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Nonfiction Steve's - Secular Book Selections

Nonfiction Steve
The list author says: "Being impolite dinner conversation, religion is rarely challenged. Questioning religion seems oddly disrespectful, almost... sinful. Doubters often privately struggle to figure it out or are influenced by a believer. Many, indoctrinated when young, now demand proof of religion's claimed "truth" which is sheltered in a fortress of faith. Disbelievers are surprisingly abundant but covert (to avoid discrimination) and not organized (there is no need to meet weekly to disbelieve), so there are few accessible opposing sources to consult.

The books listed below were written over the past 250 years (starting with the amazing Spinoza) by people who had questions, thought hard, researched, reasoned, and were kind enough to share. These intelligent, respectful and honest writers investigate religion's "truth". Validated truth is crucial when challenging fundamentalism, evangelism, cults, the prophets of "intelligent design" in public schools or when wondering how religious people can become terrorists. These titles are all excellent. Read a few BEFORE sending your children off to religious schools. (Or if you were one of those religiously schooled children.)"
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
"The most powerful modern challenge to religion(s) I've seen in many years. I kept saying Yeah! Yeah! He's right! Read this book and see through the propaganda. A MUST read, destined to become a classic."
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
"Harris has again generated a serious challenge to the status-quo. This book deserves to be read and discussed. He might just have started a well deserved debate that will have profound consequences. Thank you Mr. Harris."
The God Delusion
The God Delusion
"A quantum leap for those who question religion, but do not have resources nor the time for research. Dawkins has collected, documented and analyzed an exhaustive and persuasive argument in a pleasant readable style that can only be denied by those for whom reason is denied. The best $15 you will have ever spent. Far cheaper than tithing (with better results)!"
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
"Hutchens seems angry in this book, then justifies his mood in a way that makes you wonder why we all aren't angry. He is another in a long new list of people putting pressure on the faithful to defend their beliefs. This book helps explain why religious defenders are called apologetics. They have a lot to apologize for."
Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion
Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion
"This is a unique book designed to help parents deal with the challenges of raising secular kids in a sectarian world. It offers practical reasonable examples of how non-believers deal with things like death, morality, supernaturalism, natural disasters, etc. without crediting or blaming  supernatural beings. This book is a valuable resource."
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
"This should be required reading for all high school and college aged people. If you haven't read it, you won't believe how invasive and controlling believers were and are. Thank God for Freethought!"
Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
"This is an excellent book and worth the read, but the required reading level is high. Onfay writes intelligently about the culture of religion, how and why it can become more athiestic. He encourages Atheology, the atheist perspective, but the translation from French must have been done by a very literate person. It is not for light readers."
Creationism's Trojan Horse:  The Wedge of Intelligent Design
Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design
"An important and necessary book. It describes the resources used in the successful Dover court defeat of ID. Don't decide on ID or Creationism until you at least read my review - April 3, 2006."
The Best of Robert Ingersoll
The Best of Robert Ingersoll
"If you haven't read Ingersoll, you are sadly missing the thoughts of a brilliant American mind. In the late 1800s he spoke out against orthodox religion with logic, power and humor and was America's most POPULAR speaker! You will learn much by reading him. He lived his life honestly and is an example of how a human can be good, and smart, without superstition. Read this or one of his other works."
The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason
"Paine is responsible for our existence as Americans.  You may not know him because he made the mistake of writing this book, his opinion on religion, one of the most thorough bible challenges ever written. Read the reviews!"
A Theologico-Political Treatise / A Political Treatise (v. 1)
A Theologico-Political Treatise / A Political Treatise (v. 1)
"Spinoza had religion figured out in the year 1670! His analysis and critique of the bible is a powerful, satisfying, pleasure (unless you are a believer)."
Ethics (Penguin Classics)
Ethics (Penguin Classics)
"Wondering how to be moral without organized religion? Read Spinoza's Ethics."
Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics)
Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics)
"Hypocracy was never more entertaining than when accompanied by the wit of Mark Twain. Here he takes the hard look at our beliefs from an objective perspective. Read the reviews."
The Bible According to Mark Twain: Irreverent Writings on Eden, Heaven, and the Flood by America's Master Satirist
The Bible According to Mark Twain: Irreverent Writings on Eden, Heaven, and the Flood by America's Master Satirist
"You will probably be as surprized as I was to learn what Twain thought about the Bible. This is a modern review with a Twain twist."
The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders
The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders
"The author has assembled a short, unique and powerful collection of original writings that clearly express the original intent and process of the separation of church and state. A must read."
"In God we trust"; the religious beliefs and ideas of the American founding fathers
"In God we trust"; the religious beliefs and ideas of the American founding fathers
"The next time you hear America needs to return to its Christian foundation, and, the founding fathers were Christians, take out this book and bop the evangelist with it!"
God and Other Famous Liberals: Reclaiming the Politics of America
God and Other Famous Liberals: Reclaiming the Politics of America
"Conservatives claim to be religous but act nonreligious. They should be feeding the poor, turning the other cheek, giving away their wealth, as the bible says! Mom and God are liberals!"
Who Wrote the Bible?
Who Wrote the Bible?
"Is the bible devine or mortal? How do you know? Here is what the scholars have found. You'll be surprized to find that critics Paine (1790) and Spinoza (1670) knew what they were talking about!"
Atheism: A Reader
Atheism: A Reader
"Logical, practical, BELIEVABLE answers to religous issues are rare. Believers call Atheists immoral and evil, but these intelligent non-believers prove them wrong - AGAIN!"
2000 Years of Disbelief
2000 Years of Disbelief
"It is healthy to doubt, otherwise risk becoming some else's fool. Many smart respected and famous people have doubted and were kind enough to document their thoughts and concerns here. Read reviews."
Atheism: The Case Against God (The Skeptic's Bookshelf)
Atheism: The Case Against God (The Skeptic's Bookshelf)
"If you can't imagine how anyone could think that God might not exist, you haven't been asking the hard questions. Consider these, THEN decide."
An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism
An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism
"A great collection of answers to important questions from a variety of notable people in recent history.  The essay Ethics of Belief is worth the price of the book."
Women Without Superstition : No Gods - No Masters
Women Without Superstition : No Gods - No Masters
"Check it out. Specifically for and about women."
Accepting the Universe
Accepting the Universe
"Burroughs offers a peaceful natural view of how the world works. Written in 1920, after WW1, it applies beautifully even today. This is a very comforting book."
The Jefferson Bible
The Jefferson Bible
"YES, our former president wrote his own bible! He was so frustrated with Christianity that he took 4 versions of the new testament, deleted the supernatural, and kept the simple mortal lessons."
Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement
Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement
"And if you are curious about the evils of eugenics, check out what the role of the church was!"
Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness (Modern Library)
Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness (Modern Library)
"A collection of Jeffersonian quotes assembled as short essays that offer his essentially secular suggestions on morality and values."
Summer For The Gods: The Scopes Trial And America's Continuing Debate Over Science And Religion
Summer For The Gods: The Scopes Trial And America's Continuing Debate Over Science And Religion
"And for an analysis of the entire trial, the events leading up to it and the consequences following, this provides an interesting,  well researched examination."
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
"Mormons? The fastest growing faith in America? Another violent faith? This book is not just about the murders, it chronicals the faith and exposes its underpinnings. A must read."
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
"The first 150 pages (of over 500 pages) were interesting. The book tries to remain objective. The author is Mormon. It should be on every Mormon home bookshelf. It seems to be the latest reliable detailed source on Smith, the golden plates, the translation process, and the history of the church."
Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America's Nonbelievers
Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America's Nonbelievers
The Authoritarians
The Authoritarians
The Authoritarian Specter
The Authoritarian Specter