of atheism? They can be for or against atheism - the topic is intentionally broad.

And welcome back!
 

Torin

Member
Just to answer my own question...

For atheism:

1. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
2. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin
3. The Miracle of Theism by J. L. Mackie
4. "Of Miracles" by Hume

Atheism-sympathetic works in other fields:

1. The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey
2. The Psychology of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
3. God vs. Nature by Frederick M. Seiler

Ayn Rand's work is also good.

Contra atheism (in the spirit of "know your enemy"):

1. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas by Brian Davies
2. WLC's article overviewing his apologetic in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism

A New History of Western Philosophy
by Anthony Kenny also does a good job overviewing the main arguments for God's existence in the history of philosophy.
 

Gus Bovona

Member
What books or articles would you recommend on the topic of atheism? They can be for or against atheism - the topic is intentionally broad.

And welcome back!
My favorite because it is so short is Richard Carrier's "Why I Am Not a Christian." It's an atheist tract in practice if not in name. Yeah, he ripped off Bertrand Russell's title.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
So... let me get this straight, you need help to not believe God?
Please explain this to me.

I thought atheism was the non-belief in the reality of YHVH.

And you actually need people to tell you what you're supposed to believe, so that you know what to not believe, and how to not believe it?
 

Nouveau

Active member
So... let me get this straight, you need help to not believe God?
Please explain this to me.

I thought atheism was the non-belief in the reality of YHVH.

And you actually need people to tell you what you're supposed to believe, so that you know what to not believe, and how to not believe it?
No, you haven't got it straight. That's not what anyone is saying.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
No, you haven't got it straight. That's not what anyone is saying.
Something has changed then.

Because the atheists in the previous forum were always saying that atheism is simply the unbelief that there is a god.

So, which is it?

And why do you need people to tell you what to think if you're simply not believing God is real?
 

Nouveau

Active member
Something has changed then.

Because the atheists in the previous forum were always saying that atheism is simply the unbelief that there is a god.

So, which is it?

And why do you need people to tell you what to think if you're simply not believing God is real?
Yes, atheism is just unbelief in any god.

No, nothing has changed - including your propensity for strawmanning.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Yes, atheism is just unbelief in any god.

No, nothing has changed - including your propensity for strawmanning.
Instead of trying to justify yourself, how about answering my question.

Why do you need others to tell you that you shouldn't believe in God?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
We don't. Hence my point that you are strawmanning.
And yet you are.
If you can accuse others of straw manning, then why should we believe that you are not strawmanning.

It is after all written

Rom 2:1 WEB Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.

So....

You're going to have to give us some really good reasons why you should be believed.


So, don't accuse me of strawmanning and expect to be believed.
 

Nouveau

Active member
And yet you are.
If you can accuse others of straw manning, then why should we believe that you are not strawmanning.

It is after all written

Rom 2:1 WEB Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.

So....

You're going to have to give us some really good reasons why you should be believed.


So, don't accuse me of strawmanning and expect to be believed.
Where do you think I'm strawmanning?

Your strawman was implying that recommending books by atheists or about atheism means we need people to tell us what we are supposed to believe.

That may be how religious books work, but it is not the point of atheist book recommendations.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Where do you think I'm strawmanning?

Your strawman was implying that recommending books by atheists or about atheism means we need people to tell us what we are supposed to believe.

That may be how religious books work, but it is not the point of atheist book recommendations.
I was implying no such thing.
I was explicitly asking, because that what it explicitly looks like.

So..... if atheism is nothing but the unbelief in the existence of "one less God than we christians believe in", then why do you need more books to tell you what to not believe?

No inferring, no implying, just explicitly asking.

And asking questions is not strawmanning.
It's asking questions.

Failure to answer questions leads me to believe that it's you who needs it to be a strawman, which makes you strawmanning.
 

Nouveau

Active member
I was implying no such thing.
I was explicitly asking, because that what it explicitly looks like.

So..... if atheism is nothing but the unbelief in the existence of "one less God than we christians believe in", then why do you need more books to tell you what to not believe?

No inferring, no implying, just explicitly asking.

And asking questions is not strawmanning.
It's asking questions.

Failure to answer questions leads me to believe that it's you who needs it to be a strawman, which makes you strawmanning.
Your question was answered. And you were not asking whether we need books telling us what to believe. We don't. You were wrongly assuming this to be so, and then asking why that is the case. That was the strawman implication.

Why do you persist in beating your wife, Steve? I'm not implying anything! Just asking!
 

Whatsisface

Active member
So... let me get this straight, you need help to not believe God?
Please explain this to me.

I thought atheism was the non-belief in the reality of YHVH.

And you actually need people to tell you what you're supposed to believe, so that you know what to not believe, and how to no
You seem very keen to tell people what they're supposed to believe. It looks like you think we'd be better off not paying attention to such people.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Your question was answered. And you were not asking whether we need books telling us what to believe. We don't. You were wrongly assuming this to be so, and then asking why that is the case. That was the strawman implication.

Why do you persist in beating your wife, Steve? I'm not implying anything! Just asking!
I don't think that is the answer to my question.

The OP provided numerous titles by authors who promote "proper atheist mindset", so I think that it's not strawmanning at all.
As such, it's pretty obvious that atheists on this forum require lessons in proper atheist thinking, and opinions.

I.e., atheists don't know how to figure out reality without assistance from others who have no idea what reality is.
 

Nouveau

Active member
I don't think that is the answer to my question.
And yet it is.

The OP provided numerous titles by authors who promote "proper atheist mindset", so I think that it's not strawmanning at all.
Who are you quoting? No-one has said that but you.

As such, it's pretty obvious that atheists on this forum require lessons in proper atheist thinking, and opinions.
No, you're just doubling down on your strawman instead of learning from your mistake.
 

His clay

New member
I'll gladly answer that, but first have you read it? Did you not get anything out of it?
I've read half of it thus far.

I did get a quote (unyielding despair paragraph) out of it that I had read elsewhere; in a certain sense, I am happy to have found the quote complete with context.
As for the article's content, I did get the following: logical positivism, nihilism, narcissism. Without trying to evaluate Russel's work, I did find those items just mentioned to be key elements of the picture Russel was trying to paint.
I was not really surprised by anything that I read, for I've already read some of Russel's compilation of authors promoting Logical Positivism. I've also read some philosophy books that give broader overviews of his views as well. His preface to Wittgenstein's Tractatus was a bit lengthy.

While I'm intentionally avoiding substantive evaluative remarks, I don't wish to be hidden with respect to my own beliefs. I'm a Christian, and I don't find Russel's work persuasive. However, a friend of mine from college, who lost his belief in his Christian upbringing, has told me that I'm one of those very rare breed of Christian that listens and seeks to properly understand the other side of the fence.

I hope that answers your questions. I'll restate my previous question. "What exactly do you like about Russell's article?"
 
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