Subject: Alt.Atheism FAQ: Atheist Resources Date: 27 May 1994 10:00:09 +0100 Summary: Book

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From: mathew Newsgroups: alt.atheism,alt.atheism.moderated,news.answers,alt.answers Subject: Alt.Atheism FAQ: Atheist Resources Date: 27 May 1994 10:00:09 +0100 Organization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK. Summary: Books, addresses, music -- anything related to atheism Keywords: FAQ, atheism, books, music, fiction, addresses, contacts Xref: bloom-beacon.mit.edu alt.atheism:76810 alt.atheism.moderated:3618 Archive-name: atheism/resources Alt-atheism-archive-name: resources Last-modified: 10 January 1994 Version: 1.6 Atheist Resources Addresses of Atheist Organizations and Other Groups of Interest USA FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION Darwin fish bumper stickers and assorted other atheist paraphernalia are available from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the US. They also publish a journal, "Freethought Today". Write to: FFRF, P.O. Box 750, Madison, WI 53701. Telephone: (608) 256-8900 / (608) 256-5800 EVOLUTION DESIGN Evolution Design sell the "Darwin fish". It's a fish symbol, like the ones Christians stick on their cars, but with feet and the word "Darwin" written inside. The deluxe moulded 3D plastic fish is $4.95 plus $0.50 shipping in the US. They also sell Darwin fish lapel pins (same price), and a range of T-shirts. Write to: Evolution Design, P.O. Box 26336, Austin, TX 78755. Telephone: (512) 338-9671 People in the San Francisco Bay area can get Darwin Fish from Lynn Gold -- try mailing . For net people who go to Lynn directly, the price is $4.95 per fish. SET FREE Atheist stickers, T-shirts and books. Write to: Set Free, P.O. Box 3065-192, Garden Grove, CA 92642. AMERICAN ATHEIST PRESS AAP publish various atheist books -- critiques of the Bible, lists of Biblical contradictions, and so on. One such book is: "The Bible Handbook" by W.P. Ball and G.W. Foote. American Atheist Press. 372 pp. ISBN 0-910309-26-4, 2nd edition, 1986. Bible contradictions, absurdities, atrocities, immoralities... contains Ball, Foote: "The Bible Contradicts Itself", AAP. Based on the King James version of the Bible. Write to: American Atheist Press, P.O. Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195. or: 7215 Cameron Road, Austin, TX 78752-2973. Telephone: (512) 458-1244 Fax: (512) 467-9525 PROMETHEUS BOOKS Sell books including Haught's "Holy Horrors" (see below). Write to: 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo, New York 14215. Telephone: (716) 837-2475. An alternate address (which may be newer or older) is: Prometheus Books, 59 Glenn Drive, Buffalo, NY 14228-2197. In the UK: Write to: Prometheus Books, 10 Crescent View, Loughton, Essex. RG10 4PZ. Telephone: 081 508 2989 AFRICAN-AMERICANS FOR HUMANISM An organization promoting black secular humanism and uncovering the history of black freethought. They publish a quarterly newsletter, AAH EXAMINER. Write to: Norm R. Allen, Jr., African Americans for Humanism, P.O. Box 664, Buffalo, NY 14226. AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION Publish a journal "The Humanist". Write to: American Humanist Association, 7 Harwood Drive, P.O. Box 146, Amhearst, NY 14226-0146. ATHEISTS UNITED Write to: Atheists United, P.O. Box 5329, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413. Telephone: (818) 785-1743 CHURCH AND STATE Write to: Church & State, 8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 589-3707 SKEPTICAL INQUIRER MAGAZINE The journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims Of the Paranormal, CSICOP. An excellent publication which discusses Creationism and other pseudo-scientific beliefs, as well as New Age religion, the paranormal, and so on; all from a sceptical viewpoint. Sometimes a little too conservative and reactionary, but generally pretty good. Write to: Skeptical Inquirer, Box 703, Buffalo, NY 14226-0703. FREE ENQUIRY MAGAZINE Write to: Free Inquiry, Box 664, Buffalo, NY 14226-0664. Telephone: (716) 636-7571 THE AMERICAN RATIONALIST Write to: The American Rationalist, P.O. Box 994, St. Louis, MO 63188. CREATION/EVOLUTION REPORTS Write to: National Center for Science Education, P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, CA 94709. Telephone: (510) 526-1674 Canada Humanist Association of Canada, P.O. Box 3769, Station C, Ottawa, Ontario. K1Y 4J8. Canada. [ Also the address for the local Ottawa group. ] Publish a magazine "Humanist in Canada". Have local groups in Toronto, Victoria, Hamilton-Burlington, Alberta and elsewhere. United Kingdom Rationalist Press Association National Secular Society 88 Islington High Street 702 Holloway Road London N1 8EW London N19 3NL 071 226 7251 071 272 1266 British Humanist Association South Place Ethical Society 14 Lamb's Conduit Passage Conway Hall London WC1R 4RH Red Lion Square 071 430 0908 London WC1R 4RL fax 071 430 1271 071 831 7723 The National Secular Society publish "The Freethinker", a monthly magazine founded in 1881. Prometheus Books seem to have a distributor in the UK now. Write to: Prometheus Books, 10 Crescent View, Loughton, Essex. RG10 4PZ. Telephone: 081 508 2989 Germany IBKA e.V. Internationaler Bund der Konfessionslosen und Atheisten Postfach 880, D-1000 Berlin 41. Germany. IBKA publish a journal: MIZ. (Materialien und Informationen zur Zeit. Politisches Journal der Konfessionslosesn und Atheisten. Hrsg. IBKA e.V.) MIZ-Vertrieb, Postfach 880, D-1000 Berlin 41. Germany. For atheist books, write to: IBDK, Internationaler B"ucherdienst der Konfessionslosen Postfach 3005, D-3000 Hannover 1. Germany. Telephone: 0511/211216 Books -- Fiction THOMAS M. DISCH "The Santa Claus Compromise" Short story. The ultimate proof that Santa exists. All characters and events are fictitious. Any similarity to living or dead gods -- uh, well... WALTER M. MILLER, JR "A Canticle for Leibowitz" One gem in this post atomic doomsday novel is the monks who spent their lives copying blueprints from "Saint Leibowitz", filling the sheets of paper with ink and leaving white lines and letters. EDGAR PANGBORN "Davy" Post atomic doomsday novel set in clerical states. The church, for example, forbids that anyone "produce, describe or use any substance containing... atoms". PHILIP K. DICK Philip K. Dick Dick wrote many philosophical and thought-provoking short stories and novels. His stories are bizarre at times, but very approachable. He wrote mainly SF, but he wrote about people, truth and religion rather than technology. Although he often believed that he had met some sort of God, he remained sceptical. Amongst his novels, the following are of some relevance: "Galactic Pot-Healer" A fallible alien deity summons a group of Earth craftsmen and women to a remote planet to raise a giant cathedral from beneath the oceans. When the deity begins to demand faith from the earthers, pot-healer Joe Fernwright is unable to comply. A polished, ironic and amusing novel. "A Maze of Death" Noteworthy for its description of a technology-based religion. "VALIS" The schizophrenic hero searches for the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity after reality is fired into his brain by a pink laser beam of unknown but possibly divine origin. He is accompanied by his dogmatic and dismissively atheist friend and assorted other odd characters. "The Divine Invasion" God invades Earth by making a young woman pregnant as she returns from another star system. Unfortunately she is terminally ill, and must be assisted by a dead man whose brain is wired to 24-hour easy listening music. MARGARET ATWOOD "The Handmaid's Tale" A story based on the premise that the US Congress is mysteriously assassinated, and fundamentalists quickly take charge of the nation to set it "right" again. The book is the diary of a woman's life as she tries to live under the new Christian theocracy. Women's right to own property is revoked, and their bank accounts are closed; sinful luxuries are outlawed, and the radio is only used for readings from the Bible. Crimes are punished retroactively: doctors who performed legal abortions in the "old world" are hunted down and hanged. Atwood's writing style is difficult to get used to at first, but the tale grows more and more chilling as it goes on. VARIOUS AUTHORS "The Bible" This somewhat dull and rambling work has often been criticized. However, it is probably worth reading, if only so that you'll know what all the fuss is about. It exists in many different versions, so make sure you get the one true version. Books -- Non-fiction PETER DE ROSA "Vicars of Christ", Bantam Press, 1988 Although de Rosa seems to be Christian or even Catholic this is a very enlighting history of papal immoralities, adulteries, fallacies etc. (German translation: "Gottes erste Diener. Die dunkle Seite des Papsttums", Droemer-Knaur, 1989) MICHAEL MARTIN "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification", Temple University Press, Philadelphia, USA. A detailed and scholarly justification of atheism. Contains an outstanding appendix defining terminology and usage in this (necessarily) tendentious area. Argues both for "negative atheism" (i.e. the "non-belief in the existence of god(s)") and also for "positive atheism" ("the belief in the non-existence of god(s)"). Includes great refutations of the most challenging arguments for god; particular attention is paid to refuting contempory theists such as Platinga and Swinburne. 541 pages. ISBN 0-87722-642-3 (hardcover; paperback also available) "The Case Against Christianity", Temple University Press A comprehensive critique of Christianity, in which he considers the best contemporary defences of Christianity and (ultimately) demonstrates that they are unsupportable and/or incoherent. 273 pages. ISBN 0-87722-767-5 JAMES TURNER "Without God, Without Creed", The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA Subtitled "The Origins of Unbelief in America". Examines the way in which unbelief (whether agnostic or atheistic) became a mainstream alternative world-view. Focusses on the period 1770-1900, and while considering France and Britain the emphasis is on American, and particularly New England developments. "Neither a religious history of secularization or atheism, Without God, Without Creed is, rather, the intellectual history of the fate of a single idea, the belief that God exists." 316 pages. ISBN (hardcover) 0-8018-2494-X (paper) 0-8018-3407-4 GEORGE SELDES (Editor) "The great thoughts", Ballantine Books, New York, USA A "dictionary of quotations" of a different kind, concentrating on statements and writings which, explicitly or implicitly, present the person's philosophy and world-view. Includes obscure (and often suppressed) opinions from many people. For some popular observations, traces the way in which various people expressed and twisted the idea over the centuries. Quite a number of the quotations are derived from Cardiff's "What Great Men Think of Religion" and Noyes' "Views of Religion". 490 pages. ISBN (paper) 0-345-29887-X. RICHARD SWINBURNE "The Existence of God (Revised Edition)", Clarendon Paperbacks, Oxford This book is the second volume in a trilogy that began with "The Coherence of Theism" (1977) and was concluded with "Faith and Reason" (1981). In this work, Swinburne attempts to construct a series of inductive arguments for the existence of God. His arguments, which are somewhat tendentious and rely upon the imputation of late 20th century western Christian values and aesthetics to a God which is supposedly as simple as can be conceived, were decisively rejected in Mackie's "The Miracle of Theism". In the revised edition of "The Existence of God", Swinburne includes an Appendix in which he makes a somewhat incoherent attempt to rebut Mackie. J. L. MACKIE "The Miracle of Theism", Oxford This (posthumous) volume contains a comprehensive review of the principal arguments for and against the existence of God. It ranges from the classical philosophical positions of Descartes, Anselm, Berkeley, Hume et al, through the moral arguments of Newman, Kant and Sidgwick, to the recent restatements of the classical theses by Plantinga and Swinburne. It also addresses those positions which push the concept of God beyond the realm of the rational, such as those of Kierkegaard, Kung and Philips, as well as "replacements for God" such as Lelie's axiarchism. The book is a delight to read - less formalistic and better written than Martin's works, and refreshingly direct when compared with the hand-waving of Swinburne. JAMES A. HAUGHT "Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness", Prometheus Books Looks at religious persecution from ancient times to the present day -- and not only by Christians. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 89-64079. 1990. NORM R. ALLEN, JR. "African American Humanism: an Anthology" See the listing for African Americans for Humanism above. GORDON STEIN "An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism", Prometheus Books An anthology covering a wide range of subjects, including 'The Devil, Evil and Morality' and 'The History of Freethought'. Comprehensive bibliography. EDMUND D. COHEN "The Mind of The Bible-Believer", Prometheus Books A study of why people become Christian fundamentalists, and what effect it has on them. GEORGE H. SMITH "Atheism: The Case Against God", Prometheus Books Describes the positions of atheism, theism and agnosticism. Reviews many of the arguments used in favour of the existence of God. Concludes with an assessment of the impact of God on people's lives. ISAAC ASIMOV "Asimov's Guide to the Bible", Outlet Book Company, Inc 2 volumes, 1988, ISBN 0-517-34582-X Asimov surveys and describes contemporary Biblical scholarship on the Bible, book by book, coupled with his own very interesting asides and speculations. Especially worthwhile are his descriptions of the apochrapha and many Christian and Rabbinical legends and traditions, some of which the general public only knows as idioms of speech. Also available as two paperback volumes: "Asimov's Guide to the Bible: Old Testament" and "Asimov's Guide to the Bible: New Testament" Avon Books, 1971 ISBN 0-380-01031-3 and ISBN 0-380-01032-1 "In the Beginning" A book describing the differences between science and the Bible vis a vis the first several chapters of Genesis. Different in outlook, content, and purpose from the same chapters of his "Guide". The intent is to present an even-handed explanation of each side, but science comes off rather better overall, since the focus is on the science of the book of Genesis. BERTRAND RUSSELL "Why I Am Not a Christian & Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects" Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster, 1967, ISBN 0-671-20323-1 This book has many essays (some clearly transcriptions of lectures) with Russell giving religion in general and Christianity in general a much harder time than is ordinary in common discourse. However, many of the discussions in alt.atheism have recognizable echos in these essays and Russell's lucid arguments, whether one agrees with them or not, are worth reading for their succinct description of the atheist position on issues that are taken up almost daily on alt.atheism. CHARLES MACKAY "Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds" Crown Publishing Group, paperback, ISBN 0-517-53919-5, Harmony Most of us give too short a shrift to the reality of fad, fancy, and its serious side-effect; mob-think. This classic book describes witch trials, slow poisoning (a fad where Italian and French nobles were socially sanctioned to murder each other provided a sufficiently subtle poison was used) and the various forms of "Ponzi" schemes such as the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip Mania. One gets the feeling the US' Founding Fathers were familiar with this book. Those who assume they will always be on the same side as the majority or that the majority can be counted on to be rational would particularly profit from reading it. Besides, it is enormously entertaining as it highlights human folly in an engaging way. LEE CARTER "Lucifer's Handbook", Academic Associates ISBN 0-918260-01-9 A compilation of all the arguments for the existence of God, condensed and simplified into one neat volume. mathew

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