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Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist Paperback – September 1, 1992
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"A capable and searching defense of humanism by one who has lived on both sides of the street." -- The Human Quest, Sept.-Oct. 1993
"A substantial and timely addition to the freethought literature." -- The Truth Seeker, Vo. 120, No. 3, 1993
"An excellent, entertaining and highly readable book which can be used to easily demolish the 'strongest' arguments of unreasoning Christians . . . a remarkable debating aid." -- Norm Allen, Atheists of Florida, May 1993
"Barker is compelling, humorous, and rational. His arguments are clear and thought-provoking." -- Andrew Fandre, Huntsville Times, October 24, 1993
"Barker writes well. He seems to reason well . . . and has worked out a ready response to the most common Christian objections to atheism." -- Gordon Stein, Ph.D, The American Rationalist, Vol. 37, No. 5, 1993
"Few other books offer such an insightful and conclusive indictment of religion . . . immensely readable and intellectually stimulating." -- Atheists United, November 1993
From the Publisher
A challenge to believers; an arsenal for skeptics.
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He recalls, "In November I accepted an invitation to preach in Mexicali... Even though I no longer believed what I was preaching, I still enjoyed the travel and the many friends I had south of the border... I went to bed on a cot... I remember staring up at the ceiling ... contemplating my place in the universe. It was at that moment that I experienced the startling reality that I was alone. Completely and utterly alone. There is no supernatural realm, no God, no Devil, no demons, no angels helping me from the other side. There is just nature, and I am a part of nature, and that is all there is. It was simultaneously a frightening and liberating experience." (Pg. 31)
He explains, "I am an atheist because there is no evidence for the existence of God. That should be all that needs to be said about it: no evidence, no belief." (Pg. 87) He adds, "It turns out that the word 'atheism' means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism. It is not a philosophy of life and it offers no values... Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god---both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter... Atheism is the ABSENCE OF BELIEF in a god, or gods, whether that absence is due to a critical rejection of theistic assertions, to unfamiliarity with the subject..., or to noncommital agnostic/skeptic principles." (Pg. 99) Later, he adds, "Theists claim that there is a god; atheists do not. Religionists often challenge atheists to prove that there is no god; but this misses the point. Atheists claim god is UNPROVED, not DISPROVED. In any argument, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim." (Pg. 122)
He admits, "Looking back, I have to admit that my greatest doubt was the efficacy of prayer. Prayer simply does not work. Period. I know that I prayed thousands and thousands of prayers that were a waste of time. That is, I know NOW they they were wasted. But since prayer is such a powerful doctrine of Christianity, I imagined that there was some meaning behind it all." (Pg. 108)
He states, "Faith is not the result of fuzzy thinking. It is the CAUSE of it. Simply scoffing at religious nonsense is rarely effective; but then neither is a well-reasoned approach... My position [is] that the New Testament Jesus character, whether or not he actually existed (and I think he probably never lived), is myth, like any other myth." (Pg. 115)
Barker's books are of ongoing interest to atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and other types of freethinkers.
Attacking a system from the outside is a daunting task, as they are seen as the enemy and `speak lies.' Conversely, when one was a champion of the system and now sees its fatal flaws and does not appear to be a radical anarchist, but a normal family man who embraces humanist values (values centered on what is best for mankind, not what pleases a deity) and reason instead of faith, he makes a powerful statement. Barker explains his journey from faith to reason and how many of his "friends" reacted to that process. The balance of book is a rational justification of his beliefs based on the latest findings of science and biblical scholarship. He comes to the conclusion that religion is not only untrue--being only a popular myth--but that it does both societal and individual damage. Instead of many atheists who `live and let live,' Barker believes that religion should be called out and challenged much like Daniel Dennett's sentiments in "Breaking the Spell."
The book is written in a very personal, non-technical manner and by the end I felt that I had come to have very close idea of his personality--much like an old friend--whose only crime is seeking the truth.
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