#1
Does anyone know an academic book that effectively explains the philosophies and reasons behind atheism? On top of that, does anyone know a good book that attempts to make a case for religion itself? I'd like to get both sides of the coin, preferrably with no bias(but that's too much to ask for).

Oh, and does anyone know a good book on Taoism?

I've found a few, but there's no guarantees that they're particularly good.
#3
Richard Dawkins is atheistic (I think). I know he writes religious stuff anyway.

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#4
Quote by Guitarfreak217
The Satanic Bible?


Fixed.

LaVeyian Satanism is a form of atheism.
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#5
I don't know as many books that defend religion as a concept, but there are lots of books defending Christianity.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis is probably my favorite, though.
The medium is the message!
#6
The Tao of Pooh (shows how Whinnie the Pooh characters relate to Taoism)
Satanic Bible
Bible
Dianetics
Quaran
Something on Wicca (I dont know their "bible" equivalent)
#7
Dude, read A Spectators Guide To World Religions by John Dickson.
Gives overview and facts/lack of facts for Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddism.
Most Atheist books won't defend Atheism if thats what you're looking for, they just slander Christianity.
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#8
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is one of the biggest ones advocating atheism. Haven't read it myself.

The other side of the coin is a guy who was once atheist but changed his mind and became a deist, his name is Antony Flew. I can't remember the name of his book, and I don't personally like him but lots of people sing his praises, so maybe you should check him out.
#9
Quote by DirtyMakik
Fixed.

LaVeyian Satanism is a form of atheism.



SATANISM IS A JOKE
Satanism is one of the biggest religious cop outs I know. If it is theistic, then its a really dumbass religion to go for when you KNOW the omnipresent deity you're NOT worshipping and indeed insulting is far more powerful than the one you ARE worshipping. If it is an atheistic religion, don't be a dickhead, call yourself an atheist like the rest of us, there's no need for new and frivolous labels.

TS, read the God Delusion, in which Dawkins talks clearly and concisely about why he is an atheist. The whole point of the book is as he says is to convert people to atheism, but without the bias and unclear picture that religions sometimes present.
#10
Quote by LordBishek


SATANISM IS A JOKE
Satanism is one of the biggest religious cop outs I know. If it is theistic, then its a really dumbass religion to go for when you KNOW the omnipresent deity you're NOT worshipping and indeed insulting is far more powerful than the one you ARE worshipping. If it is an atheistic religion, don't be a dickhead, call yourself an atheist like the rest of us, there's no need for new and frivolous labels.


Theistic Satanism and LaVeyan Satanism are two very different things.

EDIT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_Satanism
funkyducky


Icing happen when de puck come down, BANG, you know,
before de oder guys, nobody dere, you know.
My arm go comme ça, den de game stop den start up.

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#11
Quote by DirtyMakik
Satanism and LaVeyian Satanism are two very different things.


No, I've read Laveyan Satanism. He explained atheism clearly and concisely, with a few random ceremonies thrown in. Why then, call yourself a Satanist? Surely if you're atheist, you don't believe in the devil either?
#12
Quote by LordBishek

No, I've read Laveyan Satanism. He explained atheism clearly and concisely, with a few random ceremonies thrown in. Why then, call yourself a Satanist? Surely if you're atheist, you don't believe in the devil either?


1.I didn't call myself Satanist.
2.In LS, Satan is a metaphor, not an animate being.
funkyducky


Icing happen when de puck come down, BANG, you know,
before de oder guys, nobody dere, you know.
My arm go comme ça, den de game stop den start up.

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Get To Da Choppa!
#13
Quote by LordBishek

If it is an atheistic religion, don't be a dickhead, call yourself an atheist like the rest of us, there's no need for new and frivolous labels.


But then if LaVeyan satanists have a completely different philosophical and ethical code that sets them apart from normal atheists, why shouldn't they be labelled to distinguish themselves? After all I believe they have rituals and a specific doctrine that they follow, which does make them different from the blanket term of atheist. I'd say the same of Confucianism, it is atheistic in that sense, but it's a philosophical and ethical code with its own associated rituals and spiritual values, and so to call someone with Confucianist beliefs an atheist is not strictly true.
#14
Quote by LordBishek

No, I've read Laveyan Satanism. He explained atheism clearly and concisely, with a few random ceremonies thrown in. Why then, call yourself a Satanist?


because it freaks out old grannies
#15
Quote by first_aid
The Tao of Pooh (shows how Whinnie the Pooh characters relate to Taoism)
Satanic Bible
Bible
Dianetics
Quaran
Something on Wicca (I dont know their "bible" equivalent)

lol
I'LL PUNCH A DONKEY IN THE STREETS OF GALWAY
#16
Quote by DirtyMakik
Fixed.

LaVeyian Satanism is a form of atheism.


It's also a form of douchebaggery.

EDIT:
Quote by LordBishek


SATANISM IS A JOKE
Satanism is one of the biggest religious cop outs I know. If it is theistic, then its a really dumbass religion to go for when you KNOW the omnipresent deity you're NOT worshipping and indeed insulting is far more powerful than the one you ARE worshipping. If it is an atheistic religion, don't be a dickhead, call yourself an atheist like the rest of us, there's no need for new and frivolous labels.

TS, read the God Delusion, in which Dawkins talks clearly and concisely about why he is an atheist. The whole point of the book is as he says is to convert people to atheism, but without the bias and unclear picture that religions sometimes present.

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Proof God exists and evolution is a lie:
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Last edited by Rust_in_Peace34 at Oct 21, 2008,
#17
^

Try The God Delusion. It's biased, yes, but it's basically a window into the Atheist mind and viewpoint.
#18
Quote by LordBishek

No, I've read Laveyan Satanism. He explained atheism clearly and concisely, with a few random ceremonies thrown in. Why then, call yourself a Satanist? Surely if you're atheist, you don't believe in the devil either?

The devil is used as a figure head, an allegorial example, not an actual deity.
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#19
I'd like to point out that I have read The God Delusion and it has the argumentative skill of a 3yr old. Instead of making a valid argument, he points out 'holes' in Christian thinking and belief. He has little evidence to actually back up anything he says.

Dianetics is a pretty good one actually because there's a lot of stuff about the soul and its well-being. It also shows knowledge of current events.

For Christian thinking, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is the best. It's readable by pretty much anyone which is good.


And yes, I'm a Christian.
#20
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
I'd like to point out that I have read The God Delusion and it has the argumentative skill of a 3yr old. Instead of making a valid argument, he points out 'holes' in Christian thinking and belief. He has little evidence to actually back up anything he says.


Coming from you
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#21
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
I'd like to point out that I have read The God Delusion and it has the argumentative skill of a 3yr old. Instead of making a valid argument, he points out 'holes' in Christian thinking and belief. He has little evidence to actually back up anything he says.

Dianetics is a pretty good one actually because there's a lot of stuff about the soul and its well-being. It also shows knowledge of current events. For Christian thinking, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is the best. It's readable by pretty much anyone which is good.


And yes, I'm a Christian.

No, no it is not a pretty good one. It teaches that the thetan is a non-physical entity, but is made of energy. And it teaches that mental pictures are stored in this entity, despite the fact that if it isn't made up of atoms then it can't be part of a physical process like sight. It also teaches that the universe is trillions of years old. So, no.. It isn't. It is a guy taking advantage of the work of physicists, philosophers, and psychologists and then completely bastardizing it while slandering physicists, philosophers, and psychologists so no one within the religion figures out that it is all stolen, and ruined.

Oh, and by the way.. Hubbard also taught that Jesus stole all his beliefs from a buddhist monastary, and that Christianity is an implant, something that is a lie.
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#22
Quote by Kensai
Coming from you


Yeah, I've been lurking in the creationism vs. evolution thread recently and I gotta say, Kensai's got you there Fassa.
#23
Quote by Jack Off Jill
No, no it is not a pretty good one. It teaches that the thetan is a non-physical entity, but is made of energy. And it teaches that mental pictures are stored in this entity, despite the fact that if it isn't made up of atoms then it can't be part of a physical process like sight. It also teaches that the universe is trillions of years old. So, no.. It isn't. It is a guy taking advantage of the work of physicists, philosophers, and psychologists and then completely bastardizing it while slandering physicists, philosophers, and psychologists so no one within the religion figures out that it is all stolen, and ruined.

Oh, and by the way.. Hubbard also taught that Jesus stole all his beliefs from a buddhist monastary, and that Christianity is an implant, something that is a lie.


so its no less crazy than any other religion?
#24
Quote by seljer
so its no less crazy than any other religion?

No, I'd say it is crazier. At least Catholics acknowledge the big bang, and give credit where credit is due. No one claims that Abraham did Galileo's work. And don't claim that.. you know.. they're a science based religion.
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Yeah, write to my fanclub about it, honey.
#25
Quote by seljer
so its no less crazy than any other religion?

For a start it's only a religion because religions don't have to pay minimum wage and can't get shut down for medical malpractice.

And if you look in churches or temples or whatever belonging to other religions, you usually won't find this:


uddenly during the third hours I was aware of shadows in the corridor beyond me. [T]hey were people. Slowly I realized that an entire group of people lived and worked down there. I was so tired [that] it took me time to realize who they were. Then it hit me. [The were t]he Cedars RPF. They lived and worked down in this stinkhole.This was their Org. Then I really found out what had happened to them. Filthy, tired, skeletons appeared before me and started begging to see the OT folders. I thought I looked bad, but I looked beautiful compared to them. They crowded around me pushing and shoving, then the mood turned ugly. They started hitting each other to get into the room behind me. I realized what had happened. They had been totally broken. They were animals, not humans. I saw four of my friends, one a Class Nine OT, fighting to get by me. They were punching each other in the face, pulling hair, kicking. And way down in this cellar no one could hear them, no one cared.

Someone suddenly hit me hard. I realized [that] they were turning their anger on me[. T]hey would beat me up to get the folders. I guess in periods of deep stress we all go a little insane — urvival of the fittest. From somewhere in my tired brain, strength came. I stood up with all my TR's as in as they had ever been, [and] all my training on control of groups came back. 'Friends,' I said, 'Believe me, I am your friend. By some strange fate I am not with you on the RPF. But believe me if you don't get out of here right now, I know [that] you will be punished. Go now before it's too late.' And they ran away into the dark. When I sat down I was trembling all over. Because the real intent of my message had been for them to get out of the hospital. Leave Cedars. But I don't think any of them got the message (Bailey, n.d.: 61-62).
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#26
Quote by Jack Off Jill
No, I'd say it is crazier. At least Catholics acknowledge the big bang, and give credit where credit is due. No one claims that Abraham did Galileo's work. And don't claim that.. you know.. they're a science based religion.


I'm not defending scientologists, they're crazy, no doubt about it

but
#27
Holy blood holy grail was a pretty interesting book.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
#29
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
I'd like to point out that I have read The God Delusion and it has the argumentative skill of a 3yr old. Instead of making a valid argument, he points out 'holes' in Christian thinking and belief. He has little evidence to actually back up anything he says.

Dianetics is a pretty good one actually because there's a lot of stuff about the soul and its well-being. It also shows knowledge of current events.

For Christian thinking, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is the best. It's readable by pretty much anyone which is good.


And yes, I'm a Christian.



I second Kensai on these points.

However the fact that you scoff at this, suggests that you can do better. Do you finally have evidence for God/YEC? If so please post it in the relevant thread. If it's convincing I will convert on the spot. Seriously. On the spot.


I've got a friend who's studying theology (even though he's an atheist) and he has to read Why Bother Being Good? by John Hare. It apparently makes a case for a deity through arguing for moral absolutes then somehow links this to the oh-so-moral Christian God.
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#30
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
I'd like to point out that I have read The God Delusion and it has the argumentative skill of a 3yr old. Instead of making a valid argument, he points out 'holes' in Christian thinking and belief. He has little evidence to actually back up anything he says.

Dianetics is a pretty good one actually because there's a lot of stuff about the soul and its well-being. It also shows knowledge of current events.

For Christian thinking, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is the best. It's readable by pretty much anyone which is good.


And yes, I'm a Christian.

He takes the typical proof of a God, debunks it, throws in his argument of improbability, one I doubt you understood, and the rest of it was removing credibility from religion to show how unlikely they are, which is all good. He makes a good argument, it's just a fraction of the book though. His argument couldn't make an entire book either. I see a lot of people skip over it, read the rest of it, and say 'there's not enough on it'. Make a good claim against it, referencing it and we'll tackle it back.

And you do realise Dianetics was the gateway of Scientology to come across, not to mention it's written by their founder?

I'd also like to add in here, A Very Short Introduction to Atheism, by Julian Baggini. He's actually a fantastic philosopher and his other works are also worth checking out. It's an easy gateway into the subject. This book encompasses atheism thinking and what it is really, very very quickly. Go check it.

EDIT: Try youtube as well, surprisingly.
Last edited by Craigo at Oct 21, 2008,
#31
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Seriously. On the spot.


And you call Fassa a joke.....
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#32
1.I didn't call myself Satanist.
2.In LS, Satan is a metaphor, not an animate being.

1.) I was using "you" in a broad sense, not to you personally, sorry.

The devil is used as a figure head, an allegorial example, not an actual deity.

But then if LaVeyan satanists have a completely different philosophical and ethical code that sets them apart from normal atheists, why shouldn't they be labelled to distinguish themselves? After all I believe they have rituals and a specific doctrine that they follow, which does make them different from the blanket term of atheist. I'd say the same of Confucianism, it is atheistic in that sense, but it's a philosophical and ethical code with its own associated rituals and spiritual values, and so to call someone with Confucianist beliefs an atheist is not strictly true.
What is their blanket doctrine? Because all I could make out was "live for yourself."
(I don't have my copy of the Satanic Bible here, it's at home in Nottingham)

My point is, why use the metaphor at all? Why not just...say what you want outright? It's what everyone else does. Atheism works for me because there's no bullshit that you find in Religion, any religion. I don't mean the faith thing, I mean arbitrarily giving stuff names and personification. Someone kept trying to tell me in the Lif, Universe and Everything thread that Maths is god, and Physics is god. My question is, why do we have to assign these pointless labels? Surely we can just call Maths maths and Physics physics, and be content? It just confuses the issue.

And you call Fassa a joke.....

Explain yourself, please.
#33
Quote by black007hawk2
And you call Fassa a joke.....

Explain.
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#34
Anton LeVay was some guy who felt like he need a banner under which he could be more of a dick about religious people than to just respectfully disagree. So he wrote a book that simultaneously condemned religions and started a new one with all the same conventions. On top of this, he threw in a bunch of pointless ceremonies that have no meaning behind them, unlike the ones in normal religions which are at least symbolic in a way. LordBishek is completely right on this.

...I can't think of anything relevant to the question though, sorry.
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#35
what do you mean "make a case for religion?" which religion? and how can they 'make a case' for religion without being biased? if their intent is to make a case for it ... they're clearly going to be biased.

edit: to reflect my bias, try this in terms of making a case for religion:

Handbook of Christian Apologetics

it's pretty concise. more so than the summa anyway. or the summa of the summa for that matter.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Oct 21, 2008,
#36
Quote by Zero-Hartman
Richard Dawkins is atheistic (I think). I know he writes religious stuff anyway.


Yeah, but his books effectively consist of "You're an idiot for having faith," so you've got to balance it out.
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#37
Quote by freddaahh
Yeah, but his books effectively consist of "You're an idiot for having faith," so you've got to balance it out.

In fairness he does provide good arguments as to why he thinks you're an idiot.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#38
are there any religions where you dont actually belive all the crazy and impossible stories of the bible as fact, but sort of as metaphors, and you beleive in doing good, but not creating modern day crusades.

?
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nailing a live baby to a dog
#39
Quote by cire sirrah
are there any religions where you dont actually belive all the crazy and impossible stories of the bible as fact, but sort of as metaphors, and you beleive in doing good, but not creating modern day crusades.

?


Dude you can take the bible or the Qur'an or any religious text that way if you so choose. Not saying they make sense that way either but you can !
#40
Quote by cire sirrah
are there any religions where you dont actually belive all the crazy and impossible stories of the bible as fact, but sort of as metaphors, and you beleive in doing good, but not creating modern day crusades.

?


You could even do that whilst not mentioning God, but hey, whatever works for you.