Books

The Holy Bible: King James Version

by Countless Authors, Editors and Translators

One of the surest ways to stop believing in Christianity is simply to read the Bible with a critical eye. Even for non-believers though, it is a good book to read due to the frequent use of biblical references in literature and even everyday conversations.

The King James version is also the most commonly used by fundamentalists, so it’s useful to familiarize yourself with it, and maybe even highlight some verses if you want to talk to them about it.

Other good resources are The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, which will point out important Bible verses that Christian annotations would ignore or interpret differently, and BibleGateway.com which has searchable online versions of many translations of the Bible so you can look at multiple versions as you try to make sense of the more confusing verses.

The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion is probably the most scientific of this new crop of atheistic books, due to its author being an evolutionary biologist. It is well worth reading, and does a good job of covering the many reasons people believe in gods, and many of the reasons we would be better off if they didn’t.

As with many of these books, Christians may take offense at some of the things Dawkins says, but when faced with mild criticism from people trying hard not to offend, believers are unlikely to reconsider their positions, so maybe this is the best way to get people to confront these issues, even if it does turn some readers off.

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

by Sam Harris

From the chilling story it opens with, and the revealing questions that follow, The End of Faith wastes no time in showing the dangers of unfounded faith, and then it goes on to make us question everything we think about faith and the faithful.

A more philosophical book, The End of Faith is no substitute for books like The God Delusion on scientific issues, but since it takes a different approach, it contains its own unique and valuable information and insights.

This was the first book I read against religion, and at the time I thought it seemed harsh and that it would only anger religious people, not persuade them. Looking back at it now though, it actually seems more mild than many other books, or even my own writing.

Whether or not it is easy for believers to swallow, during its 33 week stay on the New York Times Best Seller list The End of Faith brought these issues into focus for many people, and helped to heat up the debate. Even after the flood of competing books that followed its success, it is still well worth reading.

Letter to a Christian Nation

by Sam Harris

While The End of Faith took on religious faith in all its forms, Letter to a Christian Nation has a more narrow focus. This book speaks directly to American Christians, and those Christians who are willing and able to read it with an open mind it should be left seriously questioning their beliefs.

Letter to a Christian Nation is short and to the point, and for the average Christian wondering why anyone would question their faith, it is a good book to start with.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

by Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens pulls no punches in his sarcastic and amusing indictment of gods, religions and many of their followers.

While the scientific insights in The God Delusion and the philosophical questions of The End of Faith can make us think about the abstract issues of faith and the supernatural, God is Not Great takes a potentially more accessible human level view of religion, telling many stories about its past and present that should have even believers questioning the thoughts and actions of some of their leaders.


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