Author Topic: What book would you recommend?  (Read 4749 times)

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Offline mommykicksbutt

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What book would you recommend?
« on: March 14, 2009, 09:53:54 PM »
My very catholic spouse has agreed to read a book of my choosing on the subject of no-faith, atheism, loss of faith, etc.  But only ONE book.  I have, like many of you, have read many.  If your believing spouse asked you to pick just one book for them to read about your (lack of) belief, what one book would you pick for them?
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Offline Fridge

Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 02:03:44 AM »
Well, I would suggest The God Delusion but I think it'd be too aggressive. Perhaps if you wanted something that wouldn't be perceived too offencive, 50 Reasons People Give For Believing In A God.
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Offline Irish

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 02:29:36 PM »
The Atheist Universe by David Mills would be my pick.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 12:57:09 AM »
Thanks, I was thinking about "50 Reasons..." because the author isn't an "in your face" approach to the subject.  My first thought was " The God Delusion" and my favorite book on the subject is "The Atheist Universe" but I fear that he wouldn't get past 10 pages of either book before he would through it down and refuse to read anymore because he would find the author's attitudes offensive.  (Hubby gets offended very easily when it come to criticising his religious beliefs).  Another one I thought of, although more of biblical criticism, is Ruth Hurmence Green's "The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible".  Any other suggestions just in case he is willing to read a second book?
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 04:03:26 PM »
Anyone read "What's so Great about Christianity?" by D'Souza?  My overly zealous catholic hubby is pushing for me to read it.  I know it is in favor of Christianity but if it is a "let's just bash non-believers" then I don't wish to read such tripe. 
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Offline Omen

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 04:09:37 PM »
D'Souza does nothing BUT bash non-believers, virtually every statement and argument he makes is a misrepresentation of people who do not believe his claims.  He will lie about science to any degree based not on what he's trying to argue for, but the audience he's arguing too.

For example:

A. If the audience is science friendly he'll argue that the bible is scientific
B. If the audience is not science friendly ( creationist ) he'll puppet a collection of anti-science arguments often used by creationists.

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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 04:19:38 PM »
Thanks Omen, hubby is really pushing hard for me to read it, in exchange he has agreed to read one book of my choosing.  Still not sure which one I'll select for him since there are so many good ones.  I know that the hard stuff like Dawkins is out for him, Dennet is a little better, and it can't be too deep or he'll tune out.  I may not wish to read such negativism as his book but I may have to.  I'm open to read the other side but not if it is a rally for attacks from them.
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Offline Omen

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 04:20:35 PM »
When people attempt to suggest apologetics I often point out that even if I gave them the benefit of the doubt and believed, the book and the information within it would still be perceived as willfully ignorant and only making emotional appeals against absurd strawmen.

It is however beneficial in that I credit much of my path to atheism to the very apologetics people attempt to claim for belief.
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Offline Omen

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 04:27:49 PM »
Thanks Omen, hubby is really pushing hard for me to read it, in exchange he has agreed to read one book of my choosing.  Still not sure which one I'll select for him since there are so many good ones.  I know that the hard stuff like Dawkins is out for him, Dennet is a little better, and it can't be too deep or he'll tune out.  I may not wish to read such negativism as his book but I may have to.  I'm open to read the other side but not if it is a rally for attacks from them.

Dennett is fantastic, but I'm hesitant to suggest anything - because I do not see the purpose of any book being solely to convince you there is no god.  I did come across an interesting book that is targeted towards believers, that feeds off their typical excuses for beliefs and indirectly demonstrates that vacuity of the statements being made.  The nice thing is that it does all of this with examples of ALL kinds of religions.

http://www.amazon.com/Reasons-People-Give-Believing-God/dp/1591025672

http://www.guyharrison.info/

( 50 reasons people give for believing in god )

I think the course here should be to teach reason and logic.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 05:17:07 PM »
Yep, "50 Reasons..." is the book I'm favoring to hand him.  However, I don't think he really is ready to read anything from his opposing point of view, I think he just wants me to read about his. (Sighhhh, which, of course, I have.  I have read and learned so much I could have a Ph.D. in religious studies by now.  However, the more I learn, the more I know that I don't know much.)  I believe that he somehow thinks this (D'Souza's book) is the best damn book to reconvert me back into believing again.  Hubby hasn't read much on the subject and has insisted on remaining sheltered.  I don't want to lose the opportunity for him to sample the "other side."  I have suggested, in the past, that he read atheist/freethinking literature so who could at least know where I'm coming from and have some knowledge from athletes about what atheists are, think, and believe.  He assumes he already knows - atheist have to be opposite of him in everything that is moral and ethical!  I, however, am the exception, so he says, because, I once believed and that is where I got my morals and ethics. (I know, what crap!)
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 05:25:24 PM »
Has he read the Old Testament yet?  That is what finished off the last vestiges of my faith.  I suggest the Revised English Bible translation.  I also suggest he use the interpreters bible to understand that when it says one guy put his hand under the thigh of another guy to swear an oath, it really means he had to hold his junk.

If he's read it, then perhaps the bible unearthed.  That shatters any idea of historicity of the OT.  And if the OT is crap, the NT is built on crap.  An idol with stone feet, as it were.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 05:34:54 PM »
screwtape,

Yes, he's read the bible, he's reading it again now.  But he has his god-goggles on while doing it.  When I ask him about the atrocities in the OT, he has a reason of why it was okay!  He is definitely blinded by faith.

You suggested "the interpreters bible."  I assume it is a critic of the bible.  Is that it's title?  who is the author?  Ruth Green's Born Again Skeptic Guide to the Bible is a really good critic of both OT and NT defining such things as the "hand under the thigh swear."  I'm always on the lookout for another factual and good book.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2009, 07:21:33 AM »
screwtape,

Yes, he's read the bible, he's reading it again now.  But he has his god-goggles on while doing it.  When I ask him about the atrocities in the OT, he has a reason of why it was okay!  He is definitely blinded by faith.

You suggested "the interpreters bible."  I assume it is a critic of the bible.  Is that it's title?  who is the author?  Ruth Green's Born Again Skeptic Guide to the Bible is a really good critic of both OT and NT defining such things as the "hand under the thigh swear."  I'm always on the lookout for another factual and good book.

Hm. Too bad.  Most catholics I know (I was one, and those in my family who are not atheists still are) have not read the bible.  The church discourages that sort of thing.  It was not the atrocities that cured me.  It was just the weird stuff:
- god being referred to in the plural at least 5 times in genesis
- story of zipporah
- the whole sordid story of onan etc.
- more than one set of commandments
- jacob and laban's goats
- the meaning of names (like sarai meant "mockery".  who would name their child mockery?)

It is weird and primitive and reeks of ignorance and superstition.

The interpreters bible is a reference book, kind of like an encyclopedia.  You can probably find them at your library, but like the encyclopedia, I have never seen one that can be checked out.  You can buy it in stores or over the internet, but it is pricey. It has information on translations, word meanings and sometimes it has historical context, so you understand the significance of the stories.

Another book suggestion would be The Bible Unearthed.  It is an archaeological examination of the OT.  Essentially, almost nothing in the OT is historically accurate.  For example, there was a city of jericho, but it did not have walls and it was not invaded when the OT says it was invaded - it was off by a few hundred years.  Again, this would be an attempt to pull the rug out from under the NT.




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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2009, 01:03:56 PM »
Thanks, I've read the Bible Unearthed, good book.  You are right that most catholics haven't read their bible, I didn't until well into my 20's.  Then later, I read it very critically with a highlighter in hand and took notes of things to find answers to in different sources.  Over the last few years I've read quite a bit but have slowed down lately, life has gotten busy for me.  Here's a list of what I've read, most of these I still have on hand to give to hubby:

Books Read:
The Bible
Atheist Universe by Mills
The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green
Jesus Interrupted by Ehrman
Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman,
Lost Scriptures by Bart Ehrman,
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Bart Ehrman,
Peter Paul & Mary Magdalene by Bart Ehrman,
Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman,
Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Ehrman
God's Problem by Ehrman
The Lost Gospels of Judas Iscariot by Ehrman
The Golden Bough by J.G. Frazer,
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered by Eisenman & Wise,
Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries by MacMullen,
Christianizing the Roman Empire AD 100-400 by MacMullen,
Why I am Not a Cristian by Bertrand Russell,
What I Believe by Bertrand Russell
Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So by Annie Laurie Gaylor,
A Closer Look at the Bible The Book of Genesis by James Dudley,
Imagine NO Superstition by Uhl,
A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom Vol I & II by White,
Fighting Words by Morgan,
The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read by Leedom,
The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents by Steiner,
Breaking the Spell by Dennett,
50 Reasons for Believing in a God, by Harrison
The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America by Hasson
Parenting Beyond Belief on Raising Ethical Caring Kids without Religion by McGowan
Born With a Bang the Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story by Morgan
In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World by Hamilton
Atheism the Case against God by Smith,
Mythic Past by Thompson,
Why I became an Atheist by Loftus,
101 Myths of the Bible by Greenberg,
God is not great by Hitchens
The Portable Atheist by Hitchens
Losing Faith in Faith by Barker
Godless by Barker,
Farewell to God by Templeton,
God's Crucible by Lewis
Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Ferguson,
Freethinkers by Jacoby,
Age of American Unreason by Jacoby,
The Bible with Sources Revealed by Friedman,
Who Wrote the Bible by Friedman,
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its
   Sacred Texts by Silberman & Finkelstein
Myth and Mystery an Introduction to Pagan Religions of the Biblical World by Finegan
The Ancient Mysteries A Sourcebook Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the
    Ancient Mediterranean World by Meyer (Editor)
Peake's Commentary of the Bible ed by Black and Rowley,
Biblical Nonsense by Long,
How Do You Know It's True? by Ruchlis, 
The Mythmaker Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Maccoby,
The History of God by Armstrong
The Bible by Armstrong
The Great Transformation by Armstrong
How to be a Good Atheist by Harding
The God Delusion by Dawkins
The End of Faith by Harris
Letter to a Christian Nation by Harris
Founding Faith by Waldman
The Age of Reason by Paine
The City of God by St. Augustine
The Problem with Pain by CS Lewis
Catholicism by Richard P. Mcbrien
A Question of God by Nicholi

DVD Lecture Courses:
Philosophy of Religion
The Historical Jesus
The New Testament
From Jesus to Constantine
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
The Old Testament
Story of Human Language
The History of Ancient Egypt
Great Figures of the Old Testament
Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations
History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon
Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor
The Foundations of Western Civilization
Ancient Near Eastern Mythology
Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Great Figures of the New Testament
Peoples and Cultures of the World
Great World Religions: Hinduism
Great World Religions: Buddhism
Great World Religions: Judaism
Great World Religions: Christianity
Great World Religions: Islam
The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy
Popes and the Papacy: A History

And just for fun:
Letting Go of God by Julia Sweeney (Audio)
Welcome to Jesusland formerly the United States of American by Harper, Bradley &
   Walker.

This list doesn't include novels and movies with non-belief subjects.  I'm open to adding to the list!  Unfortunately, hubby isn't near as well read, he couldn't get through the first 50 pages of Augustine and only pick over Mcbrien.  Too bad, he wants to battle biblical knowledge but quickly cowards after the first couple of salvos due to his lack of facts and yet he believes that he knows everything he needs to know about his faith (ignorance is bliss I guess).

If anyone has personal experience with Christians being receptive to any of the above materials or even of other materials of the same.  Please post here.  I don't want to convert him, although it would make home life a little better, I just wish for him to see my perspective which he can't right now with his god-blinders on.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 07:39:07 PM by mommykicksbutt »
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Offline Omen

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2009, 01:06:09 PM »
Oh! Oh! You might enjoy the Devil in Dover!
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 01:08:22 PM »
Oh! Oh! You might enjoy the Devil in Dover!

Oh?!  Do Tell!  What is it about?  Is it fiction of non-fiction?  I take it that it is about the the Trial in Dover.  Who's the author?
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Offline Omen

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2009, 01:18:41 PM »
Oh?!  Do Tell!  What is it about?  Is it fiction of non-fiction?  I take it that it is about the the Trial in Dover.  Who's the author?

Lauri Lebo, and the book does follow the Dover trial from a ( get this ) position of a person ( the journalist lauri lebo ) losing their faith as the trial progresses.  She also details her experiences with everyone involved including her fundamentalist father.

It is really fantastic material.
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Offline Petey

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2009, 01:46:44 PM »
Quote from: mommykicksbutt
Parenting Beyond Belief on Raising Ethical Caring Kids without Religion by McGowan

This one caught my eye.  As an atheist with a semi-catholic wife, I'm interested in this topic because we plan to start having kids in the next couple years.  By semi-catholic, I mean that she hasn't been to mass in years and she's independent enough to realize that the Bible was written by men and therefore can't necessarily be believed. 

However, she still clings to some of the things that were ingrained in her from a young age.  Things like still believing in god/angels, infant baptism, and having the children attend church even though we currently don't.  Would this be a good book for covering some of these issues?
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2009, 02:10:15 PM »
Petey,

The book couldn't hurt either of you to read.  Do you want your kids to think for themselves when it comes to religion or to take your word (or someone else's word - from authority) about religion?  I'm guessing you will want them to make their own choices.  Perhaps your spouse is open minded enough to do as well.  I suggest you both read and discuss it.  There is no bashing in it.  I found nothing in it that a believer would find offensive.  Oh, BTW it is just a collection of articles and essays about the subject.  Also, I suggest you discuss just how much catholicism/religion she wishes the children to be exposed to, baptism? 1st communion?  Faith formation (indoctrination)? confirmation?  How about freethinking play groups?  Camp Quest (for when they are older)?  Figure it out now so it won't be a fight later! (I speak from experience on this one!)
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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2009, 02:12:08 PM »
Omen,  Thanx!  I'll look at that one.  I find loss of faith stories fascinating.  This one seems to play double duty.

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2009, 03:14:38 PM »
Obviously, I would want my kids to think for themselves.  I was never really shown how to do this, but was luckily bright enough to figure it out on my own.  I am fairly confident that I can teach a child how to think critically and look at all angles before coming to a conclusion (it's the pre-programmed adults that are so difficult).  Of course, it would be very counter-productive to have one parent encouraging thinking and the other encouraging indoctrination.

I'm making some progress on getting her to re-think some of the religious stuff she originally wanted to put the kids through, but it never hurts to have some extra help.  :)
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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2009, 09:23:58 PM »
I'm confused.  First you said:

My very catholic spouse has agreed to read a book of my choosing on the subject of no-faith, atheism, loss of faith, etc.

Then you said:

I don't think he really is ready to read anything from his opposing point of view.

So which is it?



If he is really open to read a book of your choosing, I would recommend the following (in order):

"Atheism Explained" by Daivd Ramsay Steele

"50 Reasons People give for believing in gods" by Guy P. Harrison

"Atheist Universe"  by David Mills

"God - The Failed Hypothesis" by Victor Stenger
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2009, 11:01:07 PM »
It's simple, he proposed to me that he wants me to read D'Souza's book and in return he said he would read one of my choosing.  However, I know my husband and he knows me. I am a ferocious reader, he is a snail at reading.  His track record speaks that he is not really interested in reading anything that I could offer but he is adamant that I read his selection.

His motive is that he wants me to believe what he believes, mine is just for his understanding that I no longer wish to subscribe to any religious beliefs.

I am more likely to read his book than he is to read mine.  But since he has agreed to read mine (the first time ever!) I want to take advantage of the opportunity.

Thanks for your suggestions of books, so far the verdict is for "50 Reasons..."


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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2009, 11:27:42 PM »
Ugh.  I can't stand D'Souza.



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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2009, 11:54:53 PM »
Wow, just viewed the video, he's really full of himself huh?  Does he really buy into what he is saying or is he just wanting to sell his book and make money?
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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2009, 11:58:33 PM »
He's just a smarmy little weiner who likes to hear his own voice.
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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2009, 07:48:29 PM »
OMFG!!!

I just finished D'Souza's book, "What's so great about god."  What drivel!!!!  He is definitely full of himself catering to the christian side of things on every topic.  He is nothing more that a Yes-Man to the christians.  He is counting on his audience to not have read the references he used.  He tries to BS the reading into thinking that he is sooo smart.  He misquotes others left and right, using half-truths, and in many cases just flat out lying!  He is stating his opinion as if it were truth and fact, opinion is not fact buddy.  But hey, his book is/was on the best sellers list, he is writing what the religious want to read and hear.  He is not in the business of truth, fact, or even reason but in the business fame and making money.  The christians are a gullible lot and will buy into this kind of crap.  My husband has!!!!!  :'(
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2009, 08:05:26 AM »
OMFG!!!

I just finished D'Souza's book, "What's so great about god."  What drivel!!!!  He is definitely full of himself catering to the christian side of things on every topic.  He is nothing more that a Yes-Man to the christians.  He is counting on his audience to not have read the references he used.  He tries to BS the reading into thinking that he is sooo smart.  He misquotes others left and right, using half-truths, and in many cases just flat out lying!  He is stating his opinion as if it were truth and fact, opinion is not fact buddy.  But hey, his book is/was on the best sellers list, he is writing what the religious want to read and hear.  He is not in the business of truth, fact, or even reason but in the business fame and making money.  The christians are a gullible lot and will buy into this kind of crap.  My husband has!!!!!  :'(

do you have children?
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2009, 05:14:27 PM »
Yes, we do.  Our daughter is a freethinker, always has been since day one even though her dad made her go through all the catholic stuff.  When she turned 18 he gave her a choice to continue to go to church or not.  She told him, "NOT!!!"  He says he is disappointed in her for that choice and that he feels like he has failed her.  Our son is still at home and it is a repeat scenario, son hates church and churchy stuff, he says he can not swallow the BS but is not old enough to tell his dad "No" yet.  Son confides in me his dismay with what they are telling him.  I direct him to resources for his own discovery of facts.  Son will make his own decision when he is 18 and seems to be following in daughter's foot steps.  Dad is the odd man out in the family.  Both his family and mine are not religious and most are proclaimed freethinkers now (it has not always been this way though).

Faith is nice but doubt will get you an education!
Theism: the virus that infects then disables the brain's bullshit detector
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