2Q & Books for atheists
I just wondered if there is any update on the status of your 2Q book regarding whether you will decided to have it published.
And secondly I noticed on your site that you have some Amazon ads that link to various books. I just wondered if you have any recommendations for good books that examine religion and/or atheism with regards to either science or philosophy. I’ve heard of the big ones from Dawkins, Hitchens, & Harris. Just wondered if you had any other favorites.
Thank you for asking about 2Q! Philosopher Richard Carrier took a brief look at it and, in addition to giving me valuable textual criticism, recommended that I find a university philosophy professor to look it over before it is submitted to a publisher. I am currently working on a second draft, based on his comments and those I have received from this site’s readers, and hope to have it done next month. I’ve been trying to find a university philosopher to give me assistance after the new draft is ready, but am finding the search difficult (university folks tend to be quite busy). If anyone out there knows a professor that might be of assistance, I’d appreciate your pointing him or her in my direction!
The Amazon ads on my site are generated by Amazon’s software, so the books don’t reflect my personal recommendations. I tend to recommend that, once you have a basic grounding in atheist philosophy, you should concentrate on pro-religion material if you want to get a good atheistic education. Frankly, you’re going to find the best pro-religion arguments in pro-religion books, and if you can quantify why you disagree with these arguments, you will be much better off than if you just read anti-religion writings (you’ll also generally get a better understanding of what religious people really believe).
If you’re interested in Christianity, I’d recommend starting with books by Lee Strobel. He collects arguments for Christianity and creationism from a variety of sources and collects them as a reporter would. Read through the books. If you come upon a point you don’t know how to refute, turn to the Internet — refutations of pretty much everything he brings up are readily available. But do try and think through counter arguments on your own first. It’s good exercise.
I would also recommend the Stand to Reason religious apologist podcast. Greg Koukl is an avengelical Christian, but he is a consistent thinker, does his best to be philosophically rigorous, and will admit when he is wrong. Remember, you don’t have to disagree with everything he says, just make sure you can put into words why you agree or disagree. This show is also valuable for intellectually rigorous atheists because atheists frequently call in to challenge Koukl and you can see how well their arguments work. (Unfortunately, the call-in atheists are pretty much always terrible debaters or don’t know how to respond to a challenge to their statements — there’s a lot to learn from them).
Anyway, those are my feelings regarding atheistic reading. Let me know if you’d rather I gave you some more pro-atheist suggestions, but I really think this is the way to go.