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Atheist Book Gift List For Christmas.

A couple of apologetics blogs (see here, and here) have done an apologetics and philosophy book list as a guide for gifts for Christmas, both for the beginner, and more learned apologist. I thought it was such a great idea that I’m going to respectfully steal it, and apply it to atheist and philosophy literature for both the beginner and more learned atheologist.

Unfortunately I can only include the literature I’ve read myself, so please, feel free to add to the list those which you feel would be appropriate.

For the Beginner/Intermediate

Malcolm Murray, The Atheist’s Primer – This is a neat little piece from a serious philosopher that deals with the arguments for the existence of God, the burden of proof, the definition of an atheist, agnosticism, problems with some definitions of God, morality, meaning, mysticism, falsifiability and death – in a fairly simple manner.

John W. Loftus, Why I Became an Atheist – Similar to Murray’s this book covers a wealth of topics, its general theme – criticising religion, primarily Christianity.

Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted – This is the only book of Ehrman’s that I’ve read, I’ve used his The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings as a reference, and it is probably the better book, but having not read it cover to cover I can’t speak authoritatively on it. As it is Jesus, Interrupted is straight forward and deals with many of the objections modern scholarship has with the Bible – a good start for those looking for more depth on it.

Jerry A. Coyne, Why Evolution is True – True it is that this issue isn’t necessarily tied to atheism. However, many atheists are science minded, or at the very least enjoy learning about science – this book is a great resource to learn about the *ahem* myth of evolution.

Robert M. Price, The Case Against The Case For Christ – As a nod to the aforementioned apologists I guess I should include some work that critiques popular apologist’s literature. Price does a great job in this to point out the obvious flaws in Strobel’s case.

For the Advanced

Michael Martin, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification – At the time I read this it went a little above my head, but it’s a solid read and deals with just about anything you could imagine regarding atheism, and reasons to reject theism.

George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God – Not, technically a difficult book to read, and could have gone in the beginner/intermediate section, it deals, really well with many of the same issues as Martin’s, Murray’s, Loftus’ with it’s own style.

Kai Nielsen, Atheism & Philosophy – A huge follower of Wittgenstein, Nielsen deals with a philosophical case for atheism. You may ask why I’ve included 3 books in a similar vein? As you might hear, so many times theists talk of there being no real scholarly work in or on atheism, well, here it is.

Richard Carrier, Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism – While not, specifically about atheism, and also on a worldview I don’t hold, this book does give a pretty good defense for about as strong an atheistic worldview as you can get, and for my money, does pretty well defending it.

Robert M. Price (Ed.), The Empty Tomb – A collection of authors ranging from Michael Martin to Keith Parsons answering proponents of the Resurrection accounts. More detailed work on Biblical scholarship than Ehrman’s for the reader who can keep up.

There are a plethora of other books I could include, but these ones cover several different branches of information with varying depth and clarity – all good reads, all educational, no matter what beliefs you may hold.

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