When many religious believers I’ve met learn that I am an atheist and former Christian, they earnestly try to debate or proselytize me back into the faith. They assume that I haven’t heard the right gospel, or that I hate God, or that I am in some other kind of denial. Unfortunately, even when they think their evangelical training has prepared them to deal with unbelievers, I have found that they are invariably in a state of woeful ignorance: their training lacks one major thing, and that is an understanding of atheism from the atheist’s perspective. I don’t use the term “ignorance” pejoratively— it’s a natural state we all go through, and in this age of Information Overload I am an advocate of Choosing Your Ignorance. Nonetheless, if you want to be taken seriously on a given topic, you can’t afford to start out your part of the conversation from a position of ignorance— in order to get a seat at the table you need to do your homework on what’s gone before.
So I’ve decided to create this little bibliography to which to send believers who clearly have not done their homework before attempting to engage me in theological discussion. If you’re a believer and not acquainted with a good cross-section of this material, then it’s nothing personal, but you really aren’t worth my time.
Read through these foundational Internet resources that were a strong influence on me when I was struggling with my own faith:
- Dan Barker, Dear Christian
- Dan Barker, Dear Believer
- Internet Infidels, An Introduction to Atheism
- Internet Infidels, Common Arguments
- Internet Infidels, Logic & Fallacies: Constructing a Logical Argument
Read a bunch of my own blog posts. (There are many more related posts here, just check the Philosophy tag— these are some of my own more substantial writings, ordered more or less by date.)
- My Journey Into Atheism
- Ten Christian Lunacies
- God and Delusion
- A House Divided
- McNally’s Challenge, 10th Anniversary Edition
- Lost Dogma, Reward if Found
- The Three Arguments Against Atheism
- Good Without God— How?
- Meditations on the Ten Commandments
- God exists because God exists because…
- Claims vs. the Other Three C’s
- Interview With an Atheist
- Ask an Atheist: Religious Experience
- Ask an Atheist: Longing for the Blue Pill
- On My Non-Belief, Part 1
- On My Non-Belief, Part 2
- On My Non-Belief, Part 3
- On My Non-Belief, Part 4
- Ask an Atheist: What Do We Call Ourselves?
- Ask an Atheist: What is “Sin”?
Watch these videos:
- GodIsImaginary, How do we know Christians are delusional?
- GodIsImaginary, Proving that prayer is superstition
- Evid3nc3, Why I am no longer a Christian (video series)
- Tim Minchin, Storm: The Animated Movie
And read a few of these books, many of which are available for free at your public library:
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
- Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design
- Karen Armstrong, A History of God
- Robert M. Price, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man
- Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
- Dan Barker, Godless
- George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God
- Darrel W. Ray, The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture
- Peter Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists
Now, if you’ve done your homework and still have questions or issues you want to discuss, feel free to contact me, but understand that preaching is never welcome.