This is Why We Must Get Rid of Theological Weeds

Many atheists have no need to keep arguing about God’s existence. We don’t believe any Gods exist, and we’ve moved beyond that conversation. But author James Lindsay believes that religious people have psychological and social needs that faith helps them meet. Unless atheists address those concerns, we won’t get anywhere. In other words, the way we talk about God right now isn’t working.

His new book expanding on this idea is called Everybody Is Wrong About God (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Lindsay discusses why its imperative we help “uproot” people out of their faith:

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In New Book, the President of American Atheists Says We Must Break Religious Rules

In 2013, American Atheists President David Silverman announced that he would be writing a book called I, Atheist. But a few months later, that book was off the table. What happened? Silverman explained in a now-deleted Facebook post that there had been a disagreement with his publisher: “We parted ways amicable over a smiley face, labeled ‘Muhammad of Islam’, which I refused to remove.”

Now, a different version of that book is finally seeing the light of day. (And the smiley face is in it.)

It’s called Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015). And if you thought Richard Dawkins was “aggressive” in The God Delusion, just wait till you read this. Unlike Dawkins, who wanted readers to shed their faith, Silverman wants those of us who are already atheists to be much more vocal about it.

In the excerpt below, Silverman discusses the idea of “Islamophobia” and why we must push back against the faith-based rules others demand we follow. (I have removed footnotes for ease of reading.)

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Fernando Alcántar, a Former Christian, Explains Why Breaking Up with Faith Hasn’t Left Him Bitter

Fernando Alcántar grew up as a poor Catholic boy in Mexico and soon became a rising star in the Christian world… that is, until he came out as a gay atheist. That didn’t go over so well.

His new memoir, with a foreword by Dan Barker, is called To the Cross and Back: An Immigrant’s Journey from Faith to Reason (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Alcántar details all the difficult “divorces” he’s gone through, but says he’s not angry about it:

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The Best Atheist Books of 2015

For the past several years, we’ve seen a large number of atheism-related books hit the market. Unlike the books written by the “New Atheists,” however, the more recent releases aren’t just about why you should stop believing in God or how religion is bad. They cover different aspects of atheism and cater to a variety of audiences.

I compiled a list of my favorites in 2013 and 2014, and I’m excited to do it again now. These are the books I’ll be referencing for years to come and the ones I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to explore faith with a critical eye.

I should mention this right now: I’ve covered many of these books on the site, I’ve been asked to write back-cover blurbs for some of them, my name appears in a few of the pages, and I know some of the authors personally. That’s inevitable when you do the sort of work I do. None of that, however, has any bearing on this list. I picked these books because I found them both fascinating and useful. You don’t have to believe me, but I just wanted to put that disclaimer right up front. So there you go.

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CJ Werleman’s The New Atheist Threat: A Caricature of a Cause

I suspect there are few experiences as potentially awkward as publicly reviewing the creative work of someone you know.

In his most recent book, The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists, CJ Werleman lists me (as well as Nathan Phelps and a few others) as a friend… and apparently an exemption to the charge that New Atheism is essentially a hate cult.

CJ and I have crossed paths over the years, and our exchanges — even spirited disagreements — have been universally pleasant. Amicable. Friendly. We’ve spoken at conferences, on the phone, on the radio, and over brunch. He opened for me at a 2014 tour event in San Diego. I advised him when he was navigating his start-up podcast. Conversation came easily, if infrequently, and normally, I’d welcome the description of “friend.” But with CJ’s inflammatory new book, to be named in any capacity is not something I’m comfortable with.

Publicity-wise, there’s lot of flash and mud flying about in relation to The New Atheist Threat, and of course, it would be easy to intercept any of the hundreds of Twitter volleys tossed about in its promotion/detraction and build an analysis on hype alone. The responsible move, however, is to actually read the book. So, finally, I did.



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