Saturday, August 22, 2009

These Books Made Me an Atheist!

The Holy Bible—read attentively, this one will do the trick all by itself …

The Devils of Loudon (Aldous Huxley)—on religious hysteria, which, by all the symptoms, I suffered from to age 20

Satan in Goray (Isaac Bashevis Singer)—puts a nice big question mark next to the concept of messianism and end-times prophesies

The Gnostic Gospels (Elaine Pagels)—offers much valuable and impartial information on the early years of the Christian religions (before orthodoxy)

The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)—despite being a work of immense if idiosyncratic faith, “The Grand Inquisitor” segment offers the finest critique of faith (and its manipulators) I have ever read

On the Nature of Things (Lucretius)—a long poem, older than the New Testament, about atomism and the Epicurean world view, exploring the nature of passions and desires (including religious ones)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)—a primer on nonsense, and it’s always a very good idea to recognize nonsense for what it is

The End of Faith (Sam Harris)—the best thing I’ve read lately that directly tackles the ideas of theism (especially monotheism) … especially effective because Harris is a concise and cheerful arguer ... if I had not already lost my religion, this book would have helped me do it

Eros and Civilization (Herbert Marcuse)—love and life are the answer! only not when they are mere masks for repression, fear, and viciousness

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (John Bunyan)—a sincere testament of faith and atonement that, in spite of itself, naively expresses, in convincing detail, the sickness and madness that underlie them both


  1. The Bible did it for me. It's such an incredible work of fiction.

  2. Terry Goodkind’s fantasy series “The Sword of Truth” aided me. The protagonist is a modern day hero, using intellect, strength, skill, & patience to triumph. The hero’s quote, “Your life is yours alone; rise up and live it.” is reinforced throughout the series, and religion is explicitly mocked without the implied arrogance that humanity knows/has discovered everything (or even everything that’s important to mankind).

  3. Barrie: Basically it was the bible all by itself for me, as well.

    Mark: Not a huge fan of fantasy (of the magical rather than sexual type), but you've piqued my curiosity about Goodkind.



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