Recommended Atheist Books

Although atheist books and their authors are no longer burned, finding these can be somewhat difficult as many booksellers refuse to stock them.  Here is a list of suggested readings that will justify the effort:

Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Masterful refutation of all the major rationalizations advanced for the existence of god.  An indictment of the historical and psychological devastation wrought by belief in a deity.

Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin.  Published by Temple University Press.  Scholarly work by a professional philosophy instructor showing the incoherence of theistic belief and the resulting contradictions and errors.

Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy by David Ramsay Steele.  Published by Open Court.  Thought-provoking defense of atheism and its implications for politics and morality.

Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray.  Published by Arcade Publishing, Inc.  Focuses on the threat the three “great” western religions pose to our survival.

Critiques of God: Making the Case Against Belief in God edited by Peter A. Angeles.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Excellent anthology covering almost every conceivable angle relating to god belief.

Deadly Doctrine by Wendell W. Watters.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Psychological study emphasizing the role religion can play in mental illness.

Losing Faith In Faith by Dan Barker.  Published by FFRF, Inc.  Ex minister chronicles the slow process by which he came to reject belief in god and religion.  Many interesting articles on related subjects.

Some Mistakes Of Moses by Robert G. Ingersoll.  Published by Prometheus Books.  No atheist booklist would be complete without Ingersoll’s great nineteenth century classic.

The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You To Read edited by Tim C. Leedom.  Published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.  Fine anthology discussing freethought, the origin of religion, and the influence of god belief on humanity.

Holy Horrors by James A. Haught.  Published by Prometheus Books.  A brief look at the historical track record of organized religions which starkly illustrates the atrocities humans have been all too willing to commit in the name of god.  Many illustrations.

The Transcendental Temptation by Paul Kurtz.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Brilliant, in-depth examination of religion and other aspects of the paranormal by one of the world’s leading philosophers.

In The Beginning by Chris McGowan.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Systematic text explaining the principles of evolutionary theory and its corollary, natural selection  Sterling defense of science against the threat of creationism.

Not By Design by Victor J. Stenger.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Leading physicist shows why the notion of a designed universe is inherently irrational.

An Anthology of Atheism And Rationalism (2 volumes) edited by Dr. Gordon Stein.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Showcases over a hundred years of freethought writing by a number of gifted writers.

Mythology’s Last Gods by William Harwood.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Comprehensive and highly informative study of Judeo/Christian origins that puts the Bible in its proper historical perspective.

The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green.  Published by FFRF, Inc. Housewife convalescing from an illness reads the Bible and discovers not truth and beauty, but cruelty, vulgarity, and absurdity.

In God We Trust: But Which One? By Judith Hayes.  Published by FFRF, Inc.  Sardonically effective expose of the various flaws of religion.

Lucifer’s Handbook by Lee Carter.  Published by Academic Associates.  Concise and readable account of all the rationalizations advanced through the centuries for god’s existence.  Using the Revised Standard Bible, Carter demonstrates the contradictions and immoral nature of scripture.

The Forgery of the Old Testament and other Essays by Joseph McCabe.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Former priest and freethought pioneer examines the myths of the Old Testament with a scholars eye.

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Cool rationalist look at the Bible and religion by one of America’s Founding Fathers.

Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell.  Published by Simon and Shuster.  Famed philosopher/mathematician explains his animosity toward all belief systems and dogmas that shackle the mind.

Why I am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Systematic refutation of Islam that focuses on the resurgence of fundamentalist Muslim terrorism.

Ancient Myths and Modern Life by Gerald A. Larue.  Published by Centerline Press.  Intriguing look at the origins of eastern mythology and the rituals of our ancestors that continue to influence society today.

The Jesus Idea by Arnold M. Rothstein.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Examines Jesus as an idea, rather than a man, an idea dating as far back as the 14th century BCE.  Demonstrates the regenerative power of this idea throughout history.

Who Was Jesus by G.A. Wells.  Published by Open Court.  Critically examines the available evidence both in and out of the Bible and concludes that Jesus Christ was an entirely fictional character.

The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty.  Published by Canadian  Humanist Publications.  Challenges the existence of an historical Jesus.  examines the chronological evolution of Jesus in the New Testament to arrive at the inevitable conclusion that Christianity’s central figure never existed.

Jesus Christ Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism by David Fideler.  Published by Quest Books.  Fascinating examination of the various religious symbols of antiquity demonstrating how Christianity expropriated them for its own use.

The Case Against Christianity by Michael Martin.  Published by Temple University Press.  Gifted philosopher examines all the key tenets of Christianity.  Anyone attempting to defend Christianity will need to deal with this book.

The Making of the Messiah: Christianity and Resentment by Robert Sheaffer.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Unique approach to Christian apologetics that uses the original ancient sources to paint a decidedly negative portrait of the founders of Christianity and of the religion itself.

The Mythic Past by Thomas L. Thompson.  Published by Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Demonstrates how we should be reading and interpreting the Bible in light of its being a fiction from the past.

The Arrogance of Faith: Christianity and Race in America from the Colonial Era to the Twentieth Century by Forrest G. Wood.  Published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  Demonstrates the collusion of America’s churches in the racism that has darkened our history.

God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Thoughtful volume uniting physics, biology, astronomy, and logic to show how belief in a supernatural agent does not explain anything about the way the universe operates.

Physics and Psychics by Victor J. Stenger.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Offers a stinging rebuttal to those who insist that physics and mysticism are compatible.

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.  Published by W.W. Norton & Co.  Best-selling academic examination of the principles of evolutionary theory.

Ethics Without God by Kai Neilsen.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Convincingly argues that morality cannot be based on religion since its claims are not objectively verifiable.

Classics of Freethought edited by Paul Blanshard.  Published by Prometheus Books.  A collection of some of the most striking thoughts from great religious dissenters from Voltaire to Mark Twain.

Self-Contradictions of the Bible by William Henry Burr.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Freethought classic listing 133 quotes and counter-quotes that provides atheists with devastating ammunition to use against fundamentalists by allowing the Bible prove itself to be erroneous.

The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by Dennis McKinsey.  Published by Prometheus Books.  The definitive study and commentary of biblical confusion, contradiction, and error.

Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment? By Tim Callahan.  Published by Millennium Press.  Fine defense against those who claim that the various prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled.

The Fatal Flaw: At the Heart of Religious Liberalism by Duncan Howlett.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Shows how religious liberals have abandoned their own principles, leaving the field open to the rise of the extremists.

The Difference Between Truth and Opinion by Timothy J. Cooney.  Published by Prometheus Books.  Demonstrates how the misuse of language can lead to disaster.  Invaluable aid in critical thinking.

Longing For The End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization by Frederic J. Baumgartner.  Published by St. Martin’s Press.  Illustrates how messianism has been a recurring theme throughout western history and how it threatens to end civilization.

Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy by Frederick Clarkson.  Published by Common Courage Press.  Timely examination of the reasons why theocratic governments invariably lead to dictatorship and shows how today’s Christian Right leaders are moving us in that direction.

The Fundamentals Of Extremism: The Christian Right In America edited by Kimberly Blaker.  Published by New Boston Books, Inc.  Excellent anthology by contemporary atheist writers showing how America’s Christian extremists will stop at nothing to make this country a Christian theocracy.

By: Jon Nelson

Categories:   America, Atheism and Religion, Religion In America