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Ch. 10: The Bible and Morality 
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Post Ch. 10: The Bible and Morality
Ch. 10: The Bible and Morality

Please use this thread to discuss this chapter. :smile:



Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:13 pm
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Page 170
Speaking for myself, if the biblical heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell. Having to spend eternity pretending to worship a petty tyrant who tortures those who insult his authority would be more hellish than baking in eternal flames. There is no way such a bully can earn my admiration.

Barker seems to forget that his admiration was there for fifteen years during which he did study and read his bible. Did he ever really believe in the bible or was it just an act? The bible did not change during this time, it was not as if he was unaware of what the bible said. There is something that just does not seem completely authentic about Barker.

P161
During all my years of preaching, I simply assumed that the bible was the rock-solid foundation of morality, and it nevr crossed my mind to examine that assumption. Yet as a morphed from faith to reason, I started looking at the "Word of God" in a different light.

Interesting word, morphed. How does one morph from faith to reason? This would make more sense to me if he was someone who had not looked too closely at the bible during his years of faith. But he studied theology, he read the bible. This man seems to have a good mind, but did he not even notice these things before? What made him believe so literally in the first place?

Barker spends most of this chapter quoting the bible and making fun of the contradictions in morality, which are quite humorous though not overly intelligent or thought provoking. His arguments sound very adolescent, so I am not sure who he is preaching to. Most of what he is pointing out would be known to anyone who has read even parts of the bible, so how can believers not know that the bible is contradictory and difficult to follow as a moral compass?



Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:59 pm
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Thanks Realiz, I am not planning to read this book, but I hope people don't mind if I comment on some of the posts about it. It seems to me there is a syndrome of shallow atheist thinkers commenting on religion in ways that avoid discussion of the deep issues at stake but rather hold to a very superficial level. For example, in your quotes above, Barker holds to an assumption that heaven and hell are spatial, where I would argue a deeper reading of the Bible reveals these concepts as primarily experiential. This is a conceptual/categorical distinction which some people find hard to grasp because the popular spatial metaphor has such a strong hold. Barker has proved nothing through his epiphany that the Bible is inconsistent. From your comments I get the impression that he never engaged with Anselm's injunction that faith should seek understanding, but rather held to a set of shallow mythological literal doctrines that he accepted on authority, and he has subsequently 'morphed' (maybe 'flipped' is better?) across to an equally shallow and doctrinaire atheism. Based just on this example the sort of "leadership" that Barker offers the atheist movement has disturbing similarity to the "leadership" offered by some charismatic preachers, ie one that presents an arrogant but partial claim to explain the truth rather than a nuanced understanding of complexity, while ignoring the value of dialogue and the different levels of meaning that are available in texts. RT



Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:09 pm
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Robert Tulip wrote:
Thanks Realiz, I am not planning to read this book, but I hope people don't mind if I comment on some of the posts about it. It seems to me there is a syndrome of shallow atheist thinkers commenting on religion in ways that avoid discussion of the deep issues at stake but rather hold to a very superficial level. For example, in your quotes above, Barker holds to an assumption that heaven and hell are spatial, where I would argue a deeper reading of the Bible reveals these concepts as primarily experiential. This is a conceptual/categorical distinction which some people find hard to grasp because the popular spatial metaphor has such a strong hold.


Robert, I have no idea what you mean by "spatial" versus "experiential." Maybe you can explain that?

As for a deeper reading, I suppose that's possible if you already have an emotional connection with the Bible or you are projecting your own complicated worldview into its text, which possibly removes it too far from its historical context. I gather from what you've posted on BT before that your reading of the Bible is atypical at best, and I mean that as a compliment.


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Last edited by geo on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:26 am
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realiz: "Did he ever really believe in the bible or was it just an act? The bible did not change during this time, it was not as if he was unaware of what the bible said. "

No, Barker changed, that's explained in the title of the book.

realiz: "What made him believe so literally in the first place?"

Indoctrination?

realiz: "Most of what he is pointing out would be known to anyone who has read even parts of the bible, so how can believers not know that the bible is contradictory and difficult to follow as a moral compass?"

Maybe you're missing his point. He points out obvious contradictions showing that the bible shouldn't be used as a moral compass at all, not that it's just difficult to follow.



Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:53 pm
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RT: "shallow and doctrinaire atheism"

Does atheism even have depth? He's not writing this book to explain how he now views the world, he's writing this book to show why he no longer believes in religion. Perhaps what you see as a shallow atheistic stance is simply all it takes to make the argument against religion from what he formerly believed.

And doctrinaire? Use of the word implies he doesn't have sufficient reason to disbelieve in religion. Maybe since that's all he had was faith, he doesn't need to shine the light of reason on too many areas.



Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:02 pm
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Quote:
Maybe you're missing his point. He points out obvious contradictions showing that the bible shouldn't be used as a moral compass at all, not that it's just difficult to follow.


All I am saying is what he is pointing out is already pretty obvious. If he is trying to help people to see things in a different light he needs to delve a little deeper.

Quote:
No, Barker changed, that's explained in the title of the book.


I sort of expected a little more of an explanation than the title of the book. The title indicates that it will be explained in the body of book, which, so far, I haven't really got a grasp on his transformation. I know he went from believing literally in everything the bible said to believing it is utter trash, but I still feel like I am missing his internal struggles through this process. I also feel like he is still arguing on a very superficial basis rather than a deeper one.



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realiz wrote:

All I am saying is what he is pointing out is already pretty obvious. If he is trying to help people to see things in a different light he needs to delve a little deeper.


I actually agree with realiz here. I'll tell you in a minute why I'm posting this Far Side cartoon (not that anyone needs an excuse to sprinkle Far Side cartoons into their posts).

Image

Clearly, Barker is devastatingly effective in arguing against a literal interpretation of the Bible, which of course is his own previous position. It's hard to imagine any believer walking away from reading these middle chapters unscathed (but then again they want to believe and there's the rub). Where Barker really shines, of course, is in his familiarity with the Bible. And though this Ch. 10 starts with a rehashing of the inconsistencies and problems of the Old Testament, I think he's spot on with his assessment of the New Testament as a questionable document indeed for basing moral beliefs. I look forward to the upcoming chapter that questions whether Jesus really existed.

As for that Far Side cartoon . . .

from Richard Dawkins' forward . . .
Quote:
It isn't difficult to work out that religious fundamentalists are deluded-those people who think the entire universe began after the agricultural revolution; people who believe literally that a snake, presumably in fluent Hebrew, beguiled into sin a man fashioned from clay and a woman grown from him in a cutting . . . . My mistake has been naively to think I can remove this delusion simply by talking to them in a quiet, sensible voice and laying out the evidence, clear for all to see. It isn't as easy as that. Before we can talk to them, we must struggle to understand them; struggle to enter their seized minds and empathize.


So far, I don't see Barker doing much to try to understand the believers. Instead, he's like the guy in the Far Side cartoon above, picking a fight with the easiest target in the room. His formidable skills of rhetoric are total overkill against the rather rudimentary beliefs of evangelical Christianity. Is it any wonder this guy likes to debate Christians? As good as Barker is at debunking a literal interpretation of the Bible, I've seen no acknowledgment of the fact that this is not the typical Christian position. It's a fringe position. Many, if not most, people who consider themselves Christian don't believe in the Bible literally. (I would say they're not being intellectually honest, but that's a subject for another post.) Barker himself believed in a literal interpretation and, yes, he proves to be quite adept at picking it apart. It makes for interesting reading, but so far in this book Barker doesn't bring much new to the table, IMHO.


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Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:44 pm
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geo wrote:
Robert, I have no idea what you mean by "spatial" versus "experiential." Maybe you can explain that?
Traditionally, heaven has been interpreted as a place where good Christians go when they die. This is what I call a spatial model, including the refinement of the old triple decker flat earth cosmology into the idea of heaven as the afterlife of the individual soul, existing with God and retaining unique identity for the rest of time. I cannot image that this afterlife model is scientifically possible, given what we know of physics.

My approach is to ask how the Biblical comments about heaven and hell can be interpreted as metaphors for something that is scientifically possible. This is actually a lot easier and more fruitful than some might imagine. It relies on the assumption that the Biblical writers had an idea of something true and good that they explained in the language available at their time. For example in The Lord's Prayer Jesus tells us to pray 'your will be done on earth as in heaven'. This asks us to imagine how the will of God is done in heaven, and seems to be defining heaven as an ideal template, a vision of what the earth could be. Rather than a separate spatial realm, heaven is a goal of the world transformed by Biblical values of love, peace, truth and justice. The concept of heaven finds reality through human experience of putting divine values into place, which is why I call it experiential rather than spatial.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says 'blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' To me this means that by living simply we can focus on the divine values of truth, love, peace and justice, and transform the earth. It is a call to transformation, not escape. Now I accept this is confused by parables such as Dives and Lazarus, where the rich man goes to hell and the poor man goes to heaven, but again this is a spatial metaphor for an experiential claim. The natural selfish human genetic instinct to want to live for ever has turned these metaphors into dogmatic myth. The challenge now is to strip away the dross of dogma and folk tradition to find the meaning within.
RT



Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:17 pm
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Interbane wrote:
Does atheism even have depth?

Yes, I think so. Depth would be shown in a number of specific ways, but in general, depth increases as blanket rejection of religion decreases. To have a personal nonbelief is one thing, but to insist that the world must conform to tenets of that view is another. One can be an atheist yet not declare that Christianity is null and void in the sense that it has had no effect on on the worldview one has adopted, or that it had nothing to do with the formation of institutions that are essential to us today. One can be an atheist without discounting the whole subject of religion as not worth our attention, without saying that William James wasted his time writing The Varieties of Religious Experience. One can be an atheist, in other words, while remaining a liberal humanist, a designation that indicates "depth" as well.



Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:14 pm
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geo wrote:
So far, I don't see Barker doing much to try to understand the believers.

I thought the quotation from Chris about the pyramid of Christian belief looked promising. It seemed to point the way to a more nuanced view. From what has been said about the book, this doesn't seem to be the case at all.



Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:20 pm
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I have to say that I am really not impressed with this chapter. I am wondering why he is wasting his time trying to debunk a particular type of Christian belief. Atheism means that he does not believe in God. Does that mean that it is also an atheist's mission in life to convince everyone that belief in a particular type of Christian God is wrong?

He takes verses from the Bible to prove points about morality but does not fully explore the meanings of those verses or the culture that those quotes came from. He does not seem to know or care about the various cultures that the Bible was written in, the fact that the Bible is a translation from various languages, etc. He does address this once. "If we freethinkers were mature and sophisticated enough to study the scriptures as they should be studied (higher criticism, context, metaphor, cultural elements, and so on), then we would have fewer problems understanding them. But this is nothing more than saying, "If you held my point of view, then you would hold my point of view" (page 185).

I disagree. I think that studying "higher criticism, context, metaphor, cultural elements" biblical history, language, etc. is a reasoned, intellectual way of approaching a text, especially an ancient text that is pretty far removed from our current culture.

In addition, he trys to throw Judaism and Islam into the mix which is completely misguided. While they are sister religions to Christianity they are certainly not practiced the same way and to bring them into the argument as if he could sum up the problem of all three religions in 40 pages is not reasonable.

Finally his discussion of the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, love your neighbor, turn the other cheek is shoddy analysis along with the rest of the chapter. People have been analyzing and interpreting these scriptures for hundreds of years. People have had the very same questions that he has and have answered those questions much more eloquently than he does in this chapter.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts. :razz2:



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seespotrun wrote:

Quote:
I have to say that I am really not impressed with this chapter. I am wondering why he is wasting his time trying to debunk a particular type of Christian belief. Atheism means that he does not believe in God. Does that mean that it is also an atheist's mission in life to convince everyone that belief in a particular type of Christian God is wrong?


seespotrun, this same difficulty you express here has been the cause of my frustration with some arguments made by people who sound as if they think that refuting Christianity amounts to showing there is no God. I'm with you in having trouble with that fallacy. But then I realized, all these people are actually doing is sharing their spiritual journey, not proving an absolute. It isn't fair to say that people who believe in a God or other spiritual notions that come to us through specific life experiences are allowed to tell that incomplete story without it being all explained and absolutely proven, yet atheists have absolutely and completely to prove a negative. Atheists can have an incomplete, individual spiritual search and story that brings them to where they are right now as well. And I can not be an atheist and have beliefs or doubts or ethical principles in common with them as I do with people on other spiritual paths.

For example, where realiz quotes him:
Quote:
Page 170
"Speaking for myself, if the biblical heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell. Having to spend eternity pretending to worship a petty tyrant who tortures those who insult his authority would be more hellish than baking in eternal flames. There is no way such a bully can earn my admiration."

Barker seems to forget that his admiration was there for fifteen years during which he did study and read his bible. Did he ever really believe in the bible or was it just an act? The bible did not change during this time, it was not as if he was unaware of what the bible said. There is something that just does not seem completely authentic about Barker.


I remember in my 11th-13th years having a spritual crisis about whether or not I was Christian and in what way I might be or not. I entertained as deeply and authentically as I could the belief that there might be a God who would send many people to Hell for eternal punishment while saving others based on the attitudes they held about Him and about Jesus. This was first of all incongruent with my understanding of Jesus' behavior, which was to rise above what other people thought of him and how they treated him, taking responsibility for his response rather than trying to control theirs. The notion that God would put a person like Jesus through torture and crucifixion intentionally to save people who had no further moral responsibility themselves except to believe his blood would wash their sins clean and everyone else would burn eternally, left me wanting to do the cosmic civil disobedience of going to hell rather than letting such cruelty and injustice support me in bliss in heaven. How could any decent person feel bliss while others were being burned forever?

Pondering this type of question and coming up with different answers to it and perspectives on it throughout one's life is not a sign that God has changed or that one was insincere before. It's a sign that we can grow, spiritually, that we can seek, relentlessly and tirelessly for that One True Love of Our Spirits and never give up seeking until we find. For some, the form that True Love takes is something they want to call God, for some it might be Truth, for some it might be Love, for some it might change and change, like having several intimate partners instead of marrying your high school sweetheart for life. One thing I think we can't judge well from the outside is the sincerity of one another's longing and search. Each person feels that for himself or herself and knows how deep and painful or filled with joy and a sense of richly present partnership with something Real his or her questing and finding is. I've decided it's part of my program of spiritual growth to try to learn to see and engage people at their most sincere expression, to the degree that I can where I am in my own personal spiritual evolution at any given moment, sometimes far, sometimes near, when earnestly trudging, sometimes just at play.


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Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:20 pm
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GR9 wrote:

Quote:
seespotrun, this same difficulty you express here has been the cause of my frustration with some arguments made by people who sound as if they think that refuting Christianity amounts to showing there is no God. I'm with you in having trouble with that fallacy. But then I realized, all these people are actually doing is sharing their spiritual journey, not proving an absolute.


Hi GR9. I wanted to take some time to think about what you said. I agree. We each have a personal journey and we each have a right to that. Barker believes in reason as he sees it and that is great. However, I get the sense that he is not entirely willing to let other people have their beliefs.

On page 68 he says

Quote:
"You thought you were right before, and you think you are right now." Well, yes. I do think I am right now, and I am zealous about it. If zealousness is a fault, then all preachers are guilty. If advocacy is good, it is good for all of us. You were wrong before, maybe you are wrong now." If that is true, I will admit it and apologize, like I have already shown I know how to do . "If there is no God," they say, "why do you care? Why be obessessed with something that does not exist?" (In other words, why not shut up) (pg 68 ).


Are there atheist preachers? Actually I think that zealousness is a fault whether it is an atheist zealot or a Christian one. Maybe it is zealousness that creates war and violence not religion.

His interpretation of the Bible is a literal interpretation of the Bible, even as an atheist. Literal interpretation is not the most scholarly or intellectual way to look at a piece of literature. Yet even by those standards his reading of the Bible is sloppy in places. For example Luke 12:47, 48.

Quote:
Jesus said: "And that servant {Greek doulos = slave} which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes." Jesus encouraged the beating of slaves!" (page 178).


That is not at all what is going on in those sentences. Jesus is taking something that was very common in that day and using it to make a point so that people would understand better. It would be like if I took something very common in our day, a parent and child relationship for example, and used it to make a point. It is completely inappropriate that Barker would say that Jesus was encouraging slavery or the beating of slaves.

GR9 wrote:

Quote:
It isn't fair to say that people who believe in a God or other spiritual notions that come to us through specific life experiences are allowed to tell that incomplete story without it being all explained and absolutely proven, yet atheists have absolutely and completely to prove a negative. Atheists can have an incomplete, individual spiritual search and story that brings them to where they are right now as well. And I can not be an atheist and have beliefs or doubts or ethical principles in common with them as I do with people on other spiritual paths.


I do not expect Barker to know everything. However, he is a scholar who claims that reason is the best way to look at the world. To me that would mean that he would do a better job of Biblical interpretation. Chapter 11 is somewhat of an improvement because he tries to look at the original language. However, he does not go much farther than that. I think that making blanket statements, as he often does, or being disrespectful to people who do not believe the way that he does, as he also at times does, is what I am having a problem with. Tell us your personal journey, Barker. I am all for that. But do not be disrespectful to others because they do not have that same journey.



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GR9
Quote:
this same difficulty you express here has been the cause of my frustration with some arguments made by people who sound as if they think that refuting Christianity amounts to showing there is no God. I'm with you in having trouble with that fallacy. But then I realized, all these people are actually doing is sharing their spiritual journey, not proving an absolute.


This is a good angle for me to think about when I read what Barker is saying rather than getting frustated with his arguments.

seespot
Quote:
Actually I think that zealousness is a fault whether it is an atheist zealot or a Christian one. Maybe it is zealousness that creates war and violence not religion.


Yes, I agree with this. It is not what is believed but the belief that others should share those beliefs. Beliefs in absolutes fuels this fire and zealousness usually comes from the assurance that one is absolutely right. Despite Barker's journey, his basic personality did not change and he seems to be someone who needs to grasp an ideal and prove it and live it with all he has.
Quote:
However, he is a scholar who claims that reason is the best way to look at the world. To me that would mean that he would do a better job of Biblical interpretation.

He is really using the Bible in a manipulative way, to prove his argument, much in the way he would have used it before to prove his Christian version of the way people should live. This is the way he was indoctrined into Christianity and in this sense all his reason and education has not advanced him to seeing between black and white.
Quote:
Tell us your personal journey, Barker. I am all for that. But do not be disrespectful to others because they do not have that same journey.

Good thought and I agree to some extent, but when debating one side of an argument you sometimes have to totally submerge which tends to cloud the vision somewhat.



Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:24 pm
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Sense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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